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Reservoir Dogs [1992)

That annoying, whiny little prick is a genius.

That’s the retort.

I’m really batting below the Mendoza line regarding Tarantino.

And I’ll tell you why.

Because that annoying, whiny little prick is a goddamned genius.

As much as I want to judge him as a director based on his shrill, dorky acting, I can’t.

Because he’s made some brilliant films.

As much as I want to judge him because so many filmmakers have followed his example regarding ultraviolence (which he naturally ripped off from Kubrick’s treatment of Burgess), I can’t.

It’s not Tarantino’s fault that his example is attractive.

It isn’t much more than a girl and a gun.

[the famous Godard quote…all you need for a film]

Ah!  But it IS different.

There are no girls here.

There are no female characters in Reservoir Dogs.

Sure…there’s the waitress.

Does she even appear?

We certainly hear about her.

And then there’s a broad who gets shot in the head (bringing her 15, er, 7 seconds of fame to an end).

Yes, Reservoir Dogs is a good ol’ sausage party.

Why review this film now?

Why review anything but new releases?

Because it’s my website and I’ll do whatever the fuck I want with it.

[as the inestimable Lawrence Tierney might have said]

I’ll tell you the real reason.

Because the movies of 2016 are such shit as to make Tarantino circa ’92 look like Jean Cocteau in comparison.

And so we watch for entertainment.

We might want a story.

Dialog is nice.

But whatever’s in it (or not in it), we want it to be compelling (damn it!).

Reservoir Dogs is that.

It’s tense.

Like another “dogs” (Straw Dogs).

Why the colors?  Because van Gogh.

Should be capitalized.

Don’t use your Christian names.

I just gotta say, Harvey Keitel is really good here.

No.  He’s fucking great!

Guy has range!

Buscemi is the ball of nerves we’ve come to expect.  Times ten.

More important than specific actors, we learn the nature of acting.

We learn what lends stories credibility:  details.

And as (perhaps) an homage to Andy Warhol, we see the excellent Tim Roth actually rehearse his lines during the film.

Tarantino would employ the shooting (camera) from behind trick (Vivre sa vie) in Pulp Fiction, but here he finagles a brilliance (the Roth rehearsal) that only a truly agile mind could conjure.

And so, once again, I must apologize to Mr. Tarantino for having denigrated his films so much.  I had seen them, I just didn’t appreciate them.

We fall in love.  We fall out of love.  We fall back into love.

 

-PD

7 responses to “Reservoir Dogs [1992)

  1. Paul S

    The question I asked myself after watching Reservoir Dogs is – do I actually care if Tarantino stole wholesale from The Killing, City On Fire and The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three, three films that I love dearly?
    The Answer? No, I don’t. Not at all. I can see why people might have a problem, but I couldn’t care less. I just enjoy watching good movies and Reservoir Dogs is one of his better ones.

  2. migarium

    Indeed, “goddamned genius”! And after your words about movie my dear Earthling friend, I deeply want to watch it again! 🙂

  3. A quote from the man who said: I’m telling the story that you have seen over and over. We’re going to follow the oldest set ups in the world, but then we’re going to the moon. And so what if he steals bits of pieces in other movies he has admitted that as long as he makes great film as simple as that. Great review. love it.

  4. Reblogged this on Art History blog and commented:
    paul,
    again an excellent review one of Tarantino’s great films a Robbery gone wrong. The best bit is the discussion before hand when Buscemi asks all those questions they don’t like to hear and again the use of colours brilliant. I’ve still got a copy but haven’t watched it for a long time but as you say in my opinion a gem , they don’t make them like that any more. Laurence

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