Posted by: steveonfilm | March 27, 2012

Trailer Tuesday: Reservoir Dogs

I couldn’t find a suitable trailer for an upcoming movie that I wanted to post. From now on, when this happens, I’m going to post trailers from some of my favorite movies.

“Retro” trailer #1: Reservoir Dogs


I’ve seen Reservoir Dogs more times that I care to remember. However, having seen this trailer now, I don’t think it captures the essence of this flick at all.

Granted, Reservoir Dogs doesn’t fit into your traditional three act structure. Character narratives play out over weird time frames. Events aren’t told in a linear fashion. And the main event that the story revolves around isn’t even shown. In other words, it fits your traditional Tarantino set of movie metrics.

Today, you just have to say “A Quentin Tarantino Film” and the audience knows what to expect. They know the film is as much about the “cool” as it is about the “story.” They know that the narrative is going to be unique. They know that the film is going to differ from everything else in the theater. In other words, they know the Tarantino brand, and modern trailers are cut around that brand.

But in 1992, Tarantino WASN’T a brand. You can see that in the trailer. It doesn’t feel like it has a clear idea of what it’s trying to show you. Is this a heist flick? Is this a gangster flick? Are there any good guys? What’s the narrative? When the trailer is complete you can’t really answer any of those questions. I’m not saying this is bad, trailers too often give away too much. But it’s interesting to compare it to more modern day trailers for Tarantino films.

Keep writing,
-Steve

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Responses

  1. “It doesn’t feel like it has a clear idea of what it’s trying to show you. Is this a heist flick? Is this a gangster flick? Are there any good guys? What’s the narrative?”

    In other words, it’d never get made in today’s climate.

    • I don’t know if I’d agree with you on this one Dan.

      Would a studio make this film today? No. Then again, studios wouldn’t make this kind of movie back then, either. Which is why Tarantino made it himself.

      The film cost just over a million to make in 1990 dollars. So, let’s just say that’s three million in today’s dollars (even though it isn’t).

      There are PLENTY of movies made for that amount of money. They show at Sundance, Cannes, SXSW, Berlin, and are picked up by ‘indie’ studios like Sony Pictures Classics, Fox Searchlight, Miramax (back in the day), Summit, and Focus Features to name a few.

  2. I suppose you’re right. I’m thinking too ‘studio-based.’


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