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Posted October 1, 2010
Lack Luster DVD Transfer of a Thoroughly Disturbing Film
Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) has a big problem - and not just one. He's a seemingly ordinary New York cabbie who¿s stalking one woman, Betsy (Cybil Shepard) while playing savior to another, Iris (Jodie Foster). But ol' Trav' is just a few coins short of a full meter, a neurotic oversight that will allow him to turn vigilante, threaten the political reelection campaign of Senator Charles Palantine (Leonard Harris) and blow away Iris¿s pimp/drug dealer (Harvey Keitel). Suffice it to say, 'Taxi Driver' is not your feel good movie of the summer. It is a cinematic snapshot of 70s pop culture gone horribly awry, with its crack and whore infested streets, its unstable social setting for easy scores and cheap sex, and a seething underbelly of corruption and dismal isolation as its acrid palette for moral decay. Travis¿ slow spiral into becoming the loner with a purpose is predicated upon warping the old adage and precedent that one man can make a difference. But when that one man is touched by his own sexual and financial inadequacies, his psychotic inability to bond with another human being and his self delusion - that he is on par with a deity, above the rest of humanity and the law ¿ then the difference he can make is between destroying himself and bringing about the next apocalypse. Martin Scorsese directs adeptly enough, drawing the viewer into this dark world of unsettling realities. The irony of the ending seems somewhat strained and rather a bit like the happy ending tack on associated with conventional Hollywood wisdom, but there is the frightening prospect that with a return to normalcy, Travis¿ alter ego is, like many a volcano, merely dormant, not dead, and destined to erupt in the future. The transfer from Columbia is a rather disappointing remastering effort. There are moments when the color is bold, if dated, and moments when fine detail is generally realized to good effect. But the bulk of this video presentation is riddled with excessive grain ¿ both film and digital, a barrage of compression artifacts, a lot of aliasing, some tiling, and a considerable amount of edge enhancement. Night scenes break apart with pixelization and exhibit a very muddy color scheme. There's plenty of age related dirt and grit to further detract from your viewing experience. The audio has been remastered - but just barely - with low to no bass and a really screechy high end that betrays the original mono elements. Extras include a 70 minute making of documentary with interviews featuring the director and principle cast, a photo montage, still gallery, theatrical trailer and storyboard sequences.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 13, 2009
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