Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Taxi Driver (2-Disc Collector’s Edition)”

(Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 1976/2007. Color. Widescreen. 2 Discs. Rated R. Directed by Martin Scorsese.) Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, Leonard Harris, Peter Boyle, Cybill Shepherd. Music by Bernard Herrmann.

I have one word for this release: stunning. Detractors of Scorsese’s recent success, The Departed, carped that he hadn’t done much more than recycle scenes, characters, and attitudes from his past efforts. If you go back to his ’70s output, including this, Mean Streets, and Raging Bull (his 3 best films, in my opinion), you might agree with that assessment. The Departed was good, but doesn’t hold a candle to the Scorsese/De Niro collaborations. New York’s changed from those mid-70s years of drugs, budget crunches, and despair, but the overall tone in Taxi Driver still resonates. The actors have changed, too, but it’s fascinating to look back at Bob, Harvey and Marty (remember he has a brief scene) so young, Brooks so powerless, Cybill so beautiful, and Jodie so very young yet full of talent. The climactic scene still packs a wallop. This special edition includes new commentary by writer Paul Schrader, making-of featurettes, a comparision of New York locations then-and-now, even the original screenplay which you can refer to while watching the film. I have to mention Michael Chapman’s beautiful photography, and Bernard Herrmann’s last, amazing score (and he had to be talked into doing it). This Taxi Driver should be in the collection of everyone who appreciates the best in filmmaking.

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