on 22 December 2009
To address the lack of reviews of the actual Blu Ray so far.
This transfer has really improved the look of the film in a way only a few films have benefited on Blu Ray. The colours are razor sharp and the texture of the scenes in the hide out are spectacular.
The other benefit is the sound, we all know what a great soundtrack this movie has and the increase in clarity and bottom end just makes the whole deal even sweeter.
In short this is a great movie that has made the trip onto Blu Ray in stunning fashion.
Oh yeah and it's really cheap, buy it!
on 18 April 2002
I saw the movie before buying it on DVD. I liked it so much, that I bought the Special Edition. Unfortunately, the special edition turned out to be a huge box, that would not fit with the other DVD's, that contained the normal cheaper DVD of the same movie, plus some post cards, and a not so interesting book about Tarantino.
The movie is excellent. BUT, steer away from the special edition. Buy the cheaper version and save some cash (for pulp fiction).
on 6 June 2012
It's startling to realise that this is now twenty years old. This is still a shocking piece of work. Although, for a gangster film, there isn't really all that much violence, what there is is powerful and dark. It's also a masterpiece of plotting on a budget. Set largely in a warehouse, where a gang of criminals are set to meet after an armed robbery that has gone wrong, it's a tight claustrophobic setting, where the confusion of the robbers as to what's gone wrong is matched by our own, as the film is told out of sequence. We see the bloody aftermath before we even know what they are trying to do. As they piece together who's alive and who's dead, and whether it all went wrong by accident or if there is a rat in the house, so we piece together who is in this gang, and what roles they all played in it.
There are examples of Tarantino's now famous naturalistic dialogue, where a bunch of guys just sitting around a restaurant table, or cruising in a car, really can sound like a bunch of guys just sitting around a restaurant table, or cruising in a car. The characters come to life, and the plot keeps us glued to the screen - we're involved but always playing catch-up - a tight line that Tarantino walks with perfection. Complete with great dialogue, iconic scenes - any bunch of guys walking down the road in suits, or especially in sunglasses too, will always get someone commenting on it, or starting to hum the tune that goes with it, or how about the Mutually Assured Destruction showdown between Keitel's Mr White and Buscemi's Mr Pink ("I didn't create this situation. I'm dealing with it!") and the infamous scene involving Michael Madsen's Mr Blonde with a captured policeman - this film still feels fresh and dangerous, and I get the feeling that is unlikely to change. With this as a debut feature, and following it up with Pulp Fiction, Tarantino established himself as one of the most important names in 90s cinema.
on 5 January 2010
I can't understand some of the previous reviews of this film. If you don't like violence or lots of dialogue, then Mr Tarantino is not for you. I suggest you try someting like Transformers which should be less taxing.
The transfer of the film is fantastic and improves on the patchy sound on most of the DVD versions. I was concerned that the improved clarity would detract from the grittiness of the film, but it was almost like watching a new film. The extras are very entertaining and original, and make a difference from the usual boring 'making of'.
I would strongly recommend adding this to any blu-ray collection, especially for less than seven quid. Bargain!
on 2 August 2004
Reservoir Dogs, 2 disc Special Edition. Think about it. It should be in YOUR collection.
Never had a film been made quite like Reservoir Dogs when it was released in 1992. Unknown video shop worker turned Director, Quentin Tarantino propelled himself into the Hollywood stratosphere with this unique tale of pride, betrayal and friendship among gangsters. The story has now became legend: an organised jewellery heisst has gone terribly wrong, and the remaining survivors try to find who the 'rat' of the gang is. The story then goes into a series of flashbacks to each individual gangster, to inform the viewer where the betrayal originated from. What's in-between I hear you ask? Well, try ear slashing, Stealer's Wheel, hundreds of swear words(literally) and a conversation about Madonna's hit song 'Like A Virgin'.
What made Reservoir Dogs one of the most unique movies ever made was its array of emotions - its hysterically funny in many scenes, savage in others, and very touching in the conclusion for example. Like Tarantino's other films, the dialogue is really special and it transports the audience into a real-life situation which portrays real-life people. The actors are all brilliant, from Harvey Keitel to Steve Buscemi. For me, I think that Tim Roth, who plays the unfortunate Mr Orange, is the stand-out of the bunch. He was to later recieve an Oscar nomination for his role in Rob Roy, and here shows what an emerging talent he was. There is no doubt about it, all the actors give memorable performances and give the film that added class.
This 2 disc set is really the edition every Reservoir Dogs fan should buy. My favourite extra is undoubtedly the lengthy interviews for each character in the film plus Quentin Tarantino and Producer Lawrence Bender. Check out the ultra-relaxed Michael Madsen talking about his pets, and Tim Roth's night out with Quentin. For many, it is the sound and picture quality which makes this edition worth purchasing or not. Compared with earlier releases, there is not that much of a difference, but the soundtrack does blare that bit louder and crisper. I have been a keen DVD collector for quite some time, but the packaging for this 2 disc set is one of the best I have seen. You have a deluxe outer covering, and the inside folds into three, revealing the warehouse where the basis of the film is shot. There is also a collector booklet, which fans of the films will treasure.
Reservoir Dogs was Tarantino's gateway into the movie business and stands now as a 90's classic. Never has a film been deemed 'perfect', but Reservoir Dogs goes damn close. Should I buy it I hear you contemplating. You know the answer by now surely.
on 12 December 2013
This is one of nicest blu-ray films that I have come across in a while. 'Nice' might be an odd choice of words when talking about Reservoir Dogs but the experience of revisiting, what is arguably , Quentin Tarantino's best film to date, is an absolute pleasure.
The blu-ray initialises with the menu screen as opposed to dropping you straight into the film. This menu is well polished and well thought out. It consists of snapshots of the great scenes which are replete throughout the film and done in such a way that if you have not seen the film in a while, you are instantly re-introduced to much of what you loved about it. It really is very well done.
The quality of the blu-ray release is good. It shows it's age but I am all for that in a picture. Unless a studio is going to go all out with a 4k master, or is it up to 8k these days!?! A sympathetic transfer to the source material is all that is needed and you get that and more here.
It's graphic, it's gritty, it's great.
Somewhere along the way, opinions on Quentin Tarantino have become divided - some still loving his work, others calling it bloated and unnecessarily inflated. However, those are two criticisms that cannot be levelled at his first (major) film, Reservoir Dogs. It's the very definition of `minimalist,' focusing on the aftermath of a bank robbery gone wrong and it's shot (in some places) in `real time.'
The story is simple: a gang of bank robbers thinks that one of their number is a `rat' and has tipped off the police. How do they deal with this? Watch the film and find out.
It's hard to choose a `stand-out' performance among so many great actors. Everyone from the stoic Harvey Keitel, to the psychotic Michael Madsen plays their roles to perfection (and let's not leave out Tim Roth and Steve Buscemi).
Basically, if you like gangster or crime films then you probably should have already seen it. However, even if you're not a fan of the genre and simply enjoy cinema then this one is worth a watch because it is very arty in its approach and the performances alone should make up for the fact that some may consider it to be a little over the top on the violence (not to mention explicit language).
Tarantino's next film, Pulp Fiction, may have been cleverer and more stylish, but Reservoir Dogs has all the raw appeal of a real cult classic that will definitely stand the test of time.
on 16 December 2013
The 5 star rating is for the movie and everything necessary has been said about this by others. My beef is about this particular copy of it.
Thoughout the film comments have been added to the screen which are intrusive and extremely irritating and detract from the pleasure of watching the movie because one is compelled to read them, Yes, the comments are interesting and relevant but the place for then is NOT the top left hand quarter of the screen. Not only are there words, but the person who took it upon him/herself to try and improve Tarantino's work has added a decorative blood red motive along with the words which further obliterates what lies beneath.
This information should have been added to the supplementary disc, either under a heading "Trivia" or in a Director's Commentary or some other way.
If I added a moustache to the Mona Lisa I would be labelled a vandal. Whoever did this to the movie deserves even worse because this philistine considers the movie to be far more entertaining than the painting.
on 28 May 2008
Having watched this movie for the first time in ten years (yesterday-June '08), I was blown away by its brilliance and power. Lets get down to the brass tacks- this is a low-budget movie and it has the patina of a cheap amateur production. First movie from the big-chin Quentin Tarantino who came out of nowhere (i.e., a video store in Manhattan Beach, California) and turned Hollywood on its ear in 1992 with this breath of fresh air.
Reservoir Dogs has a fantastic unconventional structure, cleverly shuffling back and forth in time to reveal details about the characters-- experienced criminals who know next to nothing about each other.
From the start we know something has gone wrong, and the plan has blown up in the criminals faces. One by one, the surviving robbers find their way back to a prearranged warehouse hideout and from there we are treated to two hours of blinding genius motion picture.
This movie will forever remain a piece of 1990's nostalgia. This is the kind of movie that you can watch again and again. Upon first seeing this film back in 1997, I was struck by the occasional outbursts of bloody violence and vulgar language. I found myself confused towards the direction of the plot which made me dislike the movie at first but that all would change.
On second viewing I realise this movie was going against the grain at the time. It wasn't like any of the cliche' and lame crime films of the 80's and early-90's (eg. see K.Costner in the typical Hollywood garbage REVENGE). Resevoir Dogs was original and set the standard for the crime genre for the rest of the decade. It broke new ground and surprised the viewer at every corner.
This is an absolutely amazing, ground breaking film and I adored it! Below, more of my impressions, with some very limited SPOILERS.
It begins with eight dangerous criminals eating breakfast at a Los Angeles diner. Being what they are it is clear from the first moment that they are up to no good. The breakfast is hosted by Joseph "Joe" Cabot (Lawrence Tierney), an important, respected (and feared) figure in local criminal world and his seemingly less formidable son Eddie "Nice Guy" Cabot (Chris Penn). Although the atmosphere is supposedly light-hearted, it becomes very fast obvious that this is in fact a kind of solemn farewell party before the six guests go on some BIG mission. Those six men are:
- Larry Dimmick a.k.a. "Mr White" (Harvey Keitel)
- Victor "Vic" Vega a.k.a. "Mr Blonde" (Michael Madsen)
- Freddy Newandyke a.k.a. "Mr Orange" (Tim Roth)
- "Mr. Pink" (Steve Buscemi)
- "Mr. Brown" (Quentin Tarantino)
- "Mr. Blue" (Edward Bunker)
The color coded names they use are of course Tarantino's tribute to the great 1974 thriller "Taking of Pelham 123". One of those six men is a traitor - and another one hides an even bigger, uglier, more horrible secret. For many of them this is the last day of their lives... Nothing more will be said.
When it opened in 1992, this film was clearly an almost revolutionary event. Nothing like that was ever shown on screen before and it changed the whole face of world cinema - FOR EVER!
The main strength of this film resides in the scenario and especially in dialogs. Quentin Tarantino introduced into the main stream cinema the use of extremely strong language, but in such a way, that it actually doesn't seem all that shocking - in fact it seems like just a socially respectable and acceptable way of communicating (but it isn't - just try to speak like that in your real life...).
Another thing, used earlier, but NEVER on such scale, was to take low life characters and make them have really elaborated conversations on all kind of unexpected topics. And it worked BIG TIME.
The twists of the scenario are another trick Tarantino used to the maximum. It becomes immediately clear, that in this films absolutely ANYTHING and EVERYTHING can happen - and it does.
The non-linear narration, with flashbacks, is an old trick very much used in the cinema - already John Ford, Billy Wilder and Michael Curtiz did a masterful use of it in masterpieces like "The man who killed Liberty Valance", "Sergeant Rutledge", "Witness for the prosecution" and "Mildred Pierce" - but it is never an easy thing and it takes great skill to efficiently keep it under control. Well, with "Reservoir Dogs" and later with "Pulp Fiction" Tarantino took the art of non-linear scenario to the new heights of perfection.
Tarantino himself claimed that this film was mostly influenced by Stanely Kubrick film noir "The Killing" from 1956, but I think I also saw here the influence of styles used by David Lynch (especially "Wild at heart") and Paul Verhoeven (especially "Basic Instinct" and to some extent also "Robocop"). That being said there is no question that "Reservoir Dogs", even if of course benefitting from some earlier inspirations, is a completely original thing. And that it is a rare, precious thing in modern cinema.
This film had of course descendants even if, thanks God, nobody had the brilliant idea to make a sequel, prequel or spin-off. But "Pulp Fiction", Jackie Brown", "Kill Bill", the Tarantino segment from "Four rooms", Tarantino episode of "CSI" and "Grindhouse: Death Proof" (I didn't see his last two films and after watching the trailers I do not intend to) are certainly children of "Reservoir Dogs", as are the films written but not directed by Tarantino, like "True Romance" and "From dusk till dawn" (yes, I know, he also wrote "Natural Born Killers" - but I try to forget it...).
Then, there is of course all the influence Tarantino had on the cinema, beginning with but not limited to, films made by his partner in crime Robert Rodriguez: "El Mariachi", "Desperado", "Four rooms", "Sin City", "Grindhouse: Planet terror", "Machete", "Machete kills" and the upcoming "Sin City 2". Amongst other Tarantino influenced things one let's just cite "Con Air" (one of my favourite comedies"), "Lucky Number Slevin" and especially the great "Fargo", as well as (at least to some extent) "Heat".
Then of course there is the whole Tarantino influence on some great TV series - I am absolutely certain that the appearance of both "Shield" and "Sopranos" was at least a little influenced by "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction" and when watching "The Wire" I was certain that Omar Little was a little inspired by Tarantino thugs - as for Brother Mouzone and his faithful sidekick I am CERTAIN they were inspired by Tarantino. And that list is definitely not exhaustive.
Bottom line, this is a film that simply must be seen for two reason. First, because it is a masterpiece and second, because it changed the history of cinema. Enjoy!