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4K UHD + Blu-ray Review: Reservoir Dogs – “looks and sounds gorgeous”

Reservoir Dogs hit cinemas in 1992 and introduced us to Quentin Tarantino. His debut film featured snappy dialogue, super cool slow-motion walking, an ear-cutting scene that didn’t actually show the ear being cut and a brilliant cast – Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, Chris Penn, Edward Bunker, Kirk Baltz, Quentin Tarantino, and Lawrence Tierney – who did an incredible job. You could tell Tarantino loved movies. Not just loved them, but he had absorbed every iota of every single film and TV show he had ever watched. He had then let that brew with all the various songs and music he had listened to until he had a chance to bring it to the big screen.

Lionsgate is debuting the film for the first time on 4K Blu-ray on 21st November to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

I still remember going to the cinema with my Dad to see it and both of us being blown away by what is almost a single-location drama about a heist gone horribly wrong. Sure, we have the restaurant scene at the beginning and a few flashbacks, but most of the film takes place in a dingy warehouse where our gang of criminals, all with colourful codenames, arrive at different times as they try to figure out what went wrong, who lived, who died and who is the snitch.

It has been adapted for the stage and it is very much a theatrical experience with the dialogue being the driving force. However, Tarantino’s directing and the cinematography never makes it a boring watch. The fact we never see the heist in question is a stroke of genius that leaves us to fill in the gaps from the various bits and pieces that the criminals mention.

I think this was the first time I had seen Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Steve Buscemi…or at the very least the first time I truly noticed them. Roth’s scenes of him learning the story he has to tell until it becomes his own story is just brilliant, both in how the story is visualised and how Roth portrays it. Madsen’s Mr. Blonde is cool and laid-back attitude hides the monster beneath and Buscemi’s Mr. Pink is a weasly, whiny guy who is out of depth. Holding them all together and the heart of the film is Harvey Keitel who helped get the film made when he signed on as a co-producer after reading the script.

You know Keitel’s Mr. White has done bad things, but you can’t help like the guy. He wants everyone to live and make it out the other side and when he learns who the police informer is you cannot help but feel for him.

Superb acting by all involved.

Then you have that soundtrack and just how well it works with the film. I have it on CD and remember just playing it over and over while driving. Steven Wright bringing us K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the 70s was the perfect accompaniment and Stealers Wheel’s Stuck in the Middle with You is forever entwined with Mr. Blonde’s torturing of the cop.

As you can tell I am a big fan of the film and cannot believe that it is now 30 years old. Where did that time go?

The new release looks and sounds gorgeous. The image is sharp with colours that pop and deep blacks that make everything look just right and it still has that lovely film quality to it. All in all,  if you don’t have it in your collection then I highly recommend you pick it. I would also say it could be well worth getting even if you already own a copy.

Reservoir Dogs is on limited edition 4K UHD + Blu-ray SteelBook now.

Special Features (on the Blu-ray disc only)

• Deleted Scenes
• Background Check
• No Protection
• Doing My Job
• Cutting Off The Ear – Alternate Take A
• Cutting Off The Ear – Alternate Take B
• Playing It Fast and Loose
• Profiling the Reservoir Dogs

You can order it at Amazon, HMV and Zavvi.

Thank you for supporting Live for Films (LFF) when you order using the link below. As an Amazon Associate LFF earns from qualifying purchases. If you are using an adblocker you will not see the link.

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