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Sunday, October 26, 2003

Two films & differences of opinion publishes Fr. Bryce Sibley's review of Quentin Tarantino's new (and gratuitiously violent) samurai film "Kill Bill, Volume I" concluding:
Some complain that the dialogue is lacking and there is no plot. Well, that is true of most films in the kung fu and samurai genre. I thought it was a well directed and edited film with a lot of stylish action and gory but cartoon-like violence. Like most things Tarantino does –- it is just really "cool," harsh but cool. What’s the message of the film? Not sure. I think I might have to wait until the second volume to answer that one.

David DiCerto reviewed the film as well for the Catholic News Service. Like Fr. Sibley, he acknowledges the film's technical aspects, but concludes:

Unfortunately, while meticulous planning was put into the choreography of the action sequences, little consideration was given to the moral dimensions of the balletic butchery -- which includes assorted blood-squirting limbs and decapitations and a graphically violent animated sequence. The pervasive ugliness of the tedious mayhem cannot be masked by the visual finesse with which it is filmed.

DiCerto and the USCCB object to the film's "sadistic killing-is-cool mentality that packages gratuitous gore as entertainment"; Fr. Sibley, writing for, gives it "4 out of 5 stars."

The juxtaposition of the two reviews was interesting -- it was not the reaction I was expecting from, a website affiliated with The New Oxford Review and as such, certainly not averse to moral criticism. (Perhaps they took the capacity for moral discernment for granted on the part of their readers)?

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As far as movies go, I personally enjoyed -- and wouldn't hesitate to recommend -- Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray & Scarlett Johansson


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Against The Grain is the personal blog of Christopher Blosser - web designer and all around maintenance guy for the original Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club (Now Pope Benedict XVI).

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