Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Genre: Crime, Thriller

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writers: Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary

Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Edward Bunker, Lawrence Tierney

Rating: ★★★★★

Reservoir Dogs was Quentin Tarantino’s breakthrough film as it made a prestigious name at the Sundance Festival of 92’.  A mixture between cool, gruesome and fun it is one of my favourite films being somewhat flawless in form of story, directing, acting and soundtrack.  It is entertaining from the very first second and deserves its place as an all-time classic and one of the best films ever made.

The film stays mainly within a warehouse in the aftermath of a jewellery heist gone incredibly wrong after a police ambush.  As the story unfolds we are introduced to the infamous colour-coded gangsters as the four remaining survivors discuss who’s betrayed them and “what the fuck happened!” Mr White (Harvey Keitel) and Mr Orange (Tim Roth) charge into the warehouse, Mr Orange has been shot in the gut, blood everywhere, Mr Pink (Steve Buscemi) shorty follows, screaming it’s a set-up. Shouting, swearing, screaming they’re clueless in what to do and who has betrayed them.  The film then switches showing the story of how they were picked for the job by leader, “the thing” look-alike Joe Calbot (Lawrence Tierney). Mr Blonde (Michael Madsen) then strolls in; he’s psychotic and has a cop in the boot as a hostage; they attempt to find the rat again. Soon after Eddie (Chris Penn) arrives, the son of Joe, he’s angry, Joe is angrier, they go through the plan again together, the meetings, their history looking for the rat that has turned a robbery into a mix between a bloodbath and a western stand-off.

It is easy to spot the link between the pure genius in structure when looking at Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction as it is flawless. Starting completely with intriguing dialogue and introductions, followed by thrilling action which leads to “flashbacks” filling every hole and answering every question about each character and story; finishing in an amazing end climax filled with swearing, loud bangs and blood.  The script is hilarious at times with so many classic lines – “Why am I Mr Pink?” “Cause you’re a fucking faggot” –  “Don’t you think Mr Brown is too close to Mr Shit” – “Are you gonna bark all day little doggy or are you gonna bite?” – The dialogue is then complemented by classic scenes, including the famous and somewhat horrific ear-cutting scene which is filmed directly to the 70’s classic Stuck in the Middle of You as Mr Blonde decides to play games with his hostage, it is one of my favourite film scenes ever created.  The whole film, from start to finish is filled with fun and entertainment and rarely within in a film there is not a single boring moment you want to rush through.

The characters are excellently developed within the structure, Mr White is our main character somewhat, and we like him most. Mr Pink is annoying, selfish and pig-like, he also doesn’t tip waitresses. Mr Blonde is a psycho; however he’s cool mysterious and someone who you wouldn’t argue with. The stories are so well structured and planned out you learn and see into the personality of each character. The acting of these characters is also a faultless aspect, Harvey Keitel as Mr White is brilliant with the final and opening scenes really being his highlights.  Buscemi’s Mr Pink is also another standout, although annoying he deserves credit for some great moments especially when he’s calming down Blonde and White.

The all 70’s soundtrack is something which adds this fun and different element to Reservoir Dogs making it stand out.  Simply including it would have had a great effect within the film however in a master-class way Tarantino many times makes the music diegetic putting it within the “film world”. Shown in full extent as Mr Blonde cuts of an ear and then throughout as the gang plays K-BILLY’s 70’s classics driving around.

Reservoir Dogs is an unforgettable watch, one which you will go back to time and time again as the film is definitely one of the best and most definitely one of my favourites ever made.  Tarantino’s debut is simply faultless showing its own created style within every frame.  Classic dialogue, an excellently executed story, a cool soundtrack along with brilliant acting makes this an easily watchable, fully entertaining experience.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

 Genre: Crime, Action, Drama, Thriller
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary
Staring: Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman
Pulp Fiction is one of my favourite films and Quentin Tarantino’s creation is undoubtedly one of the best films to be made to this day. Staring the likes of John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis performance wise Pulp Fiction is outstanding but for film lovers who look at a film cinematically Pulp Fiction is a masterpiece. The film is like a puzzle as it approaches with four plots that all interlink and combine together for an astonishing ending. It will leave you to watch it again and again, it provides an amazing storyline and action keeping you entertained.
The story starts with two small-time thugs Pumpkin and Honey Bunny (Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer) at a diner they decide the best thing to do is to rob it. The story then switches to two mobsters Jules and Vincent (Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta) who are on a job to pick up a suitcase for big time mob kingpin Marcellus Wallace. While Marsellus is out of town he asks Vincent to take his wife Mia out for a few days, whilst he’s out of town he is fixing a match with the Boxer Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis), but the deal goes wrong. Although all these events are spontaneous and unrelated they all link and twist in together comprising a series of bizarre, action packed un-called for incidents.

I will not spoil this film, I will not tell you how the characters make the mistakes and I will not tell you what those mistakes are. Pulp Fiction provides amazing action and on top of that a constant suspense filled tense atmosphere as all characters are fleeing from Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames). The thing that is most amazing about Pulp Fiction is how it’s almost three different films in one, but due to the brilliance of Quentin Tarantino and his writing team they combine to make one film that fits perfectly like a puzzle, playing on the domino effect. When first watching this film I was amazed how it all unravelled and came together and ever since I’ve found myself watching it again and again, its not only me who thought the same as cinematically it was voted the Oscar for best screenplay and original script and clocked up a further 59 wins and 46 nominations, so no wonder its featured as one of the all time greats. Pulp fiction is a definite must watch film, a classic that will be remember prestigiously in the film industry.