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"Reservoir Dogs" is simply magnificent. Filmed almost all the time in a
warehouse, where the strength is a failed heist that does not even
appear. A thriller that traps with their dialogues, mythical scenes
(from the talk of the cafeteria to "stuck in the middle with you"),
Tarantino shows that it is able to do with a couple of good ideas,
because just about any other director would have done a seedy film with
many scenes to simply put more shootings. Then there are the
flashbacks, which are telling the story so that the viewer does not
know what's even necessary. The music is also great, especially the
issue of principle and "stuck in the middle with you". The actors, the
best of the independent scene of the 90, especially Buscemi, Roth and
Keitel, and of course, Tarantino
It is a film without many resources, but which need more, achieved a great stage, in addition to publicize the current "enfant terrible" of Hollywood.
In short, a great example of good cinema black (with all its ingredients: gunfights, violence, betrayal, suspense ., But with the very personal and innovative touch of the great director, who later would dazzle with the wonderful "Pulp Fiction ".
Quentin Tarantino's first movie before he gained fame with pulp
fiction, reservoir dogs is about a gang of criminals hired to do a
The story is told in out of order scenes that show the events leading up to the heist and the things that happen after. The characters use colours instead of names so no one can rat them to the cops, and the entire cast give career-top performances. Harvey Keitel takes the lead as Mr.White and is in my opinion the best performance of his career, Tim Roth plays Mr.Orange in one of his earliest roles, playing the young member of the crew doing one of his first jobs. While Micheal Madsen plays the psycho Mr.Blonde in another top role. Other performances include Chris Penn and Tarantino himself.
The story moves a lot quicker than other Tarantino work, while keeping all of his trademarks like a great 70s inspired soundtrack and chunky well written dialogue that moves the plot along.
Overall Reservoir dogs isn't QT's best movie but is still a brilliantly fun crime movie that has became one of the most iconic and quotable films of the 90s. Its features tons of famous scenes that became huge in pop culture including Micheal Madsen's controversial scene with a policeman.
I'd definitely recommend.
Reservoir Dogs is the debut film of director Quentin Tarrantino. While
its not a masterpiece like his later effort Pulp Fiction. For a first
time effort coming from a video store clerk who didn't go to film
school, this is a remarkable achievement in the world of independent
The storyline is simple. Crime lord, Joe Cabot and his son "Nice Guy" Eddie have arranged a diamond heist. To cover their tracks, they hire several associates who don't know each other personally and thus can't give information out in case they get arrested. These associates are Mr White (played by Harvy Keitel), Mr Pink (played by Steve Buscemi), Mr Orange (Tim Roth), Mr Blonde (Michael Madson), Mr Brown (in a cameo by Quentin Tarrantino) and Mr Blue (played by real life former criminal Eddie Bunker). The heist immediately fails ending with a massacre that leaves Brown and Blue dead, Orange has been shot, leaving it to others to figure out who snitched them. What makes the plot interesting is not in the story itself but how it's told. When discussing mainstream cinema, Andy Warhol said that "All the interesting bits of a film are left in the cutting room floor". Reservoir Dogs is the anti thesis of Hollywood filmmaking. Yes, the heist happens but we don't see it. What we get however, is the events that happen before and after, feeding enough details to figure out what happened.
This is Tarrantino's skill as both story teller and director, he can make details or characters we don't even see seem significant. Part of this is easily attributed to the excellent script. This is where the dialogue deserves a special mention. In an ordinary film, the dialogue is typically used just to explain the plot to the audience. Tarrantino breaks this rule by letting his characters converse from Brown's graphic explanation of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" to the humorous interaction between Eddie and Blonde. By avoiding the usual traps that plague Hollywood films, Tarrantino manages to make a movie solely dedicated to its characters and their knee jerk reactions to the heist.
Raising the mark even further for the film is the carefully chosen ensemble cast. Harvey Keitel is superb as Mr White. His skills shine in the films early scenes where he shows his empathy with the dying Mr Orange. One might say that this portrayal is almost the exact opposite of the typical hardened criminal.
Michael Madson, whilst having a limited screen time delivers the films most infamous scene as Mr Blonde, a psychotic criminal who is both brutal and cool. His dry deadpan delivery sets up most of the films tension. Perhaps the most memorable performance however goes to Steve Buscemi as Mr Pink. Out of the entire cast or characters, Pink is the most interesting which is ironic given that he is the only character we know nothing about. Buscemi manic performance proves equal match for Pinks loyalty and concerns about what is "professional" in the crime world. It is the films finest and most articulated performance. Reservoir Dogs is still not perfect though and I wouldn't recommend it to all people. For starters, Tim Roth's performance as Mr Orange while strong suffers greatly from his constantly slipping vernacular. You won't be sure is he's Italian American Mafioso, a street wise kid or simply a whiny brat. Thankfully, his most of his dialogue is kept to minimum as he spends much of his screen time lying in a pool of blood. Secondly the level of violence in this movie is bloody and gratuitous, peaking at the torture scene which was reportedly disturbing enough to prompt several people to leave the theatre. Yes the film is violent, but in the stylized way of the Hong Kong films that inspired it. Thirdly, the film is full of enough profanity laden dialogue to fill a text book. I don't actually mind it though, as it makes sense given that these characters are p*ssed off at the failure of such a carefully planned heist. But if you cant stomach excessive bad language, then isn't the film for you. These arguments should not be seen as detractors to the film though. Would I recommend Reservoir Dogs? That depends. If you're a cinephile, a pop culture fanatic or just want to see a refreshing film, by all means do. If however you're a concerned parent who wants to see something with the children or someone who cant stand such graphic violence and language, then avoid it all costs. Make no mistake though, this is a fantastic film that paved the way for the way for the career of a talented director.
Reservoir Dogs is the debut of director and writer Quentin Tarantino.
It stars Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris
Penn, and Lawrence Tierney. Tarantino has a minor role, as does
criminal-turned-author Eddie Bunker.
It feels a bit silly to write it now, but there was a time when Reservoir Dogs barely made a ripple in the cinema loving world; in America that is. Upon its release in the States it was moderately successful and comfortably made back its $1.2 million budget. However, upon hitting the British shores it was a big hit and grossed nearly £6.5 million and then Pulp Fiction exploded on the world in 94 and Reservoir Dogs got reappraised in its home country. The rest as they say is history.
Tarantino, the most enthusiastic of film fans, was once a video store clerk in Redondo Beach. There he dreamed of making his own movies and planned to make Reservoir Dogs with his friends on a relatively small budget. As luck would have it, Keitel got hold of the script and wanted in. With his name attached, and using his contacts, a serious budget was raised and so the Dogs were set loose. At the time of its popularity, Tarantino had to guardedly fend off accusations of plagiarism and a charge of just hacking from older classic heist movies. His argument was that he was making his own homage to the heist caper, but even so, the fact remains that Reservoir Dogs is spliced from The Killing, Kansas City Confidential, The Big Combo, The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three and we can definitely throw in The Asphalt Jungle as well.
Yet Reservoir Dogs is still extraordinarily fresh and vibrant, raising the bar for crime movies in the modern era. Tarantino of course has since gone on to prove his worth with other projects, so in truth his homage movie was merely the foot in the door for the talented son of Knoxville, Tennessee. In terms of its dialogue, tho, and its gleeful use of "ultra-violence," it has few peers. From any decade. It also helps considerably that Tarantino has assembled a quality cast to make his non-linear classic shine. Keitel is a given, but Roth is exceptional, as too is Buscemi, while Madsen is frighteningly convincing as psycho for hire Mr. Blonde. Then there's the 70s soundtrack, a vital part of the narrative as we hear the dulcet tones of Steven Wright Djing on K-Billy's Super Sounds of the Seventies. If you have not seen the film yet? Then I promise you will remember Stealers Wheel-Stuck in the Middle for the rest of your cinema loving days.
And that's the thing with Reservoir Dogs, it's crammed packed full of memorable things. A quip, a bang, a song or the WTF ending, as homages go; it's one of the very best. 9/10
Reservoir Dogs,if you like movies with twists,movies with loaded guns,movies with action,movies with some great dialogs,reservoir dogs is the one for you then.It has everything of the above.The movie itself moves so fast that it is tough to catch if you miss anything.Tremendous plot and a perfect execution.Quentin Tarantino's best so far.And funny thing was that they used to call each other by colors not names.Casting is very good specially Harvey Keitel & Michael Madsen have given a good performance.Steve Buscemi as Mr pink is terrific.The ending is pretty cool.All trust & betrayal.Whom to trust & whom to betray.Till the end you just keep guessing.Reservoir Dogs is pure entertainment,99 minutes of no nonsense stuff.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Quentin Tarantino was prepared to shoot his film with some of his
friends for a decent sized budget, when Harvey Keitel got hold of him
in hopes of producing "Reservoir Dogs". Tarantino agreed, and he still
got to direct the film too. Even before the movie, hit film festivals,
Tarantino's name was echoed all over town. This film represents the
birth of a new genre; The Tarantino. The movie incorporates many
different genres into one, complete with Tarantino's own style of
film-making with a very unique way of story telling. It is true, as
Tarantino admitted, that this film did indeed "rip-off" older films,
but the director did not just simply plagiarize, he improved what he
took and made it his own (You could say he simply borrowed but did not
have time and the rights to explain why he needed to borrow). The final
result, however, marks a new trend in cinema; one that many filmmakers
have tried to rip-off themselves.
The film is basically about a group of thugs hired by a man named Joe, who commissions them to rob a Jewelery Store. Using aliases (which are associated with colours), the men plan the heist but something goes very wrong during the robbery. The difference between this film and most crime films that came out before, is that this film does not show the actual crime that one is expecting to occur and see, but it is only talked about, before and after it happens. Tarantino allows you to hang out with his characters and lets you either sympathize or hate these guys. You could argue that the film is indeed a character study of all the reservoir dogs. The story is told in a non-linear time-line, which was uncommon back in the day.
Overall, the film has a good story, well written characters, great dialogue (which is usually the most talked about in Tarantino's films) very well acted (Tim Roth could have been a potential Oscar nominee for this film in my opinion) and, of course, pure fun. This isn't Tarantino's best film in my opinion (his second one is though) but it is definitely his second best. One can definitely learn a thing or two from this film and it's filmmaker.
I had started and stopped this film many times before actually sitting
down and watching it all the way through. After sitting through it, I
can't stop thinking about it.
The film was composed beautifully. Instead of a simple plot line, it was broken up and rearranged making the audience work until the end. The music and character transitions were perfect.
Tarantino did a great job making the characters true to the people portraying them. Mr. Pink, Mr. Blonde, and Mr. White could have not been more perfect to their characters. The sheer fact that I hated and loved the various characters almost to a point of them being real is a feat in it of itself.
I felt that the profanity was a bit much and it may be necessary to the plot and emotions, but at times it was a bit overbearing.
Overall though, I was very impressed by the rawness of the story and how developed all of the characters were. Amazing!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Quentin Tarantino's first film, Resovoir dogs is a film of trust. It's
also a film of style, dialogue, and violence. Resovoir dogs has a great
soundtrack. A great story. Though I don't think it's his best. My
favorite of his are Jackie Brown and Pulp fiction. This film has a
plot, and it's never boring. But it's not as good as Pulp fiction,
Jackie Brown, and some of his other masterpieces.
Resovoir dogs is a classic about a group of guys who go to rob a bank and it turns into a bloody ambush. There are six men who go in. Only four of them lived. So the ones that survive suspect that one of them is a cop. You find out who the cop is rather soon, but it goes back to the characters(whose code names are all colors)to show more about them.
Surely this film has it's share of violence. Sure it has it's share of laughs and dialogue and action. But the thing that I loved about it is that Harvy Keitel's character Mr. White, who has been comforting Mr. Orange(played by Tim Roth). Even when Mr. Orange is accused of being the cop, he denies every word of it.
I loved the film no doubt about it. I love all of Tarantino's films. This one is probably the most overrated. Jackie Brown being the most underrated. It doesn't matter though. Both films are fantastic, no doubting it.
Director Quentin Tarantino has an exceptional ability to create action films like this one called "Reservoir Dogs." It is sure to rank among his very best. The script and it's dramatic storyline throughout the entire movie is a visual compendium of 'Waiting for Godot' meets 'Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.' Anyone seeing it for the first time is in for a real treat. The story is of an experienced gangster who attempts to create the perfect crime. Its simple enough, collect seven of the most professional and trustworthy men in the business, assign them code names, tell them just enough about the crime to do their part, snatch the haul, then rendezvous in a warehouse after the job and split the take. The men selected are top of the line actors like Lawrence Tierney as the Boss Joe Cabot, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi and Chris Penn. Like the best laid plans, the unexpected was not included and therefor becomes the focus of a violent shouting match with guns. Between themselves, the heist should have worked, why it didn't has much to do with the body in the trunk (Kirk Baltz) and will have them at each other's throats trying to fathom the reason. The final segment of the film makes it the most exciting climax since the shootout of the Wild Bunch. With dramatic flair and an excellent, but violent dialog, this incredible film will become a Classic. ****
***1/2 out of **** stars
Okay...I've been a big fan of Tarantino's work since he exploded onto the scene in the early nineties. I've watched Dogs several times and watched it again tonight on IFC with the instantaneous intention to finally review it. Not for the squeamish, this one: large pools of blood; screams of pain; a severed ear; people (cops mostly) being blasted with deafening gun shots...so how can Dogs be so darn funny with so much carnage and suffering? Well, it's what makes Tarantino so darn special; the melding of gut-busting dialogue and gore, along with the prototypical wardrobes of black and white gangsta suits. Let us not forget Quentin's love for 70s nostalgia as well, which in one case is evident in his characters parleying about bygone blacksploitation movies and television shows. And what a fantastic ingredient to use Steven Wright's dead-pan voice to introduce all those archaic B-siders on K Billy's Super Sounds of the 70s.
A lot of Reservoir Dogs could be a stage production. I can easily imagine sitting front row in a playhouse watching all the actors hit their marks with precision, and hearing their voices reverberate throughout the building. Obviously, I speak of the warehouse scenes. For me, this is quite an accolade because how often can actors work so wonderfully and successfully in two different mediums with the same story? I realize that Dogs has never been made into a play, but it could be...don't you think?
Only a half-wit would bitch about Tarantino's formulaic storytelling. Does every movie have to begin, then go on to the very next thing, and the very next thing, and the next, and the next? Tick tock tick tock? Zzzzzzzz. What brilliance to amalgamate past, present and future with such rotating uniqueness. Keep teaching your audience to tune-up Quentin. Nothing wrong with starting your story somewhere in the middle and going anywhere you want from there. Way to go man, is what I say.
It seems as if Tarantino's career will be a bit like Kubrick's: quality instead of quantity. The bummer is having to wait for his next project, which can never come soon enough for me. What I love most about Q is his obvious great love for film-making. He seemingly has a child-like enthusiasm for the creative process, and his love for simply viewing movies, let along making them, is very evident.
Keep making movies as if you're watching them for $9.50 like most of us Quentin. If you do, you'll always have an audience that is just as excited about your stories as you are!
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