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Two new script reviews

05.15.2002

We've got script review galore coming today but instead of flooding you with all of them right now, I'll just toss out two for you.  The rest will come later in the day.  First up are Honest Abe's reviews of KILL BILL and THE RUNAWAY JURY.   Coming later CITY BY THE SEA, I, SPY, THE HUNTED and more...

KILL BILL (positive, minor spoilers)
After a long abscence, Quentin Tarantino returns giving us what we love. Quirky, violent fare. For starters, the script is broken up into chapters with names like "the comatose bride" and "the cruel tutelage of Pai Mei". If I'm not mistaken, these and other words will be superimposed on the screen. The basic storyline is this: Uma Thurman is The Bride. After being shot and left in a coma the day of her wedding, she awakens seven years later to extract revenge on the man who nearly killed her. Her former boss/pimp/whatever: Bill. She will also go after everyone who works for Bill and that helped Bill put her down. We're talking over 35 people here. While most of them are simple no-name hired guns, some are trained assassins like Elle, O-Ren, and Vernita. And it seems that everyone who matters is proficient in martial arts and can handle a samauri sword. (I was half expecting Butch from PULP FICTION (Bruce Willis you nits!) to show up and display a little swordsmanship.) At the very least, this script contains some of the best written fight scenes I've read.

Throw in a cameo by Sonny Chiba as Hattori Hanzo, the master swordsmaker. Then there's Bill's brother, Budd, who almost gets the best of The Bride. Some of the action happens out of sequence which is a Tarantino trademark and it plays well. It breaks up the basic narrative. There is also a long sequence where we witness a younger Bride being trained by Pai Mei who's basically a martial arts Yoda. (Rumor I heard is that Quentin is planning on playing this character!!! well, life ain't perfect I guess.) Finally there's an extended sequence, the final confrontation between The Bride and Bill. And of course, it's not without a major surprise.

The one thing to watch out for is that there is a lot of narration by The Bride. For the most part, narration doesn't work because it tends to pull you out of the movie. It's like you can't figure it out for yourself so it's a cheat. (BLADE RUNNER anyone?) Well, only once or twice did I find the narration to be cumbersome. Look, bottom line, this should erase the memories of JACKIE BROWN from your mind. I'll make a prediction that the trailer alone should whet your appetite. Short of a disaster, this should be a fun evening at your local theatre. (I wonder if The Bride's sword says "Bad Motherfucker" on it?)

THE RUNAWAY JURY (positive, minor spoilers)
I have not read the novel this script is based on but I am aware that the script involves the gun industry as opposed to the novel which discusses the tobacco industry. That aside, this script isn't necessarily a courtroom drama but a drama about the people involved in a particular case...on both sides. The defendants are GT Tech, makers of a handgun used in an office shooting spree. The plaintiff is one of the victim's widows. The argument is that a gun store owner illegally sold the weapon in question and that GT Tech knew something was up with regards to sales in the area going up sharply but did nothing about it. The oddball in the mix is Nick, a young man who seemingly wants out of jury duty but once on the case, is revealed to have ulterior motives for wanting to be invovled. Enter Marlee, his apparent silent partner who applies pressure to both teams of lawyers, again for some unknown ulterior motive. It would be easy to say that the reason is simply money. Of course, there's more to it but we don't find out what until the very end.

It's very interesting to read how people in the jury can be pressured without them knowing it, to vote one way or another in a trial, particularly one of this magnitude. I'll admit I was afraid that the ending was gonna be a letdown. Something like, oh Marlee got screwed over by one of the lawyers so this was her way at payback. Something totally hokey like that would have seriously pissed me off. Just the opposite though is here because I was continually theorizing what could be the driving force. The story itself has character to it even though some of the supporting players are enigmas. I know that doesn't make too much sense but it does play out nicely. Bottom line: for the most part, John Grisham hasn't disappointed me and I see his string of hits continuing here. A nice, tight courtroom drama...without the courtroom....for the most part. Confused? That's ok. I was too. But I have no complaints with the aftermath.

Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood

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