Taxi Driver [Blu-ray]
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Item Type: BLU-RAY DVD Movie
Item Rating: R
Street Date: 04/05/11
Wide Screen: yes
Director Cut: no
Special Edition: no
Foreign Film: no
Full Frame: no
Packaging: Sleeve Please note: This supplier will be closed on 11/24, 11/25, 12/26, 1/2 for the holidays. The shipping cut off is 12/10 to try and have the products delivered by Christmas.
Taxi Driver is the definitive cinematic portrait of loneliness and alienation manifested as violence. It is as if director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader had tapped into precisely the same source of psychological inspiration ("I just knew I had to make this film", Scorsese would later say), combined with a perfectly timed post-Watergate expression of personal, political and societal anxiety. Robert De Niro, as the tortured, ex-Marine cab driver Travis Bickle, made movie history with his chilling performance as one of the most memorably intense and vividly realised characters ever committed to film. Bickle is a self-appointed vigilante who views his urban beat as an intolerable cesspool of blighted humanity. He plays guardian angel for a young prostitute (Jodie Foster), but not without violently devastating consequences. This masterpiece, which is not for all tastes, is sure to horrify some viewers, but few could deny the film's lasting power and importance. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the DVD edition.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Seedy does not begin to describe the horror of "Taxi Driver," which details a world of pimps, prostitutes, drug addicts and a loner psycho brilliantly portrayed by Robert De Niro. This film established some of the great talents in motion picture history including De Niro, Scorsese, Albert Brooks and Jodie Foster. I wonder about disturbing epics like "Taxi Driver," "A Clockwork Orange," "Straw Dogs" and "Natural Born Killers." Whenever I visit the video store, I notice these films are usually checked out, empty boxes leaning against the shelf. Who's watching these films, and why so often? The films share a common thread in that they have likable actors (De Niro, Malcolm McDowell, Dustin Hoffman, Woody Harrelson) playing despicable men prone to violent rages. Alienated one and all, these characters have become anti-heroes for a world severely lacking in heroes. There are so many ways to view this film, with multiple levels serving as proof to its complicated brilliance. Urban alienation, cultural emptiness, veiled racism, Watergate analogy and Oswald repression are just a few of the metaphorical doors one can open in this nightmare.
De Niro's Bickle is a Vietnam veteran suffering from insomnia. He takes a job as a cab driver to work nights, driving through the most dangerous New York neighborhoods for fares. He becomes infatuated with a beautiful woman (Cybill Shepherd) who works at the campaign office of Palantine. Bickle takes the woman to a porno theater on their first date, and she dumps him immediately. To no one's surprise, Bickle soon begins to stalk her. He purchases a deadly arsenal of hand guns and intensely works out in preparation for his assassination of Palantine (and most likely the woman too). Along the way, Bickle stumbles across a 12-year old prostitute (Foster) whom he befriends. His attempted assassination fails and he walks over to the prostitute's home and kills her pimp (Harvey Keitel), landlord and an unlucky gangster. "Taxi Driver" unbelievably ends with the prostitute having been returned to her parents and Bickle becoming an inner-city folk hero. Shepherd's character tries to make a date with Bickle, but he's now at peace with the inferno around him and drives on disinterested.
This ending has been debated for years. It is so controversial that when the film first ran on television, stations posted warnings stating they did not consider Bickle a hero. They're right. Bickle's a whacked-out cultural icon, granted, but he's no hero. He wants to be a hero, and perhaps the final scene is Bickle at the moment of death dreaming of a happy ending. He's essentially saved the day and rescued a damsel in distress. Bickle was seriously wounded after the shootout, having been shot in the neck. So it could have been a dream sequence, though Scorsese purposefully made it too vague to be entirely sure.
It's clear Bickle wishes to be a cowboy hero in "Taxi Driver," as seen by the boots he wears and the guns he straps on like an inner-city John Wayne. His famously improvised "You talkin' to me?" speech is in fact a line of dialog lifted from the classic 1953 western "Shane." And the final showdown has Bickle taking on three men (outnumbered a la Cooper in "High Noon") in a bloody, ferocious battle that to this day is one of the most violent scenes in history. Bickle, adorned in Mohawk and Army jacket, fires at random. The violence is so sloppy one gets the feeling they are viewing an actual crime scene. There is no music, only the jagged noises of constant screaming and guns blasting within closed-in spaces. While we love the balletic violence of the final shootout in "The Wild Bunch," we turn away from the gore in "Taxi Driver." It's as repellant as reality.
Scorsese's masterpiece is not intended for the young or emotionally disturbed. Bickle is not a hero in a film populated by an army of non-heroes. Still, viewers just might get confused. I know Bickle is crazy, but I feel sorry for him. At times, I even identify with him. And that can be depressing.
The story goes something like this: Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) Is a taxi driver who can't seem to sleep. He works at night, and the city around him fills him with paranoia, for the gangsters and the slime on the streets at night every day seem to be everywhere. Among all of these demons and devils, Travis sees an angel, a gorgeous woman named Betsy. He immediately falls in love with her, but his anti-social tendencies scare her off when he brings her to a pornographic movie on their second date, thinking it was just like all of the other movies. When she leaves him and won't return any of his phone calls, his depression rises until he meets a child prostitue named Iris (Jodie Foster) and her pimp named Sport (Harvey Keitel). Feeling the deepest sympathy for her, he tries to help her leave that terrible lifestyle, not believing her pleas that she loves her being a prostitute and loves her pimp.
To sum this whole review up, do yourself a favor and watch this great piece of work. See Scorsese's nightmarish vision of NYC, and Travis Bickle's slow descent into insanity.
Based on Paul Schrader’s gritty screenplay, one of the most fascinating things about the film is how open to interpretation everything is. Especially the main character. Is Travis Bickle a victim? A hero? A psychopath? A bit of all three? The loneliness, decadence and sleaze that surrounds him night after night leads him down a deadly path of violent urges, but at the same time, consumes him with the desire to not only reach out to the stunningly beautiful Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), but to also be a savior to a 12-year-old runaway prostitute (Jodie Foster).
Scorsese’s direction is flawless as is the film’s score and cinematography. Shot after shot of the nightmarish neon-lit city landscape is perfectly captured in a way that leads viewers to feel as lost in it all as De Niro’s tortured character.
Taxi Driver arrives on Blu-ray with truly reference video & audio quality and comes in beautiful packaging featuring 12 lobby card reprints and an amazing assortment of well-produced extras. Special features include three audio commentaries, an interactive script to screen feature, a making-of documentary (71 min), seven featurettes (totaling over 100 min), storyboard to film comparisons with optional introduction by Martin Scorsese, photo galleries and a trailer. It’s an impressive collection of interesting items that take viewers deeper into the film like never before.
Martin Scorsese’s cinematic masterpiece is now also one of the best overall Blu-rays I’ve ever seen. It’s a top quality presentation all around with hours of fascinating extras and is truly a must-own release. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!