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***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!
For me, there's too much emphasis placed on Tarantino's technique of
cinematic self-reference and personal homage. Although it has become
something of a defining characteristic of his work - even more-so since
the release Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003) - it is simply one single layer of
a rich tapestry of elements that make his films so effective. When
Reservoir Dogs (1992) was first released, the referential aspect was
almost completely ignored. Instead, critics applauded Tarantino for his
strong characters, clever dialog, use of violence and music; and the
effortless use of structure and narrative, which helped to turn a
seemingly pedestrian crime-thriller into an exciting and enigmatic
exercise in cinematic tension building. Over the years, audience have
noted the references to films such as City on Fire (1987), The Taking
of Pelham One Two Three (1974) and The Killing (1956) (though Tarantino
claims to be more influenced by the original novel, as opposed to the
Kubrick film) and dismissed these references as simple theft. This is
foolish though, and flies in the face of the very cannibalistic nature
of film, and the idea that every single story, character and theme
analysed in 20th century art can be traced back to a secondary source
related centuries before.
If you've seen enough films, then you can easily draw surface similarities from almost anything made subsequent to 1970. In fact, in a world in which comic book adaptations and "foreign language" remakes dominate the box-office; Tarantino's approach is truly defiant. If he were a musician, he'd most probably be a hip-hop producer - someone like RZA or Danger Mouse - taking ideas and samples from a variety of different works and blending it all together to produce something new and exciting. So the themes may be well worn, but the presentation and technique is electrifying. Think of that opening scene in particular; a seriously minded discussion of the textual-interpretations of Madonna's Like a Virgin and a debate on the ethics of tipping that not only sets the scene - quite literally - for the use of dialog to follow, but establishes the single characters and their personalities perfectly. We take it for granted now, but try to think of any other American crime film made prior to 1991 that manages to successfully appropriate a scene of pop-cultural discourse into the opening sequences of a tense and violent thriller. Then, look at how it moves seamlessly into the credit sequence; a moment of decade defining cool that some have seen as a nod to A Clockwork Orange (1971), though it really serves a far more functional means of further introducing this broad ensemble of characters, so as not to over-complicate the actual viewing of the film once we get into the telling of the story.
There's then a flash-forward, introducing the idea of a fractured narrative. Again, we take it for granted, but think about it; any other heist film and the scene of the heist would dominate. Here, we don't even get to see it. As a result, the botched robbery and the violence that is described to us takes on a more enigmatic purpose, creating something of a Rashomon (1950) like conundrum in which we're forced to take these varying characters at their word, and - much like the protagonists of the film itself - draw our own conclusions and allegiances. By not showing the heist, Tarantino adds to the tension, not only between the characters on screen, but between the characters and the audience. It's a radical move on the part of the filmmaker; as jaw-dropping as making a film about the D-Day invasions without ever showing the soldiers hit Normandy. The film is also remarkable for the atmosphere that Tarantino creates - both in the way in which he stretches out shots and scenes beyond the point that most other filmmakers would, and of course, in his careful use of framing, minimal production design and the use of hand-held cinematography - all to establish a sense of urgency and unease that escalates as the plot goes backwards and forwards on itself. It's a definite pressure cooker-like environment being developed throughout, as each scene builds and builds and then cuts back in on itself; giving us more of the back-story and further reinforcing the bitter ironies of both the characters and that ending.
It is also helped by the fine performances, with every member of the cast defining these characters, not simply as archetypes or conventional components of the narrative, but somewhat believable human beings. This quality is pushed further by the use of the fragmented narrative, as Tarantino presents the story almost like a jigsaw puzzle, with information held back from us until the right juncture in the narrative, at which point we can finally put all of the pieces into place and then stand back to appreciate the view. Without question, Reservoir Dogs is a tense, coolly ironic thriller that not only subverts the usual codes and conventions you would expect to find in a heist thriller, but does so in such a way as to remain light, effortless and greatly entertaining. Today it is synonymous with changing the landscape of mid-90's cinema; creating a brief resurgence of intelligent, character driven films that were quirky, self-aware and filed with that spirit of independence. However, before the hype and the greater success of Pulp Fiction (1994), it was simply a great film; one that presented a clever story, cinematic characters and an unconventional approach to on screen violence that reminded people that you could have more from cinema than a bland reproduction of a story.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Overrated, Quentin Tarantino classic with all the earmarks of a film by him, for him, and, unfortunately, as with most of his other films, including himself in a bit part where he says something that only amuses himself, while serving to annoy anyone with half a brain attempting to watch the movie. I wish I had turned it off as soon as he opened his mouth. However, my curiosity got the best of me, and I had to see where the movie ended up. It ended up being a very long torture film that tortured viewers almost as much as Michael Marsden tortured whichever unlucky actor ended up being the subject of the cinematic torture that looked almost more fun than having to watch the movie in its entirety.
There are so many perspectives on which to praise "Reservoir Dogs".
First and foremost, it has the edgy realism that began to slip away in
the "Kill Bill" films (which I still very much praise and enjoy), and
was completely discarded in his recent film "Inglourious Basterds".
It's like recently Tarantino let his fame go to his head and just went
all out without thinking about if what he showed on screen made any
real sense. This film of his, basically his first three, are the ones I
admire the most. Not to mention the way the story is told, it's just
very intriguing from the start. We see only brief glimpses of what
actually happened at this bank job that apparently went very, very,
bad. The cast was phenomenal throughout and this film had the chemistry
to really make the tension play out realistically and brutally later
on. The atmosphere is solid and full of well acted malice and is pretty
unpredictable. In fact, amidst all the insane and gruesome scenes which
some may struggle to sit through ("Can you hear me now?")is a very
nicely paced plot that in reality is probably one of the greatest
crime/thriller pieces ever written.
The talent here is undeniable, and every performance is just awesome. The ones I really admired the most were that of Harvey Keitel as Mr. White, and definitely Steve Buscemi as Mr. Pink. And where as I believe every individual character stood out quite well, the two that stirred up the most in me was Tim Roth as the nefarious Mr. Orange, but over all Michael Madsen as the sadistic Mr. Blonde. I will never forget Madsen as the soda sipping psychopath. Tarantino does well himself I must admit, and kudos to the often over-looked performance of Kirk Baltz as the unfortunate Officer Marvin Nash.
With its tremendously talented cast breathing life into these characters we know so little about, coupled with its very involving story and well placed music, it all comes together as arguably Tarantino's most refined work.
What is good about this movie? Probably the same things what makes other Tarantino's movies good: great soundtrack, good actors, stylish direction and of course - violence (actauly there was only one scene which I would call really violent). The plot is pretty simple but it's portrayed out of chronological order (just like in Pulp Fiction). Probably that is what makes this movie different. Also everything in a movie looked pretty realistic (like violence) and all characters acted very natural (there were many memorable dialogs, so you could know each character better). This movie is very original, stylish and worth your time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The plot of this movie just blew me away...It was just awesome. Then the acting was great for a non-all star cast, and Tarantino executed it very well. My impression on the movie changed, because I heard it had banned in other countries for violence, but there wasn't that much. I thought it was going to have a ton of action and stuff, but it was really just a cool movie with some pretty awesome scenes in it. I thought some parts were funny, some parts were smart, some parts were sad, and some parts were just cool. That's why I like Tarantino, most of his films blend so much stuff into them, this is one of those. Also, the ending of Reservoir Dogs has to be one of the best endings to a movie I have ever seen. Overall, great movie.9/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have all ways liked Quentin Tarantino's work but I have to put an
empathizes on the word 'liked' not loved. He certainly has changed the
way movies are made and perceived but I have to disagree with a lot of
people who consider him to be one of the greatest director's of all
time. I don't want to anger his fans because they are plentiful and are
all ways very passionate about their hero but I think Reservoir Dogs is
actually superior to the much more loved Pulp Fiction.
Reservoir Dogs is simplicity it's self, it's a robbery and crime film where we don't see any robberies or crimes being committed. I actually kind of liked this, because it highlights Tarantino's terrific dialouge and the stellar performances by the cast. Since we don't get to see this diamond heist, the movie becomes more thrilling psychologically because the viewer is forced to imply much in his head. Don't get me wrong, the film is still gruesome but the thrills come from the aftershocks not the actions like in Tarantino's other flicks. In many ways this helps the character development because it is easy for a criminal to act tough but when they are at hell's door we see the people they really are. The emotions and real personalities under the tough guy attitude are what these characters are. In only one instance does the character not go through a massive change and that character is Mr.Blonde. Blonde is a psychopath down to the bone and this is demonstrated by the infamous ear scene("You'll never be able to listen to the oldies station the same way again").
Much is made of the fact that the lead gangster,Joe Cabot, gives every member of his team an alias. Each man ceases to be a man and instead becomes a color. Cabot says that it will help if they are caught so no one can be double crossed, which is really a smart plan but it backfires when it becomes apparent that one of the men is a police informant who tipped off the LAPD before the robbery could be completed. There's a traitor in the mix and these men need some sort of unity if they are to make it out alive.
Reservoir Dogs is one of the best told stories captured on film. Tarantino succeeds at taking something so familiar and turning it on its head until it becomes new and exciting again.
Now don't think I'm being biased on my opinion because Quentin Tarantino is my favorite writer/director hands down, but you've gotta admit, this is one awesome movie. Another thing that makes this so special is that this is the first movie I've ever seen. But enough about that. This movie is down right amazing. The performances (especially by Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, and Michael Madsen, who plays a convincing psychopath) we're incredible. Also great and original, was the plot (about a bunch of criminals who team up to commit a diamond heist, but turning on each other when it goes haywire), but most of all, the script was the glue that held the movie together. It was funny, cool, pop cultered, and vulgar. The only thing that let me down was the short length (compared to other Quentin Tarantino epics), and the ending, but overall, it was a fantastic movie experience and one of the best movies ever made! Watch it!
Too many overrated comments here.. This just proved how much i should ignore opinions posted in IMDb. This movie, and Pulp Fiction too, were too much overrated and didn't live up to those ratings.. IMDb need some kind of breakdown on ratings based on age/country etc to filter out those which are opposite of your liking.. I feel really bad for wasting my friend's time recommending to watch this movie together. I had to stop it halfway and watch another movie instead. I will never trust IMDb comments ever again. I don't want to go into the details, but I feel most people aged less than 35 might feel the same way I feel after watching this movie.
A gang of thieves carry out an armed robbery on a Diamond warehouse.
The police are after them so quickly that they suspect they have a rat
in their company. This film starts right after the robbery, with
flashbacks to before the robbery, and to the planning of the crime.
After reading this plot, you know this is not your average crime film. In fact, I thought this film was about the whole diamond heist and that there will be a twist ending on who's the rat. It's absolutely nothing like that.
Although an original way to make this film, this film is mostly boring, with an exception on the prologue of the film which I found entertaining for some reason. This film is very violent and bloody with shooting here and there and yelling about this and that. That's about it with the film.
There's nothing interesting with the "boring" characters and "bad" story. The actings were relatively decent and this film is nowhere near one of the best films ever, although many people said it was, which lead me to buy the film on DVD, which I found a complete waste of money. One good thing about this film is that it's unpredictable and has funny jokes, which in real life would be just the opposite.
This film is decent but not a very good film. It has some originality and clever humor but all squished with a boring plot and uninteresting characters. This is just my opinion but I should say for those who want to see this film should rent it first before buying.
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