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Tarrantino Revenge Epic <i>Kill Bill Volume 2</i> Tops US Most Popular Movie List - 2004-04-21


Writer/director Quentin Tarantino makes a killing at the box office with the second part of his revenge epic. Vengeance is also the theme of the other new movie that scored well with audiences this weekend. Alan Silverman lists the top five films at North American theaters starting with talking farm animals in a Disney animated comedy at number five.

In Home On The Range, a trio of dairy cows goes on a Wild West quest to keep their farm from being grabbed up by a greedy land baron. The English-language version features comic actress Roseanne Barr as the voice of the biggest cow.

"My kids liked it. My grandson liked it and their friends like it ... the little kids," she said. "I like making kids laugh. That is just a great honor, so I'm very proud of it."

What may be the last traditional hand-drawn animated feature from the Disney studio, Home On The Range ends up in fifth place. The darker side of comic books provides the source material for a couple of films on the chart this week.

Hellboy has been an underground favorite in its graphic novel form and comes to the screen with Ron Perlman playing the cigar chomping, bright red demon from Hell who is actually a hero, helping authorities fight the other demons who make it through to our world. Selma Blair co-stars and says Perlman's performance won her over.

"It was not originally my type of movie, I thought; but I bought into it," she said. "Ron did such an amazing job as Hellboy that I bought into it. He was so funny and sexy that I bought into it and I was so excited that, finally, it's the first time in a movie that I get the guy and what a guy he is, so I was really lucky."

Adapted for the screen and directed by Mexican-born Guillermo del Toro, Hellboy slips a spot to number four.

The Johnson Family Vacation has Cedric the Entertainer as a sort of meek, ordinary guy determined to drive his family on a cross-country trip.

"[He's] the quintessential dad who feels like he has life under control. You work hard, you earn the money and are the breadwinner, therefore you should have life by the reins. 'I'm dad,' you know? Of course, you don't and it all starts to fall apart," explained Cedric.

A surprise hit, The Johson Family Vacation motors along in third place.

The other comic book-based adventure on the chart this week is about a man who swears revenge after his family is killed by a mobster.

Thomas Jane stars as the title character, The Punisher; and Jane has these thoughts on why the vigilante, once a Hollywood staple, is popular in the movies again.

"I think that in the '70's when it was so prevalent we were socially questioning our role on the world stage and questioning our leaders," he said. " We were mistrustful of our government and divided as a nation from the ideas of what is right and wrong; and I think there are echoes of those same questions today and over the last couple of years, given what is going on the world and in our country today. So I think that the door is open once again for us to revisit the anti-hero on the American stage."

John Travolta co-stars as the villain and The Punisher opens up in second place; but the top spot goes to another story about revenge.

Uma Thurman stars in Kill Bill Volume 2, the second half of writer/director Quentin Tarantino's epic salute to classic movie styles. While it is not quite as violent as the first half, released last year, Tarantino says he could not disappoint his fans by leaving out the fight scenes, especially pitched battles between women.

"I just have a lot of admiration for girl fights," Tarantino said, "so I showed them all a lot of the different kung fu films with great female fighters. Cool girl fights, especially when they are real and down, are a lot of fun."

David Carradine co-stars as the title character and intended victim and Kill Bill Volume 2 gives Tarantino his best-ever opening weekend to start its run as the new most popular movie at North American theaters.

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