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Reservoir Dogs: Special Edition

Review Written by: Mitch Beaupre
Film: B+
Video/Audio/Extras: A/B+/A+

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Written by: Quentin Tarantino
Produced by: Lawrence Bender
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Lawrence Tierney, Quentin Tarantino
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Buy it!

Before there was Pulp Fiction. Before there was Kill Bill. Before you could get nineteen million hits by searching for Mr. Blonde on Google. Before all of that, there was a young, high-school dropout named Quentin Tarantino. And the self-taught Tarantino had a script for an independent movie that he called Reservoir Dogs. This $5 million film hit Sundance and stole the show, even though it did not win the Grand Jury Prize. Ten years later, a special anniversary edition was released.

The formerly unknown Reservoir Dogs is about six perfect strangers, all given different names based on colors. These strangers band together for the one perfect crime. The kind of crime you could only dream about. However, something goes terribly wrong. The police are already there, waiting for the hit to go down. One of the strangers is a rat. There isn't a single clue as to who it could be, though. Over ninety-nine minutes you find yourself trying to figure out who the rat could be. Who betrayed the group? Blonde? Pink? I personally had no idea until the shocking scene where the sabotuer reveals himself with a bang.

Reservoir Dogs is an underrated hit that is one of my personal favorites. Over the years with the success of Pulp Fiction and the Kill Bills, Tarrantino's original masterpiece has been forgotten. Shadowed by Quentin's more popular films, I hope this ten year anniversary edition can bring Reservoir Dogs back into the public's eyes. Some incredible performances must not go without mention. Harvey Keitel plays Mr. White, who takes on the role of the leader in the group of thieves as well as the protector of Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) after you discover that Orange has taken a shot to the chest in the first few minutes of the film. Roth portrays Orange perfectly, even though for most of the film he is laying in a puddle of his own blood. Michael Madsen delivers the best performance of his career as the sadistic Mr. Blonde. Let me just say that after this movie, you will never listen to "Stuck in the Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel the same way again. Also shining are Chris Penn as the cocky Nice Guy Eddie and Steve Buscemi as the cowardly Mr. Pink.

The video gets an A. I can't really find a crack in the video at all. The audio in the film is terrific. Quentin did an amazing job of incorporating classic seventies music into a modern film. A good portion of my favorite seventies songs are featured in this film. The only flaw is that sometimes the music on the radio spikes, even though none of the characters hit the dial. Due to that, I couldn't give it an A, so the audio settles at a B+.

Where this special edition DVD really shines is in the special features. The DVD is packed with so many extras and these ones are actual good extras. The highlight being interviews with the cast including Michael Madsen, Tim Roth and Chris Penn and a lot of others. Interviews are my favorite special features that DVDs can have, so I was very excited when I discovered these interviews with most of the cast. The only actors that are missing are Harvey Keitel and Steve Buscemi, so that is kind of disappointing, but still with the rest of the cast, you can't be too disappointed. Also featured is a tribute to Lawrence Tierney who sadly passed away on February 26th, 2002, only months before this DVD was realeased. Another extra is a look at the other films featured at 1992's Sundance Film Festival, where Reservoir Dogs was first introduced. This is a great feature that gives you insight into the year that independent film became a huge part of the cinema society. Other features include a look at the making of the Reservoir Dogs action figures, a Reservoir Dogs Style Guide, location scouting, trailers, poster galleries and more. This DVD has some of the best speciial features that I have ever seen on a DVD.

Reservoir Dogs has become outshone by other Tarantino flicks like Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown. A lot of young movie fans have no idea what Reservoir Dogs even is. Hopefully, this special anniversary DVD will introduce a lot of young movie-goers to the film that brought Quentin Tarantino into the limelight. Maybe it isn't as good as Pulp Fiction, but Reservoir Dogs is still an amazing film and one of my favorites. From the hilarious opening scene where Mr. Brown discusses Madonna's "Like a Virgin" and Mr. Pink tells the group why he feels the need to not tip to the explosive finale, this film is one the greats. I find it necessary to see Tarantino's first film that really brought him into the movie scene. Also, Reservoir Dogs has one of the highest rewatch values of any movie that I have seen, so it is a definite buy. Great cast and a great movie that has become pushed into the back of Tarrantino's film history due to some of his other greats.

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