003797Reviews & Counting
Pulp Fiction (SE)
DVD disk
10.07.2004 By: Scott Weinberg
Pulp Fiction (SE) order
Quentin Tarantino

John Travolta
Samuel L. Jackson
Bruce Willis


star Printer-Friendly version
Three twisted and joyously convoluted ‘pulp fiction’ stories are woven together through the use of fascinating characters, a few sick and twisted jolts of nasty violence, and some of the most blisteringly brilliant exchanges of dialogue ever committed to film.
JoBlo: Scott-man, we need a review of this new PULP FICTION DVD. Can you handle it?

Scott: Shit. I guess. That’s a tough one though.

JoBlo: Why’s that?

Scott: Well, it’s a movie that’s been analyzed, studied, and obsessed over by people a lot more insightful and articulate than myself. I mean, what’s the point of another PULP FICTION review?

JoBlo: Look bitch, you have the privilege of writing DVD reviews for one of the most adored movie websites in the universe (or so my mom keeps telling me). Lickety-split, doctor!

Scott: I wouldn’t even know where to begin! There’s the whole “Tarantino gave Travolta his career back” angle…

JoBlo: Yeah, unfortunately the man went on to such "greater" films as DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE, THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER and BATTLEFIELD EARTH. Yikes!

Scott: Stop interrupting, dude. I’m just warming up. I suppose I could cover the rest of the cast. I mean, any movie that has Sam Jackson, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, and Eric Stoltz in it, definitely has something going for it!

JoBlo: Yeah, nobody’s ever mentioned those actors in a movie review before. You’re a true revolutionary. C'mon beeyatch! Operate dammit!

Scott: How about the whole ‘impact’ angle? I mean, if it weren’t for PULP FICTION, we’d never have seen movies like THE SUICIDE KINGS, KILLING ZOE or THINGS TO DO IN DENVER WHEN YOU'RE DEAD! (amongst a zillion other $1 video shelf favorites)

JoBlo: Dude, stop babbling about other flicks, impact and my dick...start talking FICTION and a little PULP. Does the flick still hold up after all this time and copy-cats?

Scott: Absolutely. You can ignore all the knockoffs and dismiss the current Travolta entirely because this movie is quite simply one of the most brazenly entertaining movie I’ve ever seen. It runs well over two hours long, yet there’s not a wasted frame in there. It works on a surface level of silly escapism, there’s a dark depth to Tarantino’s writing, and the movie is an absolute explosion of pop culture and film noir minutiae to satisfy all the rabid movie freaks out there.

JoBlo: …

Scott: What?

JoBlo: Nothing. You just got all ‘movie critic’ on me there. Continue.

Scott: Hey, yeah. I guess I did have something to say about the movie after all.

JoBlo: Not much.

Scott: Hey, I know the JoBlo.com audience. If I showed up here all pompous and scholarly, I’d be getting emails from [email protected] telling me what a clueless poseur I am. If you’re looking for an in-depth analysis of a film that’s been 'in-depthed' to death, there are hundreds of reviews and articles out there. From my own perspective, all I can say is that PULP FICTION is an addicting breath of fresh air from a genre that was (back in the mid-90’s) well past the point of stagnation. It’s one of my favorite movies, period. What more is there to say?

JoBlo: Push the DVD.

Scott: Ah yes. Let’s move on to the digital splendor…
Since we all know how goddamn cool this movie is, it’s only logical that fans would get most excited for the extra goodies, and it seems that the fine folks at Disney (yep, you heard right) were more than happy to oblige. I had a very good time watching the movie with the Fact Track, which is an informative text commentary that plays along with the onscreen lunacy. I’m not about to spoil all the tidbits for you, but if you’ve already seen the movie at least once, employ this feature before hitting play (Those new to Pulp Fiction should of course ignore ALL the special features, unplug the phone, pull down the shades, scream at your kids to SHUT UP for 2+ hours, and watch the film while smiling and gasping at the appropriate moments.)

Since we’re talking about a 2-disc set, you can expect a whole package of featurettes, and here’s what we got: Pulp Fiction: The Facts is a half-hour piece that features interviews both old and new. Lawrence Bender, Sam Jackson, Eric Stoltz, Bruce Willis, John Travolta, editor Sally Menke, and a few others share old anecdotes and behind-the-scenes memories, while a few choice segments from back in the day are interspersed throughout. A solid piece, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

If you’re curious to see what Quentin acts like while he’s working, you’ll enjoy the ten minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Montages entitled Jack Rabbit Slim’s and Marsellus. Nothing here too stunning, though I always enjoy watching a movie get made. Completists should enjoy the nearly-hour-long episode of The Charlie Rose Show, in which Charlie and Quentin talk about all sorts of stuff. Well, to be fair – Quentin does most of the talking…shocker there, eh? Nah, I’m just kiddin’. This is a great addition, in that it gives a whole lot of insight into Tarantino’s personality – since he’s talking here about himself and not one particular movie that just won 17 awards. There’s also a 6+ minute Production Design featurette in which David and Sandy Wasco discuss all things set- and location-intensive.

Another extra I really enjoyed was the 16-minute episode of Siskel & Ebert as the two scholarly critics discuss Tarantino’s place in modern cinema, and the impact his films have made. Fascinating stuff, and MAN I really miss Gene Siskel (Seriously!) Don’t get too excited for the five deleted scenes, as they’re nothing too impressive – though their exclusion does shed a little light on what a crafty editor Tarantino is. Those who remember the impression that Pulp Fiction made at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival should enjoy the footage from Tarantino’s Palme d’Or Acceptance Speech. In a similar vein is an 11-minute piece from the Independent Spirit Awards in which interviewer Michael Moore (Roger & Me) discusses the movie and its reception with Bender, Jackson and (of course) the Q-man.

There’s some text-based goodness to be found in a collection of Reviews & Articles as well, where you can peruse the original reviews from Roger Ebert, Peter Travers, Janet Maslin, and several others. The articles are a bit more in-depth than the reviews, but both should prove fairly fascinating to fans of the flick. And then we have the parade of ‘smaller’ goodies, like five theatrical trailers (spanning a variety of languages), thirteen TV spots, an 8-part stills gallery, easy access to the movie’s best music via the soundtrack chapters, and a few sneak peeks of other titles. And let’s not forget the swanky packaging and booklet insert!
I can’t think of anyone who shouldn’t buy this DVD. Fans will adore the pristine transfer and copious extras; those who haven’t seen it yet, are in for a thrill; and those of you who actively dislike the movie need to see it again...only make sure to remove the sticks from your butts this time around.
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