It took me a while to choose which film I would open my film blog with. So, why not open my blog with what I believe to be the movie with the greatest “kick ass” opening scene in all of cinema! Well, that is just my grand opinion.
Reservoir Dogs, is Quentin Tarantino’s first full length featured film that got the ball rolling for him in Hollywood. The film is about a group of expert criminals who all anonymously are hired together to work as a team to pull off a diamond/jewelry heist. Except, everything seems to go wrong.
Tarantino made this movie unique with his riveting dialogue, his soundtrack and his trademark form of crude violence. His dialogue included some powerful monologues with very unusual metaphors that you really have to have an eye for. For instance, the film opens up with Mr. Brown, played by Tarantino, giving us a pop culture reference to Madonna’s Like a Virgin and how the song isn’t about how a girl meets a nice fella. Mr. Brown talks about how this girl has had sex so much that it isn’t special anymore but, she meets a guy with such a big penis that it hurts her and it feels like it was to be a virgin again. Hence, like a virgin. So, what does this have to do with the movie? It is a snappy monologue, but when you think about it, the group of expert criminals all really get fucked over big time by a huge dick, as if they were the first time, “virgin” criminals.
Now, his soundtrack is very unique because Tarantino used a radio weekend to base the movie around, called: “K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the 70’s”. The Radio DJ/narrator was dull and boring, but that is what added to the soundtracks “pizzazz.” The George Baker Selection’s, Little Green Bag has to be my favorite song of all of Tarantino’s films. Just imagine walking with all the best criminals in LA, wearing black suits and ties knowing you go home with thousands of dollars in jewels while this song is playing! Unreal. Watch this 10-minute video of the opening scene of this movie, and please tell me this is not the most significant opening scene in all of cinema! Whenever I watch this on YouTube, I always have to watch the rest of the movie.
The stalemate, the shootout, Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) being shot by a pedestrian and Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn) blowing a cops brains up! This film has lots of gory violence but, the scene that sticks out the most not to me, but to many people is when Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) cuts off the cop’s ear. Now, this is just total gruesome torture, but, it is light and somewhat entertaining because of the way it is done. Mr. Blond taunts his prey like a mouse. He makes his victim feel comfortable, puts on some music and dances around and then BAM he slices the cop’s ear off. We don’t actually see him cutting off his ear but, as we hear the cop screaming and the camera moves away from it, we can only imagine the pain. Tarantino had the perfect touch of “overthetopism” when he had Mr. Blonde talking into the ear. But what makes this scene so memorable is the song playing in the background, which was a light-hearted and happy song. If you want to cut off someone’s ear, it might as well be to Stealer’s Wheel’s Stuck In the Middle With You.
I really believe that The Beatles created this artistic tactic when they would sing depressing lyrics to super upbeat songs creating a super catchy song and something memorable. Tarantino’s gruesome torture scene plus happy music makes this movie known to most non-cinematic experts as his movie that he cut the guy’s ear off in. I don’t think anyone else has noted this at all, but I believe he got this idea from the movie Django,
a Spaghetti Western directed by Sergio Corbucci in 1966.
What makes this film special is that we don’t actually see the heist go down. We only see everyone freaking out of what is going on. This makes the viewer interested and on his feet about what actually happens during the heist and how it went wrong. Suddenly, everyone turns on each other, and now we have conflict in the film. I don’t know what that cinematic tactic of not showing the main event and then only talking about it is. So if anyone does please comment below and let me know. I am sure it has been done over 100 times in films, but Tarantino made it unique because of all the interwinding storylines and expert criminals all pointing their fingers at each other saying that each one is the rat.
Most importantly, I would like to highlight the fact that Tarantino talked about things that people always think about, but we never talk about it. For instance, Mr. Pink’s monologue about tipping. Mr. Pink, played by Steve Buscemi and if you don’t know who that is he played crazy eyes in Mr. Deeds and was the homeless guy in Big Daddy, talked about how he doesn’t tip and how it is bull shit that waiters/waitresses make the same as people from McDonald’s. He points out that it is dumb how society tips one group of people but doesn’t tip the other. I really think this may be a metaphor for how as American’s, we always treat one group of people differently than the other, showing segregation in our society not as a race issue but as a technical issue. What Tarantino did was that he opened my mind up to a new issue of society that I had never thought of before. Just like this, he also points out how black women won’t put up with the same shit as white girls do. True, very true, I just had never realized it.
Last but not least, Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) goes in depth about how to take control during jewelry heist with Mr. Orange (Tim Roth). I love how he takes him under his wing. I won’t go into detail about it, but if I were to ever rob a jewelry store, I would want to know this piece of advice. The kicker of this scene is that Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) says, “let’s get a taco” at the end. Most crime/heist movies just show the badass side of the characters, whereas Tarantino actually shows you who these people are and what they do when they aren’t robbing, killing and causing trouble. This is because, in reality, they are normal people just like you and I. Here is the “Taco” scene, I hope you enjoy it.
In my opinion, this film is perfection. Like Quentin Tarantino said, “I wouldn’t change a single frame of Reservoir Dogs.”
Which is a testament to his genius and mastery and that it was his first attempt with a film with some sort of budget. If you sat down to read the screenplay’s for the first three films he ever wrote, Natural Born Killers, True Romance
and Reservoir Dogs
they could have all realistically been made for 750,000 dollars. I genuinely admire films that can be made for cheap, and this one is a true testament to that because it was made for a million dollars, basically.
This is my favorite film, probably of all time. Reservoir Dogs is the film that got me into the idea of genuinely pursuing screenwriting and filmmaking. It opened perspective from watching movies as from the eyes of an actor to the eyes of a director. This is why this film is truly remarkable for me. I hope for everyone who reads this watches this movie.
If you have any comments on how to write a better review, please let me know below in the comment section. If you are wondering why I didn’t critique it at all, that is because I believe that it is perfection. I will have more critique and point out negative flaws of other films as I proceed in this blog.
Last, I want to dedicate this blog to all my friends and family back home. While I am in Madrid, I will be missing you very much. Also, here is the segment of Mr. Pink, played by Steve Buscemi, talking about tipping.
With that, I leave you with one quote: “The one that most resembles a rat always gets away.” If you watch the movie, you will understand. But, seriously don’t be a rat, or look like one.
“The Zos Knows”
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