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By Christmas, there will likely be a definitive box set with both volumes of the film and many more extra features. But if you can’t wait that long for your own private Kill Bill (Complete) screening, check out Miramax’s first DVD release of Kill Bill: Volume 2. (Volume 1, of course, was released on DVD back in April.)

Return of the Black Momba

Behind her Japanese steel, The Bride has some Chinese moves
Behind her Japanese steel, The Bride has some Chinese moves
Kill Bill Volume 2, DVD release 1…
Kill Bill Volume 2, DVD release 1…

When last we left The Bride (Uma Thurman), she had gotten final revenge on two of her former colleagues in crime. She still has three names on her list to cross out: Budd (Michael Madsen), Elle (Daryl Hannah), and Bill (David Carradine).

When The Bride finds him, Budd is living an alcohol-fueled life of regret in a ramshackle trailer in the middle of the desert. And when Budd tells Elle that he has killed “Black Momba,” Elle comes to pay her disrespects. And if you think that’s the end of The Bride, you need to see more movies.

As for Bill, he’s living the life of a wealthy urban father, only the tastefully decorative sword cases around the sofa hinting at his violent, potentially evil nature.

DVD Extras

Most deleted scenes don’t offer any additional value to a movie, either as insight or entertainment. But Kill Bill: Volume 2 has the best deleted scene I’ve seen in months. It is a Chinese-style fight scene between Bill and an British-sounding black man in a Chinese jacket (and his henchmen). It is undoubtedly an homage to a movie I don’t recognize. Swords, fists, and sheaths are all featured as weapons of choice. No commentary or introduction explains the context of this deleted scene, but for pure entertainment, it beats any deleted scene in recent memory.

As with the DVD for Volume 1, Tarantino goes on-camera, this time wearing a T-shirt with his own likeness done as a Simpsons character. This making-of piece seems like it was produced to hype Volume 2 before it opened, and it includes lots of snippets from both movies. Tarantino explains openly and animatedly the difference between the two films. Serious film buffs won’t find much substance, but it is refreshing to hear him admit that Kill Bill isn’t much on plot. He also points out that two of his actors have dual roles: Gordon Liu and Michael Parks each appear in both volumes as different characters.

The DVD also includes a musical performance by Robert Rodriguez’s band Chingon. Rodriguez scored Volume 2 for Tarantino, and the performance, from an opening-night celebration, includes music from the movie.

Volume 2 includes something I haven’t seen recently (although it could be simply that screener DVDs often omit them): liner notes. A review of the movie by Andy Klein from Citybeat sets the stage for anyone wanting a reminder of the movie or wanting to know what to expect once the movie starts.

As with Volume 1, the most notably missing component to this DVD is any sort of audio commentary track. Tarantino could recite influences and homages, Rodriguez could talk about musical styles, and the actors could validate whether Kill Bill was as much fun to work on as the making-of featurette makes it appear.

Picture and Sound

The color is very good on this DVD. The blacks are rich and solid. Tarantino’s visual style is deliberately eclectic, so there are scenes shot in black and white, bleach-process color, and more traditional color cinematography. The aspect ratio even changes for a minute or two, all of which is handled well by this DVD.

The soundtrack is important, with a prominent musical score and swooshing kung-fu sound effects. The sound is encoded in Dolby Digital, and a separate DTS track is also available.