I had a bunch of notes that I had made while watching this film. But then when I went back and looked at the earlier verdicts, I realized that people had already covered a lot of the points that I had in my notes. So I'm going to freely borrow from those earlier write-ups.
For one thing, I think I completely echo pixote's reaction to the beginning of the film.
The opening is most famous for the dialogue in the diner ("Like a Virgin", tipping, etc.), but what's more impressive, I think, is the slow, confident immersion into the story through play with tone and expectations and counterpoint. As engaging as that opening dialogue is, after seven minutes or whatever, I'm still wondering what the hell I'm watching exactly. And after all that fast, off-color patter, the opening credits use of K-Billy's Super Sounds of the Seventies moves the film in this unexpectedly mellow direction — but the contrast isn't jarring so much as just fun. I'm still not sure what I'm watching, but now I don't care, I'm along for the ride no matter what. Then the capper is the really perfect use of sound at the end of the credits, with Tim Roth's agonized screaming rising up on the soundtrack near the end of the song. After the meandering, dialogue-driven opening, then the mellow start to the credits, this plunge right into a dramatic high point of the story really brought a smile to my face, and the eventual cut to Roth writhing in pain in the back of the car, bleeding all over the place, is a great payoff to these first ten minutes.
Actually, the smile on my face began right from the discussion on "Like a virgin" and tipping but those opening credits set to Little Green Bag
which ends with Roth's screaming just made me smile even wider.
But I'm not ready to move away from that tipping scene just yet. I think the scene at the diner, which seems initially like an off-the-wall discussion actually does a great job of introducing us to the characters. The camera circles around the table initially. The men are all in black suits and ties except for two men. We get the idea that these two men are different or separate from the rest in some way. And then the camera stops circling and we have the shot/reverse shot between Joe and Mr. White and we get the sense that Mr. White is familiar with Joe... enough to be able to joke around and grab his address book away from. The camera stops again when the tipping conversation comes on. Mr. Pink is instantly established as someone who doesn't trust other people and seems to be focused on himself. Mr. White seems decent and concerned about the life of these waitresses. Mr. Orange seems quiet and unsure and mostly seems to be observing the others. Mr. Blonde seems cool and also seems comfortable with Joe. Mr. Brown and Mr. Blue don't seem to say much.
But like pix said, we don't really know what is happening up until this point or what we are watching exactly. But then the music comes on and we have that iconic scene and every character walks towards the camera as the opening credits come up and I can't imagine anyone who is not on-board with spending time with this film by this point.