I finally get it! Royale with cheese!!

It was Saturday night, and I just wanted to unwind and relax.  I took some donations to Goodwill, and normally I would have just dropped off the surplus, told the worker that I didn’t need a receipt, have a nice day, and drove off.

But for some reason, I decided to stop inside the Goodwill store and see if there was anything I wanted to purchase.  Usually I pace up and down the aisles once or twice, figure that there’s nothing I really need, and leave.

This time, I stopped by Goodwill’s collection of old videotapes and DVD’s, and I saw – for the huge price of $2 – a videotape of Pulp Fiction.

And at that point I realized something sad.

I never took the time to watch Pulp Fiction.


So, $2 later, the videotape was mine.  And later that night, nearly 17 years after it was originally released to movie theaters, I finally sat through Pulp Fiction.

Yeah, I probably should have watched it years ago, but you know what – there are a ton of films out there that I haven’t had a chance to watch.  And I bet there’s a ton of films out there that YOU haven’t had time to watch.  Admit it.  Come on, admit it.

Believe me, it’s not like I haven’t wanted to watch the film.  Sometimes it pops up on one of the pay cable channels, but I just never had the time to sit through the entire film.  I also know that facts about the movie have appeared as trivia questions, and the only way my Street Academy team got the answer correct was because someone on my team could recall the film from start to finish.

Example.  One Tuesday night years ago, my Street Academy teammate Dennis Truax and I were playing at McGeary’s.  The question was, “What were the first and last names of the characters played by John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction?

No clue.  As far as I knew they were Vinnie Barbarino and Nick Fury.

“I know this,” said Dennis.  “It’s Vinnie Vega and Jules Winnfield.”

And then Dennis quoted lines from the movie – the same way I can quote lines from Slap Shot or Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

“‘Yo, Vincent Vega, our man in Amsterdam. Jules Winnfield, our man in Inglewood. ‘  It’s the only time you hear Jules’ full name in the entire film, Chuck.”

Be that as it may, we won that night.

So that night, I fixed some dinner, poured some Diet Coke, and finally saw Pulp Fiction from start to finish. I understood all the cultural references and the raison d’être for the characters’ backgrounds – the world-traveling Vincent Vega and his table-hopping in European fast food restaurants; the Biblical quotations from Jules just before he kills somebody; the story of Bruce Willis as the boxer with an emotional attachment to a gold watch; and the tactic of showing the various stories in the film out of chronological sequence.  it makes you want to watch the film again, just to try to piece everything together.

Now you’re probably thinking, “Chuck, what took you so long to watch this film?  Everybody I know has seen Pulp Fiction and you’re just getting around to it?”

Yeah.  I’m just getting around to it.  And there’s a few other films I haven’t “gotten around to it” yet.  But let me ask you this – what popular films have you NOT gotten around to watching yet?  Come on, time to confess.   You know there’s something that isn’t on your Netflix queue, and even though you can rent it on Redbox, you really haven’t bothered.  It’s all right – nobody really has time to watch every film that’s ever come out.  It’s not like we’re 12 years old and doing movie reviews for YNN.

And besides – if there is ever a question about Pulp Fiction on a trivia night, I may actually know the answer as “current events” rather than as “Jeez, the last time I saw that film was what, 15 years ago…”

So again… what major films have you not yet watched?  And do you ever plan to watch them at some point?