i think i still enjoyed the first volume more this time around. there are a lot of interesting notes to make about these films and that’s mostly due to the fact that tarantino is a film sampler here. he borrows music, shots, and styles from all over the place and it’s fun to try to keep up. the black and white photography is beautiful. i counted only one positive male (hanzo) character in the entire film. i agree with ebert and roeper who say carradine is worthy of a best supporting actor award. he really does do a lot with not much screen time and a rather difficult character. also, check him out playing the flute like he does in “circle of iron.” tarantino’s action direction is quite good, but he’s still at his best when he’s writing dialogue. the second volume does slow down, but it wasn’t as noticeable this time around because i knew what to expect. also, notice that the bride’s name is revealed when elle driver claims that the bride is dead and buried. why do we discover her name at this point? something to do with the assumption of death giving life…perhaps an echo of four years earlier when bill assumed the bride was dead and how that gave rise to a vengeful bride; a new life. it’s also important to note that the bride’s name is kiddo so what was once assumed to be an endearing name the bill uses, is actually just her last name. there is a lot of misdirection and playing on one’s assumptions in the film, surely this ties in with some larger theme. the fight in tokyo with the crazy 88s is the highlight of the film, from a directorial point of view. it’s an epic battle scene with great fight choreography (thanks to yuen woo-ping), great camerawork and editing, some nice musical cues (including a sample from the master of the flying guillotine), and a segment that is shot in black and white. tarantino shifts gears in this picture like few are able to. p.t. anderson can do it and nichols did it in the graduate, but it’s not generally as effortless as they make it seem. at least two people (gordon liu and michael parks) have dual roles. for me, one of the biggest weaknesses of the film is that it makes me want to stop watching and just turn on the numerous films that he samples.