The last f—ing movie we f—ing studied in f—ing media class was f—ing Reservoir Dogs, which we f—ing watched to-f—ing-day. Reservoir f—ing Dogs was written and directed by f—ing Quentin Tarantino. It’s also the most f—ing recently released of the movies we have watched as a f—ing class.
OK, I’m going to stop swearing, it’s getting f—ing ridiculous.
Anyway, the movie begins with eight sharply-dressed men sitting in a restaurant, joking around and discussing Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”, and whether or not it’s necessary to tip the waitress. Their names are Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr Blue (Edward Bunker), Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino – yes, he really is a jack of all trades, that one), Joe (Lawrence Tierney) and “Nice Guy” Eddie (Chris Penn), and they are about to attempt a heist. Then we are treated to a now-iconic (so iconic I recognised it despite never having seen it before) scene of the team walking down the street to the sound of the George Baker Selection’s “Little Green Bag”. Then the titles play.
When the titles stop, the heist is over, and the survivors are trying to work out what went wrong. One of them must have set them up. So who’s the rat?
I expect most people have a rough idea of what to expect from a Tarantino movie. This one ticks all the boxes for non-linear storytelling, bloody violence, a memorable script, plenty of awareness of older films and popular culture, and liberal swearing; depending on your tastes this combination likely makes it either one of the greatest films of all time or an utter f—ing mess.
Reservoir Dogs is only superficially similar to GoodFellas. They certainly exist in similar worlds, dark and violent, with guns, gangsters, heists and drug dealing. However, the narratives unfold very differently. Whereas GoodFellas is mainly told in chronological order (apart from a brief scene at the start), Reservoir Dogs makes frequent use of flashbacks to tell its narrative. Also, while GoodFellas takes place over several decades, the main plot of Reservoir Dogs all unfolds within the space of about an hour. Like GoodFellas, Reservoir Dogs has a very good soundtrack (although it’s going to be a while before I’m going to be able to hear “Stuck in the Middle With You” again without shuddering).
One aspect of the film that makes it so impressive was that it was independantly made with an unusually low budget. Despite this, it manages to look highly polished and professional, give or take the odd shaky tracking shot or fluffed line.
I found Reservoir Dogs to be both highly intelligent and immersive. However, I did find the sadism and racism displayed by the characters to be unpleasant viewing, so I can’t honestly say that I particularly enjoyed the movie. It was OK, though.
Current listening: Eagles, “Journey of the Sorceror”.