Reservoir Dogs (11/20/12)

Reservoir DogsMovie Two Hundred Sixty Six

A bank robbery goes wrong the group tries to find out who is the rat of the group in Reservoir Dogs.

A group of eight men are having breakfast in a diner discussing the plans for a heist, among other things. The men include theorganizer, Joe (Lawrence Tierney), his son, “Nice Guy” Eddie (Chris Penn), Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr. Blue (Eddie Bunker), and Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino). Cut to shortly after the robbery and Mr. Orange is bleeding in the back of Mr. White’s car. After they arrive back at the meeting place, Mr. Pink thinks they were setup by a rat in the group.

Quentin Tarantino stormed onto the movie scene with Reservoir Dogs and 20 years later, the film still holds up incredibly well. It’s smartly written and shot and is just a raw film. Tarantino may have become a household name with Pulp Fiction, but I would argue that Reservoir Dogs is almost as good. In fact, I think I may prefer Reservoir Dogs nine times out of ten. The ensemble cast and small scale of Reservoir Dogs makes you feel like you are there in the warehouse trying to figure out what to do next alongside Mr. White and Mr. Pink while Mr. Orange is bleeding to death.

When the story begins to come together in a traditional Tarantino non-linear way, the story doesn’t feel like it’s expanding into something larger it’s just building itself up. Added to the mix is the interspersed bits of radio hits from 70s from K-Billy which give Reservoir Dogs one of the best soundtracks around. In fact, it’s one of three soundtracks I purchased physical copies of (the other two are Pulp Fiction and Drive, if you were curious).

There are times when Reservoir Dogs feels a bit rough around the edges and it is admittedly hard to tell if that is lack of experience on Tarantino’s part, low budgeting, or simply the look the film was supposed to have. There are few special effects and much of the film takes place with just a few guys on screen in a warehouse. Considering its scale, Reservoir Dogs does a tremendous job to make something special and it brought us one of the most debated directors working today.

I watched Reservoir Dogs as part of the incredible Tarantino XX blu-ray box set. While the set doesn’t have a ton of additional extras if you already own the films included, having all of Tarantino’s films in one set is pretty great for fans of his work.

I give it 5 “why am I Mr. Pink?”s out of 5.

Links:

Rotten Tomatoes

IMDB

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27 responses to “Reservoir Dogs (11/20/12)

  1. I played “Stuck in the Middle with you” at an open mic night once, making reference to this movie before I started. Sadly, nobody seemed to get it 😦 Love this movie

  2. My favourite Quentin Tarantino film, its realism and direction is supurb, but Pulp Fiction is a close second. Sometimes it blows my mind how amazing QT is and how those two films influenced so many future directors. Great review!

    ~ Chris

    • I don’t really understand why Tarantino gets so much flak. Sure, his films are derivatives of other films but that is part of what makes them good. It’s not like he’s mashing together things that don’t work, he mashes things together and makes them awesome.

  3. It’s all about your mood. Pulp Fiction is a relatively easy watch because in the end it’s pretty light-hearted (as the title implies). Reservoir Dogs is not just something you can watch a million times and throw on for fun. The acting is so superb you feel like you’re watching real people really dying.

    • I had debated with a friend whether or not this film was supposed to have a rough feel to it or if it was just because of budget and whatever else. I still think it’s intentional in the same way that Death Proof was a terrible movie but it was SUPPOSED to be since it was literally the b-movie for Grindhouse.

  4. Pingback: My November Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

  5. I have always found Reservoir Dogs very entertaining. Tarantino took the best bits from a 1987 Chinese film titled City on Fire. City on Fire can be matched, in some sequences at least, almost shot for shot. But, and it’s a big but, City on Fire had pacing problems and it spent too much time on the build up. Tarantino cut out all the build up and focused on just before the robbery and after.

    Despite his claim that he based it upon The Killing by Stanley Kubrick is a bit of a falsehood, I found out quite by accident that the film is a direct re-working of the 1987 Chinese film.

    Still a great film, enjoyable to watch and full of a couple of stand out performances. Great review as always. 😀

      • Oddly enough I had a copy or the film for years. I had only watched it once or twice (enough to see the blaring similarities between the two films) It was broken in a house move and I’ve not bought a replacement. Like I said, the pacing sucked. 🙂

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