Articles

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - April, 2011

ARTICLE INDEX

"Taxi Driver" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

movie-april-2011-taxi-driver

Synopsis

Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) is a Taxi Driver in New York City.  An ex-marine, Travis is bothered and somewhat disgusted by the filth he sees all around him on the streets of the city, or in the back seat of his cab.  Travis meets a campaign worker (Cybill Shepherd) who he manages to ask out on a date, but he manages to make a mess of things.  He later becomes enchanted by a young prostitute (Jodie Foster) who he wants to free from the bonds of her pimp.

 

Specifications

  • Sony Pictures
  • 1976, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 54 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec:  AVC
  • 1080p
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring:  Robert DeNiro, Cybill Shepherd, Jodie Foster
  • Directed by Martin Scorsese
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

Taxi Driver is a classic, wonderful film, but one that defies easy answers to basic questions.  The actions of Travis Bickle, and the ending to the film, are deliberately ambiguous, leaving you unsure what is reality or fantasy.  A film that is worthy of repeat viewings, and fully worthy of the wonderful transfer that Sony has given it.

Technical

Given a new 4K transfer by Sony, Taxi Driver hasn’t looked this good since it was originally released in theaters.  In most scenes, detail is absolutely stunning compared to any other home release of the film.  Some scenes suffer from a bit of softness, and there is film grain present the whole time, but that’s how the film originally looked, and so you can’t ask for anything more from a transfer than to represent the original film perfectly.

The soundtrack similarly does a fantastic job with the jazz score of the film, bringing it to life in all the channels.  Additionally, they have done a fantastic job using the surrounds to bring about the ambiance of the scenes, sounding far more like a current film in it’s use of the surrounds than a film from 35 years ago.

Extras

Commentaries with Martin Scorsese, Paul Schrader, and Robert Kolker, Making of Documentary, Page to Screen feature, multiple featurettes, storyboard to film comparison, and a photo gallery.  The commentary with Scorsese and Schrader from the original Criterion Laserdisc is alone worth the cost of the disc, as it’s fascinating from beginning to end.