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HTF REVIEW: "Pulp Fiction" Collector's Edition (Highly Recommended)(with screenshots)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Aug 14, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Pulp Fiction Collector's Edition

    Studio: Miramax
    Year: 1994
    Rated: R
    Film Length: 149 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (2.35:1)

    "The path of the righteous man is beset on
    all sides by the inequities of the selfish
    and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he
    who in the name of charity and good will,
    shepherds the weak through the valley of the
    darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper
    and the finder of lost children. And I will
    strike down upon thee with great vengeance
    and furious anger those who attempt to poison
    and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am
    the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you."

    -Ezekiel 25:17-
    Get ready for the must-have DVD this year!
    Pulp Fiction is one of the most amazing,
    recklessly bold pieces of cinema to ever hit the
    screen. The movie is to be seen, not described.
    Watching it for the first time in 7 years, I am
    reminded what a roller coaster ride of a movie this
    is -- complemented with one of the funniest, smartest,
    and filthiest dialogs I have heard in a long time.
    Pulp Fiction takes you full circle through
    a forty-eight hour period in the three stories that
    ultimately get linked as one. From Honey Bunny
    (Amanda Plummer) and Pumpkin (Tim Roth), two liquor
    store bandits looking to rob a restaurant, to Butch
    (Bruce Willis), a boxer who may or may not take a
    dive, to Jules (Samuel Jackson) and Vincent Vega
    (John Travolta), two hitmen on a mission to retrieve
    a briefcase for their boss, to Marcellus Wallace
    (Ving Rhames) and Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) who
    are at the center of it all. Quentin Tarentino
    tells his story in a non-linear fashion, switching
    from one point of view to another, jumping forward
    and backward in time, and ultimately leaving us
    laughing and gasping from exhaustion by the time
    the credits roll.
    The movie's razor-sharp dialogue made of references
    to pop culture, swearing, and sometimes monologue
    type speeches are often quite funny and brilliant.
    In fact, it's the dialogue that takes front seat to
    anything else in the film. Who can forget the scenes
    where Vince is describing to Jules a Big Mac in Paris
    (a Royale with cheese). Who can forget Jules taking a
    bite of a big Kahuna burger and commenting, "now this
    is a tasty burger." Of course, perhaps the film's
    greatest stretch of dialogue shows up in a single
    long important scene featuring Christopher Walken
    who describes how he saved and delivered a gold watch
    to a young boy.
    Of course, you couldn't talk about this film without
    giving credit to the collection of songs and
    instrumentals that are so perfectly suited to the
    scenes -- often setting the proper style and mood
    to the film. Featuring the voices of Al Green and
    Chuck Berry (to name a few), Tarantino has chosen
    just the right songs for his magnum opus.
    Miramax has released Pulp Fiction in a
    brand new 2-disc set. The set arrives in a
    rather handsome cardboard outer sleeve that
    provides a window to Mia's face. The inner
    package slides and opens to a 3-pane gatefold
    that contains 2 DVDs housed in plastic hubs.
    Beneath these hubs is a cool B&W photo of
    Director Quentin Tarentino and Uma Thurman
    discussing a scene.
    In the farthest left pocket sits a 16-page
    collector's booklet which in addition to listing
    the film's chapter stops and musical selections,
    also contains original articles from Time
    and Entertainment Weekly.
    Just for fun, there is also a menu from Jack Rabbit
    Slims tucked inside the pocket.
    How is the transfer?
    This brand new digital anamorphic transfer is
    a definite notch above the former DVD release.
    Whereas the original release looked muddy with
    overly red facial tones and a noticeable amount
    of underlying film grain, this new release
    contains none of those elements.
    In fact, this new transfer looks like night
    and day compared to the old. First thing you
    will notice is that colors are now dead-on
    accurate. Facial tones look normal instead of
    blotchy red. The picture looks cleaner and
    crisper than the former transfer. Take a look
    at the very first scene of Butch (Bruce Willis)
    sitting in Marsellus's club. In the old transfer,
    the reds were horribly oversaturated and Bruce
    Willis's face almost blended in with it all. In
    this new transfer, we actually see Bruce's facial
    tones stand out amongst all the redness that now
    looks more natural with no oversaturation. Another
    sequence that will absolutely catch your eye is
    the inside of Jack Rabbit Slim's 50s restaurant,
    whose strikingly colorful interior (especially the
    deep blues) come across so beautifully.
    While there are those who may complain that the
    picture is more on the soft side and occasionally
    (but rarely) out of focus should know that these
    problems existed in the original theatrical showing.
    Now here is where you really get the best bang
    for the buck....the 5.1 DTS digital surround track
    that never ceases to silence itself.
    I must admit, as I first started watching the
    film's beginning restaurant scene with Honey
    Bunny and Pumpkin, I was quite satisfied with the
    amount of supportive outside traffic noise that
    came out of the rear channel. Wow! Never heard
    this before.
    But the real test comes with the film's music
    track. As the opening credits rev up with
    the sounds of Dick Dale and his Def-Tones, I was
    somewhat disappointed at the lackluster dynamic
    range of the soundtrack -- that is -- until
    Jungle Boogie kicked in. At that point,
    the entire sound stage was pumping with the deep
    bass sounds of Kool & The Gang. From thereon in,
    I was just entranced with the way the music track
    had a certain presence in every scene, thanks to
    the rear channels that faithfully supported the
    sounds of Chuck Berry, Urge Overkill and Dusty
    Springfield (to name a few). After watching
    chapter 5, you'll come away with new appreciation
    for the cool sounds of Al Green that sound so
    soulful across all 5 channels. In the scene
    where Travolta shoots up before visiting Mia, The
    instrumental track that plays in the
    background comes through so soothingly that it
    almost puts you in the same "high" trance as
    Travolta's character.
    Let me also add that the rears constantly remind
    you that there is a real world outside of the main
    story. Every scene has some sort of effects noise
    emanating from the rear channels. Whether it be
    outside traffic in the beginning/end restaurant
    scene, or the sounds of barking dogs and chirping
    birds when Butch sneaks back to his apartment --
    there is always a strong presence of the real world
    that adds flavor to the viewing experience.
    Special Features
    Miramax has gone to extremes to make this DVD
    a totally entertaining experience outside the
    film itself. When you pop in the DVD, you are
    greeted with the briefcase that belongs to
    Marsellus Wallace. As the combination dials
    turn, the briefcase clicks and opens to reveal
    golden light inside. Select any of the SETUP
    options and be entertained with short snippets
    of film footage. My favorite is the AUDIO SETUP
    that has Mia flicking the PLAY button on the tape
    player. It's really cool!
    Special Features are spread across both discs.
    Disc One contains supplements that can
    be accessed from the film directly.
    Soundtrack Chapters enable you to go
    directly to any one of the 13 songs featured
    in the film. Click on any song and you are
    taken directly to that point in the film that
    the song is heard.
    An Enhanced Trivia Track is a really cool
    option that I urge you to enable before watching
    the film. It places text at the bottom of your
    screen that provides insight into the scenes you
    are watching. You'll learn about some of the
    film's cinematic references as well as the sort
    of shots and framing used for each scene. We
    even learn where most of the different scenes
    were shot. All in all, this is an encyclopedia
    of interesting reference for fans of the film.
    DVD-ROM content is also provided on this
    disc. It includes the opportunity to read the
    film's original screenplay, play trivia, or even
    record your own audio commentary using a microphone.
    It also has the ability to play back the film with
    an enhanced playback track.
    Let's move on to Disc Two....
    Pulp Fiction: The Facts contains a handful
    of interviews taped over the past nine years with
    the filmmakers and stars involved with the film
    project. We learn Quentin Tarentino, a video
    clerk in his twenties, sold his first script at
    a price less than what a taxi driver makes in one
    year. A raspy voiced Tarentino (under voice stress)
    talks about the people he met that helped him make
    his way to the top. Actor Samuel L. Jackson fondly
    recalls his first impression of reading Quentin's
    script for Reservoir Dogs. He later attended
    an audition for the film in New York City and was
    turned down for a part. John Travolta briefly
    discusses his first meeting with Quentin and the
    bond the two formed. There are also interviews
    with Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis who talk about
    the film's multi-tier story line. All of this is
    supplemented with lots of behind-the-scenes footage
    and publicity photos.
    (length: approx. 30 minutes)
    Quentin Tarentino personally introduces each of
    the 5 deleted scenes included on this DVD.
    The introduction looks as if it was lifted from
    the laserdisc special edition as that format is
    mentioned and DVD is not. The deleted scenes
    * In the drug deal between Travolta and Eric
    Stoltz, Eric has extended dialogue about his
    trip down to Panama City.
    * Upon Vince arriving at Mia's home, he is
    subjected to an impromptu videotape interview
    by Mia.
    * The extended version of the Esmeralda cab
    scene with extended dialogue between the cab
    driver and the boxer in the back seat.
    * A deleted sequence featuring actor Dick Miller
    (Gremlins) inside Monster Joe's truck and tow.
    There is a really nice extended dialogue sequence
    between Mr. Wolf and Racquel.
    * An extended version of the Jack Rabbit Slim
    restaurant scene where Mia asks Vince about a
    particular hash bar in Amsterdam. There is no
    background music played in this cut.
    This is really cool! A Behind-The-Scenes
    Montage gives us an uninhibited look at two
    of the film's most memorable scenes being filmed.
    We go behind the camera as we watch the Jack
    Rabbit Slims restaurant scene being put together
    as well as the scene where Marsellus Wallace is
    hit by Bruce's car. This is all raw footage,
    and runs just under 11 minutes. You can clearly
    see how much fun Quentin is having directing
    big-time actors John Travolta and Bruce Willis.
    In a rather short Production Design Featurette
    we meet production designer David Wasco and set
    decorator Sandy Wasco who talk about how the
    outlandish designs of Los Angeles coffee shops
    inspired them to design Jack Rabbit Slims. We
    take a look at some original production designs
    that show the interior and exterior of the club.
    (length: approx. 6 minutes)
    Is Quentin Tarentino a one-man new wave or just
    the flavor of the month? Critics Siskel and Ebert
    ask that question in The Tarentino Generation,
    an original 1994 broadcast that revisits the original
    Siskel and Ebert review of Reservoir Dogs
    while pondering the future success of the young
    Director. Both seem to agree that Quentin has
    made an incredible film, that in using low-life
    characters, ultimately criticizes how dull other
    Hollywood movies have become.
    (length: approx. 15 minutes)
    During the Independent Spirit Awards,
    Quentin is interviewed by Michael Moore and
    his cable show. Quentin urges people who want
    to make movies to save their money and make
    the movies they want -- even if the circumstances
    aren't right. He is later joined by Samuel L.
    Jackson. Producer Lawrence Bender also gives
    a short interview here. All seem to be showing
    a good time in this very informal interview.
    (length: Approx. 11 minutes)
    Lets go to the Cannes Film Festival for the
    Palme d'Or Acceptance Speech. As Clint
    Eastwood announces the winning film, a crowd roars
    as Quentin and cast take the stage. With an
    interpreter at his side, Quentin thanks everyone
    that made the film possible and then participates
    in a photo shoot. I was a bit taken back by the
    fact that at such a prestigious awards show,
    Quentin found it appropriate to raise his middle
    finger to the surly crowd.
    An entire Charlie Rose Show broadcast
    from 1994 gives us a very intimate look at the
    Director who talks about his uneducated beginnings,
    the films that influenced his career, and how he
    rose to filmmaker status.
    (length: approx. 55 minutes)
    There are 5 original trailers presented
    from every corner of the globe. We have the U.S.
    trailer and the U.K. trailer as well as the French,
    German and Japanese trailers. It's really cool
    to see how this film was promoted throughout the
    There are 13 television spots that actually
    trace the movie from its initial premier through
    spots that promote the film's recognition and awards.
    Still Galleries is an entire section
    devoted to production stills, posters, trade ads,
    production designs and logos. My favorite section
    was Props and Memorabilia that had photos of the
    samurai sword Bruce Willis uses to kill his
    attackers, as well as the Red Apple cigarettes
    that he orders in Marsellus's club.
    Another section is devoted entirely to Pulp
    Fictions Reviews & Articles that have been
    printed since the film's release. These critics
    are with such high-profile publications such as
    The New York Times; The Village Voice; LA
    and London Times. These are
    all text based articles that can be browsed through
    using your remote.
    Though there is an awful amount of added material
    here, the one feature that seems to be missing is
    an audio commentary. I am surprised that none was
    recorded for this Collector's Edition.
    Final Thoughts
    Revisiting Pulp Fiction after all these
    years turned out to be one of the most exciting
    moments in my Home Theater career. I just sat
    on my couch with a big fat stupid grin on my
    face as I listened to some of the sharpest and
    coolest dialogue ever spoken in film. Who ever
    thought that during the film's initial 14 minutes
    I'd be immersed in conversation about "eating a
    bitch out" vs. giving a woman a foot massage.
    Miramax has done an outstanding job with this
    2-disc Collector's Edition that not only sports
    a wonderfully clean new transfer with a hip-shakin'
    5.1 DTS soundtrack, but a handful of supplemental
    material that will keep you busy for quite some
    time. All of this can be yours for an on-line
    price of less than $23.
    If I recommended this DVD any more I'd be begging
    you to buy it.
    Release Date: August 20, 2002
  2. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

    Aug 13, 2000
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    Awesome. I am really looking forward to watching this next week.
  3. Steeve Bergeron

    Steeve Bergeron Cinematographer

    Feb 3, 1999
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    Steeve Bergeron
    I love this movie! I'll be first in line next tuesday.
  4. Joshua Moran

    Joshua Moran Supporting Actor

    Apr 11, 2000
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    I think I just wet myself [​IMG]
  5. Craig S

    Craig S Producer

    Mar 4, 2000
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    League City, Texas
    Real Name:
    Craig Seanor
    Man, the reviews for both this and Jackie Brown have been nothing but raves. I'm thinking double-feature Tuesday night!! [​IMG]
  6. MikeFR

    MikeFR Supporting Actor

    May 16, 2002
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    Awesome review.
    Cant wait for this one. [​IMG]
    Only 6 more sleeps...
  7. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

    Apr 26, 2000
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    When I buy this on Tuesday, I think I'll pick up one of those five dollar milkshakes afterwards. [​IMG]
  8. FrankT

    FrankT Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 5, 2002
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    My only question, Ron, is if you are going to watch this movie more than once every 7 years now that you remember how good it is :)

    Sounds like a great upgrade.
  9. Jeremy Allin

    Jeremy Allin Supporting Actor

    Oct 6, 2001
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    My question, Ron...
    Would you give a guy a foot massage? [​IMG]
  10. Michael Silla

    Michael Silla Second Unit

    Jul 27, 2001
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    I'm all over it. While Resevoir Dogs is my Fav Tarintino film I'll definently have to pay heed to this DVD release. Another awesome review Ron.

  11. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

    Mar 7, 1999
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    Regardless of whether or not I agree with your reviews, you really do an exceptional job of layout, especially within the confines of a thread page. Very pleasing to read. [​IMG]
  12. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

    Apr 26, 2000
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    My favorite part of the DVD was when Samuel L. Jackson goes to Michael Moore, "Hey Roger, how are you doing?" [​IMG]
  13. Joseph_mx

    Joseph_mx Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 14, 2002
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    Ron did you find spanish subtitles in the setup option ? thanks
  14. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

    Jan 24, 2000
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    One of my top 3 movies of all time. Good to hear the high praise. I will be buying this on Tuesday to replace my old editon.
    a couple of comments though...
  15. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

    Sep 14, 2001
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    Ron, when are you going to give us the Jackie Brown review? Pulp Fiction was a great film but not as good as Jackie Brown.
  16. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

    Jan 24, 2000
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  17. Enrique B Chamorro

    Enrique B Chamorro Supporting Actor

    Sep 2, 1999
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    Can we get a bit rate on the new version?
    The bit rate I get on the Canadian Alliance
    version with the 4 deleted scenes is 5.30 .
    You can get the the bit rate program from;
    Can someone give the bit rate from the old US disc?
  18. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

    Jun 19, 1999
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    I'm so pumped for this release that I can see myself picking up 2 copies in all the excitement.
  19. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

    Aug 13, 2000
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  20. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

    Jun 30, 1999
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    Whew, glad to hear the video transfer is a good one (saw the DVDfile review thread, in which they didn't consider it to a good transfer).

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