Written by / 12/05/2022 / 1 Comment / , , , , , , , , , ,

RUDIMENTARY RAMBLING FOR THE LEGENDARY 'RESERVOIR DOGS'

Lawrence Tierney in RESERVOIR DOGS Year: 1991 Rating: *****

If, before 1991, someone mentioned that a movie involving a group of hardened thugs… including Noir legend/tough guy Lawrence Tierney, 1970's cinema legend who resembles an actual criminal Harvey Keitel, and real life ex-prisoner Eddie Bunker… would sit around in a diner discussing (or listening to others discuss) Madonna songs, no one would believe it....

But it took that kind of creative pop culture insanity to create one of the greatest modern crime flicks, written and directed by a former video store employee who’d soon become an international icon...

Quentin Tarantino in RESERVOIR DOGS

By use of nonlinear time-frame and backstories shown as simply occurring without being fuzzy screen character flashbacks. he altered the way tales unfold on the big and small screen, still... and is one of the few directors, the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg, whose very name would become a genre...

His first, RESERVOIR DOGS, is still one of Quentin Tarantino’s best, or at least his most cutthroat and gritty, evolving around a group of anonymous color-coded-name-only diamond thieves before and after a heist-gone-wrong… which we never actually witness... 

Tim Roth in RESERVOIR DOGS

This implied tactic absorbs the viewer’s imagination through dialogue describing the aftermath, letting us see the good, the bad, and the ugly of this particular wild bunch, most people discovering the gem on VHS and introduced to the auteur’s flowing wordplay and retro song selections...

And while it’s hard to say who's truly the main character in what's mainly an ensemble piece, an it's most likely Tim Roth, who, after the first half of bickering dialogue… three cons figuring out which thug ratted to the cops about the heist… Roth becomes a protagonist to care about i.e. a possible light at the end of a bleak tunnel... actually a warehouse... filled with literally colorful, frantically offbeat, shady characters...

Harvey Keitel and Steve Buscemi in RESERVOIR DOGS

Like Steve Buscemi as the exposition-spouting, scene-stealing hopped-up jerk that doesn't "believe" in tipping waitresses... who'd be the first to die under a more conventional director... and Michael Madsen as the villainous heavy in a film about heavies (so comparable to Al Lettieri's villain of villains from THE GODFATHER, Madsen would play Al's role in THE GETAWAY remake)...

The late Chris Penn, as crime boss Lawrence Tierney’s temperamental yet charming son, and at that time, from having co-starred in FOOTLOOSE before altering Christopher to Chris and gaining lots of weight, was the most recognizable name after Keitel countered by no-name Kirk Baltz as a very unluckily tortured blue suit cop and, along with Randy Brooks as a backstory cop mentoring Roth, adds talent to the now legendary bloodshed of brilliance that's yet to be surpassed on such a basic, primal level while still surpassing Tarantino's sophomore game-changer, PULP FICTION...

Lawrence Tierney in RESERVOIR DOGS with Chris Penn & Michael Madsen

But no matter how tough these comparably younger guys are, 1940's DILLINGER Lawrence Tierney's Joe not only calls the shots, but makes up the nicknames, and ultimately wants to know who's been naming names while, like Wolfman Jack in one of Quentin's favorites, AMERICAN GRAFFITI, everything's balanced by a radio station playing classic tunes and hosted by the dry genius of Steven Wright...

Yet with all the juicy lines, (now) classic actors, and intensive situations, it’s the camaraderie between Keitel, as the most experienced of the thugs, and Roth, who’s bleeding his life away on the filthy warehouse floor, that provide the real soul throughout, and, while most would consider this heist-gone-wrong neo-noir exploitation an Asphalt Western, RESERVOIR DOGS is more a downtown modern day life-and-death war picture.... with no winners, only losers... of the wonderfully slimiest kind. 

Classic Opening Credits for Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS
Harvey Keitel as Mr White in Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS
Michael Madsen as Mr Blonde in Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS
Chris Penn as Nice Guy Eddie in Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS
Steve Buscemi as Mr Pink in Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS
Lawrence Tierney as Joe Cabot in Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS
Eddie Bunker as Mr Blue in Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS
Quentin Tarantino as Mr Brown in Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS
Tim Roth as Mr. Orange in Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS
from Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS

Tim Roth in RESERVOIR DOGS
Tim Roth in RESERVOIR DOGS with Kirk Baltz
yLawrence Tierney in RESERVOIR DOGS
Eddie Bunker in RESERVOIR DOGS
Lawrence Tierney in RESERVOIR DOGS
Tim Roth in RESERVOIR DOGS
Lawrence Tierney in RESERVOIR DOGS
Harvey Keitel in RESERVOIR DOGS
Michael Madsen in RESERVOIR DOGS
Lawrence Tierney in Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS

Share This Post :
Tags : , , , , , , , , , ,

1 comment:

  1. Watching Reservoir Dogs for the 20th anniversary on a big screen for first time was seriously overwhelming! As you know this is one of my favorite movies of all-time, on any given day this is my favorite Tarantino movie. I never got to see this movie during its original run because I remember trying to find a theater it was playing at and it might have been playing at one or two theaters in LA or Santa Monica. On the small screen however I've watched it as much as any other movie I own.

    Seeing it on the big screen however was mind-boggling. The print was almost too flawless. I was so used to first my VHS copy and then my DVD - the faces were almost too big, the dialogue slammed into me. I felt almost abused, but in a good way. After having seen the movie a 100+ times and then finally watching it on the big screen was truly shocking.

    I couldn't imagine having grown up watching the original Star Wars movie hundreds of times on television and cable and then going to finally see it in 1997 on its 20th anniversary on the big screen for the first time. Heck even for me having seen Star Wars at least 40 times in the summer of '77 seeing it again on the big screen and especially The Empire Strikes back on a big screen again was mind-blowing.

    Yes it always comes back to Star Wars, ha!

    Anyway I love Reservoir Dogs. Pulp Fiction can at times lose its charms, and when I'm just not in the mood for samurai swords and Lucy Lu, I will always come back to Reservoir to clear out the cobwebs.

    Great review as always.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

All Time Popular

Featured Post

TOBE HOOPER DIRECTS THE TV VAMPIRE MOVIE OF 'SALEM'S LOT'

David Soul in SALEM'S LOT Year: 1979 Rating: ****1/2 Although groundbreaking horror/exploitation director Tobe Hooper is best known for...

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

RIP ACTOR KEN HUTCHISON

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "Some guys, they just hate for no reason." Joe Spinell, Rocky

FILM NOIR & NEO NOIR CRIME

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)OTLEY 2)HELL IS A CITY 3)ROBBERY 4)THE FEARMAKERS 5)CANYON PASSAGE 6)VIOLENT SATURDAY 7)HOT CARS 8)JUNGLE STREET 9)ANATOMY OF A MURDER 10)THE CROWDED SKY 11))THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 12)SHARKS' TREASURE 13)SWEENEY TWO 14)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 15)HARDCORE 16)THE SYSTEM 17)WHITE HEAT 18)AL CAPONE 19)THE SERGEANT 20)FALLEN ANGEL 21)NIGHT CREATURES 22)CURSE OF THE DEMON 23)ASH WEDNESDAY 24)THE BREAK 25)AIR PATROL 26)DUEL IN THE JUNGLE 27)EASY LIVING 28)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 29)FRENZY 30)THE ROARING TWENTIES 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)STANLEY BAKER 4)MARLON BRANDO 5)JACK NICHOLSON 1)VIRGINIA MAYO 2)SUE LYON 3)GENE TIERNEY 4)MERRY ANDERS 5)FAYE DUNAWAY DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN LANDIS 7)JOHN GUILLERMAN 8)VAL GUEST 9)JOHN CARPENTER 10)MICHAEL WINNER

BRITISH NEW WAVE CINEMA

RARITIES AND EXPLOITATION

HAMMER HORROR & THRILLER

Popular This Month

CHARLES BRONSON CINEMA

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

PEAKING INTO THE SIXTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

REVVING THE SEVENTIES

FOR HORROR MOVIE REVIEWS


Reviews for the British series The Sweeney

Most Popular Last Year

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE