A Few Words About A few words about...™ Taxi Driver -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    There is nothing that I like better than seeing a beautifully crafted restoration on Blu-ray, and the now-classic Taxi Driver, from Columbia fits that bill perfectly.


    This is a Blu-ray that has been created from lovingly restored data files based upon the finest surviving film elements.


    Resolution, grain structure, color, black levels, shadow detail (and not), are all reproduced by hands that could just as easily be gently waving a few drops of vermouth over an expectant martini.


    Not too many words necessary here.


    A beautifully restored film. A superb Blu-ray. My only negative is a real dislike for the packaging, as bulky, and open to dust. I've never been a fan of the huge Warner style box affairs, and while I can except those cute little books, this is something that really doesn't feel right on a shelf.


    I couldn't be more pleased to call Taxi Driver a perfect Blu-ray.


    Highly Recommended.


    RAH
     
  2. Rob LoVerde

    Rob LoVerde Agent

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    Super! Thank you for the review, Mr. Harris. You've been missed and I hope you are well.
     
  3. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    In complete awe of this. I just watched it last night, and was overwhelmed with the detail and beauty of it. Robert you couldn't be more right by calling this 'Perfect'. It is a sight to behold.


    About the packaging....yes unnecessary. Like One Flew Over the Cukoos Nest, it is oversized and stands out in my Blu-Ray collection like a sore thumb. I do like the mini lobby cards though.
     
  4. SD_Brian

    SD_Brian Supporting Actor

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    My only real issue with the packaging is that it's a bit of a spoiler for anyone who hasn't seen the movie before. The reveal of Travis's mohawk was once one of the more unsettling moments in the film.


    Speaking of Travis's hair, one thing I noticed more upon this viewing than I had before was the terrible continuity where the length of his hair is concerned. He sports three distinct hairstyles: long, cropped and mohawk. The crazier he gets, the less hair he has. Once he has the cropped-do, however, it periodically reverts back to the longer style for a shot or two.
     
  5. moviepas

    moviepas Second Unit

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    I got mine today flown in to Australia and look forward to opening tonight. The price was good, I can tell you for such a package. US$12.99 plus US$1.20 for postage. Can't complain on any score. Yes, I can. I ordered Rio Bravo at US$10.49 and the price jumped US$9 in my cart before I clicked to Proceed to Checkout. Can't win them all, I guess.
     
  6. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Must. Have.


    I'm a little behind the eight ball this past couple of weeks due to many things going on, but I will grab and devour this soon. Curious about the packaging, too.
     
  7. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Got it. Going to have me some mid-1970s Scorsese/Herrmann/DeNiro bliss tonight.
     
  8. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Magnificent. Another Blu-ray that can take me back to experiencing and thrilling to a beloved classic like never before. As some of us were saying in another thread, it's the really great classics, done right, that make this all worthwhile -- to a degree that often seems unmatched by the excellence elsewhere.
     
  9. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    Blu-ray has given me the opportunity and tremendous joy of watching a movie as if you're watching a pristine film print. Several Criterion titles do that, The Godfather movies do that, The Sound of Music does that, and this Blu-ray of Taxi Driver does it as well. That's actually why I almost prefer watching an older movies in HD, that has been tremendously and carefully restored than anything else. Sure, most new movies look great, but most come from a digital intermediate. It feels like cheating to me (I know that that's obviously not the case, but I can't help it).

    Giving a movie a different color scheme isn't the goal, updating a movie with new and shiny special effects isn't the goal, removing grain (no matter how well it is done) isn't the goal. Just this, making sure it looks like when it was just released. Sony doesn't release that many classic titles as Warner, or Criterion, but when they do, boy, they knock it out of the park. The small gripe I have is that there's no original soundtrack anywhere on the disc. If they added those on future discs, and in lossless, then I'd buy almost anything they throw at me, blindly.
     
  10. allanfisch

    allanfisch Agent

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    Does anyone know if the scenes that were darkened and made red during the final sequence exist w/o the optics?
     
  11. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    Brian, I couldn't agree more. While I don't get the feeling that modern digital films are "cheats," nothing surpasses the excitement of an old classic reborn on blu ray. I remember day dreaming years ago that someday I'd be able to watch the films I enjoyed in the theater at whim in my home. That dream's become reality and it is fun! I literally 'own" many of the movies I grew up with in high definition, high quality, and in a durable format. They're as much fun to me today as they were then and I am constantly discovering new gems thanks to the amazing format of blu ray.


    What a great time to be a movie and home theater enthusiast. With so much going wrong in the world, this is pretty cool.
     
  12. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    On the documentary that was on the 1999 DVD (and ported to the Blu-ray), Michael Chapman says that they looked for them back when they were doing the laserdisc but the footage was in too poor shape to do anything with.
     
  13. EnricoE

    EnricoE Supporting Actor

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    i tiny letdown was the opining logo of the columbia lady. it looked like a vhs blow-up. i can't believe that sony doesn't have a proper logo in their achieve.
     
  14. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    They do have a the logo in better shape, but it always looked that bad, so they opted not to replace it with a cleaner version. Didn't they discuss this in the Digital Bits article?


    That was the last time they used that logo before they switched to the blue semi-circle, IIRC.
     
  15. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I kinda liked the original, dated Columbia logo. One of my very tiny disappointments with The Godfather blu rays was the replacement of the original Paramount logo with the spiffy new one. It kind of is out of sync with the rest of the film, looks-wise. At least they did sepia-tone it, though.


    Loved watching this for the (*gasp!*) first time ever this weekend. What a fantastic way to have a first viewing of this fine film. Since I was an infant when this was in the theaters, I daresay it was the best possible way for me to watch it, short of a revival festival.
     
  16. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    The Godfather movies never had a logo in the opening, so there is no original logo.

    And I love the fact that Sony not only used the original logo, but didn't go for one with a better quality. It's the exact same one that has always been there. A lot of studios could learn from that.
     
  17. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Never saw it in the theaters (before I was born) so I never knew that. Very interesting! I had always seen the old Paramount logo on the VHS versions I saw way back in the early 80s so I assumed that's how it always was.

     
  18. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    A cool thing I just learned from IMDB re: the opening logo for Taxi Driver (and why they probably felt it important to include the original in the blu-ray):



     
  19. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    To be frank, I didn't know either, but Robert Harris commented on that. I only knew the movie, prior to the Blu-ray, with the 90's logo. Truth be told, maybe the logo from that era wouldn't be as jarring as the most recent, CG logo, but I'm not complaining.
     
  20. Brian Husar

    Brian Husar Stunt Coordinator

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    When The Godfather first came out in VHS back in the day, I had it, and it did not have a logo at the start. The first time I saw a logo was when they reissed them in the same VHS boxes for the release of Godfather 3.
     

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