STUDIO: Lions Gate
MSRP: $19.98
RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes
Audio commentary Quentin Tarantino and assorted cast and crew
Audio commentary on select scenes by critics
Criminal profiles of the characters
Deleted scenes
K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the ‘70s
Location scouting featurette
Playing it Fast and Loose documentary
Reservoir Dolls featurette
Reservoir Dogs style guide
Reservoir Dogs video game trailer
Sundance 1992 featurette
Tipping guide

The Pitch

The same movie you’ve bought a million times over, this time in a novelty case with dozens of useless features and 100% less Chris Penn interviews! Bend over and buy it, you double dipping whore.

The Humans

Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi and Lawrence Tierney.

The Blues Brothers 3000 set off to work.

The Nutshell

Six bank robbers team up for a heist on a jewelry store. Things get messed up quickly, as the cops show up on the scene almost immediately and shots are fired all over the place. Civilians, cops and robbers alike die in the crossfire and the ensuing chaos. Four of the criminals manage to escape the melee and return to the safe house, where they must face the unfortunate truth that one of them is secretly working for the cops.

What follows is a disjointed, violent, filthy and gritty crime tale in which the secret lives and motivations of the characters are revealed through flashbacks, leading up to a tense standoff and tons of blood. All of this is set to the rocking soundtrack of great ‘70s tunes and features plenty of Tarantino pop culture references.

It’s the film that paved the way for Michael Madsen to coast off his performance for over a decade and gave women the vapors with Chris Penn’s gorgeous chest hair.

Penn’s posse never got enough of his wacky stories from the set of Corky Romano.

The Lowdown

The only thing more unbelievable than the fact that Chris and Sean Penn came from the same semen is the idea that there’s a single visitor to this site that hasn’t seen this movie. It’s Tarantino’s second film and a bona fide classic. If you’re a fan of the guy’s work, it’s one of his best and if you’re an ardent Tarantino hater then it’s the film that revels in every aspect of the guy you so despise.

The degree to which is holds up these days depends entirely on how overexposed it has become to you and whether or not that will taint your viewing experience. So many scenes from the film have become so popular and ingrained in our cultural consciousness that they don’t really contain the same impact they one had, but that’s certainly not the fault of the movie itself.

Reservoir Dogs isn’t the most original gritty crime movie out there and sure, it lifts its inspiration here and there from plenty of films, but it’s executed so wonderfully and with such great precision that’s it’s almost impossible not to love. It’s a film made by an amateur filmmaker who had such swagger and confidence that he managed to capture the pure essence of cool on a movie screen and make brutal razor blade mutilation fun again.

It’s all because of those darn video games.

The Package

This film was last released on its 10th anniversary by Artisan in those delightful themed boxes featuring all of the Reservoir Dogs except for Mr. Blue. If you were a completely obsessive compulsive freak, Artisan intended for you to buy each and every version of the packaging and collect them all. They were so caught up with this delicious marketing scheme that they forget to give the film a decent transfer and the trademark black suits ended up appearing as a washed out gray.

At the very least, Lions Gate has corrected the video transfer problems for this triple dip. The film looks the best it ever has and the suits are back to their full elegant black glory. The sound is offered in both Dolby Digital 6.1 EX and 5.1 EX tracks, giving you the opportunity to hear the sheer monotony of Stephen Wright’s voice the way it was meant to be heard.

There seems to be a limit to how many quality special features any disc can truly have. For a series of films that are sweeping and epic and required incredible amounts of work like the Lord of the Rings series, two whole discs of special features can be justified and all be worth watching. For an independent crime movie made in 1992, there’s really only so much you can do.

The last few moments of Peter Dinklage’s life.

One of the biggest selling points of the new edition is the novelty packaging, which is a gasoline can replica. Once you remove the top of the can, you have to dump out the oversized matchbook case that contains both disks. Unfortunately, the case is a bitch to close and really much more trouble than it’s worth.

The basic stuff is taken care of on disc one There’s the requisite feature commentary by Quentin himself and the rest of the crew, deleted scenes, a trivia track and a retrospective documentary on the 1992 Sundance Film Festival at which the film debuted. All of these special features will tell you everything you need to know about Reservoir Dogs, why it was important, the climate of the film industry at its time of release and the way it has impacted movies since it came out.

If Lions Gate had stopped there, this would be a solid special edition and a great presentation of a good film. However, they felt they had to cram this thing to the gills to truly celebrate the film’s upcoming anniversary, shoveling a ton of useless and downright crappy features onto two discs.

Many of the superfluous extras are two minute featurettes that serve no purpose at all. Want to see someone use the licensed Reservoir Dogs dolls to reenact the ear cutting scene? Now you can! Want to read completely manufactured and made up criminal profiles of the characters? You know you want it! Want to read an entirely humorless tipping guide by Mr. Pink? Your dreams have come true!

"Hello? Can you hear me? Can someone please tell me how the hell I ended up in Bloodrayne?"

It’s very weird to complain about a DVD trying too hard, but it’s definitely the case here. The amount of effort that went into trying to justify this triple dip is admirable, but mostly it just seems like padding to make this edition seem much more impressive than it actually is.

If you’re unhappy with the transfer on the older discs or haven’t picked up a copy of Reservoir Dogs yet, this new edition has an affordable price and is worth your hard earned dollar. If you’re content with what you already have, then feel free to leave this one in the gutter along with Madsen’s career.

Overall: 8.5 out of 10