The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Miramax - 1994
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 154 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Ving Rhames, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Christopher Walken, Harvey Keitel, Eric Stoltz, Rosanna Arquette
Written & Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 4, 2011
"You won't know the facts until you have seen the fiction"
A spectacular mix of explosive action and wickedly funny humor- critics and audiences worldwide have hailed PULP FICTION as the star studded movie event of 1994! Popular writer/director Quentin Tarantino delivers an unforgettable cast of characters- including a pair of low-rent hit men, their boss's sexy wife and a desperate, last-chance prizefighter- in a wildly entertaining big-screen adventure that will both thrill and amuse! It's fresh and exhilarating motion picture experience that's unlike anything else you have ever seen!
A pair of low-rent hit men, Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson), are sent out to collect a stolen briefcase for their mob boss employer, Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames). Having proven himself worthy, Wallace then entrusts Vincent to entertain his wife, Mia (Uma Thurman), while he is out of town. Meanwhile, Wallace has paid off aging boxer Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) to throw his next fight. The lives of these wildly entertaining characters intertwine with unexpected and violent consequences.
Pulp Fiction was unlike any other film I had seen at the time. My first reaction to it wasn't an especially positive one. It wasn't that I disliked it but I didn't care for Reservoir dogs and wasn't sure what to make of the overtly dark, crass humor, nonlinear storyline, mishmash of elements and period references in this film. Then I watched it again. The second time around I came to fully appreciated Pulp Fiction for the intriguing film noir that it is. The wonderfully crafted narrative revolves around three intersecting storylines that feature Los Angeles based mobsters, small-time crooks, a crooked boxer and a mysterious briefcase. The primary characters are mob hitmen/partners Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield, their boss Marsellus Wallace, aging prizefighter Butch Coolidge, and Marsellus' wife Mia Wallace. Although each storyline focuses on a different series of incidents they connect/intersect in a nonlinear timeline. The film begins and ends with the same scene while essentially everything in between details the events that brought it to that point (although the shift in focus changes from the two characters that open the film to the two that close it). There are seven narrative sequences, each of which are preceded by a brief pause and identifying title against a black screen. The plot is simple, what happens when: a crooked boxer fails to take a dive, an entrusted escort fails to properly look after his mob boss's wife, and two henchmen fail to reacquire a stolen briefcase and properly dispose of those responsible.
I love Pulp Fiction for its rich, eclectic dialogue, ironic use of humor, and wonderfully infused pop culture references. The characters are built upon typical criminal archetypes but are grounded by an enriching level of humanity as seen through the various conversations/monologues and pitch perfect interaction. This is where the film's best and funniest moments reside. Here are my favorites in no particular order: Jules and Vincent (take your pick), Vincent and Mia at Jack Rabbit Slim's, Marsellus and Butch (are you okay?) Marsellus and Zed (payback), Marsellus schooling Butch on the facts of life, Jules and Brett, Jules and Ringo, Honeybunny and Pumpkin, Vincent and The Wolf (say please), Vincent/Lance and the needle, and Colonel Koons and young Butch. My least favorite moments: Maynard, Zed and Marsellus, Jimmy (entirely), Fabienne (entirely), and Vincent/Butch and the toaster. Pulp Fiction is among my favorite films and is in my opinion writer/director Quentin Tarantino's best work. The ensemble cast, with the exception of Tarantino himself in the role of Jimmy, does an outstanding job. I particularly enjoy watching John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson who have superb chemistry which makes the film in my opinion. Honorable mention goes out to Christopher Walken, Amana Plummer, and Uma Thurman who take full advantage of their small but integral roles.
Pulp fiction was honored with an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (1994) and earned seven total nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Quentin Tarantino. Easily one of the most anticipated catalog titles to date Pulp Fiction comes to Blu-ray featuring re-mastered (directly overseen by Quentin Tarantino) 1080p high definition video and new bonus materials that offers insights from the cast, delves into the film's iconic status and contains previously released archival content that includes numerous behind-the-scenes featurettes, interviews and marketing galleries. I am thrilled that it is now a part of my Blu-ray library. Read on to see my thoughts on its technical aspects.
The rating is for strong graphic violence, drug use, pervasive language, and some sexuality.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Pulp Fiction comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.
This is an excellent video presentation that offers a measurable improvement over the standard definition DVD. It boasts refining detail and crisp definition that reveals plenty of fine minutia, and textural nuance especially during close-ups. Depth and dimension is appreciable during mid level pans as well. Colors are vivid, with deep, beautifully rendered primaries (especially reds) that are eye catching without appearing unnatural. Fleshtones follow suit and appear lilfelike and delineated. Blacks and contrast are strong and dynamic in appearance which provides pop when onscreen with mixed content. Shadow detail is good but not definitively resolvable which leaves some darker scenes feeling less dimensional. I noticed during some of the brightly lit scenes that the video has an edgy (artificial) sharpness. I didn't see any distracting signs of ringing or halos around objects but it's worth noting. The video has a wonderfully enriching and film like quality that never shown through in standard definition. This isn't a technically perfect presentation however overall quality is quite high which leaves this director approved 1080p rendering of Pulp Fiction looking simply marvelous.
The Lossless DTS-HD MA surround mix accents the video presentation and sounds terrific. This is a well balanced sound design that features crisp, refining dialogue and excellent integration of the soundtrack's recorded elements. The surround mix makes regular use of the entire soundstage to drive the story by generating atmospheric enhancement that comes in both subtle and discrete form. Directional effects moving around the soundstage are right on the money as they travel from one speaker to the next. Detail and clarity are first rate as the mix of dialogue, sounds/effects and music is smooth, articulated, and naturally balanced.
- (HD) Not the Usual Mindless Boring Getting to Know You Chit Chat Cast Interviews - (NEW) 43 minutes
- (HD) Here Are Some Facts on the Fiction Critic's Retrospective roundtable- (NEW) 20 minutes
- Pulp Fiction: The Facts documentary - 30 minutes
- 5 Deleted Scenes with introduction by Quentin Tarantino
- 2 Behind-the-Scenes Montages - Jack Rabbit Slims/Butch hits Marsellus
- Production Design featurette - 6 minutes
- Siskel and Ebert At the Movies - The Tarantino Generation - 16 minutes
- Independent Spirit Awards - interviews - 11 minutes
- Cannes Film Festival - Palme d'Or Acceptance Speech - 5 minutes
- Charlie Rose Show - Interview with Quentin Tarantino - 55 minutes
- Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots - 13 TV Spots, posters, international & U.S. trailers
- Enhanced Trivia Track
- Stills Gallery - 6 segments
- (HD) Soundtrack Chapters - 10 selections
Pulp Fiction is most decidedly a classic film but depending on who you talk to the reaction to it isn't in line with what we envision when we think of a true classic. Be that as it may there is no doubt that writer/director Quentin Tarantino got it right. Among my favorite films, I love it for its rich, eclectic dialogue, ironic use of humor, and wonderfully infused pop culture/references that combine with its edgy neo-noir to make for one of the most entertaining films of the nineties. It makes its long awaited debut on Blu-ray in a solid package that features rewarding high definition video, excellent lossless surround sound and a wonderful assortment of bonus supplements that contain a host of previously released content as well as several new ones. A must have for fans this offering from Lionsgate Home Entertainment is easily worth the price of admission and comes highly recommended.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package