I went and saw KILL BILL last night, and absolutely loved it. One thing though is that I was a bit surprised by the huge amount of Japanese used in the film, which obviously was not subtitled here. I was expecting some, but not so many scenes done almost entirely in Japanese, and long speeches by the likes of Sonny Chiba. It didn’t affect my enjoying the film any, and I don’t think I missed anything very important. In fact, I could catch most of it, except the scenes with the yakuza bosses arguing and the long monologue by Chiba about his sword. The thing is, the Japanese that I have the hardest time understanding in movies is tough-guy talk (except the swear words, I know those). The other thing is that as much as I like Lucy Liu and all, I think her role should have been played by a real Japanese actress (or Japanese/American). I’m sure everyone outside of Japan didn’t notice anything, but her Japanese is definitely not native. It’s fine that she doesn’t look Japanese as this is explained in the film (her character is Japanese/Chinese/American), but having grown up in Okinawa (and by the way, the origin chapter told in anime was absolutely stunning, and I just kept thinking that I would love to see an entire film done in this style) she should have spoken Japanese natively. It especially clashed with the huge amount of Japanese actors in the film. As for Sophie Fatale, the actress that played her must really be half because her Japanese was pretty much flawless.
But that’s not a big deal, the film kicked ass and I enjoyed the ride from start to finish. For those wondering about the differences between the American and Japanese versions, I can tell you that the only black and white in the whole film is during the sequence at the very start of the film when we see The Bride’s face all bloodied in the church, just before the opening credits start to roll. The entire fight sequence in The House of Blue Leaves was in full color, and I almost felt some blood reaching the cinema aisles!
As for the follow-up, as much as I can’t wait to see it, I don’t know if it’ll get me as excited as the first one did, since it’s the whole Asian aspect of the film that really got me so anxious for Volume 1 (being the Asian movie freak that I am). But then again, these are all cool characters, so I’m sure that it’ll end up being interesting no matter what the locale.