Let the Summer Movie Staff Picks begin! Starting today, every Friday we’ll feature a movie someone on our staff has chosen as their favorite Miramax film. While the summer blockbusters invade the theaters, consider watching one of the staff picks over the weekend instead. Today’s pick is Reservoir Dogs from our Digital Intern, Mu-Hwa Kuo.
With all the talk of Quentin Tarantino at Cannes, it’s good to take a step back and reflect on his humble beginnings. Reservoir Dogs is Tarantino’s debut as a director, made on a shoestring budget and written in a way that avoids costly action sequences. (Oh how times have changed.) The movie displays signs of Tarantino’s burgeoning Tarantinoisms: nonlinear storytelling, mouthy characters, copious blood spilled on the floor and in the backseat, and a POV shot from a poor guy tied up inside of a car trunk.
Reservoir Dogs is not only my favorite Miramax movie, but my favorite movie period. It’s a movie that shows what deft writing can do. Because the heist at the center of the story is never shown, the movie relies on Tarantino’s incredible dialogue to create the dynamics in this band of criminals who, in 99 minutes, go from complete strangers to almost-friends to a four-way Mexican standoff.
This is a movie about all the times before the main event, and then after, when the characters deal with the fallout of their actions. The moments that stick out are the uneventful ones: breakfast at a diner while arguing over the merits of tipping, a car conversation that gets hijacked by Pam Grier and Christie Love, the vaguely offensive color-coding of these otherwise tough men.
Be sure to check out Reservoir Dogs this weekend and reminisce on vintage Tarantino. It may have been 20 years since Pulp Fiction came out, but it’s been 22 years since Reservoir Dogs and it deserves as much acclaim (if not more) because it single-handedly brought Tarantino into our lives.
- Mr. White attempts to calm a severely injured Mr. Orange. In this scene: Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth)
- Eddie heads to the warehouse for damage control, but he doesn't receive a warm welcome. In this scene: Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn), Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), Officer Marvin Nash (Kirk Baltz)
- Confused and paranoid, Mr. White, Mr. Pink and Mr. Blonde question one another's loyalty. In this scene: Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen)
- Left alone with the hostage, Mr. Blonde takes matters into his own hands. In this scene: Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), Officer Marvin Nash (Kirk Baltz)