Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino, 1992)

A landmark film, and for better or worse influencing more young filmmakers than any other recent film. Reservoir Dogs contains moments of genius (the commode anecdote wonderfully parallels Tim Roth’s split personality), but like most debuts by major filmmakers only hinting at the potential so wonderfully on display in Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and Kill Bill Vol. 1. Reservoir Dogs maintains a brilliant sense of containment, both in character and purpose, and achieves a certain sharp brutality unmatched in Tarantino’s other work. It’s hard to watch this film again since so many have ripped it off, ironically depriving it of some originality and impact. Tarantino’s evolvution as a filmmaker has been fascinating to watch and remembering where it all began remains important, even when his work becomes a parody of itself.

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