10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taxi Driver - A disturbing experience
After watching the classic 1976 film "Taxi Driver," viewers may be interested in their reaction. It can be depressing. Martin Scorsese directed this open-sore of a film and of his many classic works, this is the one most obsessively analyzed. "Taxi Driver" is such a raw, visceral experience that after viewing its nightmarish terrain one must decompress.
Seedy does not...
Published on July 13 2004 by Chris K. Wilson
1.0 out of 5 stars Region 2
This is the second time I have accidentally ordered a DVD I can not use in this country. Why is amazon selling dvd's in Canada that are for region 2. Unfortunately we didn't realize this until we were ready to watch it. Very disappointing!
Published 15 days ago by Janice
Most Helpful First | Newest First
5.0 out of 5 stars Social isolation brought to a stunning new level of realism,
The film centers around a man; Travis Bickle, who from past experiences (presumably Vietnam) has become isolated from other human beings and from society. He can't sleep, he can't think straight and all he wants is a direction. Travis needs something to make a living on, so he begins driving a cab at night; he sees that he might as well get paid for what he is doing.
The film deepens in meaning and though, and we begin to understand Travis more and more. He grows more isolated and hateful of the world as time progresses, and we are right there with him. DeNiro pulls of such a good performance that we are able to see him, not as an actor, but as a character. He becomes this man, and we become enthralled in this man's plight.
Taxi Driver is a truly stunning work of art; I have never seen a film detailing individual lonesomeness so well or realistically. The direction is brilliant, the acting is brilliant and the film itself is one of the greatest American films of all time. Taxi Driver is quite possibly the greatest film by Scorsese, and one of the crowning achievements of the 1970s.
5.0 out of 5 stars SCORSES'S GENIUS IS OBVIOUS,
DeNiro's Travis Bickle is a Vietnam Marine vet, off kilter but moral, who is sickened by the crime, drugs and immorality of 1970s New York City, seen from the taxi he drives night and day. He has an ill-fated fling with a pretty campaign worker (Cybil Shephard), goes off the deep end and portrays himself as a possible assassination threat to a Presidential candidate, although this is never fleshed out. In the end, he commits an act of vigilantism to save the life of a teenage prostitute with potential (Jodie Foster), and like in "Death Wish" (Charles Bronson), is made a hero.
The message of "Taxi Driver" is that peace comes from strength. It was a popular theme in a number of flicks. Hollywood seemed to fail to grasp some important realities about its marketplace. Time after time, movies that veered away from "touchy feely" liberalism and gave teeth to conservative characters (Eastwood's "Dirty Harry", Bronson, DeNiro, and others) made boffo box office, yet the industry has never come to grips with itself. They return time after time to premises that insult conservative audiences, and wonder why the lines get shorter.
5.0 out of 5 stars SYMBOLISM REGINS SUPREME,
5.0 out of 5 stars A Controversial film that deserves controversy,
The second point of criticism is of course why the film ends as it does. Should it have ended with the exterior scene of police cars with their flashing lights and the assembled crowd of onlookers? Or is the extending ending just right? Did the post-rampage scenes really happen (in the story)? Or are they a halucination that Bickle is experiencing as he is dying from his gunshot wounds? Does it really matter anyway?
My own position is that, within the context of the story, it really doesn't matter whether Bickle is dreaming those "events" or not because Paul Schrader (the screenwriter) wrote the story that way to, among other things, highlight the nature of fame and celebrity. Aside from the fact that as viewers we know that Bickle is really no hero and therefore doesn't deserve to be treated as one, we recognize the absurdity of the press and its hunger for "red meat" stories and images. As the famous definition of celebrity goes: a celebrity is someone who is famous for being famous. If the film had ended suddenly with the exterior post-rampage street scene, Schrader would not have been able to make this additional point. Scorsese's directorial talents are therefore beyond criticism. In any event, Scorsese and Schrader worked closely on this film and I don't see the point in second guessing them. They are both men of considerable talent and their judgement has to respected. They knew what they were doing.
Besides, if someone wants to know what the film would be like without the post-rampage scenes all they have to do is stop the VHS/DVD player. By the way, the film that was used for Bickle's rampage scene was not chosen as "grainy." The correct term is that the colors were desaturated. It was done to avoid the possibility of garnering an "X" rating which would have severely limited the film's audience at the time. (Even today an "NC-17" rating is the kiss of death for a movie). Sadly, when a search for the original film stock with fully saturated colors was made many years later, it was found to have deteriorated beyond the point of recovery. What a shame! It would have made for an interesting restored version.
In any event, there is no need for me to recommend this film. It recommends itself.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest films of all time, easily,
Robert De Niro is captivating in this film, and performs an extremely difficult task (being the only central character in a film and appearing in essentially every frame) with a gift that few performers can lay claim to. How he didn't win an Oscar for this is anyone's guess, perhaps it was the proximity to his earlier win for "Godfather II." This is a good thing, because it is difficult if not impossible to imagine anyone but De Niro in the lead and even more difficult to imagine the film working with anyone else. The climax is still one of the most shocking and effective ever committed to film, and the grainy color of the film (used not for artistic reasons but to get the scene past the censors) adds to the surrealism of the rampage.
Now then, my beef with this film is that it doesn't end with that fantastic pan away from Bickle after he killed the men and ending with a slow zoom from the police cars and spectators arriving outside. That, in my opinion and taking nothing away from Mr. Scorsese's directorial talents, would have been the perfect end for an otherwise perfect film. The few minutes after this, which show Travis' commendation and a renewed interest from Betsy, do not really click with the rest of the piece. Granted, I do see the irony intended, that he went ballistic and instead of being committed or hanged he was congratulated and is back driving his cab, but I still do not think this end meshed well with the preceeding 100 minutes.
However, the greatest part of this film is De Niro, and that is why I stick with the five star rating. It is a must for any movie fan, although certainly not for the fainthearted.
4.0 out of 5 stars Taxi Driver (1976),
Cast: Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel, Cybill Shepherd, Jodie Foster, Peter Boyle.
Running Time: 120 minutes.
Rated R for a scene of extreme violence and language.
All of us have known, in some shape or form, how Travis Bickle (played brilliantly by Robert DeNiro) feels. There is a time in every person's life in which he/she feels isolated from the world, perhaps out of place or unjustly a receiver of misfortune. Travis, on the other hand, is consumed by this sense of loneliness and despair, taking it to the brink of pure destruction and maniacal proportions.
DeNiro is hauntingly right on as the former Vietnam veteran who decides to get a job as a taxi driver for the streets of New York City. As he cruises the big-city landscape, he realizes all of the hidious crime, starvation, murder, death, and macabre that consumes society. When he is rejected by a love interest (Shepherd) due to his out-of-the-norm behavior, Travis begins a downward spiral: he begins to train as if he were still in the military, buys numerous firearms and weapons, and ultimately plans to stage an assasination attempt on one of the political candidates planning to take over the city.
When Travis meets a twelve-year old prostitute (Jodie Foster, in a extremely profound and witty introductory performance), his motivations for violence and release are geared towards the awful individuals who have taken this poor girl into their possession and are encouraging her into a filthy profession. This hatred for filth causes Travis to explode, creating a tormenting, horrific climax that will be remembered as one of the most severe in film history. "Taxi Driver" is certainly an acquired taste and not a film for all adults. It is a strikingly honest tale of how the inner troubles of a man can be extremely exaggerated, to the point that he knows no boundaries.
Director Scorsese uses dark camera angles and vivid images to portray his story, incorporating a musical score that embodies the essence of the film: an unoffensive saxaphone that dwindles into a deep, resounding boom. A film that can shock and chill, one that should be celebrated for its original genius, but also a work that is almost too graphic and emotionally-draining to enjoy.
5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly not for everybody,
I don't want to give an explanation of what happens in the movie, rather to present an inidividual understanding. Many have dismissed Taxi Driver as a film which goes nowhere, and have called it too artsy. My interpretation differs. Certainly, it is not a unique film, but the feelings of loneliness and social awareness that DeNiro brings to his role are interesting. DeNiro may be thought of as a modern day Steppenwolf-a man completely alienated from his surroundings. Note, for example, the scene where he sits in the cafe with his collegues. His inability to communicate at even the most superficial level demonstrates his alienation from his surroundings, but also arouses the sympathy of the viewers.
Taxi Driver is unique in that the Scorsese did not hesitate to include racism in the movie(recall the scene when Bickle leaves the cafe and throws some menacing looks at a black man passing by). To see a film that is not concerned about making people happy and being politically correct is refreshing. Also the portrayal of the corrupt and superflous candidate is amusing.
Essentially, Taxi Driver is one of the most slept on films of the 1970's. Although it made a big impact at the time of its release, the touchy subject matter made it difficult for TV stations to air it to a home audience.
5.0 out of 5 stars A gritty superhero story?,
Clearly, Travis is also more complex--and more disturbed--than the average comic book hero. After all, Scorcese is aiming for real life (as to which Unbreakable is a pale, upper-middle-class imitation), and Travis' own, flat reaction to his apparent "psychosis" (his lamentations about having "these thoughts" was particularly impressive) betray a condition that at least fits our preconceived notions of what it means to be mentally "ill." But, unlike so many "sane" people, Travis does the unthinkable--he speaks to people honestly and openly, he gets enraged by injustice and immorality (no one else in the movie seems to care very much about 12 year old prostitutes), he has a nobility about himself (not giving in to sexual temptation from Jodie Foster's character). And his apparent planning to attack a presidential candidate (the movie is never really clear as to whether he intends to harm the man, or even scare him) seems driven by the falsity of the candidate's message--his "we are the people" mantra echoing in a world where the common people (at least those encountered by Travis) are the last ones you'd want running things.
The ending is fascinating. Is it real or a fantasy? The clippings of newspaper articles, as the camera scans across the board, say Travis is dead, and then later that he is comatose, but recovering. I suspect that the ending is a dream, the hallucination of a dying man who has his nobility vindicated in the end by appreciative parents and a city that needs more men like him.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic in its own right, but shoddy extras.,
Recomendation - Buy it, and praise it.
5.0 out of 5 stars he washed away some scum of the earth,
Anyway, this movie is perfect. It's like Lost In Translation but with a revenge-seeking lonely psycho in the lead. I love the camera work of scorsese. simply amazing.
the nearly one and a half hour documentary is very cool as well. nice commentaries from peter boyle, jodie foster and some guys who worked on the movie.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Taxi Driver / Chauffer de taxi (Bilingual) [Blu-ray] by Martin Scorcese (Blu-ray - 2011)
CDN$ 19.99 CDN$ 13.99