Buena Vista Home Ent., $29.99 ea.
At the height of Pulp Fiction hysteria, Roger Ebert offered unsolicited career advice to then-ubiquitous Quentin Tarantino: "Slow down and take care of business—writing and directing movies." Few could've predicted, or in retrospect hoped, that Tarantino would go Salinger on us, helming only Jackie Brown and a forgettable finale to Four Rooms in the last eight years. With revenge thriller Kill Bill kinda sorta on the horizon, the timing of these two separate double-disc DVD showcases (Aug. 20) couldn't be better.
Jackie is the more informative and reverent package of the two. We haven't seen much of veterans Pam Grier, Michael Keaton, or Oscar-nominated Robert Forster since, but Tarantino smartly extols their work in a dignified "A Look Back" interview and even includes trailers for gritty old Grier and Forster vehicles. QT is as self-aware as ever in assessing Jackie's disappointing box office; vacuous cast interviews with MTV's Carson Daly proved an omen that "the kids" weren't ready for a nuanced Elmore Leonard adaptation, despite the universal appeal of the "Chicks with Guns" infomercial, available here in its glorious entirety.
Many of Pulp's extras—a Charlie Rose interview and the making-of documentary—curiously reference Tarantino's legendary rise from Video Archives clerk to Reservoir Dogs renegade, a tale better suited for, yes, a Dogs DVD (reviewed here next week). Luckily, the deleted scenes, particularly a stoned video-camera exchange between Uma Thurman and John Travolta, have the magic, despite Tarantino's superbly ironic caveat that some "sound more like someone trying to write like me than . . . me."
Sounding a lot like the King are the subjects of the locally made Elvis impersonator doc Almost Elvis; for the real article, Fox has issued several genuine Presley articles (including Love Me Tender) to disc. Better acted imminent releases include Iris and The Cat's Meow (Aug. 20). The same date sees kid flicks like Return to Never Land and 1984's Gremlins, teen fare including All About the Benjamins (with Ice Cube) and The Master (with Jet Li), and the awful Tim Allen family comedy Joe Somebody.