As Tartantino movies are as rare as a Charizard, I thought I would dedicate my month to QT. To me he is the greatest screen writer/director in the modern age of cinema. He truly knows how to bring a classic B movie into the blockbuster category. With Django Unchained coming out this January in the UK, I thought it would be fitting to dedicate this month to the great man. So we will go through his films chronologically, so sit back and relax and enjoy…………………
Cert: 18 Runtime: 99 mins Director: Quentin Tarantino Starring: Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn and Quentin Tarantino
If you shoot this man, you die next. Repeat. If you shoot this man, you die next
When Reservoir Dogs hit cinemas in 1992 it was an instant success world-wide and twenty years on, the movie that started writer/director/actor Quentin Tarantino’s roller coaster career is still considered by many to be one of the all time great movies.Like all Tarantino movies, Reservoir dogs consists of crime, hard hitting characterizations and extreme violence. The basic plot is this: The dogs, a group of men under the aliases of Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino) , Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr. Blue (Edward Bunker), Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) and Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), are recruited by crime boss Joe (Lawrence Tierney) and his son Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn) to pull a job on a jewellery store. But the plan goes horribly wrong, the police were waiting for them and the result is a bloodbath involving the cops, civilians and some of the gangsters. Back at the rendezvous, a deserted warehouse, the remaining dogs try to work out what went wrong. Suspicions arises that one of them is a rat who sold the others out and paranoia soon sets in when they each realise that they can’t trust each other. Emotions run high resulting in an unpredictable yet dramatic climax in the final two minutes of the film.Reservoir Dogs is typical of Tarantino’s refreshingly unique approach to the genre of action/thriller.
He uses the flashback technique constantly and effectively throughout reservoir dogs to not only gradually reveal additional information about the sequence of the bloody events that have lead up to the present situation but also to give the audience an insight into characters histories and perspectives. Clear parallels can be drawn between Reservoir Dogs and Tarantino’s critically acclaimed Pulp Fiction, which was made two years later. In Pulp Fiction Tarantino intertwines three stories with random flashbacks and it is only by the end the movie that full sense can be made of the events that have transpired which stimulates viewers interest and involvement. Tarantino’s focus is on the violent side of life as can be seen in Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown. He explores this focus through stylish characterization drawn from the criminal world in LA.Although this film contains a diverse range of techniques, I would have to say that the most original aspects of the film were: The camera angles and the music. Despite the plot being superb, every word out of the character’s mouths interesting and unusual, the casting brilliant, and the acting gripping and totally realistic, it is the camera angles and the music which really give Reservoir Dogs its atmosphere, which in this movie is everything.The camera shots in this film add much to the suspense and are at times uniquely directed.
Many times throughout the movie the shot is so far away that it is impossible to ascertain which character is actually speaking and therefore it almost seems that the characters play a secondary role to their dark and miserable surroundings.Although the camera work effectively creates the mood it is the music which truly plays the most vital role in Reservoir Dogs. Everyone is stylish in Tarantino’s world and this is reflected through the use of music. The recurring theme of the radio show `K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the Seventies Weekend’ plays an extremely important role in the music element of this movie. Nearly all the music present in the film is actually heard from radios in cars or bars and is always K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the Seventies Weekend. The gangsters talk about their identification with the Radio show, and have a kind of shared memory with each other through the songs.Overall this is one of my favourite films of all time and no matter how many times I see this movie I just can’t seem to get tired of it. It could be something to do with me and violent films, but I think it’s more because this is the only movie I’ve ever seen that mixes such a diverse range of techniques so successfully. This is summed up by the fact that even the dramatic and somewhat tragic end to this film leaves in its wake a strange sense of completion.The test of a great film is whether or not at the end of it you would want to see it again immediately and if you find yourself sub-consciously uttering the phrase “Goddam, that was brilliant film”, you know what you’ve just witnessed won’t be forgotten for a while.If you haven’t seen this movie SEE IT NOW. Even if violent films aren’t your forte, bear with it and watch it to the end, you won’t regret it.