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Jackie Brown
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD 5.1 Surround
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Critics Corner: Then and Now
  • "JACKIE BROWN: How It Went Down" Documentary
  • "A Look Back at JACKIE BROWN" Interview with Quentin Tarantino
  • Siskel & Ebert "At the Movies" - JACKIE BROWN Review
  • JACKIE BROWN on MTV
  • Chicks with Guns Video
  • Marketing Galleries
  • Still Galleries

Jackie Brown

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Pam Grier, Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson, Bridget Fonda, Michael Keaton, Robert De Niro, Chris Tucker
1997 | 154 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $19.99 | Series: Miramax
Lionsgate

Release Date: October 4, 2011
Review Date: October 16, 2011

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amazon.com  amazon.ca

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SYNOPSIS

What do a sexy stewardess (Pam Grier), a street-tough gun runner (Samuel L. Jackson), a lonely bail bondsman (Robert Forster), a shifty ex-con (Robert De Niro), an earnest federal agent (Michael Keaton), and a stoned-out beach bunny (Bridget Fonda) have in common? They're six players on the trail of a half million dollars in cash! The only questions are...who's getting played...and who's gonna make the big score? Combining an explosive mix of intense action and edgy humor, Quentin Tarantino's crime thriller introduced Pam Grier and Robert Forster to a new generation of filmgoers and earned Forster an Oscarģ nomination.


PICTURE

Quentin Tarantinoís Jackie Brown comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate in its original aspect ratio of about 1.85:1 on this dual-layer disc in a 1080p/24hz high-definition transfer. Similar to Lionsgateís Pulp Fiction there are some decent elements to the presentation and overall itís the best way Iíve seen the film on home video but thereís room for improvement.

The image does look a little off. Though the DVD edition has a warmer look to it I felt the Blu-ray goes a little overboard and everyone has an orange tinge to them. Blacks are way too dark in most exteriors and details get lost in many sequences, while some interior sequences experience some washed out blacks that present the same problem.

Film grain is a little more noticeable here in comparison to Pulp Fiction and sharpness and detail are mostly good; close-ups present sharp fine details, but thereís some long shots, especially those taken in dim interiors, which look very smudgy. Similar to Pulp Fiction thereís also some strobing effects that are noticeable when things move quickly, which get a little irritating, and there are moments where noise is noticeable, mainly during interior shots where red lighting is used. Edge halos also make faint appearances.

The print has some minor wear and tear but itís in generally superb condition. Still, in all, itís a letdown of a transfer. The digital manipulation looks to have been a little less noticeable here, but other factors hold it back and again we get a fairly mediocre transfer for a film that deserves way better.

6/10

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AUDIO

The disc comes with a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 surround that works pretty well for the film. This isnít an overly flashy film and is far quieter than a lot of Tarantinoís other ones. It sticks primarily to the fronts, presenting clear, intelligible dialogue, and the surrounds pop in with music and some sound effects. But itís not overly aggressive and sounds natural, unlike the soundtrack for the Blu-ray of Pulp Fiction, which sounded like it was really trying to push the surrounds. In all, though, while itís a subtle track, itís crystal clear and sounds great. Fairly effective.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

The Blu-ray comes with a fairly large decent sized selection of supplements, most of which come from the previous DVD edition, yet not everything has been carried over.

Lionsgate has added one feature, a 43-minute round table discussion called Breaking Down Jackie Brown, similar to one found on the new Pulp Fiction Blu-ray, again featuring critics Elvis Mitchell, Scott Founlas, Stephanie Zacharek, Tim Lucas, and Andy Klein. Funny enough this one is actually longer than the Pulp Fiction one, running about 43-minutes. Everyone, including Zacharek (who didnít like Fiction) praise the film and get into the details of what they find so special about it, some even admitting they werenít overly fond of it the first time they saw it but it has grown on them over the years. Thereís talk about the performances and how everyone is pretty much on equal ground, and they get into the subject of how Tarantino uses race in his films. Though I canít say anything overly profound is really said here, other than possibly how the film has grown on some of the participants over the years, an interesting enough discussion does develop making it a decent inclusion. This is the only feature presented in high-definition.

The remaining supplements are carried over from the DVD edition starting with Jackie Brown: How it Went Down, a 39-minute documentary on the making of the film. Itís a fairly basic doc explaining how the production started (it started when Tarantino revisited the book) and then features interviews with the actors, explains how everyone was cast (with a lot of details about how Grier and Forster got their roles) and then discussion about the general atmosphere on the set. Other than some insight from author Elmore Leonard and a brief look at Keatonís return as Ray Nicolette in Steven Soderberghís Out of Sight itís not horrifically in-depth but offers some interesting information about the making of the film and is a decent enough distraction.

Much better is a rather low key interview with Tarantino, found under A Look Back at Jackie Brown. For 54-minutes Tarantino talks about every aspect of the film, from the adaptation to the actual production, working with the actors, and even talks quite a bit about the audience reaction to the film, even Elmore Leonardís briefly. Tarantino can be a handful in interviews but heís pretty calm here. Iíd almost say heís doing the interview unwillingly but when he gets into something that he is enthusiastic about he comes to life. It was odd because I think I would have preferred a more animated Tarantino. At any rate the discussion is informative and fairly engaging.

Next is the complete Chicks with Guns video that appears briefly in the film. After a short intro by the director explaining the segment and how it was shot we then get the video in its entirety, and though shot on video I assume it doesnít look half bad. The entire segment runs 5-minutes.

Deleted and alternate scenes follow and in total they run about 15-minutes including the brief intro by the director, who jokes about the fact that, yes, the movie was actually even longer than it is currently. Other than a couple of scenes, including one where Jacksonís and De Niroís characters walk to a bar and another scene between Grier and Forster before his character confronts Ordell at the end, the scenes are all extended or slightly different. There is also a gag alternate opening sequence where ďMisirlouĒ, the famous opening song from Pulp Fiction, plays over Grierís intro.

We then get the original review segment for the film from Siskel & Ebert where the two express their enthusiasm for the film and Tarantinoís writing. The clip runs about 5-minutes.

Jackie Brown on MTV is a somewhat ďmehĒ section featuring an ad for a contest on MTV (which is cute) and then an interview with Tarantino, Grier, and Bridget Fonda on MTV Live, which is typical PR stuff and not terribly exciting despite an energetic Tarantino.

The disc then concludes with a number of marketing materials including theatrical trailers, TV Spots, posters and a Stills Gallery loaded with production and behind-the-scenes photos, memorabilia, and more. The coolest features to be carried over from the DVD edition, though, are the trailers for select films from the careers of both Pam Grier and Robert Forster.

Youíll also find a trivia track which is a useless subtitle track that presents random facts about the film, the cast, crew, and anything else they can think of. It doesnít present anything overly helpful and has a lot of dead space.

Missing from the DVD on the other hand are the DVD-ROM enhancements, like the script viewer and trivia track. Also missing are reviews for the film, filmographies for Tarantino, Forster, and Grier, and an introduction by Tarantino. We also donít get the booklet that featured articles on the film, nor do we get the retro poster that was included with that set (though the poster gallery does show it.)

Overall not nearly as satisfying as the supplements found on Pulp Fiction, and I canít say any of it was overly-stimulating, but between the deleted scenes, the Tarantino interview, and moments of the documentary thereís some interesting material.

6/10

CLOSING

The release is a little disappointing for me since this may be my favourite Tarantino film, if by a small margin. The supplements are decent but not at all spectacular, and, like the transfer, leave a bit to be desired. I was really hoping for more from this.




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