Saturday, July 28, 2007

Reservoir Dogs

It's that kind of Saturday afternoon for me. Listen... here's how it is.

Today I was supposed to walk a few miles along the Humber and then visit a favour pub with P-Doug but he wasn't in when I called. Instead, I worked on my reminiscences of our trip to Ottawa a couple of weeks ago, long overdue (in fact, I'm uploading the images as we speak, as it were). Once that was done, I decided to do a solo ersatz mission... I walked up to a plaza Scarborough where I bought some overproof rum, Diet Pepsi, and rented some movies at Blockbuster. It took me nearly two hours of walking, which I'm moderately proud of, and I think I earned the buzz I have right now.

Anyway, one of the movies I rented was Reservoir Dogs. A little background here. In my mid to late 20s, Iused to work in the animation industry, in-betweening television commercials. The work trailed off in October of 1997 and for 18 months, I was unemployed... chronically, crushingly, living-in-my-parents'-basement unemployed. I used to take long walks by myself up Tenth Line in Mississauga to the 401 and back in the spring, summer, and autumn of 1998, trying to imagine a future with anything remotely brighter in it. At some point during that summer, I bought a VHS copy of Reservoir Dogs, which I'd heard a lot about but never seen.

I was hooked. Really hooked. I've rarely seen a movie as tight as this one, as innovative, as compelling. These are all bad guys in their way — even the cop Freddy Newendyke has some flaws — but every one of them has something that makes them compelling. This is an almost perfect movie, and like a handful of others that gild my soul, I've seen it over 50 times. I can quote whole passages from memory. I can't tip a waiter or waitress without thinking of the opening of this movie. It was one of those emotional crutches that got me through a hard point in my life and inspired me with the breadth and depth of the writing. The situation and action are a bit unlikely and over the top, but these actors breathed real life into these characters. It's a masterpiece. I imagine you've seen it, but if you haven't, rent it. Let it wash over you. Turn out the lights, unplug the phone, have a drink, and plug in. Become part of this movie. Grit your teeth and take the ride. It's amazing.

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