Thursday, January 3, 2008

Pulp Fiction

My wife and I watched Pulp Fiction a few nights ago, which I mentioned, but I haven't had time to properly blog what an outstanding movie this is. All of the great characters and the terrific casting! Obviously using formerly square John Travolta, whose Saturday Night Fever and Grease credits limited him, as the heroin thug Vincent Vega was a stroke of genius, but Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace? Wow. How about Steve Buscemi as Buddy Holly, or Rosanna Arquette in a barely noticeable role as the roomie of Vincent Vega's dealer? This movie is fantastic, for casting alone, not to mention all the great lines and scenes and stories. (Christopher Walken telling Bruce Willis's character as a child about keeping the watch up his butt? Come on!)

Anyhow, here's the cast.
Directed by
Quentin Tarantino

Writing credits
Quentin Tarantino
Roger Avary

John Travolta ... Vincent Vega
Samuel L. Jackson ... Jules Winnfield
Tim Roth ... Pumpkin (Ringo)
Amanda Plummer ... Honey Bunny (Yolanda)
Eric Stoltz ... Lance
Bruce Willis ... Butch Coolidge
Ving Rhames ... Marsellus Wallace
Phil LaMarr ... Marvin
Maria de Medeiros ... Fabienne
Rosanna Arquette ... Jody
Peter Greene ... Zed
Uma Thurman ... Mia Wallace
Duane Whitaker ... Maynard
Paul Calderon ... Paul
Frank Whaley ... Brett
Burr Steers ... Roger
Bronagh Gallagher ... Trudi
Susan Griffiths ... Marilyn Monroe
Steve Buscemi ... Buddy Holly
Eric Clark ... James Dean
Joseph Pilato ... Dean Martin
Brad Parker ... Jerry Lewis
Angela Jones ... Esmeralda Villalobos
Don Blakely ... Wilson's Trainer
Christopher Walken ... Captain Koons
Carl Allen ... Dead Floyd Wilson
Stephen Hibbert ... The Gimp
Julia Sweeney ... Raquel
Laura Lovelace ... Waitress
Michael Gilden ... Phillip Morris Page
Jerome Patrick Hoban ... Ed Sullivan
Gary Shorelle ... Ricky Nelson
Lorelei Leslie ... Mamie van Doren
Brenda Hillhouse ... Butch's Mother
Chandler Lindauer ... Young Butch
Sy Sher ... Klondike
Robert Ruth ... Sportscaster #1 - Coffee shop
Rich Turner ... Sportscaster #2
Venessia Valentino ... Pedestrian / Bonnie Dimmick
Alexis Arquette ... Man #4
Linda Kaye ... Shot Woman
Kathy Griffin ... Kathy Griffin
Quentin Tarantino ... Jimmie Dimmick
Harvey Keitel ... Winston 'The Wolf' Wolfe
Karen Maruyama ... Gawker #1
Lawrence Bender ... Long Hair Yuppy Scum
Emil Sitka ... Hold Hands You Lovebirds
Dick Miller ... Monster Joe
Glendon Rich ... Drug Dealer
Ani Sava ... Woman in Bathroom

Produced by
Lawrence Bender .... producer
Danny DeVito .... executive producer
Richard N. Gladstein .... co-executive producer
Michael Shamberg .... executive producer
Stacey Sher .... executive producer
Bob Weinstein .... co-executive producer
Harvey Weinstein .... co-executive producer

Pulp Fiction (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)

With the knockout one-two punch of 1992's Reservoir Dogs and 1994's Pulp Fiction writer-director Quentin Tarantino stunned the filmmaking world, exploding into prominence as a cinematic heavyweight contender. But Pulp Fiction was more than just the follow-up to an impressive first feature, or the winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival, or a script stuffed with the sort of juicy bubblegum dialogue actors just love to chew, or the vehicle that reestablished John Travolta on the A-list, or the relatively low-budget ($8 million) independent showcase for an ultrahip mixture of established marquee names and rising stars from the indie scene (among them Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Julia Sweeney, Kathy Griffin, and Phil Lamar). It was more, even, than an unprecedented $100-million-plus hit for indie distributor Miramax. Pulp Fiction was a sensation. No, it was not the Second Coming (I actually think Reservoir Dogs is a more substantial film; and P.T. Anderson outdid Tarantino in 1997 by making his directorial debut with two even more mature and accomplished pictures, Hard Eight and Boogie Nights). But Pulp Fiction packs so much energy and invention into telling its nonchronologically interwoven short stories (all about temptation, corruption, and redemption amongst modern criminals, large and small) it leaves viewers both exhilarated and exhausted--hearts racing and knuckles white from the ride. (Oh, and the infectious, surf-guitar-based soundtrack is tastier than a Royale with Cheese.)

Words cannot express how much I love this movie, but I will try my best. "Pulp Fiction" is one of my favorites. Quentin Tarantino is a very gifted director/writer. Although I love his directing, I must say it is his writing that really impresses me. But I will get to that later on in this review.

I think it's safe to say that the first time this movie was released on DVD, it was a little more than disappointing. There were no special features, sound and picture was so-so; I mean, my laserdisk at least had three different trailers of the movie. So, of course, I was very excited to learn that this movie was being re-released in a fully loaded special edition. Re-buying the movie was well worth it, for this edition of the movie is far superior than the other one.

The movie really consists of three different stories; not in any order. Any one of the stories could be their own little movies. The players are two hitmen, a boxer, the big boss, the big boss' wife, a crazy gun store owner, a gimp, a cop named, Zed, a man who makes problems go away, and a little suitcase with "666" for the combination. You add all this together and you get one hell of a movie.

The acting is more than superb; including one terrific cast with some heavy hitters (Travolta, Jackson, Thurman, Willis, etc.). Tarantino is a master when it comes to writing and directing. Especially when it comes to writing. I have never heard such clever and brutally honest dialogue in any other movie. I have said it before, and I will say it again; Tarantino reminds me of Raymond Carver, except with more humor.

Now, on to the special edition of this DVD. Is it better than the previous version? YES! Tons of special features, and not to forget the fact that the movie has been restored in high definition. Picture looks very clear. And the sound is also a lot better. You can watch the movie in DTS, which is always a good thing.

Special features.....where do I begin? There's a ton of them! It's not even funny how much stuff is loaded on this bad boy. And every one of them is great. Features include a documentary, an interview with Tarantino on "The Charlie Rose Show," trailers, filmographies, and many more. If you love special features, then you will not be disappointed.

"Pulp Fiction" is a great movie, and the new DVD edition is outstanding in every way. If you still have the older DVD of this movie, get this one now! If you haven't seen it yet, check it out when you can! Of course, with any other movie, there is a chance you may not like this movie. That's fine, nothing wrong with that. Don't let hype ruin your preception of the movie, just watch it as if it were any other movie. You like it, great; if not, well, at least you gave it a shot. Filled with sharp humor, great characters, outstanding dialogue, and some of the craziest surprises and twists, "Pulp Fiction" is a wonderful film, and will continue to be one of my favorites.

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