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Customer Review

on 25 June 2011
Well you must be looking at my Bluray review... Ok, ok, on with the review.

As with my Apocalypse Now review I think it would be a bit of a waste to review the Taxi Driver movie itself. It's an iconic classic and if your reading this you'll no doubt just want to know if this bluray is worth the upgrade from the DVD, well it is, and here is why.

First impressions weren't good, they left in the old Columbia Pictures logo at the start of the film which looked horrendous, the credits weren't the best - although that's down to the trappings of time rather than anything else, and the first scene of Travis is murky, soft and hazy, but then the camera angle changes and *bang* a fine looking transfer from then on, and the best Taxi Driver has ever looked.

I will sum up the overall picture quality with one scene. Remember when Travis (Deniro) is in the Cafe and he drops a tablet into a glass of water that starts to fizz and he zones out just staring at it? Well, for years my VHS and DVD purchases just showed a fizzing glass of water, but in the Bluray release I can now see that the glass has a bug in it. Now, whether Travis can identify with this bug who is helplessly thrown around with the current, or they just didn't bother to clean the glass before shooting I don't know, but this level of detail is what the format is about. You can certainly see the benefit from the 4k digital restoration and remaster under Cinematographer Michael Chapman and Martin Scorsese. Taxi Driver looks great and is up there with the best classic movie Bluray releases. It still looks like a film from 1976, but it looks like it was released yesterday. That's not to say it looks super shiny or anything, there is a layer of filmic grain throughout the movie, but this is fine as it's where your detail comes from and also adds to the edgy feel of the movie. Blacks weren't always as solid as i'd have liked but minor trifles are outweighed by the detail and overall clarity on offer. If you have the set-up the 5.1 losseless soundtrack is very good. Not a new audio track but it still sounds great, from the Jazzy soundtrack, to Travis' monologues to the ambient noise of New York.

As for extras, this 35th Anniversary release seems to have everything. Most of these we have seen before on the various DVD releases, but it's nice to have them all in one place, and to be honest it's tough to think of anything else they could have added. There are three commentary tracks including the 1986 original recorded by Criterion. Scorses thoughts on Taxi Driver, Producing and making of Taxi Driver, storyboards, comparisons from the New York of 1975 to today, the influence and appreciation of Taxi Driver, God's lonely man: and in depth look at Travis Bickle, Taxi Driver stories (not tales from the film unfortunately but rather real life New York cabbies from the 70's) and the Bluray exlusive is an interactive script to screen.

In short then, if you like Taxi Driver this is the version to get.
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