Pulp Fiction: 10th Anniversary 2-Disc Collector's Edition (1994)

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Released 21-Jul-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Menu Animation & Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Jackie Brown, True Romance
Featurette-Pulp Fiction: The Facts
Deleted Scenes-5, Introduced By Quentin Tarantino
Featurette-The Charlie Rose Show, With Quentin Tarantino
Featurette-Sisel And Ebert - Pulp Faction: The Tarantino Generation
Featurette-Production Design
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Featurette-Interview Footage From Independent Spirit Awards
Featurette-Palme d'Or Acceptance Speech
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 147:55
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (77:00)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Quentin Tarantino
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring John Travolta
Samuel L. Jackson
Uma Thurman
Harvey Keitel
Tim Roth
Amanda Plummer
Maria De Medeiros
Ving Rhames
Eric Stoltz
Rosanna Arquette
Christopher Walken
Bruce Willis
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $29.95 Music Karyn Rachtman
Neil Diamond
Chuck Berry


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    One of the defining films of the 1990s was Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino's triumphant return to the screen after his debut as director, Reservoir Dogs. To this day audiences are split into definite love it or hate it groups regarding this film. If, like me, you haven't revisited the film in a few years, then perhaps it is time to reacquaint yourself with Jules, Vincent, Pumpkin and Honey Bunny.

    The plot consists of several stories told in a non-linear fashion; a couple holding up staff and customers at a restaurant, a pair of hit men retrieving a briefcase, an employee taking his boss' wife out to dinner and a boxer throwing a fight. Each of the stories overlap and manage to twist in ways you could scarcely imagine. If by some bizarre occurrence you aren't aware of this film's plot, you shouldn't be reading this - you should be watching the film because it is simply one of those experiences in life that you must have an opinion of, whether it's positive or negative. I for one am certain this film will still be talked about for years to come.

    Pulp Fiction marked a turning point for me as a movie-goer and I recall returning to see the film many times at the cinema, which is a rarity for me. More of my personal experience regarding this film can be read in my Kill Bill review.

    I had high expectations of this new edition of the film on DVD, and while it's great to finally see a two disc release in Region 4 with more extra material, it appears despite the wait we are still worse off than other regions. More on that below.

    For those yet to upgrade, below is a table comparing the remastered release of 1999 and the new edition.

 

Pulp Fiction CE (Remastered)

Pulp Fiction 2-Disc CE

Release Date

5 October 1999 21 July 2005
RPI $34.95 $29.95
Average Bitrate 5.32 Mb/s 5.92 Mb/s
Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (384Kb/s)
Isolated Music Score Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded English MPEG 2.0 silent (64Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
RSDL 104:44 77:00
Extras Menu Animation & Audio
Deleted Scenes-4 with Director introductions
Theatrical Trailers-3
Featurette (5min)
Interviews-Cast
Trivia Subtitles
Biographies-Cast
Isolated Musical Score
Menu Animation & Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Trailers-Jackie Brown, True Romance
Featurette-Pulp Fiction: The Facts
Deleted Scenes-5 with introductions by Tarantino
Featurette-The Charlie Rose Show
Featurette-Siskel And Ebert
Featurette-Production Design
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Featurette-Independent Spirit Awards Interview
Featurette-Palme d'Or Acceptance Speech
Chapters 26 31
Packaging Brackley Slip Case
Runtime 148:12 (silence after credits plus Village logo) 147:55

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    I was hoping that this new edition of the film on DVD would boast a new transfer, but unfortunately it appears nothing has been done to improve upon the flawed transfer of the previous release.

    This transfer is presented in the film's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. 16x9 enhancement is included.

    The level of sharpness is poor and any movement on screen is ghosted. If you step frame by frame, you'll notice the image is consistently doubled and cuts between shots exhibit overlapped frames. Any fast motion, be it camera pans or passing cars, is jerky and lacking in definition. Contrast is also elevated, which only serves to add to the lack of visible detail in darker scenes.

    Colouring isn't particularly vibrant and can probably be attributed to the contrast issues. I didn't notice any significant bleeding or inconsistencies.

    The ugly aliasing issues have been retained for this transfer, so the familiar blinds in the background of the opening scene are still a jagged eyesore. A spot on the camera lens can be seen at 8:30, while some very distracting moire effect is present on the TV grille at 119:30. Reel change markings have been removed, but varying degrees of film artefacting is still concentrated around these points of the film. MPEG artefacting is limited to a little grain now and then.

    English subtitles for the hard of hearing are selectable from the setup menu. The subtitle stream is timed well and keeps up with the fast paced dialogue. The subtitles also serve to introduce songs in the film's soundtrack.

    Disc one is dual layered, with the layer transition placed during the feature at 77:00 in a silent fade to black between chapters 17 and 18.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are three English soundtracks accompanying the film; dts 5.1 (768Kb/s), descriptive audio (320Kb/s), and the default soundtrack, Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s). I listened to both the dts and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks in their entirety and sampled the descriptive audio in a few brief scenes.

    The English dialogue varies in quality but is generally easy to follow. I didn't notice any ADR or audio sync issues to speak of.

    The surround channels are used sparingly for atmosphere and some spill of the musical interludes. Now and then you can hear a passing car in the rears, but as a general rule this is a frontal soundtrack. Voices are generally confined to the front centre channel for the majority of the film.

    The default audio stream (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s) contains several annoying dropouts between 30:53 and 31:00 when Mia is speaking to Vincent over the intercom in her home. These interrupt the song Son of a Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield and are very noticeable. Interestingly, these dropouts are not present in the dts soundtrack or on the former Region 4 DVD. Obviously this makes the dts option my preferred of the two soundtracks here, but in reality there is little to separate them besides the dropouts.

    The descriptive audio option is a nice inclusion for the visually impaired. The narrator is well spoken and sounds very much like the same chap who gave us the Kill Bill 2 descriptive audio.

    Rather than use a traditional score composed specifically for his film, Tarantino used recognisable, popular music. Some of the artists featured include Urge Overkill, Dick Dale, Chuck Berry, Kool & the Gang and Al Green.

    The subwoofer is used mildly to accentuate gunfire and add some bottom end to the music now and then.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu Animation & Audio

    All menu pages are 16x9 enhanced and feature some nice graphics, unlike any other region I've seen. Assorted clips from the soundtrack music loop in the background.

Disc One

Theatrical Trailer (2:35)

    This is a familiar trailer, showing recognisable scenes from the film with a voiceover. All three trailers on disc one are 16x9 enhanced.

Trailers (2)

    Two more Tarantino related trailers, for his films Jackie Brown (2:08) and True Romance (2:36).

Disc Two

    The contents of disc two can be played individually or as a whole via a play all function in the disc's main menu. Only the menus are 16x9 enhanced on disc two. This caught my attention, because on the original (remastered) Region 4 disc the deleted scenes were 16x9 enhanced, but here they are presented non-anamorphically with one extra extended scene. As Tarantino's spoken parts are full frame, it would appear these were cropped top and bottom for the previous Region 4 CE. No subtitles are provided with the extra material.

Featurette-Pulp Fiction: The Facts (30:30)

    This is essentially a half hour compilation of interviews recorded throughout the last twelve years or so. The featurette begins with a little insight into Quentin's start in the industry, followed by specific discussion about Pulp Fiction itself and how the cast was assembled. Contributors include Lawrence Bender, Sally Menke and most of the film's principal cast. The video and audio of this featurette is slightly out sync and the background music is often too loud, making the dialogue difficult to follow at times.

Deleted Scenes with introductions by Tarantino (5)

    This is the same feature that can be found on the original disc, with Tarantino introducing four of the five deleted or extended scenes. As I mentioned above, we have one additional extended scene from Jack Rabbit Slim's.

Featurette-The Charlie Rose Show - Interview with Quentin Tarantino (55:25)

    This is a fairly lengthy discussion between Charlie and Quentin, covering his childhood, his interest in films and the art of storytelling. If you've seen Charlie Rose's interviews before on DVDs such as After the Sunset or Shawshank Redemption, then you know what to expect.

Featurette-Siskel & Ebert - Pulp Faction: The Tarantino Generation (15:59)

    American film critics Siskel & Ebert dedicated an episode of their regular program to the Pulp Fiction phenomenon, revisiting their earlier panning of Reservoir Dogs, explaining why they believe Tarantino's second film is superior and attempting to diffuse the hype surrounding the film's violence. A brief but worthwhile Samuel L. Jackson interview is included.

Featurette-Production Design (6:21)

    Designers David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco talk us through some of their work contained in the film via various stills and drawings.

Featurette-Behind The Scenes

    This is separated into two sections; Jack Rabbit Slim's (4:43) and Butch Hits Marsellus (6:02). Basically this is home video footage taken on the set, offering a fly-on-the-wall glimpse of the film's production.

Featurette-Interview footage from the Independent Spirit Awards (11:28)

    Quentin Tarantino, Samuel L. Jackson, Lawrence Bender and Roger Avary are interviewed candidly by Michael Moore. It's interesting viewing but it offers more goofing about than actual insight.

Featurette-Palme d'Or Acceptance Speech (5:17)

    Quentin Tarantino, Lawrence Bender and the main cast are in attendance to accept the prestigious award.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 2-Disc CE from Miramax includes the following extra features not included in Region 4:

    Region 1 misses out on:

    There is a particularly attractive French Region 2 release comprised of 2 DVDs and a CD. Unfortunately though, it has a forced French subtitle stream. It is a very nice package, with the following extras not available in Region 4:

    Region 2 UK appears to have all the features of the Region 1 discs. Unfortunately, they've suffered a censored scene in which the shot of the needle entering Vincent's arm is zoomed so as not to show penetration of the skin. Although some sites list it as uncut, it is still altered and certainly not the director's vision.

    Judging by screen captures I have viewed of other regions, the French release has the best image by far. Their image is sharper, with more defined contrast and stronger colours, but remember that it has a forced French subtitle stream. It seems the French can manage a decent PAL transfer, but after three attempts the Region 4 is still sub-standard by a long shot.

Summary

    Pulp Fiction is a classic film packed with memorable humour and action. With a flawed default soundtrack and a video transfer that leaves much to be desired, I'm hesitant to recommend this new 2 Disc Collector's Edition. If you're into extras and haven't already purchased an import, then this may represent better value. If your player is modified to overcome disc locks, then the PAL French Region 2 is a must. The rest of us may have to wait for the 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition before we see a decent transfer of this outstanding film.

    The video transfer is below average.

    The audio transfer is comprised of a flawed default soundtrack and a less problematic dts alternative that must be selected manually.

    The extras are not quite as extensive as Regions 1 and 2.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using DVI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

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Comments (Add)
R1 Version - Stimpy (da, what's a bio Ren?)
R1 picture - Andy
R1 comparison - Anonymous
Video / Audio transfer? - NewcastleBoy (read my bio) REPLY POSTED