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Bloody Disney - October 13, 2003

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Word has it that, when it comes to distribution, Mel Gibson's film about the final hours in the life of Jesus Christ didn't particularly spark Disney's interest. On the other hand, "Kill Bill" is a flick that evidently did float the Mouse's Miramax boat.

Although the title of the movie conjures up images of the former first lady's rough draft of "Living History," that's not what the celluloid creation is all about.

It's been six years since the writer-director of "Kill Bill," Quentin Tarantino, made a movie, and it's anybody's guess what the guy's been up to. But from the looks of his latest work, it's likely he's been OD'ing on martial-arts movies, gaping at Japanese cartoons and chowing down cartons of clichés.

Many of Hollywood's elites will no doubt hail the bloody spoof as "edgy" and "ground-breaking." But regular Joes and Janes may gain more entertainment and aesthetic satisfaction from watching a Freddy Krueger sequel.

Violence often plays a pivotal role in film. But in this case, psychotic retribution is celebrated with a special delivery of decapitated heads, a balloon bouquet of severed limbs and a mega-keg of blood. It's enough to make Hannibal Lechter reach for the Pepto.

The film features "Pulp Fiction"'s Uma Thurman as a revenge seeking martial arts hit-gal. In the movie, Thurman's character goes after former colleagues that she had worked with when she was part of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (DiVAS) because they tried to kill her on her wedding day.

In order to get patrons to part with double their money, the original three-hour film is being released in two parts. This means that viewers will have to endure scenes that seem to go on forever because they've been stretched to fit a chubbier time slot.

Ironically, this film comes to us courtesy of the same town that can't seem to deliver a movie that deals with the most significant event of our times ­ September 11. The closest Tinseltown has come to bringing the story of the attack to the screen was the made for cable Showtime original "DC 9/11." It was written by longtime Hollywood insurgent Lionel Chetwynd.

While cinematic excursions that border on snuff flicks are often showered with awards in Hollywood, making a flick that deals with the war on terror is apparently comparable to trying to stuff a truthful peg into a politically correct hole.

"The only unorganized groups you can make as the enemy would be the U.S. government, the police, the FBI and corporate America," says Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association of America.

Chetwynd sees a problem in finding a P.C.-approved hero as well. "Who's going to be the hero?" Chetwynd asks. "The CIA? The government? Our government?"

Guess Tinseltown's message to young filmmakers is if you lack creativity, just use the mayhem modality along with profanity and you, too, will be called avant-garde.

Reproduced with the permission of . All rights reserved

Copyright © 2003
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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