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Kino Korner November 25, 2003
 
Kill Quentin, Kick Coens
By Mark Ames Browse author Email
 
Page 2 of 4
 
Then there's the whole gore thing. The movie's title, Kill Bill, falsely implies that the movie will feature trademark Tarantino comedy and gore. It doesn't. Rather than the shocking gore of Pulp Fiction or, for example, the car-trunk shooting of Beaumont in Jackie Brown, we have severed limb stumps spraying like firehoses, a trick stolen directly from the Black Knight scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Which was genuinely funny as hell, and kind of shocking for its time. In Kill Bill's case, you get the feeling that Tarantino realized late in production that his movie was boring and flat and needed some pepping up. But rather than rack his brains, he just had his techies install blood-hoses into the stumps, and figured that his audiences are gullible enough to be fooled into thinking that it's something avant-garde. More likely, the middlebrows will fear criticizing it because they'll be cowed into thinking they missed something.

RATING:

This is a job for Dr. Kevorkian. But really, if Tarantino (and his fans) are lucky, he'll get popped in the next few months by some lunatic fan. Three Mark David Chapmans, and hurry!

INTOLERABLE CRUELTY

I finally got to see the new Coen Brothers' romantic comedy at its English-language premiere at the America Cinema last Saturday night. Weird, but the premiere was packed, at least half of the audience Russians walking around with headphones. Why would they prefer to see the movie in a theater where they need shitty headphones rather than watching it on a Russian screen with a complete sound system?

Actually I'm grateful that the movie was so packed with Russians because they seemed to enjoy it, and so I found myself laughing and enjoying the movie much more than I would have had I seen it on pirate DVD at home, or in a theater in the U.S.

Intolerable Cruelty is, to put it simply, a tolerable attempt at mainstream cinema for the Coen Brothers, who must have decided that they weren't being appreciated enough after producing two of the best cult movies of the last 10 years -- The Big Lebowski and Fargo.

With Intolerable Cruelty, the Coen Brothers tackle the witty-adult-romantic-comedy genre and do it, I'm sure, as well as anyone can. Thing is, I don't like witty adult romantic comedies, especially ones this wholesome, so the movie didn't really offer me much. I'm not angry, I'm not throwing fits or kicking the seat in front of me, I'm not going to take the ticket seller hostage or anything...I'm just saying that I felt a little cheated and ashamed when the movie was over, even though I seemed to be unoffended while it was showing, thanks to the pacing -- really fast, though without surprises.

I won't get into a synopsis here. I'll just say this: George Clooney was good and I'm starting to think that maybe he's not evil; Catherine Zeta-Jones is neither compelling nor attractive, and for this movie to have worked a bit more the Coen Brothers should at least have chosen an actress with some trace of sex appeal, particularly a kind of dangerous sex appeal. Just steal any actress whom David Lynch once cast, you can't go wrong. Catherine Zeta-Jones...she looks like a sorority girl, or like the president of a sorority. I hope someone's stalking that evil bitch.

While I wasn't crazy about Intolerable Cruelty, I would recommend this to aging couples who have not enjoyed each other's company for years now, or else newly-dating couples who are looking for safe sources of diversion. But I would not recommend this to single, angry males enduring neurochemical withdrawals from long and brutal abuse of stimulates and opiates.

RATING:


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Ames
Browse author
Email Mark Ames at editor@exile.ru.
 
 
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