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Taxi Driver
BLU-RAY disk
04.12.2011 By: J.A. Hamilton
Taxi Driver order download
Director:
Martin Scorsese

Actors:
Robert DeNiro
Cybill Shepherd
Jodie Foster

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A lonely, mentally unstable New York City taxi driver grows more and more disgusted with the depravity of the streets around him and in light of the recent fallout with the girl heís obsessed with he decides to do something about it. Armed with an arsenal of guns he steps in to rescue a twelve year old prostitute from her overbearing pimp and his goons.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The hardest part about reviewing these classics for me is sometimes Iím seeing these films for the first time and because of that the whole thing feels wrong. This was the first time I ever watched TAXI DRIVER. Sure, I knew what it was but by the time I became a true movie entrepreneur I also realized that sometimes itís better to leave these films alone and simply imagine what they were like rather than watch them nowadays for the first time with expectations that no doubt wonít get delivered. Am I saying that TAXI DRIVER is a bad film, of course not, I have many favourites that come from this time in film history but the catch is I watched them back then which makes me appreciate them more when I come back to them now.

The best part about this flick was seeing younger versions of Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel and Jody Foster. Itís been awhile since Iíve seen Cybill Shepherd too, apparently sheís been around guest spotting on several TV shows but I havenít seen her. It was also great to see Peter Boyle (may he rest in peace) but Iím beginning to wonder if the man ever had a full head of hair. I love Scorseseís work and own nearly all his films on Blu-ray. Thereís no question that what he and DeNiro accomplished here was pure genius at the time and again, had I watched this film way back when I wouldíve understood this much more clearly but by todayís standards a lot of this film just doesnít work.

A couple things that really stood out were the relationship between Travis and Betsy and the conversation that took place between Travis and the secret service dude in Time Square. With Travis and Betsy, well, most people would call Travis a clear-cut example of a stalker and some of his more colourful ideologies certainly wouldnít help his case. The dudeís creepy and sheís an upstanding chick with options so I just donít see that combo ever working out. And who in their right mind takes a high society chick (or any chick for that matter) to a porno on their first date? And as for the secret service guy, why did he wait so long to try and apprehend Travis? Red flags galore were going off during their sketchy conversation, more than enough to get a dude shot in the face these days and considering he gave the guy his real name and what I think was his real address I doní t understand why they werenít beating down his door with handcuffs.

TAXI DRIVER has an interesting enough story but although our main protagonist is clearly supposed to be a sympathetic character I had a hard time feeling sorry for him, let alone understanding how things managed to work out in his favour at the end of the film (that was one ending I didnít see coming). I think they captured the loneliness of working nights right on the money but as far as Travis being a war veteran, well I wasnít altogether sold on that concept. JACOBíS LADDER was the best journey into the unstable mind of Vietnam Vets for me and I just didnít think Travis felt like this sort of person. I will say this though; that all out balls to the walls shout out at the end was totally badass.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary: There are three commentaries to choose from; the original with Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader and two new ones, one with Professor Robert Kolker and another with Paul Schrader by himself. They all provide their own insight into the film but are all a bit slow going.

Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver: Scorsese just gives his two cents on the film and how the gang got started on it. It was a cool tidbit to hear that Brian De Palma is the one who originally gave him the script.

Producing Taxi Driver: Producer Michael Phillips now shares his side of things as he talks about many of the old school films and how they got green lit in a time when not many people were interested in reading the scripts.

Godís Lonely Man: Here we get into the mindset of the characters and how Travis in particular deals with his loneliness and isolation. Again, Iím amazed at how this film ended.

Influence and Appreciation: A Martin Scorsese Tribute: Exactly like it sounds, a great many people gather here to shower director Martin Scorsese with praise. I think the manís a genius too.

Taxi Driver Stories: This focuses upon a few real life cabbies as they recount some of their wilder experiences. You couldnít pay me enough to drive cab.

Making Taxi Driver: Here the boys explain why upon reading the script, it became a passion project for them that they just needed to do.

Travisí New York: Here Taxi Driver is described as a documentary of what New York City was at the time. There is also a list of Travisí New York stops during the film.

Storyboards to Film Comparison (with optional intro by Martin Scorsese): Here weíre shown many of the scene by scene sketches which are then compared to the scene itself. There is also a still gallery to browse through as well as an interactive script to read.

Previews: There is a theatrical trailer for the film and some BD-LIVE content if youíre hooked up to the web.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I really wanted to like this movie more than I did. I wasnít bored during the viewing or anything but itís definitely not a film Iíd watch again. As I said before I have nothing against older films but I certainly feel that watching them now for the first time is the wrong thing to do as ten chances to one it wonít live up to your expectations.
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12:05PM on 04/21/2011

who is this guy?

your review was terrible, you didn't get it, your gripes were minor and incorrect, and to suggest that older movies can't possibly hold up to expectations is just ridiculous. worst review ever.
your review was terrible, you didn't get it, your gripes were minor and incorrect, and to suggest that older movies can't possibly hold up to expectations is just ridiculous. worst review ever.
Your Reply:



3:48AM on 04/13/2011
your final diagnosis is amateur to a degree i would not have expected from you or this site. how can a film critic advocate not watching an older movie because people say it's good? do you see how that doesn't make any sense? i was always under the impression that it's a film critic's job to see through the hype and to dull expectations for the sake of some semblance of objectivity. i guess that makes me the asshole. do yourself a favor, watch it again without your expectations.
your final diagnosis is amateur to a degree i would not have expected from you or this site. how can a film critic advocate not watching an older movie because people say it's good? do you see how that doesn't make any sense? i was always under the impression that it's a film critic's job to see through the hype and to dull expectations for the sake of some semblance of objectivity. i guess that makes me the asshole. do yourself a favor, watch it again without your expectations.
Your Reply:



3:03AM on 04/13/2011

Riiiiiight. So, um...

Maybe we want someone a little older with a bit more understanding of film and an appreciation of filmmaking to review these things... "Who in their right mind takes a high society chick (or any chick for that matter) to a porno on their first date?" Really? Was the reviewer under the impression that Travis was a normal kind of guy up to this point? Wow. It's like "Taxi Driver" reviewed by a 12 year-old. Sorry, but that's what this seems like.
Maybe we want someone a little older with a bit more understanding of film and an appreciation of filmmaking to review these things... "Who in their right mind takes a high society chick (or any chick for that matter) to a porno on their first date?" Really? Was the reviewer under the impression that Travis was a normal kind of guy up to this point? Wow. It's like "Taxi Driver" reviewed by a 12 year-old. Sorry, but that's what this seems like.
Your Reply:



1:25AM on 04/13/2011
You got everything you complained about wrong...
You got everything you complained about wrong...
Your Reply:



1:49PM on 04/12/2011
he never gave him his real name and address. And him taking her to the porno WAS supposed to be creepy and show he is not right. I'm with those below..did you actually watch the film or skim through it?
he never gave him his real name and address. And him taking her to the porno WAS supposed to be creepy and show he is not right. I'm with those below..did you actually watch the film or skim through it?
Your Reply:



10:49AM on 04/12/2011
What are you talking about. Using today's political climate to judge what a secret service agent is doing in this movie is pretty idiotic and totally counterintuitive to any points you are trying to make. Also, I'm pretty sure that the address he gives is somewhere in NJ... not exactly where he seems to be living.
What are you talking about. Using today's political climate to judge what a secret service agent is doing in this movie is pretty idiotic and totally counterintuitive to any points you are trying to make. Also, I'm pretty sure that the address he gives is somewhere in NJ... not exactly where he seems to be living.
Your Reply:



10:56AM on 04/12/2011
Actually yeah, I just re watched this scene. Fake name, fake address, he even stumbles over the zip because he's obviously lying. Did you even watch this?
Actually yeah, I just re watched this scene. Fake name, fake address, he even stumbles over the zip because he's obviously lying. Did you even watch this?

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