Jackie Brown DVD Review

Cover Art & Packaging: 10/10
The packaging is pure Vista Series, even though it does not fall under the Vista Series banner. A gatefold sleeve features printed picture disc DVDs that blend in with the background of the sleeve. There is also a booklet and a small fold out poster of Jackie brown for your bedroom wall :).

Extras & Features: 10/10
The extras are worth the price of admission alone. There is so much to see and hear here that it will keep you occupied for many hours. Unfortunately, as with the Pulp Fiction disc there is a distinct lack of commentary from Quentin but a cool DVD-ROM feature lets you follow the screenplay along with the movie as a consolation prize. Below are my thoughts on each of the extras.

  • Jackie Brown: How It Went Down Documentary – A 30 minute look behind the scenes of how the movie was made. Each character of the movie is dealt with and how Quentin managed to cast each actor in his/her specific role.
  • A Look Back At Jackie Brown” Interview With Quentin Tarantino – A recent interview with Quentin concerning the film that almost makes up for the lack of commentary (Almost).
  • Chicks With Guns Video – Probably my favorite extra on the disc. The full length version of the movie Samuel L Jackson and Robert Di Nero are watching at the start of the movie. Needless to say, if you like girls in bikinis playing with high powered rifles (what man doesn’t?) then this is for you 🙂
  • Deleted and Alternate Scenes – A few deleted scenes presented by Mr. Tarantino himself. Worth owning the DVD to see one missing scene with Pam Grier and Michael Keaton improvising. (Pam is so good at it she cracks Michael up totally)
  • Siskel & Ebert “At the Movies” Jackie Brown Review – The review from Siskel and Ebert’s TV show that should not be watched before you have seen the main feature. Mr. Ebert has a very good knack of giving away complete plots before you have seen the movie. Needless to say, it did get 2 thumbs up.
  • Jackie Brown on MTV – A couple of clips from the Jackie Brown Christmas special on MTV with a very very young Carson Daley interviewing Bridgett Fonda, Quentin and Pam Grier. Also, a cool trailer for a contest that MTV held to win the 25 grand featured in Jackie Brown.
  • Pam Grier & Robert Forster Movie Trailers –  See the trailers of all those awful movies Robert Forster appeared in and also see the cool trailer for Foxy Brown 🙂
  • TV spots & Trailer – The entire collection of Jackie brown TV Spots and the Theatrical trailer for your viewing pleasure.
  • Stills, Reviews, And Filmographies – Lots of behind the scenes stills and Filmographies of all the major players.
  • DVD ROM Features – I am not a big fan of DVD ROM content but this disc has the entire screenplay tucked away in its DVD ROM hidey hole.

The Movie: 10/10
Released a few years after Quentin’s hugely successful movie Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown had a lot of hype to live up to. The story was taken from the book “Rum Punch” written by Elmore Leonard, a Blaxploitation writer who thought Tarantino would bring his vision to life on the silver screen like no other director could. Quentin went on to make, in my opinion, a film that equals Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. The film didn’t receive great praise on its debut, mainly because the critics were expecting another Pulp Fiction. But, if you look past any preconceived notions to compare Jackie Brown to Pulp Fiction, this movie is very rich and varied on a number of levels.

Jackie Brown, played by the sublime Pam Grier, is a forty-something air hostess who has a fairly mundane life. An associate, Ordell played by Sam Jackson, gets her into a situation she really should have never been involved with and an ongoing “Caper” ensues. Pam Grier plays the part amazingly as Quentin says in one of the documentary’s on the disc. “Pam was made for the part, I have been a fan for many years” This is one thing Quentin does especially well, he really knows how to choose a cast. Bringing back “Robert Forster” from the dead so to speak (the actor did straight to video movies for many years, including the terrible Maniac Cop 3) this movie really is his return to greatness. In fact, Forster was nominated for best actor in a supporting role for his portrayal of the calm bail bondsman Max Cherry. The rest of the cast are also top notch including a superb performance from Mr. Beetlejuice himself, Michael Keaton, as the cop in charge of the case.

A special note must be made of the dialogue in Jackie Brown. It is some of the best that Quentin has ever written. Tarantino’s movies are mostly dialog based. If you notice, in Pulp Fiction it’s not the action that sucks you in so much as the long intense conversations between the characters. The same should be said for Reservoir Dogs, which has the same intensity with very little action at all. Not only does Quentin write, he also Directs and Produces a man of many talents indeed.

Value: 10/10
Miramax/Disney really know how to do special editions when they set there mind’s to it. This two disc set features hours of special extras along with a nice Anamorphic transfer of the movie. You certainly get a lot of stuff for your money with this one. The disc can be found online for as little as $17.99.

Over All: 10/10
A superb movie, on a par with both of Quentin’s other blockbusters. The extras and excellent packaging are just icing on the cake. Shame Quentin didn’t do a commentary, maybe that will be reserved for the 20th anniversary DVD’s 🙂

Overall Score 10/10