Reservoir Dogs has finally come to 4K with Dolby Vision, bringing Quentin Tarantino's first feature film to life in the format. The film about a group of criminals coming together and having a John Carpenter's The Thing type of situation figuring out the identity of the rat in their ranks is still phenomenal on every level as it was the day it took theaters by storm. The transfer is excellent and the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio mix sounds very good and the vintage extras are fun, but there's nothing new here. Highly Recommended!
The cinematic world was never the same after 1992 when a young twenty-something filmmaker named Quentin Tarantino released his first feature film on the world. Its sheer originality, utter coolness, and star power catapulted that director into every movie buff's love language eventually leading to Tarantino becoming the household name he is currently. But that first film, Reservoir Dogs, permanently cemented his name and style that would then be mimicked, copied, studied, and paid tribute to countless times over. The inspiration that was conjured up for aspiring filmmakers from even just one scene from Reservoir Dogs is unparalleled still to this day. Whether it be the camera techniques, the iconic dialogue, movie references, characters, and performances - Tarantino struck gold with his first film and it continues to awe some thirty years later.
Tarantino has always had a knack for telling compelling stories in complex and entertaining ways. It didn't start with Pulp Fiction. It started with Reservoir Dogs. By not showing the actual heist, but rather the aftermath and having his subjects talk in length about the ins, outs, and what-have-yous of it all, the audience got a real sense of the bond between these criminals and what went wrong. The whole notion of the honor and pedigree of criminals hadn't really been tackled before Reservoir Dogs. Of course, in films like John Wick, the killers and criminals all have a code and they almost never disobey that. In Reservoir Dogs, that principle is in play, but on a more subtle level, as Tarantino reveals the soft underbellies of these "bad guys" when one of their own becomes a bloody mess. Reservoir Dogs is still one of the greatest films and it continues to deliver even three decades late on every level of filmmaking where countless other movies have tried to copy and have failed. It's still a stunner.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Reservoir Dogs shoots its way to 4K+Blu-ray+Digtial Code via Lionsgate. This special limited edition of the film is an exclusive Best-Buy purchase that comes in a badass steelbook with a clear plastic slipcase. The Steelbook artwork features a new illustrated profile of a man with a bloody missing ear. The slipcase has a bloody ear on it. The two discs inside feature the character color guns. There is an insert for the digital code as well. This is a well-made and beautiful-looking package.
Reservoir Dogs comes with a brand new 2160p UHD 4K transfer with Dolby Vision. This is the first time this timeless film has been released in the 4K format. When Blu-ray first debuted all those years ago, Reservoir Dogs was one of the first releases. Since then, it's only been released a couple of times in either a boutique set or a limited release - and even that was several years ago.
But this new UHD image looks fantastic while keeping its very filmic roots. There is no way this film has the digital car-washed-out look, which would make Tarantino lose his mind. The film grain is very much intact and heavy at times, which was the intended purpose and even the early source of this 1992 film. The color palette is warm, just like Tarantino intended. The browns, oranges, yellows, ambers, and somewhat warmer beige and grey walls look fantastic. The Dolby Vision enhancement makes those gushes of red blood really pop when they pour from orifices and stain the white button-down shirts. The practical makeup applications reveal pinks and purples for bruising very well too.
The quick outdoor shots show glimpses of some other primary colors in trees and blue skies, but other than that, the color palette keeps warm. Black levels are inky with some slight crush on those darker elements. Skin tones are natural for the most part as well. The detail is sharp and vivid as well, more so than any other release before it. Individual hairs, facial stubble, and practical makeup effects look excellent. The textures in the blood and suits look great too wider shots of the warehouse and vehicles showcase those intimate details as well. This is the best the film has looked thus far without being on celluloid back in 1992. The Dolby Vision really did enhance those colors this time around and there were no problems with aliasing or banding.
This release comes with a very good Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio mix that gets the job done. There's never a big amount of power behind it, but when it moves, it packs a punch. The sound effects of tires screeching, engine revving, and gunshots going off all sound amazing. The surround speakers offer up some ambient noises of people talking and music playing.
Even glasses and plates clanking at the diner can be heard nicely through those speakers as well. But for the most part, this is a front-heavy track with some excellent dialogue that is always clear, clean, and easy to follow. The music and song selection brings the low end of bass that is dynamic with a nice rumble. Transitions sound good too. There are no issues with any audio elements here, although it would have been nice to have a Dolby Atmos option.
There are only about 36 minutes of extras here, all of which or solely on the Blu-ray Disc of the set. There is nothing new to offer here, but rather vintage bonus features that have been imported over.
Reservoir Dogs is still one of the great films of the modern era of moviemaking. It continues to inspire future filmmakers and wow its audiences, even after multiple viewings. And now it's finally on 4K with a beautiful a new 4K UHD picture with Dolby Vision. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track sounds good and the few extras are decent enough. Highly Recommended in 4K!