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Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992)

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Post by Admin on Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:07 am

Identify the genre(s) [if applicable], the main plot points and the clichés [if any].


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Post by blackskullthunder on Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:03 am

Reservoir Dogs Genre and Cliché Analysis
Genre: Crime/Gangster
The clichés of the film are shown mostly through the various members of the group who each represent a certain cliché of the genre as well as aspects of the plot.
Mr White (The mentor):

Mr White acts as the mentor and the father figure to Mr Orange during the heist, he is the one who teaches him certain aspects of the heist, and is the one who takes care of him after he gets shot, he is also the only one to take Oranges side when Joe reveals the fact that he’s the undercover cop, eventually becoming completely distraught when he learns that Joe was right. He is an old fashioned criminal, a firm believer in the way things should be done, he views the character of Mr. Blonde as someone that given the choice he would never be associated with him (“You can’t work with a fucking psychopath.”). He is caring yet very confrontational when pushed.
Mr Orange (The Undercover Cop):
Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992) Clip_image004
Mr Orange is at first seen as the young inexperienced thief, through his interactions with Mr White and Mr Pink, however eventually it is unveiled that he is actually an undercover cop, and is actually just as much of a psychopath as the rest of the group, as shown by his killing of the woman who shoots him and Mr Blonde, both of which he shows barely any emotions. He is however shown to truly care about Mr White from him spending his last moments confessing and apologising to him.
Mr Pink (The Wisecracking Professional):
Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992) Clip_image006
Mr Pink serves as essentially the comic relief of the film, probably the two most famous lines in the entire film belong to him, those being “You see this, it’s the world’s smallest violin playing just for the waitresses.” And, “Hey, why am I Mr Pink.” Though he is the most comedic of the group he is easily the most professional of the group, he is the only member of the group who isn’t shown killing another character (the closest is shooting at a number of cops), and is the only character aside from Mr Brown and Mr Blue whose real name isn’t revealed. On top of this he’s the character who is able to get away in the end, following the standoff he takes the diamonds and runs, though his ultimate fate is left ambiguous as we can hear sirens and gunshots from outside soon after.
Mr Blonde (The Psychopath):
Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992) Clip_image008
Mr Blonde is a complete and total psychotic, he enjoys killing and tortures people for fun, the characters frequently talk about how he began executing staff members during the heist, and of course the famous torture scene where he cuts off the cops ear and is about to set him on fire simply for the fun of it, the only reason he doesn’t is due to him being shot dead by Mr. Orange. He is shown to be calm, cool and quiet, he also greatly enjoys confrontation, as shown by his constant pushing of Mr White.
Joe (The Boss):
Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992) Clip_image010
The head of the group, the one who plans the heist and the one who brings the thieves together. He is a man of instinct and has a very straight edge view on the roles and relationship between cops and robbers, as soon as he discovers the fact that Orange is a cop he immediately draws his gun and is about to shoot him, which leads to the standoff scene between him, White and Eddie. The main characteristic of Joe is simply that he is a violent, disgruntled, grouchy old man, he makes numerous remarks about how the group aren’t professional with the way they act, especially Mr Pink.
Eddie (The Bosses Son)
Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992) Clip_image012
Joe’s son, acting as the second in command of the group and the assistant planner of the heist, a good friend of Mr Blonde, he is the only member of the group to not believe that there is an undercover cop among them, though he tries to come across as calm and collected, he is shown to have an extremely violent side as well, shown by his brutal execution of the cop and his threatening of Mr Orange following the death of Mr Blonde. He ties to come across as in control as his father, but he clearly isn’t.
The Failed Heist:
Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992) Clip_image014
Most crime films end with a heist or crime going somewhat wrong, often at least one of (if not all) the characters die during it, however Reservoir Dogs is different in this sense in which the main focus of the story is on the aftermath of the crime, though two of the characters are killed during the heist most of them get away from the heist. In most other films the main focus would be either the set up or just simply all in the heist itself, but due to budget issues Tarentino opted to set pretty much the entire film in one location, that being the warehouse.
The Mexican Standoff:
Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992) Clip_image016

Most (if not all) crime films include several characters facing each other in a “Mexican standoff,” it normally is included if there’s more than one main character in the film and often takes place at the climax of the film, often involving a number of criminals and cops, or members of rival groups or even (such as in this case) members of the same group having a dispute, normally the fight involves the members each drawing their guns on each other and just waiting for another to move first, and normally involves all but the main character(s) being killed, however in this film it looks as though all participants are killed in the fight.


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Post by AmyLou93 on Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:21 pm

Reservoir Dogs 1992
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Genre: Crime
Starring: Steve Buscetti, Tim Roth

I enjoyed Reservoir Dogs just as much as I did the first time I watched it. I would argue that as well as genre conventions and cliches, there are what I would like to call Tarantino conventions and cliches. What I mean by this is there are certain trademarks in a Tarantino film such as blood, and lots of it, violence, and characters dying unexpectedly.

As for the genre it is quite clearly crime, if the jewelry store robbery plan doesn't give it away, maybe the many times a gun is used, or a police officer is mentioned.

The film starts off with a group of men dressed in suits discussing everyday life, they could all just be buddies that like wearing suits at this point in the film this is one of the main things I like about the film the only reason these guys look out of place is the fact they are wearing suits, if it were just a bunch of guys hanging out in a diner convention would dictate they wear casual wear, so as a viewer there is a little voice in your head saying 'Why suits?' this I think is clever as it goes against convention in a way.

After the diner scene there is a shot showing one of the characters bleeding heavily from a gun wound we know it is a gun shot wound from the victim mentioning being shot, exhibit A the first of many crime conventions. As the film goes on we discover what happened it is a classic robbery gone wrong another convention hinting at crime genre. The use of fake names, and the fact that there is an undercover cop in the midst are also conventions in crime films.

Moving on to Cliches, during the film I think each character fits into a cliché for example Mr Orange is an undercover cop this is a very common occurrence in crime films its used so much it's now expected at least at some point. Mr White takes on the role of Mentor which is necessarily a genre related cliché, however it is still a cliché often used. Mr Blonde is the character that clearly enjoys being a criminal and is prone to violence another cliché for a character in film. Nice Eddie is the bosses son and therefore expects preferential treatment for being the bosses son. The boss himself is a cliché there always seems to be a higher power controlling things quite a common cliché in gangster films also a crime related genre. 


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Post by Charliemarie on Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:55 pm

[ltr]Reservoir Dogs Quentin Tarantino 1992 [/ltr]

Genre: Crime, Thriller, Black Comedy. 

Reservoir Dogs is somewhat different to a lot of other crime films, in that it is about the aftermath of a heist rather than the actual heist, The Story is told mostly through flashbacks to before the robbery and after the robbery, we never actually see the heist in action. 

It doesn’t really start as an average crime film, its opening scene is that of a group of guys in suits talking over lunch, it could be anything other than a crime film, yet it is a crime film as we later figure out when the failed robbery is confirmed as Mr orange lies in the back of a car bleeding and they arrive in the warehouse meeting Mr pink. 

Everything in between is flashbacks showing meetings, the lead up to the robbery and the aftermath but never the actual heist, which makes it totally different to most crime films in that they might show the heist more than explanation about the heist. 

The film ends with a Mexican stand off after the film goes through the robbery and first meetings, the robbery goes wrong and there have been many deaths, the bosses son shows up, the boss turns up and a Mexican standoff ensues with most of the characters dying, the cop is revealed and the police ambush the building. 

The main cliches of the film are mainly involving characters, the undercover cop, the boss , his son, who thinks he can do anything because he is the bosses son.  The lunatic and the mentor, all cliches of gangster style crime films, although it's not  technically a gangster film it still borrows from this with the head boss and son rounding up his most reliable and favorite mobster style people.


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Post by Admin on Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:22 pm

There has been a tendency across all the threads to make plot summaries, which was good but needed to be related to the main plot events, the structure of the plot. This seems to be missing from almost every post. I would like you all to reflect on that, check the slides on the hero journey and the three act structure. I will copy this in all the other threads, just in case people are only reading one thread.

Make sure you do not mix cliché and convention. Let's say that cliché is unneeded, completely gratuitous. What might be convention in one film, might be cliché in another because it has no purpose or meaning in that second one. I think it is difficult to find clichés in good films, however, as the elements have been put in there carefully and are generally well thought, not just put in there "because every film of this kind has this", but instead because "it is common in the genre and in this film has a specific purpose too". The Mexican stand of, which you have mentioned, is often a cliché, although of a different genre, which makes me think that it has a function here.

Have you watched Snakes on a plane? That film is full of clichés, one after another, because the script included extra ideas given by fans on the internet, which they included to appeal to that fan base. Thus, they tried to fit everything that had been said, whether it made sense in the plot or not, whether it had a function or not.

Very good work Smile


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