Thursday, August 18, 2005

Review: Reservoir Dogs

Many of the young men (and some of the young women) I teach admire Quentin Tarantino's films. I think Pulp Fiction is brilliant, but I could only watch a few minutes of Kill Bill before giving up, and until recently, I hadn't seen Reservoir Dogs nor Jackie Brown.

So in order to better understand the narrative world and sensibilities of my students (I say this partially tongue in cheek), I rented Reservoir Dogs the other day.

It was a terrible experience. I was OK with and kinda liked the opening breakfast table scene. The dialog lacked the snap that Tarantino shows in Pulp Fiction, but you could see how the first leads to the second. But it was all down hill after that. I was ready to give up after about forty minutes, but I kept on, thinking that the film maker would redeem all that he was putting me through, but he didn't. I don't think I've ever regretted seeing a movie more. (Except for maybe all three of the new Star Wars films, but that's for another time).

I understand what Tarantino was trying to do - he pushes boundaries in multiple directions. But I don't understand why so many people feel so passionate about this film. What is the point of the movie? What's it about, other than transgressing boundaries?

But it also occurs to me that this film belongs, broadly, to the same transgressive category as The Bad News Bears which I affirm in another post. So, am I saying that this kind of thing is OK in it's milder forms but not at full strength? Hmm.

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