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Reservoir Dogs (1992)

by on 2011/01/05

“You ever listen to K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the Seventies weekend? It’s my personal favorite.”

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Damn you, Reservoir Dogs. You got your skull-gouging neo-noir in my Gerry Rafferty!

For years I’ve been a fan of Rafferty’s, owning City to City on vinyl, forever on the lookout for a perfect CD compilation. “Baker Street” and “Right Down the Line” are favourite songs around these parts.

And then the original Mr. Brown (auteur Quentin Tarantino), abetted by K-Billy’s DJ (Steven Wright) and a psychotic Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), goes and messes with “Stuck in the Middle with You”. I may never be right again . . . hearing the song, I certainly won’t be.

The complex vivisection of a heist going terribly wrong, Reservoir Dogs follows a group of specialists assigned colour-coded monikers for their latest, and possibly last, assignment, a bold jewelry theft.

Featuring a legendary cast of character actors, Tarantino directs his own script through the artistry of a shoestring budget. His narrative jumps back and forth in time, telling a larger tale through smaller vignettes. Assisting him in his efforts are Steve Buscemi (Trees Lounge), Harvey Keitel (From Dusk Till Dawn), Michael Madsen (Kill Bill), the late Chris Penn (True Romance), Tim Roth (2001‘s Planet of the Apes), and the infamous film noir legend, Lawrence Tierney (Born to Kill, Dillinger).

Were it not for the intensity — intensity, mind you, not explicitness — of Reservoir Dogs’ violence, it would easily rate another star. It’s some kind of backhanded compliment that I own it in multiple formats because it’s genuinely great, but I’ve yet to rewatch any of them because it’s just too damn effective.

So effective it even caught Stealer’s Wheel with the splash damage.

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Please note:  This review is a placeholder “stub” intended for future revision.

Rated R for disturbing scenes, language, and violence

99 minutes

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