Next up: Rush Limbaugh reviews The Audacity of Hope.
... Okay, I could rail on Denby all day, but here's one example only:
In “Kill Bill Vol. 2,” Tarantino, in apparent homage to Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Westerns (Ennio Morricone, Leone’s composer, is on the soundtrack), photographs the Bride’s progress across the West in wide-open spaces. Yet, at the crucial moment, he doesn’t hold to the demanding aesthetics of open space; he stages the violence in Budd’s narrow trailer, where it’s impossible to see anything clearly and he has to fake the violence in order to do it at all. The Bride, having escaped her coffin, takes on Elle, and the two tall, skinny blond actresses go at each other with knee, toe, and claw. The female savagery is exciting, in a garishly meaningless way, but the actual violence resembles two flies buzzing around in a bottle. All you see in this boxed-in space is motion, not the acts themselves.The trailer fight is a *hoot*. Tarantino has a lot of fun with the cramped trailer -- too narrow to draw a samurai sword, flimsy walls you can smash right through, etc. Denby is too much concerned with whether the scene looks like his own mental ideal of a fight scene to appreciate it on its own terms.
(And Elle Driver "for no good reason, humiliates Budd and kills him"? Is "getting a Hattori Hanzo sword for free, thus saving a million dollars" not a good reason, in Denby's book? Has Denby missed the clear personal antagonism between Elle and Budd, which -- given that Elle is a murderous, vicious sort to start with -- is plenty of justification for humiliating him? Does Denby actually *watch* the movie, or just have someone take notes for him?)