With the simultaneous Blu-ray releases of Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, arguably the two jewels in the Quentin Tarantino crown, you can now own all of the filmmaker’s features on the high-def platter. Have the best been saved for last? Quite possibly. And if you’re of a certain age, there’s also a good chance you haven’t seen one or even both of them, which means you are in for some seriously cinematic rides. Perhaps the best news, aside from how gorgeous they look, is that both discs are very reasonably priced, which makes them much easier to obtain than Marsellus Wallace’s briefcase.
This writer had something of a Tarantino-thon recently by viewing both discs back to back, and, unsurprisingly, they did not disappoint. But I was especially taken by Pulp Fiction, as I hadn’t seen it in years, and everything that’s great and revolutionary about it came flooding back. See, I was 23 when Pulp Fiction came out in 1994, and it was a time when film as an art form was feeling awfully stilted. And then this movie charged out of the gate and it was like nothing anybody else was even attempting to do. It was the most seductive piece of filmmaking I’d seen in years. It wasn’t just me, either. Everyone I knew who was into film felt the same way. Despite the fact that we were already bowing at the altar of Reservoir Dogs, nothing prepared us for the Fiction. We devoured it, repeatedly, and discussed its many intricacies and detours like it was some kind of biblical text. I saw it on the big screen at least a half a dozen times, and each viewing was like going to film church. A few months later came the crappy bootleg VHS tape, and it’s anyone’s guess how often I sat through that. By the time the laserdisc was released, I was beginning to suffer burnout. That, mixed with a few other factors, pretty much kept me away from Pulp Fiction for a decade or more (give or take a scene or two on cable from time to time).
Pulp Fiction today feels absolutely as fresh as it did all the way back in the autumn of ’94. The film has the power to come back in a big way, on the best home video format currently available. Forget about digital downloads and streaming, Blu-ray is hands down the best way to experience this movie. (As it turns out, aside from an old DVD, Blu-ray is the only way to legally obtain the movie presently.) We turned to one of the film’s stars, the versatile Rosanna Arquette, who plays piercing fetishist Jody, to see how she was feeling about the Fiction years after the fact. “What I’m excited about is that it’s going to be a whole new audience discovering the film. I have a teenager, and all of her friends are watching it,” she enthused.
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