Quentin Tarantino’s debut feature, Reservoir Dogs, gets the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray treatment over a month after its 30th anniversary.
A few filmmakers changed the game for independent filmmaking when their films played Sundance: Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, and Steven Soderbergh. Soderbegh started first with Sex, Lies, and Videotape in 1989. Tarantino was next with Reservoir Dogs in 1992. Finally, you had Kevin Smith premiere Clerks in 1992. While this film didn’t do much at the box office upon its release, it managed to find an audience with the release of Pulp Fiction.
This film is about a group of diamond thieves–Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino), Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr. Blue (Edward Bunker), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), and Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi)–and their bosses, Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) and his son, Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn). I’m not really going to dive into the plot here because I’m sure you’re familiar with the film. They are very violent and profane, which isn’t surprising since this is a Tarantino movie. If anything, the use of a certain word in this film wouldn’t be used if it were being made today for the first time. Throw in the pop culture references and non-linear storytelling style and you have the basis for what has become a Tarantino trademark through the years.
The torture scenes are definitely a bit much. This just goes without saying. I mean, I kept watching the film until the very end but it’s a scene that is not easy on the eyes.
Watching them discuss Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” has got to be up there with the Munich discussion in Knocked Up. Such discussions can make a film feel dated but when it’s excellent when it is done properly as it is here. That they go from the song to discussing tipping just happens to lighten the mood. Speaking of songs, the soundtrack is phenomenal–some of which are also accompanied by characters dancing on screen. The torture scene in the film features “Stuck in the Middle with You” and you can’t help but sing along.
While both films are very different, one can see how Tarantino is able to draw inspiration from Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing. However, it would make for a fascinating double feature in watching their use of the camera, etc. There are other homages throughout the film. Tarantino is a cinephile himself and it shows in his films. Speaking from personal experience in December 2019, the man can hold court and talk film all evening long.
Quentin Tarantino hit a home run with his feature debut, Reservoir Dogs, and cinema would never be the same.
- Deleted Scenes
- Playing It Fast and Loose
- Profiling the Reservoir Dogs
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Quentin Tarantino
CAST: Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Edward Bunker, Quentin Tarantino, and Tim Roth
Miramax released Reservoir Dogs in theaters on October 9, 1992. Grade: 4.5/5
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