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Why do you think Resev. Dogs is a great movie?

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Why do you think Resev. Dogs is a great movie?

Old 01-28-00, 02:21 AM
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SPOILERS!!!

Don't read if you haven't seen the movie.

I just watched this movie and I can't understand why people think this is such a great movie.

Where's the pay off?

It seems like everyone's a jerk and then they die.

The opening scene was more offensive than funny.

The storytelling style, while a little different, isn't that different. Nor does it really seem to add anything to the story.

What was the point of the scene where they cut off the cop's ear? That just seemed like a really sick scene to me.

And when Mr. Orange shoots the woman who shoots him, if Tarrantino isn't going to use this for anything, why even show us the cop's horrified reaction? I mean, bang, bang, "Oh my god I killed a civilian" and then we're moving right along to the next scene. ???

That Mr. Orange was the one who was shot and whom Mr. White was trying so hard to save was a cop was a nice twist, but still, nothing really special.

And then at the end, why does he tell him he's a cop? What an idiot!

The whole thing just seemed pointless to me.

Did I miss something? What am I not getting?

I'm serious, as I've seen lots of positive talk about this movie and was really looking forward to it, and am kind of let down.

Thanks for any input.

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Old 01-28-00, 07:22 AM
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I thought it was different because it had great dialogue, and character development. I'm a fan of Kevin Smith's films for the same reason. Witty, realistic interaction between people, instead of mindless action. You may question the motives of the character's actions, but the byplay between the principals is priceless in Tarantino's and Smith's films. IMHO.
Old 01-28-00, 08:40 AM
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RD is an ok movie, personally I like the original better City on Fire w/ Chow Yun-Fat. WRT RD I did like the character development and I thought the usual QT "flashback" style kept the pace going. I too could have done w/o the opening sequence though.
Old 01-28-00, 09:11 AM
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The QT flashbacks and American culture references are what made this movie different enough from City on Fire for me to like. RD was played over and over again in my dorm room back in college when my roommate decided it would be the topic of a film class paper of his. I guess it grew on me.

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Old 01-28-00, 11:33 AM
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Okay, I just watched this film on my DVD for the umpteenth time, and find it to be almost a perfect little gem of a film. I'll try to take your points one by one, based on my subjective enjoyment of the film:

SPOILERS!!!
Don't read if you haven't seen the movie.

I just watched this movie and I can't understand why people think this is such a great movie.

Where's the pay off?

Crime doesn't pay? Bad things happen to bad people, no matter how funny or cool they may have been for the last hour-and-a-half? That's what I take away from it. Of course, it looks like bad things happen to good cops who get a little too close to bad M.F.s, too...

It seems like everyone's a jerk and then they die.
They are jerks (therefore, making their fates apropos), but they also tap into something primal in most men. It's hard to admit (and maybe you don't find this to be true about yourself) but there is a part of me and millions of other guys that want to be like these guys. Deadly, unf**k-with-able, quick-witted, sharp dressed, just flat out cool cats, you know? It is in this way that they are entirely likable, even enviable, jerks.

The opening scene was more offensive than funny.
I can respect that, but find the scene to be hilarious in its offensiveness. Tarantino's a master of dialogue, and he perfectly captured the kind of banal (yet witty) dialogue that tends to go on between most groups of men. I don't presume to know what you and your male friends discuss, but I'd make a bet that most groups of guys talk primarily about sex and sports. This tends to be even more true among groups that know nothing about one another, but have to work together, because what do most guys have in common? 10 points if you said an appreciation of sex. Couple that truism with the fact that these guys are just overgrown frat boys, and multiply that with the RESERVOIR DOG's guy's obvious mutual love for music, and you get a highly immature conversation about the real sexual meaning behind Madonna's "Like a Virgin". It may be offensive, but I also think it's a very truthful moment.

The storytelling style, while a little different, isn't that different. Nor does it really seem to add anything to the story.
I highly disagree. When someone has a type of filmmaking ("Tarantino-esque") named after them, they must have done something quite different. Tarantino's dialogue sounds like no one else's (but it so perfect), his use of widescreen photography is superb, his time-jumping narrative, while not being wholly unique, is always handled adeptly and with grace, and you have to have respect for someone who can design such a compelling narrative out of almost exclusively one plain, barren warehouse set. I mean, what did this movie cost to make? $57? But, unlike other cheap films, that never becomes an issue and even seems to contribute to its perfection. How many people could design an entire feature-length film that, for the most part, doesn't go anywhere, and yet the audience is never bored?

What was the point of the scene where they cut off the cop's ear? That just seemed like a really sick scene to me.
It served two functions. One, it segued the audience from the "oh, man these guys are so cool. They just crack me up" part of the movie to the "oh my God, these guys mean business. They are killers, they are bad M.F.s. These guys prey on people like you and I, and here we have been practically worshipping them for the last hour." Spike Lee used a similar technique in DO THE RIGHT THING. It's a wake up call for the audience and I, for one, find it too be very effective. Two, it gave Mr. Orange a justifiable reason to expose his true identity by his need to kill Mr. Blonde to save the tortured cop.

And when Mr. Orange shoots the woman who shoots him, if Tarrantino isn't going to use this for anything, why even show us the cop's horrified reaction? I mean, bang, bang, "Oh my god I killed a civilian" and then we're moving right along to the next scene. ???
To me, this scene was meant to illustrate how the line between cops and robbers can get blurred. I mean, they're both men with guns trying to "bang, bang" the other guy, right? Especially in terms of undercover work, Mr. Orange is a cop, but he's also a criminal. That line can get hazy, and I think Mr. Orange discovered that cops and robbers are really just two sides of the same coin. They both use violence as a means to an end, they both live by a code of honor, and they both need each other to exist.

That Mr. Orange was the one who was shot and whom Mr. White was trying so hard to save was a cop was a nice twist, but still, nothing really special.
Perhaps not, but it made for an interesting character piece between the two of them, and came off almost Greek in its degree or ironic tragedy, don't you think?

And then at the end, why does he tell him he's a cop? What an idiot!
It was all about honor. Mr. White had proven himself to be a good person to Mr. Orange. He showed compassion, protection, concern, and a willing to go to any extreme to insure Mr. Orange's safety because he "took a bullet" for him. There are things that go higher than job responsibilty among men. Mr. Orange had helped orchestrate and initiate the downfall of Mr. White's criminal empire, which Mr. White had carried out in Mr. Orange's name. At this point, whatever happened to Mr. Orange, Mr. White was either going to go to prison for a long time, or he was going to be killed by the encroaching cops. By this point of mutual sacrifice for one another, Mr. Orange felt he owed Mr. White that admission of truth. Consider this film a kind of same-sex modernization of ROMEO AND JULIET. At its heart, RESERVOIR DOGS is a story about a star-crossed friendship.

The whole thing just seemed pointless to me.
Hopefully, even if it never becomes enjoyable to you, I've shown you enough proof that it's certainly not pointless either.

Did I miss something? What am I not getting?
If I may be a little presumptuous here, I think you might just be too damn nice to enjoy this film, Blade, and I mean that with the utmost affection and respect!



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Old 01-28-00, 01:02 PM
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Ahhh, you either get it or you don't Blade!!!
We can't make ya like it. It's a freakin classic.

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Old 01-28-00, 03:18 PM
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Thanks for all the comments so far.

Filmmaker, I want to especially thank you for your response for it's length and completeness.

I guess I just see the characters differently. I don't want to be like any of these guys.

I was going to go over your points one by one, but it started to feel like I was attacking your favorite movie.

But I think you've helped me see why people like this movie so much, and I can now trade it away with no regrets.

quote:<HR>
If I may be a little presumptuous here, I think you might just be too damn nice to enjoy this film, Blade, and I mean that with the utmost affection and respect! <HR>


Ha!

Actully, I liked Pulp Fiction, and I understand the allure of the "bad guy" and the "honor" arguements, I just didn't think they worked in this movie.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions though. I really appreciate it.

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Old 01-28-00, 03:24 PM
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quote:<HR>Originally posted by Blade:
SPOILERS!!!

Why do you think Resev. Dogs is a great movie?
<HR>


I don't because it isn't.
Old 01-28-00, 04:10 PM
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The opening scene was offensive? Maybe society has dulled my senses, but I didn't find it offensive.
Old 01-28-00, 06:23 PM
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I thought this was a pretty good movie, not great. Pulp Fiction is much better, Jackie Brown is a bit better (and when's that coming to dvd????) I mainly liked the movie for the dialogue and performances (esp Buscemi, Roth and Keitel. Could do without Chris Penn, though.)
Old 01-28-00, 08:13 PM
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Count me in as one of those who consider Reservoir Dogs a classic. This was one of the first DVDs I bought and has gotten a lot of play. Since you brought it up I will suggest it to our friends that are coming over in awhile to see if they wanna see it. The characters are interesting and it's quite nice to see a good-sized group of lesser known actors (except Keitel) together in a great movie. I guess I can't really explain why I love it so much that well, I just do.

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Old 01-28-00, 08:29 PM
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I would like to thank Blade for this thread. Up to now, I wasn't aware that it was a "great" film.

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Old 01-28-00, 09:05 PM
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It's loaded with gritty style and witty dialog.

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Old 01-28-00, 10:03 PM
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It kicks ass...'nuf sed
Old 01-28-00, 11:07 PM
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Originally posted by Blade:
I was going to go over your points one by one, but it started to feel like I was attacking your favorite movie.

Not unless you were saying things like "TITANIC sucks!" or "2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is so boring!" I do really love RESERVOIR DOGS, and consider it to be one of the few films that is completely flawless as what it is; however, in regards to it being my favorite film, I enjoy it at least as much as PULP FICTION, perhaps (since it's leaner and meaner) a little more, but it doesn't even rank in my top ten films of all time.

As far as the trepidation you expressed in regards to countering my points about RESERVOIR DOGS' virtues, please reconsider posting them. I love intelligent, spirited debate about movies--you should know that!

Either way, before you trade RESERVOIR DOGS off, I entreat you to give it another chance (after you get some distance from it). As a fan of PULP FICTION like yourself, I've always found the two films to be thematically and stylistically quite similar. And really, what character isn't a jerk in PULP FICTION?! Perhaps you just weren't in the right frame of mind...?
Old 01-29-00, 03:55 PM
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Since you asked...

Crime doesn't pay? Bad things happen to bad people, no matter how funny or cool they may have been for the last hour-and-a-half? That's what I take away from it. Of course, it looks like bad things happen to good cops who get a little too close to bad M.F.s, too...

But they are all just killed. There's no sense of just desserts, or righteousness (good or bad). It's all done rather matter of factly with no apparent impression made on anyone who is still alive after someone is killed.

They are jerks (therefore, making their fates apropos), but they also tap into something primal in most men. It's hard to admit (and maybe you don't find this to be true about yourself) but there is a part of me and millions of other guys that want to be like these guys. Deadly, unf**k-with-able, quick-witted, sharp dressed, just flat out cool cats, you know? It is in this way that they are entirely likable, even enviable, jerks.

As I said in my previous post I don't want to be like any of these guys. Moreover, I don't find most of them sympathetic at all. They all seem like losers to me. Mr. Pink is a whiny weasel. The son and they guy who played the psycho were acting like a couple or junior high school idiots. The boss (Joe I think) was the only one (besides the black undercover cop) who had any real presence, but he comes off as more of a confused blustering old man. Mr. White was the only decent character in the movie, but he's also the dumbest. Mr. Pink was exactly right about not telling him his name. And why does he get so attached to Mr. Orange? He's only known him for a very short time.

The opening scene was more offensive than funny.
I can respect that, but find the scene to be hilarious in its offensiveness. Tarantino's a master of dialogue, and he perfectly captured the kind of banal (yet witty) dialogue that tends to go on between most groups of men. I don't presume to know what you and your male friends discuss, but I'd make a bet that most groups of guys talk primarily about sex and sports. This tends to be even more true among groups that know nothing about one another, but have to work together, because what do most guys have in common? 10 points if you said an appreciation of sex. Couple that truism with the fact that these guys are just overgrown frat boys, and multiply that with the RESERVOIR DOG's guy's obvious mutual love for music, and you get a highly immature conversation about the real sexual meaning behind Madonna's "Like a Virgin". It may be offensive, but I also think it's a very truthful moment.


I'll give you that QT's dialogue is very good and rings very true. And I'll even say that the Like a Virgin observation was very original and funny.

But would you seriously want to hang around with someone who said things like "dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick?"

When I think of "frat boys" I tend to think of immature rich kids who are too full of themselves.

The storytelling style, while a little different, isn't that different. Nor does it really seem to add anything to the story.

I highly disagree. When someone has a type of filmmaking ("Tarantino-esque") named after them, they must have done something quite different. Tarantino's dialogue sounds like no one else's (but it so perfect), his use of widescreen photography is superb, his time-jumping narrative, while not being wholly unique, is always handled adeptly and with grace, and you have to have respect for someone who can design such a compelling narrative out of almost exclusively one plain, barren warehouse set. I mean, what did this movie cost to make? $57? But, unlike other cheap films, that never becomes an issue and even seems to contribute to its perfection. How many people could design an entire feature-length film that, for the most part, doesn't go anywhere, and yet the audience is never bored?


I was specifically referring to the "time jumping" with this statement, and while I think Pulp Fiction is an excellent example of the possibilities of such a gimmick, RD is a good example of how little it can add to the story, to the point where it seems like just a gimmick.

My problem was cheifly with the characters, not the sets or cinematography. And while I wasn't bored by the characters, I certainly wasn't interested in them.

What was the point of the scene where they cut off the cop's ear? That just seemed like a really sick scene to me.

It served two functions. One, it segued the audience from the "oh, man these guys are so cool. They just crack me up" part of the movie to the "oh my God, these guys mean business. They are killers, they are bad M.F.s. These guys prey on people like you and I, and here we have been practically worshipping them for the last hour." Spike Lee used a similar technique in DO THE RIGHT THING. It's a wake up call for the audience and I, for one, find it too be very effective. Two, it gave Mr. Orange a justifiable reason to expose his true identity by his need to kill Mr. Blonde to save the tortured cop.


As I said before, I never sympathized with the characters, moreover, I really doubt that the others would have let him do what he did. That's why he waited for them to all leave. Besides, I would think that White and Pink beating the cop up would have served the same purpose. That or just outright killing him since he could ID everyone.

Also, when you say "these guys prey on people like you and I" I disagree. White and Pink were pretty upset that Psycho had killed the civillians and it was only the cops that they seemed to truly feel were inhuman targets that they could kill with impunity.

Also, why didn't Mr. Orange just say that "the smoke from the burning cop would have had the fire department here in minutes. I was alone and he wouldn't listen to me so I had to put him down"?

And when Mr. Orange shoots the woman who shoots him, if Tarrantino isn't going to use this for anything, why even show us the cop's horrified reaction? I mean, bang, bang, "Oh my god I killed a civilian" and then we're moving right along to the next scene. ???

To me, this scene was meant to illustrate how the line between cops and robbers can get blurred. I mean, they're both men with guns trying to "bang, bang" the other guy, right? Especially in terms of undercover work, Mr. Orange is a cop, but he's also a criminal. That line can get hazy, and I think Mr. Orange discovered that cops and robbers are really just two sides of the same coin. They both use violence as a means to an end, they both live by a code of honor, and they both need each other to exist.


I've been reading this "both need each other to exist" explanation in comic books for several years, and I didn't buy it then either. People decide to do the right thing or the wrong thing, and because some people make the wrong decision, we have to have laws and people to enforce them.

I think if anything, this scene illustrates what a terrible choice that the life of a thief is. You end up killing innocent women who are just trying to protect themselves and their property. There, now that would have been a good theme for this movie.

That Mr. Orange was the one who was shot and whom Mr. White was trying so hard to save was a cop was a nice twist, but still, nothing really special.

Perhaps not, but it made for an interesting character piece between the two of them, and came off almost Greek in its degree or ironic tragedy, don't you think?


Well, as I said above, I didn't buy his protection of this guy. I saw the movie, I know the reasons. They just don't ring true to me. Unless, Mr. White was not the professional I thought he was suppossed to be.

And then at the end, why does he tell him he's a cop? What an idiot!

It was all about honor. Mr. White had proven himself to be a good person to Mr. Orange. He showed compassion, protection, concern, and a willing to go to any extreme to insure Mr. Orange's safety because he "took a bullet" for him. There are things that go higher than job responsibilty among men. Mr. Orange had helped orchestrate and initiate the downfall of Mr. White's criminal empire, which Mr. White had carried out in Mr. Orange's name. At this point, whatever happened to Mr. Orange, Mr. White was either going to go to prison for a long time, or he was going to be killed by the encroaching cops. By this point of mutual sacrifice for one another, Mr. Orange felt he owed Mr. White that admission of truth. Consider this film a kind of same-sex modernization of ROMEO AND JULIET. At its heart, RESERVOIR DOGS is a story about a star-crossed friendship.


I can almost buy that, but it doesn't really resonate with me. Mr. Orange has already learned what type of profession Mr. White is involved in (via the killing of the woman in the car). Does he really owe any "honor" to one who is so deeply immersed in such a profession. Especially one that he is sworn to enforce the law against?

The whole thing just seemed pointless to me.

Hopefully, even if it never becomes enjoyable to you, I've shown you enough proof that it's certainly not pointless either.


I do think you've helped me to understand what he was trying to do with this movie. Much of it just didn't ring true with me.

But I will try watching it again. However, I don't really think that Pulp Fiction and this movie are really that similar. Obviously, the jump cutting, style of dialogue and profession of the main characters were similar, but they are really worlds apart.

Perhaps it was because you saw the entire organization acting together (from the thugs to the boss, from the boss' wife to the "fixer") and interacting with the outside world as it touches theirs. It was just more thematically coherent to me.

While I still wouldn't want to be Jules or Vince, they did things/said things you could respect or admire. And while the jokes were offensive (the father's watch story) they were just so damn funny it was worth the pay off (it advanced the story too, I mean how could you leave behind a watch like that?).

I wonder too, if I've just seen this movie too late. Would a kid seeing Star Wars today be as impressed as we were when it first came out? I think they would still like the story, but it wouldn't be as earth shaking for them as they've seen so many stories like it already.

By the same token, having already seen Pulp Fiction, perhaps it's too late for me to see Resevoir Dogs.

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--edited to add the fire/smoke arguement and to clarify a statement or two.

[This message has been edited by Blade (edited January 29, 2000).]
Old 01-29-00, 05:24 PM
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[/QUOTE]Originally posted by Blade

I wonder too, if I've just seen this movie too late. Would a kid seeing Star Wars today be as impressed as we were when it first came out? I think they would still like the story, but it wouldn't be as earth shaking for them as they've seen so many stories like it already.

By the same token, having already seen Pulp Fiction, perhaps it's too late for me to see Resevoir Dogs.

[/B][/QUOTE]

Although I also thought Reservoir Dogs was a good movie, Blade has an excellent point here.

I recall being told how good The Lost Boys was for years, and when I finally got around to seeing it (ten years later) I didn't find it anywhere near as good as it had been hyped to me. So much had come out in the span of time between its release and my first viewing that it seemed lackluster and uninvolved to me. Plus, the glut of vampire films released around the time I watched it didn't help either.

I was lucky enough to see Reservoir Dogs in its original theatrical release, so I believe it is on equal par with Pulp Fiction. I guess its all relative to timing.
Old 01-30-00, 01:07 PM
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I agree with Blade this movie is very overrated, and it isn't nearly as good as Pulp Fiction
Old 01-31-00, 02:11 AM
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Originally posted by Blade:
But they are all just killed. There's no sense of just desserts, or righteousness (good or bad). It's all done rather matter of factly with no apparent impression made on anyone who is still alive after someone is killed.

Getting shot to death doesn't qualify as just desserts?! Suffice it to say we'll agree to highly disagree on this point. If you mean to imply that there is no overt message that Tarantino appears to be making with these deaths, I hesitantly agree. I take from it the message that when a group of people can't trust each other in matters of life or death, they will likely decend into the mentality of rats feasting upon one another until everyone is dead but, admittedly, Tarantino doesn't emblazon said message across the screen or through obvious dialogue. Perhaps that left you with the feeling that the film is fractured or annoyingly obtuse. I find the style to be non-pandering and enhances the subtle (yes, even in a film this unsubtle) character interactions.

As I said in my previous post I don't want to be like any of these guys. Moreover, I don't find most of them sympathetic at all. They all seem like losers to me.

I'll give you that, yet I don't think Tarantino meant them to be particularly sympathetic characters. But I'm still confused as to how these characters are unsympathetic losers, but Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in PULP FICTION aren't...

Mr. Pink is a whiny weasel.

He's also the only one who shows any degree of reasoned thinking among the criminals. Additionally, he's the only one with the presence of mind to keep ahold of the diamonds. He may be whiny, but he proves himself to be the most intelligent and focused of the group, as well.

The son and the guy who played the psycho were acting like a couple or junior high school idiots.

As I said, frat boys.

The boss (Joe I think) was the only one (besides the black undercover cop) who had any real presence, but he comes off as more of a confused blustering old man.

Oh, but wasn't he funny as hell? He's probably my favorite character because of his gruff attitude and biting dialogue. His character does show some inconsistency (bumbling geezer when trying to read his phone book, razor sharp when planning the heist) but a good measure of inconsistency can make a character seem like a well-rounded flesh-and-blood person (human beings--at least the fascinating ones--are rarely one-note).

Mr. White was the only decent character in the movie, but he's also the dumbest. Mr. Pink was exactly right about not telling him his name. And why does he get so attached to Mr. Orange? He's only known him for a very short time.

Yes, he's dumb because he lets his heart run his actions, rather than his head, and it earns him his final fate. He's a character with a fatal flaw, and it's very compelling (to me) to see his greatest virtue become his ultimate failing. As he states in the movie, he is attached to Mr. Orange because he feels that he screwed up (likely by not just shooting the driving woman through the windshield, instead of letting her live long enough to grab her gun and take care of Mr. Orange) and Mr. Orange, who took the girl out, thereby preventing her from shooting Mr. White, is paying the fatal price for his dropped ball. The simple fact is Mr. Orange proved himself when it was needed, and (to Mr. White) that means there's no way in hell this guy could be 5-0.

I was specifically referring to the "time jumping" with this statement, and while I think Pulp Fiction is an excellent example of the possibilities of such a gimmick, RD is a good example of how little it can add to the story, to the point where it seems like just a gimmick.

I will certainly agree that Tarantino's use of "time-jumping" was much more refined in PULP FICTION, and the technique was utilized to better purpose, but if you were to arrange the scenes in RESERVOIR DOGS chronologically, wouldn't you agree that it would make for a duller, more uneven film? Slamming the audience right into the aftermath with these men, and giving us a taste of how they interact with one another under pressure makes us more fascinated in the various character arcs that brought everybody to this one place and time. If I'd had to go through Mr. White's, Mr. Blonde's, and Mr. Orange's intros before cutting to the chase, I might have been asleep by the time things got really going.

My problem was cheifly with the characters, not the sets or cinematography. And while I wasn't bored by the characters, I certainly wasn't interested in them.

Fair enough. I hated the characters in JERRY MACGUIRE and INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, but millions of people just ate them and their stories up like candy. Sometimes characters just rub you the wrong way, and that's just that. My only issue that I must keep harping upon is how are these characters quantitatively all that different from the bulk of the characters in PULP FICTION?

As I said before, I never sympathized with the characters, moreover, I really doubt that the others would have let him do what he did. That's why he waited for them to all leave. Besides, I would think that White and Pink beating the cop up would have served the same purpose. That or just outright killing him since he could ID everyone.

White and Pink beating the cop up would not serve the same purpose. There's still room for comedy there. It still taps into that dark part in many of us who have received speeding tickets or condescending treatment by cops, and get a visceral kick out of seeing one get a little comeuppance. But Mr. Blonde takes things past the point of okay. He crosses the line with how far Tarantino wants us to relish in our darker sides, and puts us in a place where we are able to accept, even gratefully appreciate, the group's ultimate fate, rather than be disappointed by it. In fact, I'd say the switch in gears occurred with one line--when the cop cries out that he has a little child waiting for him back home. From that moment on, we're on a much more dour track, with no turning back to the "man, these guys are so cool and funny" element of the first hour.

Also, when you say "these guys prey on people like you and I" I disagree. White and Pink were pretty upset that Psycho had killed the civillians and it was only the cops that they seemed to truly feel were inhuman targets that they could kill with impunity.

I'll give you that they were far less homicidal in their tendencies, but they also go out of their way to illustrate that if "some dumb idiot" gets in their way, he's going to be taken out one way or the other. These guys are not saints, and when they say things like that and "if he puts up a fight, cut off his finger--the little one", it seems to me that they all qualify as hunters and we are the prey.

Also, why didn't Mr. Orange just say that "the smoke from the burning cop would have had the fire department here in minutes. I was alone and he wouldn't listen to me so I had to put him down"?

Good point (you should try your hand at writing a script--you've certainly got a better grasp of logic than the writers of ARMAGEDDON and look how much $ they made!), but let's go a little easy on poor Mr. Orange here--he's lost a gallon of blood from a gunshot to the gut! Are his powers of reasoning and guile really going to be in top form at this particular moment in time?

I've been reading this "both need each other to exist" explanation in comic books for several years, and I didn't buy it then either. People decide to do the right thing or the wrong thing, and because some people make the wrong decision, we have to have laws and people to enforce them.

Again, fair enough. If it doesn't ring true for you, them's the breaks. But I would make the argument that without cops, criminals would run amok. Anarchy would reign and, like a spreading cancer, criminals would ultimately kill the organism they feast upon, namely civilized society. And without criminals, there is absolutely no need for law enforcement. Cops exist solely because criminals do. To me (just like the movie HEAT posits), the two obviously must have each other to survive.

Well, as I said above, I didn't buy his protection of this guy. I saw the movie, I know the reasons. They just don't ring true to me. Unless, Mr. White was not the professional I thought he was suppossed to be.

As I mentioned above, he's a professional undone by his heart. He's a classic tragic character, similar in theme to Sophocles' Oedipus, Antigone, and/or Creon. But if you didn't buy it, I can certainly respect that.

I can almost buy that, but it doesn't really resonate with me. Mr. Orange has already learned what type of profession Mr. White is involved in (via the killing of the woman in the car). Does he really owe any "honor" to one who is so deeply immersed in such a profession. Especially one that he is sworn to enforce the law against?

Mr. Orange is another character who is undone by an emotional virtue (this movie is chock full of 'em). Remember when Mr. Orange tells the black undercover cop that the thug who helped him get into the Reservoir Dog's group should be rewarded for his efforts, and the black cop is like "oh no, that guy is nothing but a worthless worm"? This foreshadows Mr. Orange's relationship with Mr. White. Mr. Orange is a man who responds instinctively to virtue, compassion, in short positive characteristics in other people. The fact that Mr. White has brought him to a place of safety, has helped settle Mr. Orange's panic, has repeatedly fought against the rest of the "dogs" in defending Mr. Orange's honor, etc. all conspire to tap directly into this character's flaw--Mr. Orange respects and honors any moments of virtue, even when it blinds him to greater sins.

I do think you've helped me to understand what he was trying to do with this movie. Much of it just didn't ring true with me.

But I will try watching it again.


Good to hear, but please do yourself the benefit of gettng some distance from it first, so you can see it through fresh eyes.

However, I don't really think that Pulp Fiction and this movie are really that similar. Obviously, the jump cutting, style of dialogue and profession of the main characters were similar, but they are really worlds apart.

Perhaps it was because you saw the entire organization acting together (from the thugs to the boss, from the boss' wife to the "fixer") and interacting with the outside world as it touches theirs. It was just more thematically coherent to me.

While I still wouldn't want to be Jules or Vince, they did things/said things you could respect or admire. And while the jokes were offensive (the father's watch story) they were just so damn funny it was worth the pay off (it advanced the story too, I mean how could you leave behind a watch like that?).


Well, I'll agree that PULP FICTION was a more mature effort, and offered a more well-rounded, epic story, but I liken the two films to the two TERMINATORs. The second is bigger, broader, more deeply textured and refined, but the first is tighter, leaner, and less cumbersome than the second. They both offer their respective virtues over the other.

I wonder too, if I've just seen this movie too late. Would a kid seeing Star Wars today be as impressed as we were when it first came out? I think they would still like the story, but it wouldn't be as earth shaking for them as they've seen so many stories like it already.

Any kid that doesn't think that STAR WARS is the greatest thing since baked bread needs a spanking!

By the same token, having already seen Pulp Fiction, perhaps it's too late for me to see Resevoir Dogs.

I certainly hope not.

Well, that seems to cover everything. I doubt we need to keep hashing and rehashing the various points of whether RESERVOIR DOGS succeeds or not, but it's been an interesting dialogue. I sincerely hope you see all the things in it you didn't the first time when you choose to revisit it (like I did with THE COLOR PURPLE which I despised on first viewing, but now regard as a beloved classic), but if not, that's cool, too. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, as the Vulcan say. Words to live by.


Old 01-31-00, 04:10 AM
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Filmmaker,

Yes, this has been an interesting discussion.

Re: Pulp Fiction.

I think the characters in Pulp Fiction had "style." Good or bad, they had it and the Dogs don't. Well, in my opinion any way.

quote:<HR>White and Pink beating the cop up would not serve the same purpose. There's still room for comedy there. It still taps into that dark part in many of us who have received speeding tickets or condescending treatment by cops, and get a visceral kick out of seeing one get a little comeuppance.<HR>


Did you really mean that to sound the way it did? I would certainly agree that what Mr. Blonde was far worse than anything White and Orange did, but this cop was just doing his job. There was NO excuse to beat him up like that. You can do permanent damage to someone and even kill them with just your fists.

But I'll let this one sit for a month or so. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Old 01-31-00, 11:49 PM
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When I think of "frat boys" I tend to think of immature rich kids who are too full of themselves.

Not to attack you, but don't be so quick to generalize.

I was in a fraternity in college. Forget the stereotypes. Forget the "Animal House" ideas. They're just movies, dude.

A fraternity is just a group of guys. That's it. It's like a clique in high school, or a gathering of people who have a common interest (clubs). Only in a fraternity, there's not really a common interest. It's just a bunch of people. That's it.

Things to remember when you hear someone talk about fraternities, as a generalization:

Hazing: Forget it. It's not true. you might see a story on the news every so often, but it's BS. My fraternity was in one incident where the media called it "hazing". You want to know the truth? The guy went to a party (he was a dorm guy, too), came over to a fraternity across the street from us to meet some friends of his, wandered into our yard and passed out at 4 am. He died from alcohol poisoning on our property. Result? We get sued, media goes nuts, everyone hates us for a while. Always remember that nothing is as it appears.

"Eliteism": lacking a better term... Everyone is eliteist. At least with a fraternity there's no common cause for it.

"Rich kids": bunk. The rich kids live off campus in their own apartments. The fraternity guys live in those single houses because it's a hell of a lot cheaper. The dorms are usually more expensive.

"Too full of themselves": In what way? I mean, you find jerks everywhere, both in and out of fraternities.

"Just a bunch of drunks": Have you ever been to an after hours dorm party? It's about the same anywhere. People drink. It's fun. BTW, just for information's sake, a lot of fraternities are banning alcohol. Sigma Nu is nationwide, last I heard. I'm against this in general, but it goes to show that the connection between alcohol and fraternities is ill-founded.

Just a few other quick facts:
- On most campuses (not all), fraternities make better grades, on average, than those people not in fraternities. This is because of the "brotherhood" aspect of a fraternity, where guys can find other people who know the material and help them along.
- Fraternities do a hell of a lot for charity and community. My fraternity did two, sometimes three major projects every semester to improve the community. We completely redid a yard for a battered women's organization in our town; we helped some of the more unfortunate (read: poor) people in town do various things (I helped reshingle a few roofs before the winter shows, other did some insulation); I personally stood on sidewalks two days a year every year to collect money for a charity to help leukimia (sp?) patients.

In other words, you only see the bad side of fraternities in the media. Try to look at the good sometime..

Well, that was a bit of a rant now wasn't it? Ahh well.. I just wanted to make my position clear.



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Old 02-01-00, 12:24 AM
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Resev. Dogs isn't a good movie. I don't know how anyone can like that crap.
Old 02-01-00, 01:48 AM
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Otto,

No, seriously, tell me how you really feel.

Just kidding.

You are correct of course.

In my defense, I would only say that "frat boys" was Filmmaker's term, and that I was referring to their general stereotype in the movies (and given how referential Tarrantino's work is, I think that's a valid assumption).

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Old 02-01-00, 05:30 AM
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I'm surprised that I actually liked it too!
I have no explanation, but I thought it was good and it was funny. I guess I'm young and that's what we like.

I like Steve Buscemi and I thought the characters were good. I also like Mr. Brown.

When you think about it though, how many movies actually have a point!!!
Old 02-01-00, 11:36 PM
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quote:<HR>Originally posted by Blade:
No, seriously, tell me how you really feel.
<HR>


Heh.. sorry..

I had just had that same discussion, more or less, with a moron cow-orker of mine.. I just needed to vent a bit.




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