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129 of 146 found the following review helpful:
Pulp Fiction (Blu-ray) Oct 05, 2011
By Tony Khamvongsouk
Movie - 5.0
The first time I saw this I was like, 12 years old, and it was on VHS. It looked cool at the time, but my teenage brain couldn't handle anything past the loud voices and constant cussing, but kudos for style points. The second time I saw it (maybe another 12 years after the first) I believe it was supposed to be a DVD rip, but the sound encoding was atrocious, so I only enjoyed it in part. The the third time I saw it (about 3 months ago) was off of Netflix streaming with decent enough audio, but not so great video. Ironically enough, the one time I finally get to see and hear the darn thing with quality A/V is on Blu-ray. That being said, it should go without question by user vote on IMDb, critic appraisal, or any number of awards and accolades given to this film that Pulp Fiction has cemented itself as a true game-changer in the halls of cinema legend. Be it the achronological storytelling, the sassy script, the dark humor, the quirky characters, or just the amazing level of star power involved from every which way, there's a lot to like about this film. For me, personally, it's the method. I don't mean the cut-up timeline (which is enjoyable in itself and keeps you on your toes), but how so much of the dialogue is "just there" from a purely jovial or character-developing perspective. Talks of Amsterdam and their legalization of drugs, the differences between European and American culture, the frivolous comparison between a foot massage and going down on a girl, the significantly comedic monologue of a P.O.W. storing his best friend's watch up his anus for years only to deliver it to his son, and all kinds of other seemingly random stuff "capped off" by a stride at redemption would make you think otherwise about this being nominated for seven Oscars, right? Well, as most people often say about Quentin Tarantino films, "you should just see it for yourself to know what I mean." And the result after almost 20 years? It's a part of our modern day pop culture with all kinds of quotable lines, a beacon of entertainment and inspiration within the industry,and, for all intents and purposes, one really fun movie to watch. Is it for everyone? Of course not. But most would say it is.
Video - 5.0
- Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
- Video resolution: 1080p
- Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
- Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
The front and back of the slipcover and the back of the cover art says that this transfer was supervised by Quentin Tarantino himself and even has a copy of his signature on the slip, so what you see here was what the director intended. And I have to say, after 3 very poor video outings (VHS, a crappy DVD rip, and Netflix streaming), I have to say I've never seen the movie look this good (literally). The production budget was only $8 million, which by today's standards would still only be about $12 million. But wow, am I glad Tarantino used some quality film stock. First and foremost, I have to commend the black levels. All the tiny little details, linings, reflections, and textures look absolutely pristine on this presentation. Particularly, the wetness of Jules' Jheri curl, as laughable as the look is intended to be, adds a nice aesthetic sense of throwback to the Blaxploitation genre that Mr. Jackson's character is portraying. And then you have the hallmark scene where Vincent is taking Mia to Jack Rabbit Slim's, which is FULL of dark lighting, and yet still manages to display an amazing amount of detail around the restaurant itself, its patrons, on Thurman's hair, and in Travolta's suit in addition to the smoke he's blowing. Colors, while somewhat muted from an art direction standpoint, are surprisingly bold. The scene where Butch is taking money from Marsellus in the bar is full of red light, but in comparison to other brightly red-lit backdrops (which isn't many), I'm pleased at how a lot of the detail still remained intact. Then, of course, is the blood. Maybe it was more so the stuff they used to be the blood, but when it splatters, it looks great. Not real per se, but it's one of those artistic subtleties that Tarantino does well in his films. I am also happy to report that there is very little, if any, hints of dirt or artifacting. There's a fine layer of grain (and I mean very fine), but it doesn't seem like any DNR was added. Edge Enhancement? Not too sure, I'm typing this review with only 4 hours of sleep and might've seen a tiny little bit, but it's hard to say when I'm not all there. Regardless, though, I can tell you everything else looks superb, especially for its age.
Audio - 5.0
- English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- English, English SDH, Spanish
Another big part of Tarantino's films outside of its aesthetic and literary homages is the sound, particularly the music. As soon as Surf Rider starts playing it's easy to tell that this DTS-HD MA 5.1 track will do its job and do it well. LFEs are at their most prominent when any of this great soundtrack starts playing. Even as the radio switches to Jungle Boogie in the opening sequence, there's not a discrepancy to be heard. But how do the rest of the sound elements hold up on this seemingly quaint sound design? I mean, how can 230 pages of script possibly earn a 5 point rating? Oddly enough, this film's sound scape has a LOT of immersion. Shortly after the credits have done their thing we get a great audio treat in the first scene where Pumpkin and Honey Bunny are contemplating their change in venue for an upcoming robbery. I actually wouldn't even know this if I hadn't accessed all the extras, but the trivia track says that even in this very first scene, despite the achoronlogical plot structure, if you listen hard enough during Pumpkin and Honey Bunny's conversation you can distinctly hear Jules talking to Vincent in the background from a scene to be shown later on in the film. How cool is that? And while the weak point of the sound effects may be in the meager gunshots, the sheer sense of engulfment that every other crowded scene has to offer is sonic gold. Directionality and separation sound wonderful during these parts putting you right there in the thick of things. Meanwhile, high and low ends still manage to be very well-calibrated, specifically in the scene where Mia is getting her adrenaline shot between all the paper raffling around and the eventual thump on her chest. Oh yeah, and the dialogue couldn't be any clearer. From Jules' intimidating preacher vibrato to Fabienne's sweet and sexy accented-English, the movie has never looked OR sounded better. My favorite scenes to test the audio would be the aforementioned robbery attempt at the beginning of the film and the always-exalting trademark scene of Vincent and Mia going to Jack Rabbit Slim's (when they walk to their table and when they start dancing).
Extras - 5.0
Wow, I should really have taken a nap before work instead of trying to rush this review out for everyone to get a fresh take on the product, but I'm glad I at least got to learn a lot of things despite my soon-to-be headache at the crap hole at which I work. At any rate, this BD is loaded with extras. Most of them are DVD ports, but I'd never seen this on DVD anyway, and thus, am just seeing all of this for the very first time.
- Not the Usual Mindless Boring Getting to Know You Chit Chat (HD; 43:01)
A new HD retrospective with most of the film's actors discussing how they were cast, how the shooting went, and all of the things that ensued after the film came out. There's a lot of information here about the movie itself, its writing, and how a lot of the actors felt working with Tarantino.
- Here are Some Facts on the Fiction (HD; 20:37)
Another newly-produced featurette that shows a roundtable discussion with critics and their thoughts on how Pulp Fiction has affected the industry, their favorite parts, and some of the things that make the movie so good.
- Pulp Fiction: The Facts - Documentary (SD; 30:31)
Is from the Special Edition DVD (as is everything else from here on out) and is something of a mishmash of the pre-production, filming, and reception of the movie up to 2001.
- Deleted Scenes (SD; 24:30)
Feature commentary for 4 out of the 5 scenes by Tarantino and are enjoyable, if you want to at least take a one-time look.
- Siskel & Ebert At the Movies: The Tarantino Generation (SD; 16:00)
Is a short look at the quick rise of Tarantino's status and whether or not they think he was legit at the time. It comes off rather pretentious, though, so I wouldn't recommend it.
- Charlie Rose Show (SD; 55:27)
Features a GREAT interview with Tarantino and discusses a lot of his film-making roots, his philosophy as a movie-lover, and what he believes makes a good film.
- Independent Spirit Awards (SD; 11:29)
- Cannes Film Festival - Palme D'Or Acceptance Speech (SD; 5:20)
- Marketing Gallery (SD; 16:13)
Lots and lots of trailers/teasers.
- Still Gallery
- Enhanced Trivia Track
A trivia track that pops up all sorts of tidbits of information in the subtitles telling you all the quirks about the film itself, if any of you like that sort of thing (and some of it being very funny).
Overall - 5.0
As fervid as my review sounds, I'm actually not that big a fan of Tarantino. Aside from seeing this and Inglorious Basterds more than two times each, I've only seen his other films once. I didn't really get into Reservoir Dogs and the Kill Bills were stylish enough, but keep in mind it's been nearly five years since I've seen those, and five years is a lot of time for my brain to better develop. But to the point, yes, Pulp Fiction is definitely one of those films that somehow managed to turn a bunch of dialogue into a fun and raucous movie. It's well-written, especially well-acted, and is a good way to spend two and a half-hours. With top-notch A/V quality and over 3 hours of specials, an SRP of $19.99 is practically nothing for such an renowned title that finally made its way to a proper BD release.
244 of 289 found the following review helpful:
"Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?" Sep 14, 2002
By Michael Crane
Words cannot express how much I love this movie, but I will try my best. "Pulp Fiction" is one of my favorites. Quentin Tarantino is a very gifted director/writer. Although I love his directing, I must say it is his writing that really impresses me. But I will get to that later on in this review.
I think it's safe to say that the first time this movie was released on DVD, it was a little more than disappointing. There were no special features, sound and picture was so-so; I mean, my laserdisk at least had three different trailers of the movie. So, of course, I was very excited to learn that this movie was being re-released in a fully loaded special edition. Re-buying the movie was well worth it, for this edition of the movie is far superior than the other one.
The movie really consists of three different stories; not in any order. Any one of the stories could be their own little movies. The players are two hitmen, a boxer, the big boss, the big boss' wife, a crazy gun store owner, a gimp, a cop named, Zed, a man who makes problems go away, and a little suitcase with "666" for the combination. You add all this together and you get one hell of a movie.
The acting is more than superb; including one terrific cast with some heavy hitters (Travolta, Jackson, Thurman, Willis, etc.). Tarantino is a master when it comes to writing and directing. Especially when it comes to writing. I have never heard such clever and brutally honest dialogue in any other movie. I have said it before, and I will say it again; Tarantino reminds me of Raymond Carver, except with more humor.
Now, on to the special edition of this DVD. Is it better than the previous version? YES! Tons of special features, and not to forget the fact that the movie has been restored in high definition. Picture looks very clear. And the sound is also a lot better. You can watch the movie in DTS, which is always a good thing.
Special features.....where do I begin? There's a ton of them! It's not even funny how much stuff is loaded on this bad boy. And every one of them is great. Features include a documentary, an interview with Tarantino on "The Charlie Rose Show," trailers, filmographies, and many more. If you love special features, then you will not be disappointed.
"Pulp Fiction" is a great movie, and the new DVD edition is outstanding in every way. If you still have the older DVD of this movie, get this one now! If you haven't seen it yet, check it out when you can! Of course, with any other movie, there is a chance you may not like this movie. That's fine, nothing wrong with that. Don't let hype ruin your preception of the movie, just watch it as if it were any other movie. You like it, great; if not, well, at least you gave it a shot. Filled with sharp humor, great characters, outstanding dialogue, and some of the craziest surprises and twists, "Pulp Fiction" is a wonderful film, and will continue to be one of my favorites.
82 of 104 found the following review helpful:
Pure Golden Pulp Feb 19, 2000
"Pulp Fiction" is like a novel with five chapters that was ripped apart and put back together with the chapters all mixed up in random order -- where does it start and where does it end? That said, it's a hilarious crazy-quilt of a movie, superbly directed by Quentin Tarantino. And yes, there is a straight story line throughout... chronologically, the actual story begins with Samuel Jackson and John Travolta on their way to a hit ordered by their boss Ving Rhames, and ends with Bruce Willis and his pregnant girlfriend zooming out of town on a homicidal maniac's stolen motorcycle. Each short story in the movie is complete in itself, and yet each makes up part of the whole. The actors are terrific. Jackson and Travolta are great as the two hitmen Jules and Vince; Uma Thurman is just right as the boss's wife; Bruce Willis is funny and yet moving as the boxer who saves the boss's life after the boss ordered a hit on him, and Harvey Keitel steals the whole movie with his performance as the almost inhumanly efficient Wolf. Even Tarantino himself can't resist joining the fun and plays the role of Jules's sometime partner Jimmie, very annoyed at being roused out of bed at the crack of dawn to help dispose of a semi-headless corpse. There are so many priceless scenes in this film that it's hard to pick a favorite. It's a wild, crazy, mind-boggling movie that gets better and better each time you watch it.
64 of 81 found the following review helpful:
Pure Pulp Oct 02, 2002
By Thomas Magnum
Pulp Fiction was a groundbreaking film in a couple of different ways. It was an independent release and its success opened the door up for all kinds of maverick filmmakers and companies to release films that otherwise would have never been made. It also had a profound stylistic influence. It was a hip movie with sharp dialogue, graphic violence, cool soundtrack and intricate plotlines. In the wake of its success, many movies try to copy this style, but most failed as they lacked Quentin Tarantino's unique vision. Mr. Tarantino was able to pull John Travolta out of a decade long funk and directed him to the finest performance of his career and one that garnered his second Academy Award nomination. He also pushed Bruce Willis to a stellar performance that showed he was more than just an action hero. The cast is first rate including a beguiling Uma Thurman, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel, Eric Stolz, Rosanna Arquette and Christopher Walken. The best performance of all is given by Samuel L. Jackson who is absolutely amazing. It was a crime that he did not win the Academy Award for the role. Pulp Fiction is broken up into three parts and includes flashbacks, flash-forwards and twists and turns and some mysteries that are never revealed. It is a rare film that is both stylish and full of substance. The new Collector's Edition is a huge step up from the original edition which offered virtually no extras. The sound and visuals are crisper and cleaner and the extra features are great. One excellent extra is a Siskel & Ebert show dedicated to the Tarantino phenonmeon, which looking at it eight years later is quite interesting.
27 of 33 found the following review helpful:
Love it or hate it but you can't ignore it Sep 23, 2003
By Robert Morris
Almost everyone I know who has seen this film either loves it or hates it but all agree that it is almost impossible to take your eyes off of the screen. Pulp Fiction not only attracts our attention, it demands it. Much credit must be given to director Quentin Tarantino who co-authored the Academy Award winning best original screenplay with Roger Avary. The influences on his development as a filmmaker are too numerous to list here but it is worth noting that Orson Welles, Daffy Duck, Akiro Kurosawa, Dashiell Hammett, Spike Lee, and Francois Truffaut would be on it. Many believe that this film saved John Travolta's career. His portrayal of the dangerous but somewhat dimwitted hit man, Vincent Vega, is brilliant. In fact, Tarantino assembled an outstanding cast and somehow coordinated the various plots in which they are involved. Destinies intersect, sometimes causing violent collisions. The film's accelerated pace, however, does not preclude "eye of the hurricane" moments as when Vincent dances with Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) in a nightclub or when Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) and Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) are held against their will by a psychopath. Tarantino has a very traditional view of film making: He wants vivid PICTURES and he wants them to MOVE. He also cherishes effective use of language, almost to the point that some scenes seem "talky." My guess (only a guess) is that because Tarantino seems to be a compulsive conversationalist, he and members of his cast and crew never stopped talking about Pulp Fiction from the beginning to the end of its production and that many of them are still discussing it nine years after it was first released.
This is a nasty, sometimes violent, occasionally hilarious, but never dull film. To those seeing it for the first time who almost immediately become uncomfortable, my advice is to be patient and allow the narrative to continue. You may end up being repulsed. Fair enough. But you may also find yourself enjoying what is deliberately and pre-eminently an unorthodox examination of how MOVING PICTURES can tell a story with compelling impact. For me, the vivid images and my emotional reactions to them dominate the literate, at times loopy dialogue. FYI, the special features provided with the DVD Miramax Collector's Edition include "Pulp Fiction: The Facts" (an original documentary), behind-the-scenes montages, a production design featurette, a Siskel & Ebert At The Movies feature ("The Tarantino Generation"), Tarantino's Cannes Film Festival - Palm d'Or acceptance speech, his appearance on the Charlie Rose Show, and various reviews and articles which discuss the film.
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