DVD Review #19: Reservoir Dogs (10th Anniversary Special Edition) (1992)

February 18, 2010 at 1:14 PM | Posted in Drama, DVD Reviews | Leave a comment

A movie good enough to reference The Silver Surfer.

I really can’t review Reservoir Dogs. Especially not after listening to so many people talk about the movie on the DVD. I’d sound like a chattering monkey. Chatter chatter… chatter. I couldn’t possibly add anything. I can’t analyze the freakin’ movie. I can’t review good movies, especially with nothing to compare them to. All I can say is, “Wow.”


The transfer on this version isn’t great. The picture is inconsistent between shots, the first scene looks really flat, and the titles are on a brown background instead of black. The white levels could stand to be higher as well, especially during the credits.

The sound is okay. Not very crisp in some scenes due to the on set dialogue.

I will be getting the 15th Anniversary Edition for a better copy of the movie, so look for that review possibly sometime later this year.

First of all, the commentary is a normal full length track. The box only mentions the “select scene commentary,” but rest assured, there’s a real track as well. Secondly, it’s really hard to listen to because they don’t turn down the movie volume enough, so you’re listening to two or more people talk at once. Apart from that, the “technical” people are pretty boring. Quentin and the actors are good. But overall, it’s an inconsistent track. The editor talks about editing. The foreign guy talks about lighting. It’s a great film, but it’s low budget and rough. Nobody really cares about the lenses used. It’s an acting picture.

Six original interviews appear on the first disc totalling 55 minutes. I’m not sure why they’re “original,” but there’s plenty of original stories here anyway. Disc one also includes twelve minutes of deleted scenes, including two alternate takes/angles of the ear scene, the closeup of which reveals a decided lack of realism, seams and all.

“The Class of ’92” is a half hour set of featurettes about the rise of independant films at 1992’s Sundance Film Festival. None of this means much without footage of the films they’re discussing, but at least Quentin’s stories have some value.

Now, I don’t know what the hell this is, but there’s a couple of Sundance Institute workshop versions of scenes from the movie. The first is the Joe/Mr. Blonde scene from the movie, but with Steve Buscemi playing Mr. Blonde. The second is Pink’s first scene of the movie, with Steve playing Mr. Pink this time, but Quentin playing Mr. White.

The critics’ commentaries are of select scenes from the movie. Amy Taubin comments on 20 minutes of film, including Tim Roth’s scenes and the ear scene. Peter Travers and Emanuel Levy comment on about 30 minutes each. Rolling Stone‘s Travers discusses the music and references in the film and their possible meanings beyond superficial use, and this is a GREAT track. Enthusiastic film commentary, short and to the point and as entertaining as the movie itself. Levy’s commentary of “Rezma Dogues” isn’t particularly insightful. It’s telling that the Rolling Stone writer has more to say and better interpretations than the professional film guy.

There’s another 55 minute collection of stuff in the tributes section of disc 2. Part of this has Quentin discussing the filmic influences on Reservoir Dogs. Wedged in is a “tribute” to Lawrence Tierney, via insane stories about him. Eddie Bunker, I guess, pays tribute to himself by talking about himself. The rest contains general interviews with directors about their own movies, Pam Grier on Reservoir Dogs, and Quentin on Roger Corman’s work. Watch the Pam Grier and Lawrence Tierney extras, but the rest don’t have much to do with this movie.

“K-BILLY Radio” has various audio clips. The first clip is some kind of weird fake interview with a fake convict about the realism of Reservoir Dogs. The second clip is an interview with the writer of “Stuck in the Middle With You.” The third one has Steven Wright’s recordings and outtakes. There’s also a time wasting re-enactment of the ear scene with dolls. This, like all audio menus, is particularly annoying to use. No durations are listed, and you can’t pause, fast forward or otherwise control the tracks. You can only play them start to finish. Listen to the Steven Wright track. The rest are superfluous.

“The Film Noir Web” features interviews about Film Noir, again unrelated to this film, as well as a huge section of text that nobody ever reads on DVDs.

“Small Dogs” is a gratuitous short about the action figure lines for the movie (years after the fact).

“Securing the Shot” takes about four minutes out to show some photos of the locations used in the movie.

The style guide is an absolutely pointless brief bunch of clips from the movie with “clever” labels applied.

The poster gallery is three images.

Most of this stuff is not great. You can tell they were trying to fit as much crap on here as possible, even if it was barely related. The extras of note are the deleted scenes, interviews, the Peter Travers commentary, and the Steven Wright audio. The 15th anniversary DVD seems to take the best of these features and add some real documentaries. I’m sure the 20th anniversary edition will pare it down even more and add something else worth watching. As it is, I’m not feeling like this version is the most worthwhile.

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