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Introduction
I waited a long time for this film to come to UK R2. After the poor non-anamorphic R1 disc and the German language only European release, it was with great anticipation that I sat down to watch the film. Could Momentum do one of my all-time favourite films justice?

Reservoir Dogs
Film
The story mostly concerns the aftermath of a bungled jewel heist, and how the criminals involved deal with a situation gone awry. Set predominantly in an abandoned warehouse, we are introduced to the main protagonists by the clever implementation of non-sequential flashback sequences. It is in between these flashbacks that the four surviving gangsters try to piece together what went wrong, who is to blame, and how they are going to get out of the mess they find themselves in. Unbeknownst to them, one of their ranks is actually an undercover police officer that has been assigned to infiltrate the group so that the mastermind, Joe Cabot, can be brought to justice. As the film hurtles towards its bloody climax we learn more about the gangster’s backgrounds and motivations, especially about the characters Mr. Blonde, Mr. Orange and Mr. White.

Featuring brilliant performances from all of the principals, Reservoir Dogs is a powerful bit of cinema. The dialogue is, to paraphrase one of the characters, ‘super cool’ and is littered with pop culture references. Just check out Mr. Brown’s (Quentin Tarantino) opening ‘Madonna speech’ for proof of that. Steve Buscemi is great as Mr. Pink, the weasel-like gangster who is ultimately the only professional among the bunch. Michael Madsen plays his usual tough guy/psycho role to a tee and Harvey Keitel puts in a fine performance as the father figure of the group. Special mention must go to Tim Roth for his portrayal of Mr. Orange, as he is simply superb.

Reservoir Dogs
Video
The best thing about this disc is the transfer. The film is presented in anamorphic 2.35:1 (yay!) and looks sensational; Momentum really have done a first class job with the video and deserve high praise for their efforts. This is one of the best looking films I’ve seen on DVD, and although not quite up there with the likes of X-Men or Fight Club, it’s still a great achievement considering Reservoir Dogs is the best part of a decade old now. The image is very clean, sharp, and colours are bright and extremely vibrant.

Audio
Here comes the caveat. Rather than the 5.1 remix found on the R1 disc (which is actually 4.0 I believe), we have the original stereo track. I know the purists would say that this is the original track, and that it is the way the film was presented in theatres, but I would’ve loved the full surround mix as well. Why both couldn’t be included on the disc is a mystery to me. That said the audio is good; dialogue is clear, and the various 70’s tunes sound great. As Reservoir Dogs is such a dialogue heavy film the omission of a surround track doesn’t impair the overall enjoyment of the film as much as it could have.

Extras
Now we move on to the extra features. Not brilliant, was my first thought. Included are the original theatrical trailer and an interview with Quentin Tarantino, in which he discusses the origins of the film. A longer version of the interview is included in the form of an Easter egg, but it doesn’t really add much to the proceedings. The animated menus are very pleasant though, and the catchy ‘Coconut’ song loops over and over in the background. Still, the lack of any real content is noticeable and slightly disappointing. Where are the interviews? Where is the commentary track?

Reservoir Dogs
Overall
This is a good, if not stunning, presentation of an excellent film. Reservoir Dogs is, for me, Tarantino’s best picture and deserves a place in any DVD enthusiast’s collection. I can vividly remember the trips to the late night showings at my local multiplex, where we’d sit and regurgitate every line of the ‘super cool’ script. As stated before, the video quality is top notch and the audio remains true to the original. When you combine this with the overall excellence of the film the lack of any substantial extra material can be overlooked. Reservoir Dogs is a modern classic and should definitely be on your ‘to buy’ list. Highly recommended.


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