Urban Cinefile
"First of all, I said, is this behaviour real. Especially boiling the rabbit. Would somebody really do that?"  -Glenn Close to psychiatrist researching her character in Fatal Attraction
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Friday May 22, 2020 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



Criminal boss Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) and his son Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn) hire five nameless thieves to pull off a daring daylight diamond heist. Each is given a colour-code name. There's no-fuss veteran Mr White (Harvey Keitel), cop-killing psycho Mr Blonde (Michael Madsen), serial complainer Mr Pink (Steve Buscemi), Madonna lover Mr Brown (Quentin Tarantino), old guy Mr Blue (Eddie Bunker) and greenhorn Mr Orange (Tim Roth). After the bungled heist turns to bloody shoot-out, the survivors gradually rendezvous in an abandoned warehouse to piece together what went wrong, only to discover a rat in their ranks. But who?

Review by Shannon J Harvey:
A landmark in many respects, Reservoir Dogs took the crime film genre to new heights when it shocked the world in 1991, melding new levels of ultra-coolness with ultra-violence. Who can forget that ear-lopping scene? Or Steve Buscemi blasting away at the cops in the only flashback to the heist we are given? The directorial debut of former video store clerk Quentin Tarantino - who wrote (with partner Lawrence Bender) the film's razor sharp, brutally funny script - uses a hip 70s music and pop-culture ramblings (Madonna is a favourite target) as it brings a bunch of intense character actors together, puts then in black suits, names them after colours, and
sets them on a course of bloody self-destruction. It's a supercharged introduction to Tarantino's distinct cinematic style, a style mimicked throughout the 90s, especially after he turned cinema on its head with his dynamic 1994 follow up, Pulp Fiction.

Considering it's been 10 years since Tarantino debuted Reservoir Dogs at Sundance and the changes that have occurred in cinema since, it's great to see Magna Pacific let the Dogs out in style with this special edition DVD, the film's second DVD release but the only one that does it justice and them some. The double disc comes in DTS sound and it's barking mad with behind-the-scenes extras, smarmy interviews and trademark Tarantino-isms.

There's so much to bark here. Let's go to work. First up are quirky - and sometimes lengthy - cast and crew interviews, where each share their unique perspectives on the film. Don't miss Tarantino's if you're a video-clerk waiting for your big break, or real-life ex-con Eddie Bunker, who gets in on the action Catch-Me-If-You-Can-style by revisiting some of his greatest heist haunts.

Of the five rather juicy Deleted Scenes, two are alternate takes on the infamous ear-slicing scene. A tribute to the late Lawrence Tierney hilariously shows how he almost came to blows with everyone on set. The Director's Tribute is an informative dedication to Tarantino's biggest film-making influences. Securing the Shot is a cool documentary about location-scouting. The K-Billy Interactive Radio feature is fun, giving you access to voiceovers and an interview with "Stuck in the Middle with You" co-writer Gerry Rafferty, including music samples.

In the Select Scene Audio Commentary, three respected film critics eloquently analyse the film, but from there, some extras do become tedious. The Class of '92 Feature is a behind-the-scenes look at the film's launch at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival (not to mention other entrants that year), the Small Dogs documentary will appeal only to action-figure collectors, and the Film Noir Web is a must-see for would-be film makers. It includes a maze of articles, book references and influential characters. Magna Pacific certainly let the Dogs out in full force with this in-depth
Collector's Edition. It's so exhaustive it may leave you dog-tired with it hours of detailed extras, but who cares? Reservoir Dogs remains one of the decade's most influential motion pictures. Lap it up.

Published February 13, 2003

Email this article


(US) 1992

CAST: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen, Quentin Tarantino, Eddie Bunker

DIRECTOR: Quentin Tarantino

RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes

PRESENTATION: 2.35:1 widescreen; DTS & Dolby Digital 5.1

SPECIAL FEATURES: Deleted Scenes; Alternative Angles, Cast & Crew Interviews; Tribute to Lawrence Tierney; Director's Tribute; Class of '92 Feature; Small Dogs Documentary; Film Noir Web; Select Scene Audio Commentary; K-Billy Interactive Radio; Style Guide; Securing the Shot Documentary; Trailer; Poster Gallery.


DVD RELEASE: February 12, 2003

Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020