Review: Tarantino XX BluRay box set
(Deutsche Version) Just in time for Django Unchained, a box of Tarantino’s first 20 years of filmmaking were released (fans hope/know there’ll be another 20 years of awesome movies, despite of what he says in interviews). Titled “Tarantino XX”, the box boasts all his feature directorial efforts plus True Romance, plus some exclusive extras. It is a BluRay box, however markets like Germany also get the DVD treatment, due to low penetration of the HD format among average customers. We’ve taken a closer look, however we’ll spare you ten pages of review, as the movie discs are identical with previously available BluRay releases of those titles.
All discs come with new menus which is pretty cool, and all the exclusive extras you know from their individual releases. That’s tons more extras than previously available on DVD mind you. All discs look great, however the older the more impressive the restauration. Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown had new, director-approved transfers, and Reservoir Dogs also looks quite amazing. I am a bit disappointed by the newer movies, they just don’t look as crisp as they could, Inglourious Basterds being a particular disappointment from a technical standpoint.
There are a number of Django Unchained trailers included in HD on the bonus disc, too. The two international trailers, two domestic trailers (on the German one also two dubbed trailers) and the rare red band trailer. It is pretty cool to enjoy these on a big screen in HD.
The Jackie Brown Q&A by FilmIndependent is a lengthy panel with Quentin, Robert Forster, Pam Grier and Elvis Mitchell, filmed after a Jackie Brown screening a while back. It is a great trip down memory lane, with many nice stories unveiled. One might wonder why that’s not on the Jackie Brown BluRay disc, but it’s great it’s included. At over 30 minutes, it’s really a good in-depth look at the movie. The only bummer is the horrible microphones they had on the stage.
The 20 years of filmmaking retrospective is an over two hour look at Quentin’s career mostly in interview format, with friends and colleagues remembering his rise to fame, the different stations in his early career, and more. It’s divided up into chapters, “Getting the director directing” runs almost 40mins and is mostly about the Reservoir Dogs days. “No sophomore jinx here. It’s Pulp Fiction” runs 20mins and is about the making of Pulp, and then “Anything is possible. The aftermath of Pulp Fiction” is short at 10mins, turns a little bit to From Dusk Till Dawn, Desperado and Four Rooms and what followed. “How to follow up a one-two punch” is about Jackie Brown and a bit more extensive at 20mins. “Bringing his love of cinema to the world” runs 10mins and is mostly about the QT Film Festival, his movie references and how he opens peoples’ eyes to genres. In “Quentin the mentor” (10mins) Eli Roth, The RZA etc speak about how Quentin is their mentor, in how they went on to do, e.g. Hostel and The Man with the Iron Fists. The sad chapter is “Sally Menke, Quentin’s greatest collaborator” it runs 20mins and is a homage to Q’s great companion who passed away tragically, making Django Unchained the first QT movie without her. “The World’s greatest showman” runs at 15mins and is about collaboration among his colleagues and partnerships such as that with Robert Rodriguez. Unfortunately the disc I have was faulty and cut off at the end of it.
The rest of the disc (the Region A box has a separate disc for this) is the “Critics Corner” hosted by Elvis Mitchell. A few critics sat down with him to discuss Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, etc. It comes in three parts and altogether runs at almost 5h (!). I have to say I find this space could have been more efficiently used with better extras, than some boring critics talking about his movies for a few hours.
Lastly, the German edition has the critics corner on the same disc as the other bonus material, so maybe that’s why there’s a glitch. The others are actually 10 disc sets.
Boxes are always a tough thing to review. I’ll make it very simple: depending on whether or not you already own most of the movies on BluRay, this is either a no-brainer, or probably not worth the money unless you like the packaging and some of the newer extras. If you don’t own all of them on BluRay yet, now’s your chance. All of them in a great box at a decent price, there’s no better way to show off to your friends that you’re a fan than by owning this box. The bonus discs are nice but not revolutionary and of course all the individual discs are – aside from new menus – identical with previously released BluRay versions. The box is also not entirely comprehensive, they could have included Four Rooms, yet they didn’t, but there’s always a fine line in terms of definition when putting together a box like that. Click here for more details on Tarantino XX