Fuck artistic development. In Kill Bill Volume 2, QT finally brought back exactly how I felt when I first saw Reservoir Dogs. Volume 2 is pure old school Tarantino, unmistakeably the crafted from the guy who made fanboyism not only cool, but meaningful. When Tarantino's at his best, he doesn't just create cool scenes loaded with obscure movie references that make fanboys drool with delight (the Corbucci and Chang Cheh homages here and the entirety of Volume 1). Nor is his gift merely adding clever footnotes to movie cliches (favorite touch: Elle flushing the toilet), though he's possibly the best filmmaker on the planet in doing that. He's at his best defying expecatations and hitting you with an emotional payoff against all odds.
But you know what? I don't have anything to say about Tarantino's artistry. Best I'd just point you in the direction of two reviews that do adequately describe QT's unique powers and how it shapes Volume 2's movie-specific pleasures, courtesy of Manohla Dargis and John Powers.
Yeah, maybe we'll see a mature, Eric Rohmer riff from QT next time out. In the meantime, I'm gonna save my bucks for the 2 volume Kill Bill DVD.
Added! Do not miss QT's interview with Powers, in which he opines that Passion of the Christ is fifteen times more visual (!!!) than Night of the Hunter, that a four hour cut of Kill Bill will eventually be released, and that if he had released Kill Bill as one feature, he woulda trimmed "Useful as an elbow right here" (aka, take off your hat, Budd) and much of the Pai Mei section. Those were my two favorite parts in Volume 2, I suppose, not counting the Elle/Bride showdown. So maybe cleaving the movie in two was the right decision after all.