Jackie Brown Collector's Edition
Film Length: 151 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
Six players on the trail of a half a
million in Cash. There's only one question...
Who's playing who?
Having seen Reservoir Dogs and Pulp
Fiction, I have always fondly looked to
Quentin Tarentino as a Director who brought brash
freshness to cinema. This first time watching of
Jackie Brown was a bit of a disappointment
I can completely understand that it's near
impossible to recreate the magic of Pulp Fiction,
a highly fresh piece of filmmaking that scored with
its multiple points of view, non-linear storytelling,
music and violence. After three years following
that film's success, Jackie Brown shows us
a more matured Tarentino who tells this cat and mouse
story in a more conventional manner.
Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is a flight attendant
who's illegally transporting money for gun dealer
Ordell Robie (Samuel L. Jackson). When investigator
Ray Nicolette (Michael Keaton)catches up with her,
she sets up a complicated plan that will involve
Ordell, Nicolette, her bail bondsman Max Cherry
(Robert Forster), Ordell's partner Louis (Robert
De Niro), and drug addict Melanie (Bridget Fonda).
The story is complex and simple at the same time
and all the performances are top-notch, most notably
Pam Grier and Robert Forster.
Miramax has released Jackie Brown in a
deluxe 2-disc Collector's Edition that arrives
in a very handsome slipcase that gives a bullet-hole
window to Pam Grier's face. The innards slip out
into a 3-pane gatefold that hold the 2 DVDs in
plastic hub housing that sit above two photos of
Quentin Tarentino and his cast.
In the far left pocket sits a 16-page collector
booklet that among other things contains a list
of the cast members; A letter from Elmore Leonard
(the writer of Rum Punch for which the film was
based on); A letter from Peter Bogdanovich who
praises Quentin Tarentino; a selected filmography
of the Director as well as Pam Grier and Robert
Forster; and finally...oh yes....chapter stops.
Dig a little further in the pocket and you'll
pull out a small poster with assorted promotional
artwork from the film.
How is the transfer?
The transfer generally looks good, though its audio
comes across a bit lackluster compared to that of
the Pulp Fiction SE. While the print is in
immaculate condition, free of any blemish, there
is that annoying amount of video noise that shows
up mainly in the whites of building walls. Colors
are very accurate and sometimes vividly brought
out with no oversaturation, such as in Jackie's
deep blue stewardess uniform. I also noticed that
black levels are deep and solid.
After being totally mesmerized by the 5.1 DTS
mix of Pulp Fiction, I was quite unimpressed
with this film's mix when it came to film's soulful
musical passages. While the sounds of Bobby Womack
as well as the Delfonics come across the front
sound stage quite forcefully (even my subwoofer was
pounding to the beats), none of it is supported
by the rears which made Pulp Fictions a
more sonically immersible experience. Even effects
noises aren't as well pronounced in this transfer,
sounding as if they were recorded at a lower volume
level. I suppose that if I weren't comparing the
two transfers I would have no real complaints, but
I just felt that the 5.1 DTS mix here could have
been a little better.
A short live-action menu sequence featuring Jackie
Brown announcing herself to a door's intercom begins
upon the initial playback of disc one.
Special Features are spread across both discs.
Disc One contains supplements that can be accessed
from the film directly.
One feature that you should immediately turn
on is the enhanced playback track that
adds text commentary to the subtitle area of the
screen during the playback of the film. This
text commentary is chock-full of useful facts
about the cast, locale filming, and even
variations in the script to screen translation.
Soundtrack Selection lets you easily
access any of the film's 18 musical tracks.
Simply click on the title/artist listing and
you will be taken directly to the point in the
film in which that track appears.
DVD-ROM features include an enhanced
playback track that places a small text box
at the bottom of your computer screen, giving
you useful film facts during viewing. It works
like the standard enhanced playback track (see
above), but also adds some cool animation to boot.
There's a screenplay viewer that lets you access
the film's original script as well as a trivia
Though, oddly enough, there is absolutely no
commentary to be found on this DVD, there is a
50-second personal video introduction by
the Director who apologizes it took so long for
the movie to make its way to the format, but
promises that the very best of care has been put
into this Special Edition.
Now let's head on to disc two....
In the documentary Jackie Brown: How it went
down, we learn that while filming Pulp
Fiction both Producer Lawrence Bender and
Director Quentin Tarentino became aware of a
book called Rum Punch, and immediately
knew that this was a great idea for their next
film. Almost losing the film to another Director,
Tarentino finally decided to do the film. Rum
Punch author Elmore Leonard recalls receiving
a phone call from a nervous Tarentino who was
concerned over the way he changed the title and
color of the film's main character. Leonard
wasn't the least concerned as he was more
interested in what Quentin could creatively do
to the material more than anything else. The
rest of the documentary takes us through cast
interviews, lets us glimpse at behind-the-camera
footage -- including some B-roll deleted material.
All of it ends with some split screen footage of
a film clip played alongside the actual making of
footage. There's also an interesting story on how
Bender and Tarentino finally nabbed actor Robert
DeNiro, including comments from the actor himself.
(length: approx. 39 minutes)
A look back at Jackie Brown features a
way too lengthy one-on-one interview with Quentin
Tarentino who sits for a series of questions from
a female interviewer who can't be clearly heard.
Basically, the Director talks about the reactions
to the film from the author of the book to the
film public at large. He also talks about his
experiences working with his cast ensemble.
(length: approx. 54 minutes)
Quentin personally introduces Chicks with
guns, the entire full-length video feature
that we see Ordell watching at the start of the
film. It's quite humorous to see that this
production had more to it than what was shown in
(length: approx. 5 minutes)
As if Jackie Brown wasn't long enough,
Quentin personally introduces 6 deleted scenes
in the film that include:
* An extended scene in the mall with Jackie
and Sheronda that takes place during their shopping
bag exchanges. Jackie asks Sheronds about her
relationship with Ordell. This scene also shows
how much Sheronda may or may not know what is
* A totally improvised scene between Pam Grier
and Michael Keaton. The both improvise this
scene so well that Grier's comments about a
Mademoiselle totally takes Keaton off guard
creating a wonderful blooper.
* An excised scene with Pam Grier and Robert
Forster where the two mastermind a plan to set
* An alternate take of "For Your Eyes Only"
* An alternate opening of the film that will
make your mouth drop wide open. I will not
even spoil this for you other than to say it
may contain too much pulp for your taste of
In an excerpt from Siskel & Ebert's At The
Movies, we find the famous critic duo giving
two thumbs up for the film.
(length: approx. 5 minutes)
Two Jackie Brown on MTV promotions are
included in this collection. The first is a
contest promoted by Quentin, Pam Grier and Bridget
Fonda. The second is a live appearance by
Quentin Tarentino at the MTV studios above Times
In addition to three theatrical teaser trailers,
we also get no less than eight TV spots.
And, if you think this DVD didn't offer enough
supplemental information on Grier and Forster, you
have the choice of browsing through dozens of
trailers of their older films. There's even original
radio spots from many of Grier's black exploitation
Still Galleries is an entire scetion
devoted to the posters, publicity stills and
memorabilia from the film. Interestingly enough,
there is also promotional material from many
of Pam Grier and Robert Forster's older films.
Another section is dedicated entirely to
reviews the film received from the likes
of The Philadelphia Inquirer; Village Voice;
Rolling Stone Magazine and The New Yorker
(to name a few).
There are selected filmographies for both
Pam Grier and Robert Forster as well as Director
Quentin Tarentino. A resume of their many film
accomplishments are listed across many pages.
Though Jackie Brown has its moments,
the film is rather long in the tooth for its
near three hour length. Tarentino's direction
seems plodding compared to his previous two
efforts. If you're expecting non-stop action
peppered with a barrage of violence then Jackie
Brown is unlikely to live up to expectations.
However, those looking for Quentin's signature hip
dialogue will find plenty of it throughout.
Miramax has done phenomenal justice in
bringing out a 2-disc Collectors Edition
that sports an above average transfer, but more
importantly, enough added material to keep fans
immersed in the film long after its done.
Release Date: August 20, 2002