CATEGORIES Action, Independent, Lionsgate Films, Quentin Tarantino, Movie Marketing, Cinematical Indie, Movie News, CinematicalIt might be hard to believe, but Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs turns 15 today. Now, before you haul out the abacus, you've probably noted that 1992 + 15 = 2007. Reservoir Dogs premiered in October of 1992 the last time we checked, and it seems like only yesterday there was much fanfare over the tenth anniversary edition of this film (which was released in 2002), complete with five different covers for the same DVD ... collect them all! Perhaps 14 just wasn't as sexy of a number, and of course Lionsgate wants you to double dip when the HD-DVD version comes out at some point, so that leaves us with a 15th anniversary edition a year early. Although if you want to get extremely technical with the dates, Tarantino actually workshopped some of the scenes from Dogs at Sundance in 1991, so is this the date they're shooting for?
At any rate, the packaging alone is pretty cool on this release. They've housed the DVD in a metal case that looks like a gas can, and when you slip the interior packaging out, it is in the shape of a huge matchbook from "Uncle Bob's Pancake House," which is where Steve Buscemi tells everyone "I don't tip" as Mr. Pink. The whole package is sort of a gruesome reminder from one of the scenes in the movie. When the tenth anniversary DVD came out, Lionsgate sent out fake foam rubber ears announcing the release, which have become highly collectible among fans. I guess they like reminding us how violent the torture scene in this movie really is.
Tarantino's now cult-classic film opened the door for ultra-realistic violence in films, but it also helped usher in a new era of non-linear storytelling. After this movie came out, writers and directors began to play with the concept of time a lot more often, using flashbacks and flash-fowards to help make a simple story a lot more interesting, to show it from different angles and perspectives, and to flesh out character development. Tarantino didn't pioneer this technique, but he made such extensive use of it that you can still the effects of it in movies today.
The film also helped establish Tarantino's visual "look," from the black suits with the skinny ties, to the minimal sets with dialogue-heavy scenes. It also showcased his love for vintage and 70s music through "K-Billy Super Sounds of the 70s," on the radio throughout the movie, and DJed by deadpan comedian Steven Wright. Additionally, he took chances on B- and sometime C-list movie stars who had either fallen from the limelight, or had not worked in quite some time, which is something he continues to do -- reviving the careers of John Travolta, Robert Forster, Pam Grier and others.
Tarantino is a self-proclaimed cinephile, and in this movie he has lifted several scenes and plot elements directly from other films, particularly from Ringo Lam's excellent City on Fire which stars Chow Yun-Fat. If you haven't seen it, rent it some time and you'll see how similar the two films are, down to exact scenes. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and while Dogs isn't a direct ripoff, it comes close at times. Tarantino has claimed that he steals from all of his favorite movies, and if that's the case, then Dogs is no different.
Today also sees the release of the Reservoir Dogs video game (featuring the voice and likeness of Michael Madsen), which promises to bring the same ultra-violence to your home gaming systems. It seems an odd choice to make a game out of this film, given the extreme violence and open and closed plot, but we've also seen Scarface and The Godfather made into games as well recently, so stranger things have happened. Just don't look for Jackie Brown: The Game anytime soon. We hope. ...