Movie Buff and future filmmaker Quentin Tarantino worked at now-defunct video store Video Archives. He clocked out to direct his first film titled, “My Best Friend’s Birthday.” Unfortunately, he became disinterested with half of its running time complete. He mentioned someday he’ll edit missing footage. A few years later, Quentin visited his pal Lawrence Bender at a barbeque party pitching an idea for a heist film. Once he finished the script in three weeks, “Reservoir Dogs” was green-lit at Miramax Films.
Released in 1992, (same year Malcolm X came out) Reservoir Dogs earned critical acclaim from critics and movie goers alike. As a result, Quentin’s directorial debut launched his career as an established filmmaker/writer earning further praise for his work including “Pulp Fiction,” “Kill Bill,” “Inglorious Basterds,” “Django Unchained” just to name a few. A video game based on Reservoir Dogs came out in 2006 on PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
As a fan of Quentin, I wanna share my thoughts on Reservoir Dogs before he directs his tenth film and retires as a novelist. Don’t forget he published two books. First book is a novelization of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Second book, “Cinema Speculation” is a non-fiction sharing his stories about growing up watching movies in the ‘70s. His upcoming third book titled, “The Films of Rick Dalton” details the life and career of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character. As of March 2023, Quentin finished the book and he’s yet to announce a release date.
Today’s review contains no SPOILERS. I’ll give some of you a chance to see Quentin’s first film.
Professional & Unprofessional Aspects
Professional: Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Edward Bunker & Lawrence Tierney all did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Quentin Tarantino did an excellent job directing. He also wrote the script and played Mr. Brown.
Steven Wright provides the voice of K-Billy DJ.
Don’t expect this to be a standard heist film with characters shooting their way out of the po-po. Quentin’s known for his dialogue driven stories.
Opening Scene officially establishes the main characters’ personalities prior to the heist.
Cinematography didn’t succumb to any technical issues throughout.
Pacing felt stable for a 100-minute film. I was hooked since the beginning.
Mr. Pink is my favorite character. He stole the film.
Quentin introduces the audience his signature trademarks such as memorable dialogue, pop culture references, f-bombs, non-linear narrative, dark humor, brutal death scenes and a soundtrack of songs from the ’60s-’70s.
Quentin mentioned Reservoir Dogs is influenced by “The Killing” “City on Fire” and “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.” The original, not the remake with Denzel Washington.
A Wilhelm Scream is used when Mr. Pink flees from the cops.
Mr. Orange mentioned Joe Cabot looks like Ben Grimm/The Thing from “Fantastic Four.” Tim later played a Marvel villain known as “The Abomination” in “The Incredible Hulk” & “She-Hulk” set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU for short.
“Hooked on a Feeling” is played when the gang pick up one of their men. The song is also used in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” James Gunn’s a fan of Mr. Tarantino.
Pam Grier is mentioned. Quentin later casted her as the titular character, “Jackie Brown.”
Mr. Pink mentioned he wants to be Mr. Purple. Nine Years Later, Steve played a purple character named, Randall Boggs from “Monsters Inc.”
Unprofessional: I couldn’t find nothing wrong. I’m giving Quentin and his crew an Extra Point for making a flawless film as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
From my point of view, Reservoir Dogs is my favorite film of 1992. Most of the positive stuff listed above, indicates why this film is a modern classic. If you’re new to Quentin Tarantino’s work, start with Reservoir Dogs first. Then, every single one of his movies and non-directing entries including “True Romance,” “Natural Born Killers” & “From Dusk till Dawn.”