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Heavy Traffic [Blu-ray]

 R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.99
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Heavy Traffic [Blu-ray] + Ralph Bakshi's: Coonskin [Import]
Price For Both: CDN$ 33.42


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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Heavy Traffic is writer-director Ralph Bakshi's follow-up to Fritz the Cat, so if you're looking for a little something to watch with the kids, you might want to search elsewhere. It's an odd little movie, one that seems to both condemn and celebrate depravity at the same time. The hero is Michael, an artist who still lives with his battling parents. Michael is far too sensitive for the cruel city, though he sure seems to draw an awful lot of pictures of it. Michael hooks up with cool bartender Carole and the two of them set off to... well, they plan to do something. More engaging than the story are Bakshi's visual techniques, which include blending animated and live-action sequences and layering old film clips into cartoon backgrounds. Though interesting as a piece of animation, Heavy Traffic is difficult to recommend. There is a running thread of misogyny that makes the film off-putting, to say the least. Yes, all of the characters are unpleasant and yes, most of the violence is over-the-top enough to make a case for it being comic. It is the constant, casual misogyny that's unsettling--at one point Michael backhands Carole across the face and everyone, including Carole, seems to be fine with that. Keep an ear out for Jamie Farr and watch it for the animation, not the plot. --Ali Davis

Product Description

Michael, a young artist who lives with his neurotic mother and two-timing father, escapes the absurd and often ugly side of life on New York's tough streets by satirizing its rich yet wacky characters in wildly entertaining cartoons. From the gruff homeless and wisecracking prostitutes to gun-toting gangsters and corrupt cops, Michael's world becomes an outlandish kaleidoscope of shocking images and horrifying events that are either a testament of his wild imagination or a reminder of the strangeness of reality.


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNCENSORED March 17 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I only have one thing to add to the other reviews. The DVD version of "Heavy Traffic" has parts of scenes restored that were cut out of the VHS version. Since this is usually a selling point I'm suprised it's not advertised as an un-cut version. Compare the "Maybellene" sequence on VHS and DVD and you'll see what I mean. It's quite a bit more, uh, graphic on the DVD. If you have an old VHS copy and like the movie, getting the DVD is definitely recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Classic Bakshi Oct. 13 2003
Format:DVD
Like Fritz the Cat and Bakshi's other works, Heavy Traffic moves into city life to show the darker side of America. Bakshi once said in an interview: "If Disney was going to animate for the middle class, I was going to animate for the guy on the street." Heavy Traffic is Bakshi accomplishing that.
The film isn't just a social statement though, it also has a lot of creativity behind that. It opens with the live action version of our main character Michael playing pinball. Michael is a cartoonist, and as he asks questions to himself he slowly dives into his world...a world similar to the one he lives in now, but a caricature of themselves. Michael deals with his crazy mother, corrupt father, a relationship with a girl, and trying to get a job - a hard task as his ideas involve events such as God getting shot in the face with a shotgun.
If you were offended or put off by the brashness of "Fritz the Cat" then you should give Heavy Traffic a try. The nudity and sex is still there, but on a toned down scale. The social satire and goofy humor is still there, and that just makes it all the more a good film.
Bakshi considered this one of the top three best films he did (next to Fritz and Streetfight). It is deservedly so.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly Bakshi's best film May 31 2002
By T. Gadd
Format:VHS Tape
Not my favourite Bakshi movie, mind you. That spot will always be reserved for 'Wizards', regardless of how hard the critics panned it (generally the same critics who thought the awful 'Fire and Ice' was great.)
In any event, Heavy Traffic is a more satisfying movie than Fritz the Cat, with which it probably has more in common than any other Bakshi movie. Sure you can always pick holes in Ralph Bakshi's films, but what about the strong points: his gorgeous use of dialogue. The actors sound completely uncoached and spontaneous. I've always thought the dialogue in Bakshi's films up to Wizards was masterful. I could listen to it with the picture turned off.
Heavy Traffic is probably autobiographical in part. At least, if it isn't, Ralph sure went out of his way to make it seem that way. Protagonist is a young cartoonist...
The supporting cast are almost all low-life of one sort or another; losers, psycopaths, bigots, masochistic transvestites, dysfunctional parents, alcoholics, amputees, or a combination of the above. And for the most part they're repellant and irresistable at the same time.
You might have noticed I haven't mentioned the plot. Don't worry about it. The plot isn't the thing. Just immerse yourself in Bakshi's mise-en-scene; the characterisations, the dialogue, the backgrounds, the music, the underlying dirtiness and violence - you've got to just absorp the thing as a whole.
BTW this film has, in my opinion, the most terrifying moment-of-death scene of any movie I've ever seen (also one of the longest, unless you count 'Jacob's Ladder', which is nothing _but_ a moment of death scene.)
Well anyway, I think it's a great adult animated movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Please pass the butter....... Oct. 12 2001
Format:DVD
I saw this film back in '73 with my best bud, Juan during the time when it was rated "X". I was only 16 but we didn't let that stop us from getting in with a bottle of orange flavored vodka. Hell...if we could score some vodka we sure weren't going to worry about getting into an "X"-rated film. It was the first time I saw an "X" rated anything and the first time I drank alcohol. Not a good idea. About all I remember from the film is a couple of rats going at it on a roof. Then the vodka kicked in and I got sick...repeatedly. It seems that hot-buttered popcorn and orange flavored vodka don't mix very well. Now they tell me! In any event I wound up being so sick that for the next 3 days I couldn't feel any pain (aside from a massive hangover) and I haven't touched vodka since. So if there is a moral to the story....well I haven't figured it out. But after nearly 30 years I thought I'd get the dvd and see how much of it I remember seeing. Yeah, the rats on the roof was all I remember.
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5.0 out of 5 stars All the world's a TOON .... Oct. 15 2000
Format:DVD
I remember very well the effect this film had on me right after leaving the theater; everywhere I looked on the drive home, people looked like cartoons. In Heavy Traffic, animation artist Ralph Bakshi presents us with a look at life in the early 70s (late 60s?), city style .... and this city is gritty, not entirely pretty ....
Michael Corleone (not the only reference to other popular films of the times) scribbles away at his drawing board while his Catholic father and Jewish mother wage Armageddon outside his door. He finds comfort and release seeing the world as an absurd, psychotic cartoon. Pretty much a loner, his main connection to the outside world is a black bargirl named Carol who works right downstairs from him and slips him drinks for his entertaining sketches. An unfortunate incident with a drag queen associate costs Carol her job, and she and Michael end up out on the streets together, since he can't seem to make ANY sort of job situation come together. They form a sort of hustling alliance, with him as her pimp, and they nosedive into dark urban realms of the quick buck and the inevitable personal compromises involved.
All this is interposed with images of live city backdrops and numerous references to a pinball game. Ralph Bakshi's animated vision is a moving work of underground pop art which, despite limitations, was a groundbreaking achievement that pushed the frontiers of American animation thousands of miles. I can see the influence of this film (and Bakshi's work in general) on the likes of Matt Groening, Don Bluth, and yes, even parts of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Heavy Traffic is dark, rude and dangerous. At times it has an almost experimental feel, moving at a stream of consciousness pace more than any conventional narrative.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good One
A Story of a young Italian man who gets hocked up with a black girl. His father does not like it and try's to separate them.
Published 3 months ago by David Snow
4.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
First of all, let me say that I'm a lifetime fan of Ralph Bakshi's work and I think that Heavy Traffic is one of his masterpiece. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Francis Ouellet
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for Bakshi fans!
First I must say that this is one of my favorite films of all time - I was a little worried that it would be the r rated version, but luckily like the dvd it is the fully... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mike Babins
4.0 out of 5 stars AS usual, Looks cool
once again Bakshi creates a very very cool looking movie. His animation style and the way he mixes it with real life work very well together and i love how it always feels like... Read more
Published on March 6 2012 by Sorpse
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT! FAST!
This product is great!! Your prompt contacts as well as fast shipping and low price rocked my socks for the holidays! Thanks again!!!!!
Published on Dec 31 2010 by Den416905
5.0 out of 5 stars Ralpah Bakshi explores the surreal fantasies of a young New York...
Though, I usually watched family-oriented animated films; but I guess, I am like wholesome vs taboo. Read more
Published on April 15 2009 by Frances L. Arsenault
2.0 out of 5 stars crumb ripoff!
i started liking this movie, i thought the pinball metaphor and wild characters and lifes a cartoon shiz could have worked out, if it werent for the fact that bakshi is thinly... Read more
Published on May 7 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius
A schizophrenic journey through the dark urban world. Michael, A young writer, comes from a dysfunctional household and uses his cartoons as an outlet. Read more
Published on March 26 2004 by h'Droponix
4.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF BAKSHI'S BETTER ONES
In anticipation of the upcoming DVD release of Bakshi's Wizards, I ordered several of his other films on DVD. Of the ones I ordered, this is the only one I've never seen. Read more
Published on March 20 2004 by M. R. ZOGLIO
2.0 out of 5 stars 2-1/2 stars -- Maybe I came in late
This part-live action, part-animated movie from 1973 seemed to get rave reviews, and I was up late one night, so I decided to check it out. Read more
Published on March 10 2004 by Anthony Rupert
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