How's the Movie?
Pulp Fiction isn't just one of the most important movies of the last two decades, it's also one of the period's finest motion pictures. It's one of those unusual cinematic phenomena that transcends the gulf between arthouse fare and pop culture appeal. Frankly, it's a brilliant film, from the construction of its anachronistic edit to the crude reality of its dialogue to the casting of all roles major and minor. But don't just trust my love for Pulp Fiction, let's look at the numbers:
IMDB: 9.0, #5 on their list of the Top 250 Films of All Time
Rotten Tomatoes: 94% Fresh, with only 3 rotten reviews
What are the vital stats on the disc?
Studio: Lionsgate / Miramax
Released: October 4th, 2011
Runtime: 154 Minutes
Video: 1080p (MPEG-4 AVC), 16x9 Widescreen, 2.35:1, director-approved transfer
Audio: 5.1 Lossless DTS-HD Master Audio
Anything exclusive to the Blu-ray?
For starters, the American Blu-ray (die hards have been importing the Danish disc for years) features best Pulp Fiction transfer you'll find outside of stealing original 35mm reels of the film and an audio mix that really showcases a layered, omnipresent sound design. The movie has never looked better at home, but as much as people praise Tarantino's keen eye and sharp edits, it's the sound mix, be it the excellent music choices or Samuel L. Jackson bellowing bible verses, that brings the film to life. Beyond the presentation of it, though, there are a few new special features made just for this release:
Not the Usual Mindless Boring Get to Know You Chit Chat - A new, 43-minute long, shot-in-HD retrospective featuring many of the film's cast and crew. It's not the longest special feature in the world, and the presentation of it is rather dry, but it's all must-see material thanks to the personalities involved (oddly absent are Bruce Willis and Uma Thurman). And even when the information revealed overlaps with some of the info from the special features on past DVD issues of the film, it's still great to hear it coming from a group of people who would all clearly be in love with Pulp Fiction even if they weren't involved with the film.
Here Are Some Facts on the Fiction - A new, 21-minute long HD special wherein film critics, led by Elvis Mitchell, all gush over the film (save for one critic). It's mildly interesting, but it's not particularly unique and doesn't really reveal much that isn't covered elsewhere on the disc.
What about the non-exclusive features?
The bulk of the goodies here are all taken from past DVD releases, but thankfully they were all ported over, because there are some truly excellent features here that feel like you're digging into a time capsule.
Charlie Rose Show - A 56-minute long episode of the Charlie Rose Show from 1994 featuring the best Quentin Tarantino interview I've ever seen. If you've been a fan of his films but have never really understood why so many people hold Tarantino in such high regard, this will make everything perfectly clear. Rose's calm, cool and occasionally confrontational demeanor is the perfect antidote to Tarantino's hyper film geekery and to watch the two go back and forth about everything under the movie sun is the highlight of this disc.
Siskel & Ebert At the Movies, The Tarantino Generation - A 16-minute long chunk of At the Movies dedicated not just to Pulp Fiction the film, but how quickly Tarantino became this beacon for a new cohort of film lovers. Bonus cool points for showing what kids in the mid '90s were saying about Tarantino on the Internet.
Those two features are really the highlight of the disc, but they're hardly the only things on here. You'll also have on hand deleted scenes (combined these are 25-minutes of excised scenes - in standard definition - from the film as introduced by Tarantino), a behind-the-scenes montage (11 minutes), interviews from the Cannes Film Festival, from the Independent Spirit Awards, "Pulp Fiction - The Facts" (a 30-minute documentary from 2001), and more amusing, but forgettable things like a feature-length trivia track (basically just subtitles with info) and marketing materials.
This is a no-brainer must own Blu-ray for fans of Pulp Fiction. It's never looked or sounded better and it has a whopping six hours of special features, at least half of which is actually worth your time. Plus, it's a great bang for your buck considering that as of the time of this writing, the disc is retailing brand new for a very valuable $15.99
[Note: Screenshots courtesy of Blu-ray.com.]