Taxi Driver (1976) (40th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Robert De Niro, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Jodie Foster
Rated: R/Region O/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Available from Sony Pictures
Travis Bickle is an ex-Marine and Vietnam War veteran living in New York City. As he suffers from insomnia, he spends his time working as a taxi driver at night, watching porn movies at seedy cinemas during the day, or thinking about how the world, New York, in particular, has deteriorated into a cesspool. He’s a loner who has strong opinions about what is right and wrong with mankind. For him, the one bright spot in New York humanity is Betsy, a worker on the presidential nomination campaign of Senator Charles Palantine. He becomes obsessed with her. After an incident with her, he believes he has to do whatever he needs to make the world a better place in his opinion. One of his priorities is to be the savior for Iris, a twelve-year-old runaway and prostitute who he believes wants out of the profession and under the thumb of her pimp and lover Matthew.
This is easily one of the movies I’d put on a list of essential movies everyone should watch. From being a movie that knows how to tell a story from start to finish with no drag and everything remaining interesting, to being a movie loaded with great actors. Taxi Driver takes us on a spiral down a dark path that makes us feel uneasy all the while never really wanting the ride to end. Robert De Niro truly becomes the character in this movie and he does it in such a way that you forget he’s Robert De Niro while watching. That’s even if you are just now seeing this movie for the first time and if you are then you NEED to see this one NOW. The movie makes the city looks bleak and cold. It gives it an isolated tone to the point that you can sort of feel what the character of Travis is feeling. Everything around him looks dirty, everyone looks rotten, and nothing is going his way. This movie shows that fall out of control but it does it with some great twists and turns along the way and an ending that is even debated about to this day with fans of the film. Director Martin Scorsese is held in a very high regard today by all fans of film and this movie might just be one of, if not THE biggest example of why that is so.
Besides packing this timeless movie on a very well rounded transfer, I’d call the 40th Anniversary Edition a release of the movie that also comes with some great extras as well. After you watch this movie you’ll really want to hear more about it and all the commentaries and features here on the disc help really sink your teeth into this one. It may even help answer a few questions you could have about what you’ve just seen. The movie has a way of creeping up on you with the violence it has in it. It’s like the cinematic equivalent of boiling water in some ways. Things start off calm but as things take the turn they take, you can feel the temp just go up and up. This makes everything finally boil over in the third act, which is easily one of the most classic endings you’ll find in a movie. Anyway, you want to look at it, Taxi Driver is a movie you really should see. If you’ve somehow never seen it before you are missing out and cheating yourself out of a great experience. It never gets old and seems to get better and better every time you see it. This edition of te film might easily be the best on we’ve seen yet.
– New 4K Restoration of the Film
– ALL-NEW: 40-Minute TAXI DRIVER Q&A – Featuring Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster and many more. Recorded live at the Beacon Theatre in New York City at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival
– Interactive Script to Screen
– Original 1986 Commentary with Director Martin Scorsese and Writer Paul Schrader recorded by The Criterion Collection
– Commentaries by Writer Paul Schrader and by Professor Robert Kolker
– Martin Scorsese on TAXI DRIVER
– Producing TAXI DRIVER
– God’s Lonely Man
– TAXI DRIVER Stories
– Travis’ New York
– Travis’ New York Locations
– Theatrical Trailer
– Making of Documentary
– Storyboard to Film Comparisons with Martin Scorsese Introduction
– Animated Photo Galleries
Quality of Transfer: 94%