Pulp Fiction (Blu-ray)

Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: R

Starring:
John Travolta as Vincent Vega
Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield
Tim Roth as Pumpkin / Ringo
Amanda Plummer as Honey Bunny / Yolanda
Eric Stoltz as Lance
Bruce Willis as Butch Coolidge
Ving Rhames as Marsellus Wallace
Phil LaMarr as Marvin
Maria de Medeiros as Fabienne
Rosanna Arquette as Jody
Peter Greene as Zed
Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace
Duane Whitaker as Maynard
Paul Calderon as Paul / English Bob
Frank Whaley as Brett

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Special Features:
New Interviews with Cast
New Critics’ Retrospective on the Movie’s Place in Film History
Behind-the-Scenes Footage
Pulp Fiction: The Facts Featurette
Production Design Featurette
Siskel & Ebert At The Movies – The Tarantino Generation
Independent Spirit Awards Footage
Cannes Film Festival Footage
The Charlie Rose Show Tarantino Interview
Still Galleries
Trivia Track
Deleted Scenes

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 154 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“Critics and audiences worldwide hailed ‘Pulp Fiction’ as the star-studded motion picture that redefined cinema in the 20th Century! The 7-time Academy Award-nominated film (including Best Picture, 1994) is considered one of AFI’s “100 Greatest American Movies of All Time” and is listed on Time magazine’s ‘All-Time 100 Best Films.’ It has been called ‘quite simply, the most exhilarating piece of filmmaking to come along in the decade’ (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly) and ‘(unquestionably) the most influential American movie of the 1990′s’ (Richard Corliss, Time). Writer/Director Quentin Tarantino (Academy Award® Winner – Best Original Screenplay, 1994) delivers an unforgettable cast of characters – including a pair of low-rent hit men (John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson), their boss’s sexy wife (Uma Thurman) and a desperate prizefighter (Bruce Willis) – in a wildly entertaining and exhilarating motion picture adventure that both thrills and amuses!”

“Pulp Fiction” is rated R for strong graphic violence and drug use, pervasive strong language and some sexuality.

Mini-Review:
OK, confession time again. “Pulp Fiction” is another one of those movies that I always intended to watch but never had time to see. I know, I know. Save it for the comments section. But with the arrival of this Blu-ray, I’ve finally had a chance to get up to speed and mark another film off my ‘must see’ list.

Seeing “Pulp Fiction” for the first time, I can see Quentin Tarantino’s trademarks all over the place. Most notable is his talent for writing dialogue. Whether it’s Vincent and Jules talking about McDonald’s or Ringo and Yolanda plotting the perfect crime or Mia talking about milkshakes, Tarantino has a knack for making even the most mundane dialogue engaging. He makes it look effortless. He also makes his actors look good by giving them such great dialogue. I watched Samuel L. Jackson as Jules one day, then the next watched him as Mace Windu in “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.” Dialogue is absolutely everything.

Second, Tarantino’s affinity for violence is all over the place here, but it’s not done in a gratuitous way. Well… maybe a little gratuitous… OK, a lot gratuitous, but it always has a purpose. When Jules executes Brett, it underlines the cold-bloodedness of his character. When Vincent accidentally shoots Marvin, it shocks the audience after they have been lulled into a false sense of security. When Butch kills Zed, it’s a turning point for his character when he has the choice of running or returning to save Marsellus. There’s a reason behind all of it.

Third, Tarantino’s love of music is on full display here. This is apparent during the opening credits when the music stops midway through and switches songs for no other reason, it seems, than to set the mood. We get 50′s rock, funk, surfer music… you name it, it’s here. In fact, I see 17 years later the soundtrack is still a top seller on Amazon.com. But the mix of music, the mix of costumes, and the mix of sets all make the time the movie takes place a little hard to pinpoint. It lends to a somewhat timeless quality that you don’t often get in movies.

Even having never have seen “Pulp Fiction” before, there were a few things I was familiar with. I had seen clips of Uma Thurman and John Travolta’s dance number before. I had seen clips of Samuel L. Jackson’s “great vengeance and furious anger” speech. But there were a couple of things that surprised me. Mostly it was the scene where Butch and Marsellus are captured by Zed and his buddies. The scene took such a wild left turn that was bizarre. Tarantino was aiming to shock audiences, but it seemed a bit much even for this movie. I was also a little letdown by the ending. It didn’t have as clean an ending as I would have liked. But overall it was interesting, engaging, and it still stands up well even today. It’s easy to see why it put Quentin Tarantino on the map.

This is the first time that “Pulp Fiction” has appeared on Blu-ray, so fans of the movie will want to pick it up. Or those like me who have never seen it before can get caught up. Most of the previously released bonus features are included on here. There are vintage interviews, deleted scenes, a trivia track, film festival footage, and behind-the-scenes footage. But there are two new bonus features included on this Blu-ray. The first is a retrospective featuring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Rosanna Arquette, and Eric Stoltz. Notably absent are Bruce Willis, Quentin Tarantino, and Uma Thurman. But those that are included have all sorts of interesting anecdotes about filming. They seem to have fond memories of becoming involved with “Pulp Fiction” and funny stories about Tarantino. Also included is a featurette where a group of critics discuss the film. I wasn’t as excited about this, but I have to give them credit for including one critic who wasn’t as enamored with “Pulp Fiction” as the others. It’s kind of interesting to hear that dissenting voice amid the praise.

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