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Sometimes going to the movies makes us feel old. This is what happened last week when we saw "Kill Bill: Vol. 1," the new film by director Quentin Tarantino.

"Kill Bill" is the story of a female assassin who is the victim of an assassination attempt by the squad she used to work with. She survives, and starts to exact revenge.

Now, while that's the basic plot, "Kill Bill" is about a lot more than plot. It’s about blood and gore and over-the-top fight scenes that are both compelling to watch and hard to look at. It's more about style than substance, though Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu are terrific as the assassin and one of her targets.

There wasn't enough story for us, and we found ourselves wondering what happened to good old fashioned plots and complex characters…and then wondering when we got so old that this kind of cinema just isn't as mesmerizing as it used to be. (Then again, we'll probably go see "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" when it comes out, so maybe we were more captivated than we thought…)

As for compelling plots and complex characters, you can find those in "Mystic River," the Clint Eastwood-directed version of the acclaimed Dennis Lehane novel. Somber and focused, with a straight narrative line that is shaded with the complexities of guilt and responsibility, "Mystic River" is the story of three men linked by a youthful tragedy, and what happens when a new tragedy unearths the emotions of past and present. The acting is magnificent - Kevin Bacon, Tim Robbins, and especially Sean Penn are just unbelievably good, and the Boston neighborhoods in which the drama takes place are as much a character in the piece as the men the actors play. Go see it.

And here's the MNB wine recommendation for the week…a 2000 Jumilla from Altos De Luzon, a wonderfully full-flavored wine that goes great with veal (or probably any other game). This is a blend of two Spanish red wine grapes that we've never had before - monastrell and tempranillo - as well as some cabernet.
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