....LMB: "Public Service Announcement"....

October 13, 2003

Greetings from Manhattan.Just hopping on the internet with a brief warning for y'all.I saw the new Quentin Tarrantino movie "Kill Bill" last night. The Village Voice had called it "the most violent American movie ever made." And they're right. But I feel they should have added "by a lot."That's my warning. KB is really, really violent and gory. Lots of severed limbs, decapitations, fountains of blood, etc. Keep that in mind if you're going to go see it.

Posted by Jake at 08:04 AM | TrackBack (0)

I admit I had my adolescent fascination with Tarantino movies. Yes, his movies are violent, but they're all fluff, pandering to the hipster crowd. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy his stylistic direction of trashy pulp themes and genres, but I can't help to think that he's probably one of the more overrated directors out there (no more than Kevin Smith though). History well tell, I suppose.

Posted by: Eric at October 14, 2003 05:45 PM

Agreed. Kill Bill is Tarantino spending the studio's money to recreate the chopsocky movies he was obsessed with. They were lame then, they're even lamer now. To call this movie violent is to give it credence it doesn't deserve. Yes, limbs are severed willy-nilly, but it's so over the top that it's cartoonish -- but not in a good way.

The whole thing is just a jumble of recreations of shots/scenes QT must have admired as a fanboy and it reeks of on-the-set "Hey, I've got a cool idea, let's try this!"

Obviously, I didn't think much of it.

Posted by: Chuck at October 15, 2003 08:20 AM

I liked it. I think I've learned not to take Q seriously, and not to expect more from him than him making a film for himself and maybe the movie-going audience will like it. The anime for the story of Oren Ishii was a nice touch. The blood-spurting was gratuitous, and the film had its cheesy moments, but yeah, I liked it.

Posted by: Indira at October 15, 2003 10:40 AM

An over-the-top cartoon. That would be my assessment too.

Posted by: Eric at October 15, 2003 11:50 AM

But obviously we all saw it on the opening week, so we all bought into the spectacle. Heh.

Posted by: Eric at October 15, 2003 11:52 AM

I didn't see either film, but my wife says that Gangs of New York is the most violent American film. Anyone who both, which do you think?

Posted by: Me at October 16, 2003 10:16 AM

I didn't see either film, but my wife says that Gangs of New York is the most violent American film. Anyone who saw both, which do you think?

Posted by: Me at October 16, 2003 10:16 AM

I've seen both, but KB is more recent in my mind. KB is graphically violent in an overkill fashion. There were closeups of decapitations, amputations, blood spurting, but it was pretty much cartoonish. GONY is violent, but it seemed restricted to the fight scenes. But it's been awhile since I've seen it and it wasn't all that memorable to me anyway.

Posted by: Eric at October 16, 2003 12:04 PM

I am thinking I must be jaded a tad because, really, I don't get the whole "Kill Bill was so violent" claim. Yes, the movie did have fighting but the whole portrale of this film was in a humorous manner. I mean if your arm gushes blood as though it were a fire hydrant when you're cut then you might want to see someone for that. In fact, when I saw the way that these people bled, it reminded me forcefully of when King Arthur was fighting the Black Night in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. To answer the Gangs of New York being more violent question, I have seen it, and it was violent, but well I thought the movie was too hollywood for it's own good, much like chicago and moulin rouge. Don't get me wrong, they were good movies, but a little bit forced in their plots in my opinion and were hard to take seriously.

Posted by: Alyssa at October 17, 2003 12:26 PM

Was it more violent than Natural Born Killers?

Posted by: Indira at October 17, 2003 05:46 PM

Wow, lotta comments for an entry where I really didn't say much of substance.

I enjoyed the movie. Frankly, I mainly go to the movies for visual spectacle. Any movie that I think won't benefit from being seen on a big screen, I figure I'll just rent it later and save money. But I almost never rent movies, which means that I almost solely see movies with visual style by the mile.

Kill Bill is about 90% style, so much so that it's not a matter of style over substance, but style IS the substance. And as long as I'm not looking for deep insight about the human condition, I'm fine with that.

Yes, I feel that Kill Bill was more violent than Gangs of New York and Natural Born Killers. Maybe "violent" isn't the right word, I'm thinking of some combination of "violent" and "gory." "Viory"? "Gorelent"?

I wrote this entry because I felt that the movie publicity establishment was just not driving home the "watch out, really really violent" message. I mean, there was one part where a guy got stabbed, and for a split second, you saw some of his organs fall out of his body and onto the floor. That's pretty over the top, if you ask me.

Posted by: Jake at October 18, 2003 09:08 AM

I think violence is psychological a lot of times. With NATURAL BORN KILLERS, you had cold-blooded killers doing the violence with no consequences and that disturbed many people. I actually didn't think NBK was all that violent, in graphic terms. It's just that many, including even the religious moralists, LOVE violence if it's the good, macho, All-American guy slitting the throat of some Satan worshipping villain. If Mickey and Mallory would have died a horrible death (in Hollywood fashion) at the end of NBK, would it have been as controversial?

So the whole concept of "gratuitous violence" is funny to me. What exactly isn't gratuitous violence? Isn't capital punishment just as gratuitous as a terrorist attack? Far too many people say no.

Posted by: Eric at October 23, 2003 01:11 AM

i think its funny that so many people consider the blood spurting in Kill bill gratuitous and unrealistic. Youve obviously never witnessed an artery being punctured. I am a doctor, and i have spent many years working in emergency. While the blood spray may not be so volumnous as the movie portrayed, the pressure within our arteries causes blood to be sprayed quite a distance when punctured. Many other hollywood films tone down the gore, making it appear more clean when someones limbs are severed. In reality the mess is much more horrifying and, well, messy.

Posted by: Brian at November 25, 2003 02:31 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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