While I was away at Fantastic Fest, I got so crazy busy that I was unable to interview Pam Grier and Robert Forster about "Jackie Brown," which is one of two Quentin Tarantino films arriving on Blu-ray this week.
I mean that sincerely, too. I love "Jackie Brown." I think if you counted how many times I've seen each of Tarantino's films, "Jackie" would be the clear winner. It's the emotional journey the film takes me on that I keep going back for. Everytime I reach the reprise of "Across 110th Street," I feel the same surge of adrenaline and emotion, the same sensation of running towards the future, free and finally realizing what that means. I love the performances, the cinematography, the dialogue, the relationships, the soundtrack. It didn't feel like a 1997 film when it came out, and it still feels timeless. The Blu-ray transfer is superlative, rich and film-like, and it sounds amazing.
It's been a lot longer since I've seen "Pulp Fiction." I've been a fan of Tarantino's since well before "Reservoir Dogs" came out. When the film was casting, a friend of mine slipped me the script, and as soon as I saw that page at the beginning with a list of influences, I knew I was reading the work of someone with a direct line to my inner film nerd. By the time "Pulp Fiction" opened in the US, I was positively rabid to see it.
The buzz out of Cannes was amazing, and we went to the opening night prime time show at the Chinese Theater. Sold out. Packed. Palpable excitement in the house before the film began. If you only know the film from home video, you have no idea how audiences reacted to it in the theater. Applause. Huge waves of laughter. Even screams in certain places. It was an audience participation experience, and it was magical. I left drunk not only on that one movie, but drunk on movies in general. I still think it's sort of unreal that the film became a bona fide box office sensation, and I'm glad it happened, even if it led to a glut of crappy imitators later. I'm glad it happened because every once in a while, we need to have a happy accident like that, a movie that succeeds simply because of the pleasures it offers, and not because of marketing muscle or brand name recognition.
Revisiting "Pulp Fiction" on Blu-ray, watching the film for the first time in over a decade, I fell in love with it all over again. All the things I remembered loving, I still love, but I'm glad I gave myself a long time between viewings because the film worked on me as something fresh this time, with all the smaller details really popping because of how long it's been since I've seen them. And again, the transfer here is incredible. I wish I had the financial ability to buy film prints and the right set up to play them, but I don't, and probably won't. For now, the standard set by some of these Blu-ray transfers is about as close to a film print as I can imagine.
We've got a clip for you that's embedded at the top of the story today that features Samuel L. Jackson talking about the experience of shooting the film, and it's just a glimpse at the extras that are featured on both discs. Even if extra features don't interest you, these transfers are worth the upgrade, and these stand as some of the very best examples I've seen of how a film can benefit from a high-definition transfer.
Still doubt my word? I'm going to give you a chance to see for yourself, as part of a giveaway. "A giveaway of what?" you ask. Ahhhh... check this out...
1 GRAND PRIZE WINNER RECEIVES
1 Signed Jackie Brown Blu-ray Cover (Signed by Pam Grier and Robert Forster)
1 Jackie Brown Blu-ray
1 Pulp Fiction Blu-ray
3 RUNNER'S UP EACH RECEIVE
1 Jackie Brown Blu-ray
1 Pulp Fiction Blu-ray
Pretty swanky, right? Four opportunities to win. And one of you gets bragging rights with a special cover signed by Jackie Brown and Max Cherry. But how? How are we going to decide who gets the special shiny things?
Easy. I'm going to pick the four winners from this comments section. All you have to do is tell me which character from "Pulp Fiction" you'd like to see in another movie, and what that movie would be. Personally, I'm still waiting for Tarantino to make "The Shepherd," a movie about Jules walking the Earth like Kung-fu, doing everything he can to be a good man. I'd watch the crap out of that.
But how about you? Leave your answers here, and the best one posted by Monday morning, 9:00 AM PST, is the grand prize winner, with three runners-up also to be chosen.
Can't wait to see what you guys come up with.
"Pulp Fiction" and "Jackie Brown" are in stores now.