Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino burst onto the independent scene with Reservoir Dogs, but it was Pulp Fiction which catapulted him into a type of auteur celebrity which rivaled any in recent decades. The last filmmaker to have so much of himself invested as the identity of the films themselves may have been Alfred Hitchcock. Along with the television shows and his guaranteed appearances in his own film, Hitchcock become so famously tied to his work that a simple outline of his silhouette lets us know of his involvement. Tarantino may not be there quite yet, but he already makes appearances in his film and by Pulp Fiction he was as famous as the films he produced. And this was only his sophomore film.
Pulp Fiction was also the opportunity for a comeback for John Travolta, and suddenly he was in demand after its success. This isn’t a film that stars Travolta, however, because it is an ensemble piece of brilliant non-linear crime narrative. It’s like a Robert Altman film with violence and pop-culture references. Actually, there is no way to truly describe Pulp Fiction, because it was original enough to inspire countless duplicates. The film follows a couple of hitmen (Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson) as they navigate through a series of events, including accidental deaths, overdoses and a spiritual awakening. Along the way they encounter a boxer (Bruce Willis) who is being paid by their boss to take a dive, the boss’s wife (Uma Thurman), and a couple of itchy thieves in a diner (Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer).
Although many had issues with the violence in Pulp Fiction, most of the blood and gore stays off-camera. It simply suggests the violence and leaves the rest to the imagination of the audience. In fact, much of the film is simply dialogue. This dialogue is what truly makes the film, and is the reason that Tarantino won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. That being said, it is still fantastic to have this film on high definition Blu-ray. It is also a visually pleasing film, and the high definition enhances all of the scenes in the film while also packing all of the special features from the 2-disc Collector’s Edition DVD onto this one Blu-ray disc. There are over six hours of bonus features, most of which were previously released, but the Blu-ray also has new interviews with cast members and a new retrospective by film critics on the historical impact of the film.