Every director gets their start someplace and an up-and-coming screenwriter by the name of Tarantino made a splashy directorial debut with Reservoir Dogs. With crackling dialog, shocking violence, and intense stylish direction, this film stands as a modern classic. After enjoying a nice standard release and slick SteelBook domestically, Australia’s Via Vision Entertainment delivers their own Limited Edition Lenticular 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. A/V and bonus features are the same, but if you’re still aiming to pick this up - this is a stylish option for any collector's shelf even if it's a tad bit pricey. Highly Recommended
As we’ve covered Reservoir Dogs a few times now, I’ll soon defer to our past coverage, however, for my two cents, this is a heck of a movie. I wouldn’t put it as QT’s best, but it’s a full-throated thriller that keeps you pressed into the back of your seat. With crackling dialog, shocking violence, and enough music and movie references to pummel the most dedicated pop-culture buffs, there’s never a dull moment. With film fans celebrating every new Tarantino film until the day he decides he’s retired, it’s fun to come back to the one where it all started.
Here's what Bryan had to say in his Reservoir Dogs 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray SteelBook Review:
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
One great 4K release deserves another - or at least a really awesome repackage! Already released domestically here in the states, Australia’s own Via Vision Entertainment gives Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs their own two-disc Limited Edition Lenticular Cover 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. The two discs - a BD-66 for 4K and a BD-50 for Blu-ray are both Region Free, tested on multiple setups to confirm. Again, the discs are essentially identical to the domestic releases, right down to the main menus. The discs are housed in a two-disc clear case. The disc case with an envelope of six art cards is housed within a hard-stock cardboard lenticular slipcase.
As mentioned in the Vital Disc Stats, the discs are effectively identical here so you’re picking up the same excellent 4K 2160p Dolby Vision HDR transfer. Details are amazing, color timing is terrific, black levels are deep and inky easily leaving behind all past home video releases. Here’s more from Bryan’s review:
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.
While I might have been hoping for another slightly more robust audio mix this round, this set keeps to the same solid Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix from before. Nothing wrong with that, it’s a perfectly good mix and if you have any kind of function like DTS Neural:X, it’s a good track to run-through.
Here’s more from Bryan’s review:
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.
Bonus features are also the same as before, a might bit slim considering the film’s fandom and importance, but they’re worth checking out.
Reservoir Dogs is a heck of a flick. With a great cast of colorful characters - literally and figuratively - the film holds up remarkably well so many years later. Between keeping the action largely confined to a single location and Tarantino’s penchant for crackling dialog, the film is a genuine masterpiece for a first-time director ready to show the world what he can do. ViaVision Entertainment throws in their own release of this crime thriller on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Largely identical in A/V quality and bonus features, the stylish limited edition lenticular cover gives collectors another purchasing option to ponder over. If you haven’t picked this up yet and don't mind shelling out a little extra green - Highly Recommended.