by John Larkin
PULP FICTION is available at retailers everywhere.
Not long ago a friend asked me who my favorite living director was. It was a loaded question and in order to answer it I had to run through a slew of possible choices; Scorsese, P.T. Anderson, The Coen Brothers, to name a few. They all had films that I would count among my favorite but I struggled to decide who the top choice was. It then occurred to me that the real question to be asked should be which director gives me the most excitement when a new film of theirs if about to come out. The answer was very easily, Quentin Tarantino.
PULP FICTION was one of the first films I watched through my NETFLIX subscription. Not the giant steaming platform that it is today but the original DVD shipment service started over twenty years ago that made it possible to get your hands on almost any film on disc. Netflix was my gateway to discovering all the classics and PULP FICTION was at the top of the list. I was 15 years old on my first viewing and to say the film floored me would be an understatement. I had never experienced anything like it and It played a huge role in shaping my life as a filmmaker and editor. I had just started making short films in High School at the time and the subsequent short films I made in the years after were heavily influenced by Tarantino, not so much dialogue wise but by how I would shoot the films and my music choices.
That fall KILL BILL VOL. 1 was released in theaters and Tarantino would be cemented as my all time favorite filmmaker. As a 4K UHD fanatic Tarantino fans still have both KILL BILL volumes and JACKIE BROWN to look forward to being released. But for now, let's talk about what is still probably Tarantino's all time best film, PULP FICTION.
PULP FICTION has been at the top of my 4K release wish-list for years and now the time has finally come. PULP FICTION was conceived of by Tarantino and Roger Avary, Tarantino's co-writer on the film and former colleague at The Video Archives video rental store in Hermosa Beach, California. Avary had written scenes for TRUE ROMANCE (1993) that never made it into the final draft but were moved over to form what would eventually become the original script for PULP FICTION. Pulp Fiction's most striking and memorable element is the dialogue between the characters. To this day there is no other film in cinema history that has as many memorable and indelible dialogue exchanges as PULP does. Combined with Tarantino's tight robust direction and a stellar cast and you got a masterpiece of modern cinema.
The film exploded onto the cinema landscape in 1994, winning the Palm D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival before going on to becoming a box office smash and pop culture sensation. The film's unconventional chronology, eclectic dialogue, intense style and memorable soundtrack created a watershed moment in modern filmmaking that spawned a slew of imitator's looking to capture the magic that PULP emanated from the screen. Nothing like it has ever been made since and probably never will again.
PULP FICTION was nominated for 7 Academy Awards but only won for Best Screenplay which went to Tarantino and Avary. Today, Tarantino, Roger Avary and Avary's daughter Gala produce a fantastic podcast called THE VIDEO ARCHIVES PODCAST where they watch titles on VHS from Quentin and Roger's days working at the video store and discuss their thoughts on the films at length.
The original early 90's Miramax Films logo that opens the film.
I'm elated to report that Paramount has done a superb job with the 4K restoration. The transfer is beautiful with the perfect amount of grain and no noticeable DNR. The contrast and black levels are perfect and there were only a few brief shots that seemed to have some age and noise that couldn't be properly restored to match the consistency of the image throughout. The bit rate stays consistently around 65 Mbps throughout the entire film minus the white on black chapter cards.
PULP FICTION's 5.1 DTS track is flawless with no noticeable noise, hiss or distortion. The dialogue has never crackled better and the soundtrack has never sounded so sonically seductive.
All of the legacy extras from the blu-ray and DVD are included with this set. Unfortunately nothing new here as far as special features. The most recent special feature made is the "Not the Usual Mindless Boring Getting to Know You Chit Chat" which is featured in HD and includes interviews with several cast members discussing their involvement in the film.
PULP FICTION arrives in 4K just in time for the Holiday season and would make a great gift for the film fan in your life, or treat yourself to one of the all time greats in one of the best 4K releases of 2022.