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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Surround
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • 4 Deleted scenes - introduced by Quentin Tarantino
  • 3 Theatrical trailer - Pulp Fiction, True Romance and Jackie Brown
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Featurette
  • Isolated music score - with sound effects
  • Interviews

Pulp Fiction

Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 148 mins . R . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Ok, this is the second release of this disc by Village Roadshow and the third with a new cover. How does this latest attempt fair? Well, I've modified my initial review to cater for the latest remastered release so read below and find out.

What do 2 hitmen, 2 wannabe robbers, a drug lord, a boxer, his wife, a drug dealer, 4 wannabe dealers, a problem solver and a strange Captain have in common? Nothing direct, but their lives will cross paths throughout this movie in ways only possible from the mind of Quentin Tarantino.

That's Pulp Fiction for you, a blend of the cool, the violent, the slick, the in your face, the queezy and some of the most entertaining dialogue to hit the screen in a long time. The story of two friends, Vincent (John Travolta) and Jules (Samuel L Jackson), on a mission to return the life and soul of a drug dealer and their little escapades along the merry path they have been sent.

Three stories in one, jumbled in timeline, movie-making at it's ingenious best.

  Video
Contract

Ok, this is an improvement on the previous release but there is still a problem which I'd like to inform you about later in the video section.

This is not your notorious Roadshow quality from the days of Die Hard 3. The color levels are nicely balanced throughout the movie and there is a little more black level but not as much as other discs out there. This could be the source material, which I think it is, but in the digital domain, this could have been improved a little.

The most noticeable difference from the original version is that this looks like a new transfer rather than a slightly improved laserdisc transfer. Not that the original was from the laserdisc source, but it didn't help to deter that notion. Detail is apparent from the outset and this is a much cleaner transfer which is further enhanced by the anamorphic trasnfer, but...

In the opening scene where Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer are in the diner there is noticeable shimmer/aliasing within the blinds which was very distracting at times. I hate to say it but this hasn't really improved from the original disc. I'm going to leave this as a problem with the film itself and not the transfer as the amount of blinds visible on the screen and the amount of resolution on this dvd is at a stage where it would be the worst compromise between the two, hence the aliasing.

Now onto the problem I was going to expand on from above. I'm not sure of the exact terminology I'm about to use below but I sure hope I explain it clear enough in the interim. Almost all discs that I have reviewed seem to be encoded via a frame by frame basis meaning that if you pause the disc, you get a perfect freeze frame of the scene and stepping forward yields another perfect freeze. Yet with this disc, when pausing the movie, you can clearly see that this disc has been encoded on a field by field basis meaning that the paused image is a mixture of current field with next field interleaved within giving a flickering/blinding effect. Normally you see this in the extras provided with most discs which is fair enough but I always thought the movie should be encoded on the disc in the best way possible. The scary part is that the transfer looks good despite this encoding. I hope that was clear enough and if anyone can shed some light on the topic I'd love to hear their explanation.

In conclusion, this disc seems to be a truer anamorphic transfer which we can boast about compared to our region 1 US cousins, but not the transfer we should write home about.

  Audio
Contract

Pulp Fiction is not a surround experience, its a dialogue movie yet this version seemed a little more 'open' in the surround department than my initial review.

Dialogue came from the center channel and you guessed it again, there was NO audio synch issues at all. Could it be, 2 of the latest discs from VR not exhibiting their one achilles heel? I hope the problem has been resolved and this trend will continue. If not, take note VR, you did something right with the audio on these latest 2 discs so whatever it was, keep doing it.

Environment effects and effects in general came from the mains with little surround usage apart from the occasional musical soundtrack score where it seemed to open up spatially mid to front stage.

It was nice to hear the original music soundtrack again as it is a great soundtrack indeed. One thing that did scare the living crap out of me though was the use of sound effects in the menu. Once you made a selection the menu music would stop then 2 seconds later you'd hear a WAY too loud gunshot that sounded like it was going to blow my speakers. This still scared the life out of me even though I should have known it was coming.

We are offered a Dolby 5.1 soundtrack, a Dolby Surround soundtrack and a unique Isolated musical score/sound effects track whereby everything bar the dialogue is heard. This is different to your normal isolated musical score in that the music doesn't really continue playing even though the music in the scene has ended. A nice addition not mentioned in the back of the case.

  Extras
Contract

Ok, if you've owned the laserdisc special edition then you are getting the same thing, sans one small thing. When Tarantino is introducing the missing scenes, on the laserdisc version he states something to the effect of "I included these extras on the laserdisc because laserdisc is so cool and only cool people have laserdisc so I made it available to them" or something to that effect of the top of my head. It seems that this version does include his referal to laserdisc which was not in the original release.

What are the extras? Well, from the original release we have two things:

  • 4 deleted scenes
    • An extended dialogue when Eric Stoltz is selling drugs to Travolta - nothing special.
    • Mia interviews Vincent with a Hi8 camera and asks him certain questions before they go out for their dinner.
    • An extended dialogue cab scene
    • An extended dialogue scene with Mr Wolf in the scrap yard.
  • 5 minute featurette
    A "making of" narrated type scene that is pretty much your typical roadshow conglomeration of shorts.
  • Cast/Crew Biography
    On Qunetin Tarantion, Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Sam Jackon and Uma Thurman. You can tell this has been updated for this release as their respective latest movies are now included such as Star Wars: The Phantom Menace for Sam Jackson.

What is included extra on this new release is:

  • More Tarantino Trailers
    Trailers to the films True Romance and Jackie Brown. A nice hidden touch that is not listed on the cover.
  • Film Trivia
    A three page list of trivia notes about the movie. One I didn't know was that Steve Buscemi was the Buddy Holly waiter at the Jack Rabbit Slims restaurant. Yes, I truly didn't recognise him.
  • Interviews
    These are very short interviews re: the standard format from VR and seem to be slight extentions to the small featurette above.
  • Isolated musical score
    I wasn't expecting this but it's there, including all the sound effects from the movie on the same track.

As you can see, some interesting additions.

  Overall  
Contract

Ok, this is an improvement on the previous version but I still can't help but wonder what format the video is encoded in. I like the fact that the audio synch issues are gone and the added bonuses in the extras was a nice touch too. A much better disc overall.


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      And I quote...
    ""
    - Steve Koukoulas
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-505 Gold
    • TV:
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    • Receiver:
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    • Speakers:
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    • Centre Speaker:
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    • Surrounds:
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    • Audio Cables:
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    • Video Cables:
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      Recent Reviews:
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