Efficiency, sarcasm, and natty fur!

This monkey and this robot once had a system: three blogs for three subjects. But it was complicated and vague and usually ended in feces throwing. So we have combined all three into a melange of media reviews and links and excessive blather, so as to reduce the burden on your short attention span.

In the right column, Monkey + Robot have compiled for you a compendium of sassy, savvy and in the know media reviews and tidbits, for your time-wasting pleasure. And lest you poke at us with sticks or cut off our power supply, the reviews are now selectable through those perky drop-down menus. Monkey + Robot Film and TV reviews, Wrongrobot's Comic Stash, and more.

Grab a chunk of melon and some Demoral, because in the left column, we have accumulated for you every snappy link we found amusing, entertaining, provocatively witty, or frankly, just colorful, with easy to understand small words so monkeybites can follow along. Such is Robotic Root!

Entertainment Media Ratings System:

Wrongrobot's Robot Rating: 1-10 Clicks, more indicating a happier robot!

Monkeybites' Monkey Rating: 1-10 Ooks! More indicating a mouthful of rotting simian teeth and lips curled in monkey pleasure!

IronLung's Robot Rating: 1-10 Clanks! More indicating a red-eyed, slack-jawed, blissed-out, ride-pimped dizzy droid! [this is good]

Vicbot's Robot Rating: 1-10 Whirrs! More indicating data that computes well with others.

WWW http://monkey-plus-robot-reviews.blogspot.com
Wrongrobot's Fantasy Film Casting:
Casting Batman: Year One
Casting The Losers
Casting Richard Zach's Pirate Hunter


Film Reviews [M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks]

Adventures of Baron Munchausen: 8 Clicks
Aliens Vs. Predator: 1 Clank
Bad Santa: 9 Clicks
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever: 2 Clicks
Bend it Like Beckham: 8 Clicks
Bourne Supremacy: 10 Clicks
Bowling for Columbine: 8 Clicks
Bubba Ho-Tep: 8 Clanks
Cirque du Soleil- Allegria [stage]: 10 Clicks
Cold Mountain: 7 Clicks
Cutthroat Island: 2 Clicks
Elf: 8 Clicks
Equilibrium: 6 Clicks
Escape From Alcatraz: 7 Clicks
Finding Nemo: 10 Clicks
Girl With a Pearl Earring: 7 Clicks
The Graduate [stage]: 7 Clicks
Hero: 7 Clanks
House of 1000 Corpses: 5 Clanks
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: 5 Clicks
Hudson Hawk: 6 Clanks
The Hulk: 7 Clicks
Identity: 3 Clicks
Igby Goes Down: 5 Clicks
Intolerable Cruelty: 6 Clicks
I, Robot [trailer commentary][IronLung]
I, Robot [trailer commentary][Wrongrobot]
Kill Bill Vol.1: 10 Clicks
Kill Bill Vol.2 [IronLung]: 9 Clanks
Kill Bill Vol.2 [Wrongrobot]: 10 Clicks
The Last Samurai: 8 Clicks
LotR: Return of the King: 7 Clicks
My Architect: 9 Clicks
Original Kings of Comedy: 7 Clicks
The Phantom: 1 Click
Pirates of the Caribbean: 9 Clicks
The Punisher: 5 Clanks
Secretary: 9 Clicks
Shanghai Knights: 4 Clicks
Spellbound: 7 Clicks
Spider-Man 2: 8 Clanks/ 8 Clicks
Starsky & Hutch: 8 Clicks
Star Trek- Nemesis: 6.5 Clicks
Terminator 3: 5 Clicks, 2 Ooks
The Thin Red Line: 7 Clicks
To Live and Die in LA: 10 Clicks
Troy: n/a
Van Helsing: 4 Clicks, 0 Clanks!
Whale Rider: 8 Clicks

Comic Film Adaptations News [Film and TV]:

Appleseed OAV 2004 6/18/04
Aeon Flux: 2/27/04
Akira Live-Action Film 9/29/04
Animated Batman 2004 9/2/04
Batman Begins: 2/12/04 2/19/04 2/24/04 3/02/04 3/03/04 3/04/04 3/08/04 3/9/04 3/17/04 3/19/04 3/31/04 TRDL Concept Illustration 4/3/04 4/5/04 4/12/04 TRDL Concept Illustration Part 2 4/12/04 4/21/04 4/22/04 4/23/04 4/23/04 4/29/04 5/4/04 Costume Critique 5/4/04 Script Excerpts 5/7/04 6/01/04 6/04/04 6/09/04 6/10/04 6/15/04 6/16/04 7/6/04 7/13/04 7/20/04 7/26/04 7/28/04 Trailer 7/29/04 7/31/04 8/2/04 8/3/04 8/4/04 8/5/04 8/8/04 8/10/04 8/12/04 8/17/04 8/20/04 8/24/04 8/30/04 10/19/04
Battle Angel Alita: 9/10/04
Black Widow 4/29/04
Blade 3: Trinity: 5/4/04 6/11/04
Catwoman: 2/18/04 5/21/04 Game Concept Art 5/21/04 6/11/04 Suckage! 7/29/04
Comic Adaptations 10/13/03
Constantine: 3/08/04 5/14/04
Dazzler?!? 7/7/04
Elektra: 2/19/04 3/29/04 4/23/04 5/14/04 4/29/04 5/4/04 6/10/04 6/18/04 7/1/04 7/2/04 7/6/04 7/29/04 9/20/04 10/13/04
Fantastic Four: 6/16/04 7/8/04 7/14/04 7/15/04 8/3/04 9/20/04
Ghost in the Shell 2: 9/18/04
Global Frequency: 6/15/04 7/16/04 8/17/04
Good Time For Comic Films! 5/14/04
Green Lantern?!?: 7/24/04 Koboshed 8/8/04
Hawaiian Dick: 4/21/04 Interview 4/22/04
He-Man: 10/11/04
Hellboy: 2/12/04 Interview: Del Toro 2/20/04
3/03/04 3/9/04 3/17/04 Personality Test 3/17/04 Figures Released 3/29/04 Toys Addendum 3/30/04 Choose the Next Figures! 4/21/04 Hellboy: An Introduction 3/30/04 Interview: Selma Blair 3/30/04
Interview: Spectral Motion 4/5/04 Caught On Film in '62! 4/21/04 Interview: Selma Blair, CafeFX 4/28/04 Hellboy Collaborator Medical Fund Auction! 5/4/04 DVDs 7/7/04 7/28/04 8/3/04 8/5/04 8/25/04 8/31/04 Hellboy 2: 3/29/04 4/8/04 6/03/04 8/27/04 9/1/04
Hulk 2? 5/4/04 9/7/04

Hulk Op-Ed 7/14/04
Iron Man: 3/03/04 4/23/04 6/10/04 6/28/04 9/14/04
8/2/04 8/10/04
Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD 9/8/04
Preacher FX 4/29/04
Sin City: 3/19/04 4/04/21 4/04/29 4/05/19 5/21/04 6/01/04 6/11/04 7/1/04 7/26/04 7/28/04 7/20/04 8/11/04 9/15/04
Spider-Man 2: 2/18/04 3/29/04
Spider-Man 3: 5/4/04 5/14/04 6/10/04 7/13/04 Spider-Man 2 Game Screenshots 6/8/04 Spider-Man 2 [trailer commentary]
Superman: 5/21/04 6/03/04 6/09/04 6/10/04 6/28/04 7/1/04 7/13/04 7/14/04 7/20/04 8/5/04 8/10/04 8/27/04 8/31/04 9/10/04 9/15/04 10/19/04 [2] 10/19/04
Transformers: 9/10/04
Wanted 3/03/04
Watchmen: 4/4/23 4/7/24 7/24/24 8/12/04 9/10/04
Wolverine: 10/13/04
X-Men 3: 7/20/04 5/4/04 6/18/04 7/7/04 7/8/04 7/14/04 7/15/04 7/20/04 8/27/04 Aborted Sentinel? 9/2/04 9/7/04 9/15/04

Film News, General:

A Scanner Darkly Film Adaptation
Akira: Kaneda's Bike in Production? 8/28/04
Aliens Vs. Predator: 6/2/04 Chess Set 5/26/04 6/8/04 Trailor 6/11/04 6/28/04 7/8/04 [trailer commentary] 8/5/04 8/8/04 7/15/04 8/12/04
Anchorman 7/13/04
Big Lebowski Day! 5/5/04
Bloodrayne 8/10/04
Bond? Who Bond? 8/3/04
Bourne Supremacy: 1/6/04 Trailer: 5/4/04 7/8/04
Cage Deserves Happiness 7/31/04
Clooney/ Tarantino in the News 10/15/03
Dodgeball 6/01/04
Domino 8/3/04
HEAT vs. R:HD: Dialog Analysis 10/22/03
Heat/ GTA III: Lawsuits Imitate Life 10/23/03
Incredibles 8/23/04
Jim White Documentary 3/23/04
Kill Bill 2 Poster 2/18/04
Kill Bill Interview: Uma Thurman 4/8/04
Kill Bill Vol. 3?! 4/12/04
The Life Aquatic 1/15/04
Matrix Explained? 8/31/04
National Treasure 8/4/04
Nowhere Man 7/26/04
Pierce is Bond No More 7/27/04
Sky Captain 7/15/04
Sky High 8/17/04
Soderberg Joins Che 4/5/04
Speed Racer: Vince Vaughn 6/25/04
Stealth 7/8/04
Summer 04 Films to Watch 4/22/04
Team America Puppet Porn 8/25/04
Transporter 2 6/16/04
Van Helsing: Van Helsing WHO? 3/16/04 Interview: ILM 5/5/04 Penny Arcade 5/18/04
Underworld 2 9/7/04
WB Kills ESC F/X 8/18/04
Will Smith Lexicon 5/18/04
Zatoichi: Blind Swordsman 6/25/04
No Mas James Bond
Miami Vice on the Big Screen

TV Reviews, and the M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks

24 Season 3: 10/29/03: 8 Whirrs 11/5/03: 6 Whirrs 2/08/04: 7 Whirrs 2/12/04: 8 Whirrs 2/18/04: 8 Whirrs 2/24/04: 9 Whirrs 4/06/04: 7 Whirrs 4/26/04: 6 Whirrs 5/03/04: 3 Whirrs 5/11/04: 9 Whirrs 5/18/04: 8 Whirrs Finale 7/8/04: 3 Whirrs
Apprentice: Robin and Carolyn 4/16/04
ATHF and Space Ghost Links 2/25/04
ATHF: Revenge of the Trees 10/13/03: 8 Clicks The Shaving 10/27/03: 7 Clicks Super Trivia 9/22/03: 8 Clicks Battlestar Galactica 1/13/04: 3 Clicks
Carnivale: 9/22/03: 10 Clicks 9/30/03: 9 Clicks
Christopher Columbus: Secrets From the Grave: 3 Clicks
CSI: 8/11/03: 1 Ook 9/26/03: 5 Clicks CSI: Miami: 7/30/03: 1 Ook 7/31/03: 6 Clicks 9/26/03: 7 Clicks
Deadwood 3/24/04: 8 Clicks
Dinner for Five: 9/26/03: 7 Clicks 9/30/03: 7 Clicks
Ed: 9/26/03: 3 Clicks Series Finale 2/12/04: 7 Clicks
Emmy Nominations 04 7/15/04: 7 Clicks
Enterprise 10/13/03: 6 Clicks
Everybody Loves Raymond 9/26/03: 6 Clicks
Friends 9/26/03: 7 Clicks
Grammys: Outkast's Andre 3000 2/9/04: 10 Clicks
Law and Order Family: 9/30/03: 8 Clicks
Law and Order: 10/13/03
Law and Order: CI: 1/12/04: 8 Clicks
Marvel Comics Guide to NYC: 10 Clicks
Method and Red: 9 Clicks
MI-5 10/28/03: 10 Clicks
Mix It Up 1/12/04: 8 Clicks
Mr. Show: What to Think 9/10/03: 10 Clicks
Penn & Teller's Bullshit: 9 Clanks
Reno 911!: 9 Clicks 9/7/03
Space Ghost C2C: Baffler Meal: 11 Clicks! Flipmode 2/25/04:20 Clicks Survivor 7 9/19/03: 8 Clicks
Survivor All-Stars: 2/12/04: 8 Clicks 2/13/04: 7 Clicks Tour de France 2003 8/4/03: 8 Clicks
Will & Grace 9/26/03: 7 Clicks

TV News

24/Law and Order/CSI "That Guy" Character Actor Tracker
24: Comic Adaption 3/25/04 Season 4 Casting 8/9/04
Amazing Screw-On Head Cartoon 4/8/04
Cigarette Smoking Man Action Figure 5/26/04
CSI: CSI in Comedy Culture 6/24/04 CSI's Peterson 2/18/04 Sick outs Everywhere 7/27/04
CSI: Miami Drinking Game 2/27/04 No Mas Rory Cochrane 8/9/04
CSI:NY: 3/8/04 3/16/04 Drawn Together 8/20/04
HDTV ScreenCap Archive 8/25/04
Jessica Simpson 10/21/03
Mastershake Speaks 9/7/04
Nike's Lance Commercial: Magnet 8/18/04
Law and Order: Trial by Jury Casting 6/04/04
NBC Hijacks TiVo 1/15/04
Simpsons' Shearer Balks 8/12/04
Survivor All-Stars Cast 1/12/04
Survivor 9 8/18/04
Robbery: Homicide Division Music 9/30/03

French Connection Made for TV


Wrongrobot's Comics Stash- Comics and Sequential Art Reviews

Comic Reviews, and the M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks

Comics Reviews Intro
100 Bullets: 48: 7 Clicks
52, 53: 8 Clicks
9-11, Artists Respond Collections
Alias: 24-25: 10 Clicks 26-27: 10 Clicks 28: 9 Clicks
Astonishing X-Men: 2: 8 Clicks 3,4: 9,10 Clicks
Avengers: 500: 8 Clicks 502: 7 Clicks
Batgirl Year One TPB: 10 Clicks
Batman: 620: 5 Clicks 621: 7 Clicks
Batman: Long Halloween: 7 Clanks
Bloodstream 1: 1 Click
BPRD One Shots: 9/7 Clicks
Cla$$War: 4: 8 Clicks 5: 10 Clicks
Daredevil: 50-52: 9/3/5 Clicks 54: 4 Clicks 56: 9 Clicks 57: 7 Clicks
65: 6 Clicks
Domino:Perfect Weapon: 8 Clicks
Exiles: 30-33: 6/4/4 Clicks 36-37: 3/6 Clicks
Ex Machina: 2, 3: 7 Clicks
Global Frequency 11: 10 Clicks
Gotham Central: 10-11: 9 Clicks 13: 9 Clicks 16-18: 9 Clicks
Hellhounds 1-3: 7 Clicks
Human Target: 4: 9 Clicks 5-6: 8 Clicks 7: 8 Clicks
12, 13: 9 Clicks
Iron Man: 73-75: 8 Clicks 76: 2 Clicks 77: 5 Clicks 86: 9 Clicks
JSA: 51-52: 7/8 Clicks 53: 8 Clicks 54: 4 Clicks 56-57: 7 Clicks 58: 3 Clicks
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2: 3 Clanks, 8 Clicks
The Losers: Ante Up TPB: 9 Clanks 6: 10 Clicks 10-11: 8/10 Clicks
16: 10 Clicks
New Invaders 0: 3 Clicks
New X-Men: 144-146: 5 Clicks 149: 3 Clicks 151-152: 2 Clicks 153: 3 Clicks
[Renamed X-Men] 159-162: 4 Clicks
Paradise X: A: 9 Clicks
Planetary: TPBs (1-12): 8 Clicks 16: 5 Clicks : 8 Clicks 18: 9 Clicks
Powers: 33: 8 Clicks 36: 9 Clicks 37: 10 Clicks V2, 1: 10 Clicks
2-4: 10 Clicks
Pulse: 5: 7 Clicks
Queen and Country: 20: 10 Clicks 21: 10 Clicks 25: 8 Clicks
The Ride 1: 9 Clicks
Secret War 1: 8 Clicks
Sleeper: 8: 10 Clicks 11: 10 Clicks 12: 10 Clicks Sleeper Season Two: 1: 10 Clicks
Supreme Power: 1-2: 10 Clicks 4: 10 Clicks 7: 10 Clicks 8: 9 Clicks 11: 8 Clicks
Tokyo Storm Warning TPB: 5 Clicks
Ultimates: 12: 10 Clicks 13: 10 Clicks
Ultimate Fantastic Four 1-2: 7 Clicks 3: 8 Clicks
Ultimate Nightmare: 1: 10 Clicks
2: 8 Clicks
Ultimate Six: 1: 10 Clicks 4: 10 Clicks 6: 9 Clicks Ultimate X-Men: 36-37: 2 Clicks
Ultra: 2: 9 Clicks
Uncanny X-Men: 429-431: 4 Clicks 433: 2 Clicks 437-441: 1 Click 444-445: 5 Clicks 446: 6 Clicks
Wanted 2: 10 Clicks
We3: 1: 10 Clicks
Wildcats 3.0: 13: 7 Clicks 16: 7 Clicks 18: 7 Clicks
X-Statix : 2: 4 Clicks 13-15: 6 Clicks 18: 4 Clicks 19: 3 Clicks

Friends of Robot: Artists:

FoR: 36Oh.net FofR: Enrico Casarosa
FoR: Terra Major's Horns of Hattin
FoR: Losstarot
FoR: Prometheus
FoR: Studio Kosen

Comic News:

Check the Film News section for updates on comic-related film adaptations! 100 Bullets FPS Game 4/2/04
Ale Garza on Batgirl 8/5/04
Amazing Screw-On Head Cartoon 4/8/04
Apparat Line: Warren Ellis 8/25/04
The Atomic Revolution Comic 3/23/04
Authority: Nguyen Interview 5/14/04
Authority OGN 7/20/04
Avengers 500 Preview 7/1/04
Brent Anderson on Pulse, Astro City 3/25/04
Batman Begins Costume Illustration [Wrongrobot]4/3/04
Batman: War on Crime 8/31/04
Bullseye Origin Series 6/28/04
Comics For Intellectuals 9/1/04
Decompression and Pacing 9/23/03
Dillon on Bullseye 9/7/04
Doc Frankenstein by Burlyman 9/2/04
Doc Ock Year One 6/16/04
Earth's Mightiest Mini 9/3/04
Ellis and Granov on Iron Man 5/25/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Iron Man 7/31/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Explodo 8/2/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Bad Kids 8/27/04
Fox Sued over LoEG Script 9/26/03
Hawaiian Dick Bk 2 8/23/04
Hack/Slash book 2 6/18/04
Hal Jordon and Copyrights 8/20/04
Hellboy: An Introduction 3/30/04
IDW's 24 Comic 3/25/04
Iron Man Facelift 9/12/03
Iron Man 87 Outtakes 8/27/04
Joss Whedon Interview: Astonishing X-Men 8/10/04
JSA vs. JSA 8/12/04
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 3 6/1/04
Marvel Vs. DC 8/31/04
Masamune Shirow 10/15/03
Micro-Heros Animated GIFs 4/6/04
Morrison on JLA: Hyperclan and Superman 6/1/04
Morrison's WE3 9/1/04
New Avengers 8/18/04
Nguyen Confirmed on Authority Vol.3 5/14/04
Nouvelle Manga Manifesto 6/11/03
Ocean 8/9/04
Orson Welles as Batman? 9/26/03
Phoenix Mini-Series 8/20/04
Poorly Drawn Animals 8/2/04
Remains: Niles/Dwyer Interview 3/12/04
Scurvy Dog: Yount Interview 1/15/04
SD Comicon Visual Oddities 7/31/04
Space Ghost 7/31/04
Spandex vs Leather 4/6/04
Steven Grant on 'Literature of Ethics'
The Losers: Diggle/Jock Interview 3/11/04
The Picture of Everything 1/15/04
The Question: Rick Veitch 9/1/04
The Question: Tommy Lee Edwards 9/2/04
Teddy Roosevelt From Mars 8/20/04
Tom Coker: Batman in Monolith 8/30/04
Tony Harris Pages from new Iron Man Arc
Ultimates: Bryan Hitch Interview 9/12/03
Ultra 8/18/04
Watchmen Remembered 8/12/04
WizardWorld LA Promo Art 3/22/04
WonderCon 2004 Buzz 8/13/04
WonderCon 2004 Buzz 2 8/17/04
WonderCon 2004 Dance-Off 8/18/04
Worlds Finest Film 7/26/04
World's Finest Interview 8/4/04
Young Avengers 8/20/04
Identity Crisis Covers
Honey Moon, The Ride, Rex Steele, Shirow, Megacity909
Comic Preview: Intimates, Iron Man
TSR Illustrator Terminally ill
Twinkie Comics, Avengers Dissembled Toy-style
Interview: Mark Millar of Ultimates
Interview: Cliff Chiang of Human Target
Star Trek Manga Anthology from Tokyopop
Pop Mahn to TokyoPop
Granov Iron Man Preview Pages
Image Comics Moves to Berkeley

Film Review: Kill Bill Vol. 2

Wrongrobot here. First ever duelling reviews! Cue RZA on the hi-fi, because we're going to town.

Kill Bill Vol.2:
IronLung covered the basic plot and someof the underwhelming details of the second volume, such as the Bride's wonky 'ironic' name, and the Mystery of Why We Have To Watch 25 Minutes of Chapel Backstory Starring Quentin's Hipster Barfly Friends. I'll go into a few of the tweaky little details I appreciated, and a few I didn't.

When KB1 came out, I was severely sleepy at the sight of the Deadly Viper Assassin Squad. I thought QT might have let too much of that nose candy get to his senses, casting-wise. Lucy Liu as O-Ren Ishii was brilliant and beautiful and perfect in every way, from the kimono-clad Yakuza boss to the wave-cut 70's turtleneck assassin scene. Vivica A. Fox was EHHH int he squad line-up but won me over in the nasty suburban knife fight, not a little bit influenced by the fact that she broke a lot of her Target furniture with the Bride's spinal column. Sweet. But from there I thought it went down-hill, at least from the view we got in KB1. Darryl Hannah as Elle Driver made me almost regurgitate my honeydew tapioca bubble tea. Bladerunner's in my top 10, sure, but she's consistently been in my Desert Island Selection of Actresses, by which I do not mean strand me on an island with them, but rather strand THEM on the island and then commit un-U.N.-sanctioned nuclear weapon testing on the speck of rock until it joins with the Infinite. Anyway, my mood was not improved by her Red Cross insignia eyepatch in her Night Nurse scene. This was the first of several "Shit, Tarantino's taking his press kit seriously again..." moments for me between the two films. Like, try harder, Quentin. No wait, I mean, try less. A lot less. Anyway, borrrrring me with the Darryl Hannah stuff. And Budd, let's talk about Mr. Budd. I loved Madsen in Reservoir Dogs, but even then, I worried about how his chin was slipping. When I saw him in his Viper get up in that brief chapel scene in KB1 I felt...disappointed...and a little bit uncomfortable. It was like someone stuffed a 50 year old man into the rock-hard mannequin body of a bad ass, and his excess, overfilled the top at the neckline so his gelatinous neckline appeared to be dribbling over his bolo tie, partially blocked from view by his Susy Jane haircut. I was completely fucking lost in my own bewilderment. Was QT THAT COOL that he could just throw whoever or whatever he woke up in bed with, hung-over and toreback the next afternoon, into these roles and fill them full of wicked one-liners written boldface on the TelePrompter, and it would all just work out?!?

I admit it. I was very wrong.

Budd: Michael Madsen has grown immeasurably as both an actor and a seasoned presence on-screen. His accent was sharp, his dialog articulated and dripping with weariness, regret and self-loathing. His body disheveled and out-of-shape, but his eyes clear and glinting under his "ridiculous Goddam shitkicker hat." His face is lined and his squnity expressions seem to almost fold into the cleaves of his brow, like a hound dog. I couldn't keep my eyes off of him whenever he was on. He struck the perfect chord in Budd, of the one former bad-ass warrior now disillusioned and broken, cynical and wise, and with a previously unmentioned connection to both Bill and one other Viper. His plotline I found fascinating, and the way his demise dovetailed into Elle's confrontation with the Bride made for a brilliant contextual set-up. Great storytelling.

Elle Driver: I'm still EHHH about Hannah, but I will admit that she came into the role in this film. Her cocky, swaggery sexy beast thing we've already seen was tired to begin with, and it was interesting to catch a glimpse that some of this was character, her Elle still pining for a way to get into Bill's graces in a way, it is intimated, she tried to do form the first moment she joined the Bride's side in Bill's squad and attmepted to take her place. The sheer vindictive, loathsome hatred she displays in this volume is impressive. She smacks the Bride around physically and psychologically. We learn about the eye patch. We learn about her contempt for the other squadmembers and her hopeless obsession with Budd. And we see what happens when her gambit fails. After her final scene, I had trouble imagining anyone else in that role.

Bill: I was always happy as a clam at the concept of David Carradine in the role, despite never seeing him in the KB1. I too obsessed over Kane's long lonely journey through my pre-teen imagination, and appreciated the homages as they came fast and furious this time around. Carradine plays Bill surprisingly complex: he's calm and soothing, vengeaful and visious, then forlorn and knowing, with subtle changes in expression and tone. He manages to make us hope for a reconciliation with the woman he utterly destroyed, by allowing us, and the Bride, a peek at his intriguingly emotional core. This character was mesmerizing, and particularly since there was so much build-up that I thoght for certain his ultimate appearance would be underwhelming.

Other actors of note: Gordon Liu impressed me not only as the vague Crazy 88 leader from KB1, but in his wicked dual-role as Pai Mei, thousand year old shaolin warrior of legend in KB2. His freaky-styley laughter, contempt and sparking rage was pretty trippy to watch, and he lent the character an alien quality in appearance and manner, and I was committed enough that I accepted him dancing on swords and performing other spectacular HK cinematic tricks. Awesome! And Michael Parks, who played Earl McGraw, the Sheriff who finds the chapel massacre in KB1, turns in another baffling dual-role as Esteban, Bill's childhood mentor and sick Mexican pimplord...he played this very mildly, but his sickly pallor and subtle mannerisms allow a little bit of pederass mysogynist bastard to peek through, and it's an unsettling scene when the Bride learns of his underbelly of sadistic perversion.

I too was stunned at not witnessing the lovely Sofie Fatale in her limbless, scarred-up and sniveling glory, as in the end of KB1. She was such a proud character, smug and elitist, and I wanted to see her dissassembly (figuratively this time) into a shell of a woman without the airs she sent out in her prime, before being destroyed by the Bride very strategically. I thought her maiming, suffering and ultimate use as a messenger was one of the most clever details of KB1, and I was disappointed we didn't get to revisit the character here.

I was so completely over the Tarantinoisms in this film, I have to say. The driving shot, fourth wall breach of Uma yapping about her reviews, the oversized hip 'I'm so brand new i'm retro' typeface in the title card, and the occasional awkwardly stylistic Watch Me Make Non-Sequitors And Witty Ecclectic Language Ultra-Cool Again dialog still Kills Robot. It was bad enough in KB1 when the Bride "want[s] him to know I know he knows..." but here, we witness some genuinely silly dialog forced onto these characters that instantly undermines the gravity they've been allowed to create. It only popped up here and there, but it killed me nonetheless, the worst I can remember being in the climactic final seconds of the Bride's battle with Bill: "I'm a terrible person! Wauugh!!!" and "No, you're a terRIFFFic person!". On the other hand, when his characters were given the opportunity to get sublime, they went with it, such as Budd's memorable "...that woman...deSERVES...her revenge...and WE....deserve...to die..."

Lastly, QT settled down with the hipster shit just long enough to give us a few tastes of freaky tension, as he did in Reservoir Dogs with the torture scene, and True Romance...with the torture scene...and Pulp Fiction with Vince int he john or the car braining. We got Scariest Reptilian Scene Ever, and Scariest That's What Happened to the Sultry Sandra Bullock in the Vanishing Type Moment. No more to be said, but they are both kickin chicken, to say the least.

And let it be said, the Bride is trolling around Mexico in a Karmann ghia. Choice. Wrongrobot's Bay Area VW Karmann Ghia Sightings

Other tidbits of interest, of which there are many, and interwoven between them are various images never seen in the film, of Bill in familiar Kane garb:

1. Bill's flute in the tale of Pai Mei scene is one of the silent flutes from Circle of Iron (in which Carradine plays The Blind Man/Monkeyman/Death/Chang-sha)

2. There once was a chapter called "Yuki's Revenge" which was cut to allow for the "Massacre at Two Pines"

3. Chapter 7: The Lonely Grave of Paula Schultz, refers to a 60's comedy, who's male lead...was named Bill.

4. The character of Pai Mei is a long-featured Shaw Bros. fixture in their kung-fu films; the name means "white eyebrow" and appalingly, when choreographer Woo-Ping Yuen couldn't work the role into his schedule, Tarantino considered playing the role HIMSELF before handing it off to Gordon Liu...echhh...

5. KB2 end credits contain a blooper reel for KB1, and no, we didn't stay for it. Bad robots. Badder monkey!

6. I said badder. That's cute.

7. The first test screening for KB2 was in Austin, and received a 5 minute standing ovation, leading Weinstein to abort the passing out of comment cards...

8. A couple of Reservoir Dogs references: the razor in the boot (Madsen's Mr. Blonde used that for the ear trick) and the reference to knee-capping

9. Natural Born Killer, a film Tarantino wrote, and a cute reference to the Bride by Bill

10. The Bride's final battle with Bill: barefoot. Final battle with Elle? Barefoot. Pivotal dance in Pulp Fiction? Barefoot. That man digs big old monkeyfoot, don't he.

11. Bill's jeep's license plate: THX1169, the name of George Lucas' student film.

12. IronLung's aforementioned Bladerunner thrashing in Elle's final moments (we both caught that one)

13. Tarantino's longest single take, passing the Pulp Fiction diner scene, itself a dePalma reference: Bill stepping away from the Bride as she moves down the aisle, the camera than sweeping back, out of the chapel, past the DiVAS, and up over the chapel, where we hear, but do not see, the carnage (caught that, I did)

14. When Budd shoot's the Bride with rock salt, the music is from The Fistful of Dollars. (A Bosom frull of Rock Salt, I guess)

15. Budd's spit can is Oak Ridge coffee, referencing a town 15 miles from Tarantino's hometown, Knoxville.

16. Michael Madsen strikes the same pose in his trailer doorway as he did in Reservoir Dogs against a pole (I caught that one myself)

17. Of course, the Red Apple cigarettes

18. Tarantino has been yapping about two potential spin-off's an anime film about the DiVAS, and a future story of Vernita Green's daughter's quest for revenge.

19. Above Budd's bed: a poster for Mr. Majestyk. What does Gary Oldman's Drexl call Christian Slater's Clarence in Trie Romance? "Motherfuckin Charlie Bronson. Mr. Majestyk!" not that you could tell with his affected accent. "wan'some dinnu?!"

20. Elle Driver's final outfit? Same as Jackie Brown's. Same as Uma's in Pulp Fiction. Hmmm.

21. Robert Rodriguez, old Tarantino pally and director of the Desperado trilogy and several bad kids movies, scored the movie for a buck. Tarantino promised to direct a segment of Rodriguez' upcoming Sin City film adaptation for the same amount.

22. The Bride's reference in her final interrogation scene with Bill, references her willingness to jump off a motorcycle onto a speeding train, which is a reference to a famous stunt Michelle Yeoh actually performed in Jing Cha Gu Shi III

23. Bill's Mexican apartment? Rm. 101. Neo's apartmentin Matrix? 101. And the room where that you most fear resides, according to Orwell? 101.

24. The book that Esteban Vihaio reads is "The Carrucan's of Kurrajong" by Jasmine Yuen. Jasmine Yuen Carrucan is one of the crew members.

25. Budd's boss, Larry, refers to an ass on his elbow, a reference to Pulp Fiction co-writer's Rules of Attraction, in which Rupert Guest makes a similar comment.

26. the Bride never claims to have "unfinished business" with Elle or Budd. And does she finish [un]said business?

27. QT likes to use old breakfats cereals in all of his films. We've seen two in KB.

28. The film's entire first reel is in black and white.

29. The Bride stepping out of the church, before spoting Bill? The Bride stepping out of the trailer before the trailer door shuts? Bith from the Searchers, John Wayne, 1956.

30. What does Bill drive? A De Tomaso Mangusta, sold by Ford and pre-dating the Pantera into which it would evolve. Mangusta translates as mongoose, the only animal said to not fear the viper. Get it? (that's a good one. Similar is Bruce Wayne's sports car in Batman Begins)Also, Carradine drove the same car in Death race 2000. For whatever reason that movie was made.

31. Uma relaxes in the sofa inth final scene the exact same way she did in Pulp Fiction. Geeking out, here.

32. When Elle and the Bride are whacking each other around, someone whacks the other with a guitar. RZA used the sound effect from the WB cartoons when Quick Draw McGraw would whack other characters...with a guitar. Damn!

33. Elle Driver's eyepatches are a reference to Jack Hill's Switchblade Sisters, and Hill's frequent collaborator, Sid Haig, is the bartender at the strip club.

34. As he loves to do, we see through a character's dying eyes, this time through Budd's at Elle.

35. Bill's truth serum, "The Undisputed Truth", is the name of a 70s soul group.

36. The dialogue from the movie "Shogun Assassins", which Beatrice and B B watch, features on the Wu-Tang Clan member GZA's album "Liquid Swords". "Liquid Swords" was produced by RZA, who did incidental music in both Vol 1 and Vol 2. (I'm sure IronLung caught that one)

37. The climax of the film was originally written as a sword-fight on the beach under the moonlight between The Bride (clad in her wedding dress) and Bill. When the production ran long, Harvey Weinstein insisted Tarantino cut the scene back. All that remains is Bill's brief reference to such a fight while The Bride sits on his sofa, and the poster for the film with The Bride in dress holding her sword.

38. Quentin Tarantino confirmed in an interview that Elle Driver is based on Christina Lindberg's character in Thriller - en grym film (1974)). Thriller is also a revenge epic and the first ever movie to be banned in Sweden.

39. Esteban tells the Bride that Bill's villa is on "the road to Salina". The name of the song when the Bride walks through the desert back to Budd's trailer is called "The Sunny Road to Salina".



self is: wrongrobot #

Film Review: Kill Bill Vol. 2

Pop! PopopopopopPop! Is that the sticatto of cruel gunfire, or the hunt-and-peck typing of our own Wu Tang Robot, IronLung working up a guest review for Kill Bill Vol. 2? You decide!

Kill Bill Vol. 2:
So I, along with the other 15 or so people in the theatre, am officially the last human being in the great city of San Francisco to see Kill Bill Vol. 2. I will, however, be the first person in said city to purchase QT's chop-sockey gem upon DVD release.

Right off the bat I gotta say there's no fucking way this was made as one movie which the rating commission 'forced (him) to cut in half.' First of all, no one makes a 7-hour movie -- at least not one that doesn't star Charlton Heston as Moses or God or a chariot-driver. Second of all, the over-the-top kung-fu of KB1 was replaced in its entirety by KB2's more spaghetti-western feel, punctuated by moments of more technique-driven kung-fu movie style. So fuck that noise, this was always two movies, and the hype of splitting it into two 'volumes' was marketing. Brilliant marketing, but marketing nonetheless.

Ok, let's get it on ... the Bride's killing spree is still going -- she's got three left on the deathlist when the movie starts, and we begin with Budd (Michael Madsen). Budd is a loser who lives in a trailer in the middle of fucking nowhere, bounces at a titty bar, and is perpetually spitting chew into an empty bean can. What a ladies man! So off she goes to kill this dirtbag and is promptly blown back 15 feet by a double load of rocksalt. From there, it would ruin the story to tell you the details, but suffice it to say, Budd wins round 1, and in doing so, instilled a terror in me matched only by the loneliest of nightmares. Next up -- Elle Driver, who drive(r)s a black Thunderbird convertible and wears a tinted black sunglass-lens-lookin plastic eyepatch which looks so fucking sexy I almost want to buy one for kink play. Elle gets the hurt put to her, as you would guess, and in a superb homage to Bladerunner. Her final scene mimics Priss' death scene to ... the ... tee. Complete spaz-out. It's fucking awesome. And now, the moment we've all been waiting for. Bill. David Carradine has many, many scenes in this movie, and in another superior bit of homage, is usually seen playing a simple wooden flute a la Quai Chang Kane (sp?). LOVIN IT. Bill's got a dope feng-shui'd little house in the jungle somewhere, where he lives with B.B., the daughter which the Bride thought was no more. The moment in which the Bride finds out this little fact is punctuated with so much emotion, you can't help but feel your own strings being tugged. Daddy and daughter are playing cops and robbers and in barges the Bride, ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence (why can't I use my own homage?). She sees B.B., freaks internally a little bit, and gets involved in the game herself, putting aside her hatred momentarily for the sake of the young one. Daddy and Mommy seem to be friends, almost, and in following scenes re-hash their relationship and discuss the neccessity and location of their impending fight to the death. In discussing their past, you begin to regret the fact that this has to be this way. But it does. Remember I said this volume was far more technique-based kung-fu? As such, the final scene is beautifully executed. Quiet, painful, beautiful, emotional, and final. Bill, Elle, Budd, Vernita and O-Ren are no longer to be feared, and the Bride is complete in her revenge. Like you didn't see that coming.

Some other bonuses in this volume include Gordon Liu's appearance as the Bride's kung-fu master through a series of flashbacks, Samuel L. Jackson's impromptu appearance, a pretty weak backstory on the massacre at the wedding chapel, and finally finding out the Bride's name. I won't tell you what it is, but I will tell you that you'll be disappointed. You may also be disappointed to find that there is not one scene with the sexy (albeit stumpy) Sophie Fatale.

All things being equal, this movie was fucking awesome, and I'll be watching it again and again to soak up everything it has to offer, but in the end, I much preferred the first volume. If you've got a problem with that, ask Wrongrobot where you can find me. I'll be waiting with Hatori Hanzo steel.

I give it 9 clanks, and it only missed 10 because the Bride's name is weak and the backstory on the massacre was poorly executed.

So says IronLung!


self is: wrongrobot #

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