Looking over his illustrious career it’s easy to dismiss Pulp Fiction as ‘early Tarantino but it’s essential to remember it was the film that put him on the map. Yes, Reservoir Dogs had garnered him a name in Hollywood but it wasn’t until Pulp Fiction that the world really sat up and took notice. So it is with great excitement to finally have a 4K UHD release of what remains one of Tarantino’s finest films.
A portmanteau of the Los Angeles criminal underworld Pulp Fiction follows a collection of characters with varying motives and outlooks on life. There’s Vincent (John Travolta) the hitman just looking to find his place in the world. His colleague Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) who is looking to get out of the criminal game. Butch (Bruce Willis) a boxer who is paid to throw a fight and might be having second thoughts. Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) a mob-boss’s wife who just wants to have a good time and Marsellus (Ving Rhames), the mob boss whose reach is far and anger knows no bounds.
Pulp Fiction represents the very best of Tarantino, it is a film that arguably will be remembered as his defining film. It’s got that lethargic sense of cool, dialogue so crisp it shatters as it leaves characters’ mouths’ and an all star cast all on career best form. More than anything it shows Tarantino’s ability to eek out tension from the simplest of scenes. It has since become a staple of his films but Pulp Fiction was the first time we had one of these moments. The scene in which Jackson and Travolta burst in on a group of drug dealers having their breakfast treads that incredible line between being laugh-out-loud funny and hide behind the sofa terrifying. Few filmmakers can conjure such a balance, even fewer can actually make it work but in Tarantino’s hands it doesn’t just work, it’s a genuine highlight.
With so much of the film often being people talking in various locations it’s easy to underestimate how visually arresting Pulp Fiction is but watching it in this glorious 4K reminds you of this. From the bright Californian sunshine of the diner scene to the brooding dark bar where Butch meets Marsellus, Tarantino’s aesthetics effortlessly draw you into the world he’s created.
For fans of Tarantino or those looking to upgrade their 4K collection this release of Pulp Fiction is a delight. Despite Tarantino having previously said he’s not a huge fan of 4K medium this disc could be what converts him. Pulp Fiction remains a seminal piece of cinema and an utter joy to revisit time and again.
Pulp Fiction is out now on 4K Ultra HD™ + Blu-ray™, and 4K Ultra HD™ + Blu-ray™ Limited-Edition Collector’s SteelBook®