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Reservoir Dogs
Year:
1992
Country:
USA
Genre:
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Mystery
IMDB rating:
8.4
Director:
Quentin Tarantino
Harvey Keitel as Mr. White - Larry Dimmick
Tim Roth as Mr. Orange - Freddy Newandyke
Michael Madsen as Mr. Blonde - Vic Vega
Chris Penn as Nice Guy Eddie Cabot
Steve Buscemi as Mr. Pink
Lawrence Tierney as Joe Cabot
Randy Brooks as Holdaway
Kirk Baltz as Ofcr. Marvin Nash
Edward Bunker as Mr. Blue
Quentin Tarantino as Mr. Brown
Steven Wright as K-Billy DJ
Rich Turner as Sheriff #1
David Steen as Sheriff #2
Tony Cosmo as Sheriff #3
Storyline: Six criminals, who are strangers to each other, are hired by a crime boss Joe Cabot to carry out a diamond robbery. Right at the outset, they are given false names with an intention that they won't get too close and concentrate on the job instead. They are completely sure that the robbery is going to be a success. But when the police show up right at the time and the site of the robbery, panic spreads amongst the group members and one of them is killed in the subsequent shootout along with a few policemen and civilians. When the remaining people assemble at the premeditated rendezvous point (a warehouse), they begin to suspect that one of them is an undercover cop.
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Reviews
Shallow, unintelligent and pretentious
Quentin Tarantino seems to concentrate his movies very much along the lines of "cool" and "tough" and pulpy storylines and characters. To me, his scripts come across as done by someone who reads too many B-grade comic books, mainly because his movies have very similar content.

The story is very thin, and to sum up the what you see on the screen most of the time: there's a bunch of cookie-cutter emotionally retarded tough-guys who compete over who can deliver the coolest and toughest lines to each other and wave their shiny guns at each other with the right sort of swagger. That sort of thing is just so ho-hum, clichéd, and juvenile that I felt like tuning out right away.

Mixed into this macho posturing is some gratuitious violence (even to the point of being repulsive at times, for example when Mr. Blonde gets his way with the cop) and a couple of "cool" stories in the vein of Pulp Fiction's story about McDonald's in France (what depth). Too bad it's pretty much gloss over content. The only flash of intelligence in this movie is right at the beginning where Mr. Pink delivers his speech on tipping. That's what kept me somewhat interested at first. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.

This sort of movie doesn't appeal to me at all, although I'm sure it has some appeal to teenagers who consider the like of _The Fast and the Furious_ to be "cool". Me, I guess I'm just too old (27) to be impressed by this sort of trashy stuff. Had I seen it ten years ago, my review then might have been somewhat different.
2003-11-05
Major Letdown
I heard so many good things about this movie before I finally saw it, and I was misled. With a shorter running time, it seemed like there was an attempt to pack in a vast amount of plot, but it ended up seeming like more time was wasted because of it.

With such a fine cast, I was expecting some fine performances. I wasn't disappointed as far as that goes. I'll admit the variety of characters was interesting and fun to watch at times, most notably during the first scene. That's about all it has to offer though.

The basic concept of strangers getting together for a crime isn't a bad idea on paper, it just didn't work out at all for this script. I kept hoping the writing would get better as the movie went on, but after about a third of the way through, I knew what I was in for.

I really don't think there's anything groundbreaking here, even for 1992. Crime movies have been done, and been done better. This seemed more like a fantasy crime movie that would only be interesting to the person thinking about it in their own unique way.

There's also some torture scene put in, which I really thought didn't need to be. It didn't seem like it fit in, at least to the extent of what happened. So what's the bottom line here? Well, it's crime movie with a semi interesting plot, a lot of tough guy talk, and an overall letdown of what could have been. 4/10
2007-01-12
Tarantino's most moral and complex parable.
UNC professor Kent Brintnall stated, "Tarantino's film is, on one reading, a reductio ad absurdum on the cult of masculinity"; film-maker and critic Robert Hilferty noted,"violent language and violent acts define the power politics of male sexuality, on which Reservoir Dogs is a virtual tragicomic essay".

Every frame in Reservoir Dogs exists to expose the damaging consequences of our society's warped view of masculinity and how it is intertwined with violence. The film's emotional core, and what elevates it to greatness, is the profound bond that exists between Mr. White and Mr. Orange. Their non-traditional dynamic (in which they both exhibit "feminine" traits; White's compassion/tenderness, Orange's vulnerability) is presented as something superior that exists outside of the masculine. The way 12 Angry Men is a film featuring white men while exposing the trappings of white male privilege, Reservoir Dogs is a film featuring hyper-masculinity that celebrates gender non- conformativity. It is Tarantino's most moral and complex work.
2013-03-02
Tarantino Lets His 'Dogs' Out in Testosterone-land!
Tarantino has an almost impenitent appetite for blood-spattered barbarism, we all know that. But in his gritty, brutal crime-caper Reservoir Dogs – a tantalizing debut feature that put the name Quentin Tarantino into the cinematic spotlight - his testosterone level is off every chart, as he happily wallows in his own adolescent love of criminals, violence, and vulgarity. So much so that, the movie appears to be set in a theme park called 'Testosterone-land', where nature isn't only red in tooth and claw, it's black as the heart of man and dank as any rag and bone shop of the human spirit.

Tarantino gets things off to a spectacularly engrossing start, as Reservoir Dogs begins with the iconic sequence involving the coffee- shop banter of six morally ambiguous outlaws. Yes, they are meant to be an urban wild-bunch, but damn, if they aren't charming and charismatic! Decked out in matching black suits and thin black ties, they've been brought together by a mob kingpin specifically to pull off a heist, and they've been kept deliberately ignorant of one another's identities, knowing each other only by their color coded pseudonyms. The heist is to be a one-shot deal - one job and they scatter to the winds. Soon after masterful opening gabfest, when you start settling in with the idea that Tarantino has made a heist movie, he pulls a coup by skipping right over the robbery itself. Instead, it cuts straight to the aftermath, as we find our wolf-pack hole up in a warehouse after the heist goes belly up, each trying to figure out which one of them squawked to the police. Dissension and suspicion run high and soon, it becomes clear to the audience that at least one of these guys is a snitch, but which one?

Tarantino's glitziest stroke in his heist drama is never to show the main event: the film's 'action' occurs after the heist. Tarantino expertly builds tension, interweaving scenes of the aftermath of the thieves' foiled heist with scenes depicting them getting ready for the heist, backtracking in time and point of view half a dozen times. Each flashback reveals just enough information to fill in a piece of the puzzle. His palpable enthusiasm, his unapologetic passion for what he's created reinvigorates this venerable plot and, mayhem aside, makes it involving for longer than you might suspect. His trademarks of amplified violence and vulgar dialogue are in full force, as are the flurry of obscure to not-so-obscure pop culture references woven into the dialogue. Part of the appeal of Reservoir Dogs is the way it makes all of it feel terribly authentic, a veracity that is a tribute to the skill of its actors, particularly Michael Madsen who is awesome as the sadistic yet painfully cool Mr. Blonde and Steve Buscemi who is deadpan funny as the always-on-the- edge Mr. Pink.

Reservoir Dogs grabs you by the throat and digs its claws in deep. It may seem hideously ugly on paper, but in the sure way it's made, it's inconveniently dazzling - driven, beautifully made and completely wacko at once. It's pure outlaw art!
2015-04-23
A Neo-Violent Joy
This is without a doubt one of the best movies I've ever seen and definately deserves its position on the Top 250. It's an acquired taste, but if you've been desensitised to violence (as i have), then you will want to watch this again from the minute it ends. Every single actor was perfectly fitted for its character. Steve Buscemi as the squirrely Mr. Pink, Harvey Keitel as the veteran Mr. White, and of course, Michael Madsen as the phsycotic Mr. Blonde. The list goes on and on.

Some people said that the violence was unnecessary and didn't move the plot forward as it did with Pulp Fiction. I agree, but the violence was used to develop the character's personalities. It showed their disregard for human life and that our anti-heros saw killing a cop as being as stepping on a cockroach .

I urge future viewers of this movie not to instantly compare it to Pulp Fiction and enjoy it as it's own film. An interesting thrill-ride crime drama from beginning to end, I give this film *****/*****
2002-07-17
" War is an Argument which got out of hand "
Director Quentin Tarantino has an exceptional ability to create action films like this one called "Reservoir Dogs." It is sure to rank among his very best. The script and it's dramatic storyline throughout the entire movie is a visual compendium of 'Waiting for Godot' meets 'Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.' Anyone seeing it for the first time is in for a real treat. The story is of an experienced gangster who attempts to create the perfect crime. Its simple enough, collect seven of the most professional and trustworthy men in the business, assign them code names, tell them just enough about the crime to do their part, snatch the haul, then rendezvous in a warehouse after the job and split the take. The men selected are top of the line actors like Lawrence Tierney as the Boss Joe Cabot, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi and Chris Penn. Like the best laid plans, the unexpected was not included and therefor becomes the focus of a violent shouting match with guns. Between themselves, the heist should have worked, why it didn't has much to do with the body in the trunk (Kirk Baltz) and will have them at each other's throats trying to fathom the reason. The final segment of the film makes it the most exciting climax since the shootout of the Wild Bunch. With dramatic flair and an excellent, but violent dialog, this incredible film will become a Classic. ****
2009-04-06
I still don't get it
People sure love this movie. I have a friend who says that it's good because of the ear-slicing scene; most directors would cut away from such violence entirely, but here, we get to see the aftermath of a maiming. Well yeah, "Reservoir Dogs" does push the envelope - but towards what? Should we really praise a movie just because it wallows in violence more willingly than its predecessors?

My ex-girlfriend says this is a Greek tragedy. If that were true, the violence would be entirely justified, because it would help elevate "Reservior Dogs" to the level of an enlightening commentary on human nature. Alas, none of the characters is particularly noble; they start off as low-lifes and have nowhere to fall. So, that defense doesn't seem to work either.

In short, people have long tried to convince me that this is really a masterpiece. But even the best parts - such as the opening dialogue in the restaurant - seem artificial and engineered. Tarantino is ripping off older, better films and directors wholesale. There are shades of "The Taking of Pelham 123" here, and there's also a dash of "The Omen" at the end. Hitchcock, Frankenheimer, and even John Carpenter did this kind of stuff before, and they did it better. No doubt Tarantino was a breath of fresh air after the shallow era of 1980s action movies, but he was not much of an innovator, and I don't think that his super-cool style has stood even the shortest test of time; he has, after all, practically dropped off the face of the earth.

2004-03-16
Violence for violence's sake might set a bad precedent
Everybody knows that criminals are big losers but still there is a strong tradition in American cinema especially in Hollywood of making films which glorify criminals.Everybody knows that Godfather,a film about a mafia family is hailed as a classic film.People know well as to what kind of things mafia do and how harmful they are to human society in general.Reservoir Dogs is one such dumb film which through its antics champions the cause of crooks without morals.Tarantino is believed to be a humorist however his humor is undoubtedly bland and mainly consists of filthy abuses.A word about the violence in the film: by showing macabre scenes of senseless violence Tarantino has shown that in the name of creative freedom and in order to gain easy publicity all rules can be broken and more the violence the more controversial the film is going to be.Good that this film has not been emulated by other film makers. It is a good development that till now no studio has come forward with the idea of making a sequel of this film.God save America who has Quentino.
2007-07-19
Simply brilliant; short, tight and taut
Crime boss Joe Cabot brings together a group of criminals to perform a big one-off job. To protect each other, they all use colour coded names. However on the day of the job, the police ambush the gang and each makes their own getaway. As the gang comes together at their warehouse meeting point they realise that someone within the gang must have tipped the police or be an undercover. The accusations and suspicions escalate into violence in the confines of the warehouse.

When this film came out in the UK it caused an absolute firestorm of controversy over it's violence, even to the point that it was banned in the UK for a while. I still find this absurd and am very glad we have moved to a more tolerant society where generally the BBFC protect vulnerable groups but let adults decide for themselves. Looking at the media's adoring welcome for the ultra violent Kill Bill one can't help but marvel at how things have changed. Looking at Reservoir Dogs now (or even then!) it simply isn't THAT violent. However what it is is very sudden and all the more powerful for it.

Tarantino directs the film and writes the film in such a way that it was impossible to ignore him even if the film was only a cult hit. The dialogue is both witty at points but, more importantly, very tough and loaded with testosterone. It is the writing that makes us like these coffee shop jokers at the start before shocking us by suddenly throwing us into a backseat bloodbath. The entire job happens off camera, and only occasionally do we actually see the immediate effect of violence - usually we get the aftermath. It is incredibly tight and very tense throughout, I was about 16 when my father took me to see this film - it has stayed with me since and I still considered it to be one of the best `job gone wrong' films of my generation. It may not be original (there's a thin line between a homage and a rip off) but it is certainly effectively done.

The cast are excellent and turn the hardboiled dialogue into convincing scenes. Keitel is wonderful. His character is a father figure of sorts and he is wildly out of control at times and balanced at others. Likewise Buscemi is wide-eyed and freaking out for much of the film, but he does it well. Roth is more balanced but is still good for it; it is his job to carry the emotional weight of the film and he does it well, despite a wandering American accent at times. Madsen is great, maybe not the best character but wildly out of control. Tierney was a great piece of casting, as was Bunker. Penn is good but not the best of the cast.

Tarantino mercifully has little acting to do, but it is his film as writer and director. The flashbacks during the film was a brave way to do it but it really works well - mixing stories with flashbacks and so on. No matter what the time of the scene, it all keeps moving tensely towards the climax. It may be a homage and not as original as some films but so what - it is tight and tense, macho, violent, funny and very enjoyable.
2004-01-28
Don't Believe The Hype - It's Not That Good
RESERVOIR DOGS exploded onto cinema screens in 1992 and I can still remember the shock waves it caused due to the excessive violence . If memory serves me right Glasgow Council came very close to banning it from cinema chains in the city and they weren't alone in trying to do this either as newspaper headlines and word of mouth screamed how violent the movie was as Quentin Tarantino became the most infamous and influential movie director of the mid 1990s . RESERVOIR DOGS was finally allowed a British network TV transmission in the Summer of 1997 on channel 4 . I was rubbing my hands in anticipation at seeing this movie . After seeing the movie I felt disgusted . Not because it was a movie whose violent content had sickened me but because I'd fallen for the hype like a total shmuck . This must be the most overrated movie of the 1990s

!!!!! SLIGHT SPOILERS !!!!!

First of all the characters meet in a diner . If you're carrying out a heist is it a good idea to gather in a public place where potential witnesses can identify you ? And would a bunch of robbers be interested in discussing the lyrics of Madonna or the films of John Holmes ? It might be cool and trendy to discuss pop culture but in the context of this movie it's illogical . Soon the narrative switches to a warehouse where the robbers have arrived after their disastrous heist and we're treated to some very obvious exposition : " F***in' sick f*** . Why'd he do that ? Did you see what he did to that girl ? How old was she ? Nineteen ? F***in' sick motherf***er " After the movie finished this is what bothered me - I had expected the movie to end by showing us the massacre at the bank BUT THIS NEVER HAPPENS ! and I can't describe how cheated I felt . Okay we're shown the various robbers making their getaways but not once are we shown the much referred to robbery itself which made me feel very disappointed , not because I wanted to see teenage girls get murdered but because it instinctively felt like it should have been the centrepiece scene / climax scene of the movie

As for the rest of the movie's reputation for violence it's ill deserved . There's buckets of blood but many , many movies also feature buckets of blood and gore and don't receive half as much attention as RESERVOIR DOGS . Remember the much criticised scene of the cop getting his ear cut off ? Didn't anyone notice that this actually happens off camera ? Ironically enough the only murder that did disturb me - " What this cop ? " BANG - is chilling because it's committed so coldly not because it's graphic in any way .

Is there anything I like about RESERVOIR DOGS ? Harvey Keitel is the type of actor I'd watch even if it involved him reading out his shopping list , and the scene where it's revealed who the undercover cop is memorable along with the compelling " How's he going to explain that to the bad guys when they return ? " storyline . But at the end of the day I can't help thinking RESERVOIR DOGS is ruined by its much hyped reputation . WHITE HEAT is a very similar movie and a much better one

RESERVOIR DOGS gets six bones out of a possible ten
2004-08-14
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