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Jackie Brown (CE)
DVD disk
12.19.2006 By: Mathew Plale
Jackie Brown (CE) order
Director:
Quentin Tarantino

Actors:
Pam Grier
Samuel L. Jackson
Robert De Niro

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Flight attendant Jackie Brown is caught in a dangerous web involving gun dealer Ordell’s money, a bail bondsman in love, and a number of colorful characters (including that guy from Mr. Mom). Quentin Taratino directs this non-linear tale.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
“Jackie Brown” gets a bad rap. I’m one of the firm believers that this is in fact a great movie; a borderline masterpiece. It’s a complex, funky tale of double-crossing thieves on a mission for $500,000. The movie resurrected (sort of…) the careers of uber-sexy Pam Grier, and the oh-so-talented Robert Forster. They both give damn fine performances under Tarantino’s direction, as do De Niro, Bridget Fonda, and Samuel L. Jackson. Hell, even Chris Tucker is—nevermind, I can’t lie.

“Jackie Brown” is handled with an in-your-face attitude, all while being as slick as possible. It’s a masterfully directed and especially edited film that really successfully covers all the ground needed for the material. The overlapping scenes at the mall are what show off the film’s many gifts. Like most Tarantino works, the sudden jolts of violence make us squeemish, yet still laugh like we’re watching a Marx Bros. movie. Why this movie doesn’t get the attention it rightfully deserves, I’ll never know. At times, it even blows “Pulp Fiction” out of the water—yes it does!

There is enough depth of each character where there needs to be, and doesn’t force anything down our throats. The movie’s runtime (154 minutes) is a bit much, but what can you expect from egomaniac Tarantino?
THE EXTRAS
Oh baby baby baby. Any fan of flick is gonna have a ball and a half with this one!

DISC 1:

Quentin Tarantino Introduction (0:50): QT addresses those who waited “forever” for a good treatment of ‘Jackie Brown’, and hopes we enjoy. …Thanks?

Enhanced Trivia Track: Guess the fine folks behind this set opted for a Trivia Track instead of a Commentary. Fine by my book, considering we get excessive Tarantino on Disc 2. The track runs at the bottom of the screen for the duration of the movie, giving off non-stop facts about the movie without interfering with such classics lines as “To her dumb country ass, Compton is Hollywood.”

Soundtrack Chapters: One of my favorite features that is rarely used. Here you can skip to your favorite songs, whether your flavor be Johnny Cash or Pam Grier herself. As Ordell would say, “Oh, and I want to hear that shit!”

Sneak Peeks: For the Pulp Fiction 2-disc DVD and the Jackie Brown soundtrack.

On the DVD-Rom side of the arena, we’ve got a screenplay viewer (read and watch the flick), and some other stuff already featured in the set. But the coolest feature here is the Trivia Game, where the object is the “stash the cash”, answering random questions from the movie.


DISC 2 (‘The Perks’):

This is where the real loot lies, folks…

Jackie Brown: How It Went Down Documentary (38:51): This is probably the best feature on the disc, and the amount of info is crammed into a relatively short time. From the novel to production, the cast and crew cover pretty much every element a fan could ask for. From QT’s script changes to how De Niro got said script, to the temporary resurrection of Grier’s and Forster’s carrers, there is little left behind. Here we get interviews and some exclusive "for-your-eyes-only" footage that is hard to find. Everyone is extremely into the flick and “how it went down”, so the enthusiasm is simply off-the-wall.

A Look Back at Jackie Brown – Interview with Quentin (54:38): Remember the egomania mentioned earlier? Well, here we’ve got 50+ minutes of Tarantino gabbing, and it’s a miracle the man finds time to breathe. He chats about Elmore Leonard, talks jive (don’t ask), and sticks up for his typically bashed flick. Some of the information can be found in the featured documentary, but additional stories are told from the horse’s non-stop mouth. Obviously, if you aren’t into hearing QT talk, then this is THE ONLY feature to skip. But most fans don’t mind, so this provides great insight into a modern master.

Chicks With Guns (4:51): This is the full version of the video that Ordell & Louis watch early in the movie. It’s ultra-cheesy but worth a glance for the…well, chicks with guns! Intro by Tarantino.

Deleted and Alternate Scenes (15:17): The movie certainly doesn’t lack anything that these deleted/alternates have. There’s no additional depth that could’ve been included in the final film. However, two are definitely worth checking out. One features Michael Keaton cracking up at one of Grier’s jokes. Another is a Pulp Fiction-inspired fake opening for ‘Jackie Brown.’

Siskel & Ebert at the Movies (4:43): This is the review from the original broadcast back in 1997, similar to what is featured on the 10th anniversary of the ‘Reservoir Dogs’ DVD. SPOILERS: They both give the movie a thumbs up!

Jackie Brown on MTV: First is the Promotional Contest (1:03), where Grier and company tell of a contest held a decade ago to give out some cash to fans. The second is the much cooler MTV Live (14:21) where QT and company chat with ultra-lame Carson Daly and other MTV clowns. The lack of depth (surprise, surprise) in the questions is saved by the energy of the cast.

Still Galleries: Lots of pictures in here, and worlds better than other DVDs that host this feature. Included are posters from early Grier and Forster flicks, design sketches, and memorabilia (I have GOT to get me a Samuel L. Jackson figure!)

Reviews: Loads of reviews from Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, LA Times, and so on and so forth. Pretty tough to read through in one sitting, but definitely a great reference to some depth of the film.

Radio Spots: Don’t see (or hear, rather) these on every DVD. There are a handful and they run about a minute apiece. Unique feature.

Rounding out ‘The Perks’ disc are Filmographies (QT, Grier, and Forster…no De Niro or Jackson? Lame.), 11 Trailers and TV Spots for the film, along with ones for 19 Pam Grier (oooohhh baby is she smokin’!) and 12 Robert Forster films.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Whew! One of the most underrated films in recent memory is given one of the better DVD treatments around. Fans of the film will find it impossible to be let down by the values of these discs, which have some unique features along with your standard DVD filler. And hey, another plus is the killer bullet hole casing for the set, which comes with a booklet and an old-school poster. A must have for any collection.
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