|Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Madsen, Lawrence Tierney
Director: Quentin Tarantino
A man's film. "Reservoir Dogs" is almost the very definition of the genre. This is a savage gangster story with all the Tarantino trappings, including enough blood for a couple of "Jaws" movies. The story is simple enough for any Neanderthal to follow, and it's all set to music from the '70s that had been lurking back just beyond memory, and now seems much hipper than it actually was.
The Reservoir Dogs are a group of career criminals, handpicked to pull off a simple diamond heist. The whole affair is well thought out; every contingency has been taken care of. The guys involved don't even know one another's real names. They use aliases (Mr. White, Mr. Pink, Mr. Orange, etc.), which ensures that, if someone is captured, he'd be unable to finger the rest of the gang. Despite this meticulous planning, of course, something goes terribly wrong. The cops seemed to have been alerted, and the robbery becomes a bloodbath. The surviving Dogs suspect a rat is among them, but who? No one really knows anyone else, and they're all pretty slimy anyway.
This movie shifts back and forth through time, introducing the characters and moving the story along in fits and starts -- a technique that can sometimes feel gimmicky, but, in this instance at least , is well done and very effective. Don't bother renting this for a quiet evening with the wife. I doubt there's a woman on the planet who'll appreciate this film. Save it for a lonely night when you have the freedom to watch what you want, because you'll probably want to watch this.
15th Anniversary DVD Review:
Curiously released a whole year before the film’s official 15th year anniversary, the new “Reservoir Dogs” DVD doesn’t offer anything that you can’t already find on the previous special edition, but it does come in what could very well be the coolest packaging ever created: a tin casing made to resemble a gasoline can. On the inside, you’ll also find an oversized matchbook where the two discs are stored. This shiny cardboard insert isn’t made very well, but the outer design is very durable and will simply look amazing on your bookshelf of choice. Yes, even better than that killer 10-disc "Matrix" collection.
Moving on to the actual bonus material, you’ll discover that most of the extras are carbon copies of previously released special features. Both the Quentin Tarantino/Lawrence Bender commentary and the select scene commentaries (featuring Amy Taubin, Peter Travers and Emanuel Levy) still appear on the first disc, while most of the disc two is still intact from the “Ten Years” release, including five deleted scenes, a scouting featurette (“Securing the Shot”) and the Sundance feature “Class of ’92.”
In fact, the only new features worth mentioning is the short documentary, “Playing It Fast & Loose,” which looks at the film’s impression on the industry through interviews with “experts” like Harry Knowles, and the Pulp Factoid Viewer, which delivers Pop-Up Video trivia snippets. Beyond that, you’ll find a couple of lame, hastily thrown together extras like fake character profiles (“Profiling the Reservoir Dogs”), a three-minute interview with lead producer on the “Reservoir Dogs” video game, and a “Tipping Guide” which simply displays the amount that each major character would tip. All in all, this is a great release for fans who haven’t yet purchased a version on DVD (especially with that sexy case), but for those of us who bought our very own copy long ago, well, Christmas is just around the corner.