Disappointing to say the least. This thing had more holes than a slice of swiss cheese and several horribly bad characters combined with a plethora of cheesy lines, making this 3 hour flick tough to stomach at times. I think they just tried too hard tying up loose ends that they forgot about this thing called pacing.
If your looking for a movie that encompasses the fibrous, gritty, emotionally packed aspects of 1970's cinema; Taxi Driver is one of your top candidates.
Synopsis: A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as nighttime taxi driver in a city whose perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge to violently lash out, attempting to save a teenage prostitute in the process.
I am still very strong in my opinion that the 70's was the greatest decade in American cinema, and this is one of the finest movies not only from that decade but of all time. Scoresese showed us some nice directorial work with Who's that Knocking at my door?, Boxcar Bertha, and of course Mean streets. But Martin exploded onto the scene with Taxi Driver and has never looked back. Growing up in New York, he was able to bring in all the intangibles to set the perfect tone for this taut psychological thriller. Its easily apparent to see Scoresese's genius bleed straight through the screen into the viewers heart and soul. He manages to take a winding path that somehow turns upside down on its own head and back to normal all in a single motion with perfect execution.
Scoresese uses shadows and back-lighting throughout this film to draw upon the cynical nature of his characters as well as display how close to home these people really are.
Travis Bickle....one of cinemas all time most interesting characters is played by none other than Robert DeNiro. De Niro first worked with Martin on Mean Streets, but they worked together again to change the industry forever with this film. De Niro walks on the edge of a razor blade the entire film: one side a man in love, out to prove it by becoming a hero in his own right; on the other is a man destitute and looking for some way to lash out against a society that has ostracized him in every way. Its amazing to watch the gorgeous ballet that De Niro dances in his mind. We also get a couple of excellent performances from Cybil Shepherd and a young Jodie Foster, at 12 years old!
Paul Schrader's script is masterful to say the least. The cinematography and editing both hold true to what Schrader and Scoresese envisioned from the start. Let me also add that this film offers one of the most unique sequences in film towards the end using an overhead dolly/pan shot coming through the ceiling in semi-slow motion. It is an awe inspiring way to view the disturbing images, and works perfectly.
Infamous Monologue by De Niro : You talking to me? sound clip Taxi Driver sound clips
"You talking to me?".....you might be asking yourself. I am talking to you, and Im telling you to watch this amazing film.
I rate this one 95/100
And the FACE-O-METER says
Astonishing, disturbing, engrossing, exciting, morose, quaint, eloquent are just a few of the words this wonderful 28 minute still photography film encapsulates.
This was actually the first still photography film I have seen that I can recall, but I can recommend it to anyone. Its an amazing little piece of cinematic history made back in 1962. I wont divulge any details since the story is so short, but amazingly a few minutes in you will find that your mind melds these still images together to create your own tapestry of the narrative; so much as though you might not even realize they are just still images strung together. It will take a life of its own and become fluid almost instantly. It is filled with one beautiful photo after another.
I was skeptical going in as you could image, but was pleasantly surprised. If you are a fan of 12 monkeys I highly suggest you see this film, since the story was based off of it. It is nice to see where the Terry Gililam movie gets its idiomatic beginnings.
FYI : You can actually find this film on youtube in 3 parts; and it is only 28 minutes long so it could be a nice refresher when your bored some day. If you do watch it, hope you enjoy.
I rate this film 90/100
And the FACE-O-METER says
I think if humans had evolved from these apes......we would be smarter, more fierce and definitely more entertaining!
Synopsis : An origin story set in present day San Francisco, where man's own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.
I know what your thinking, not another remake/reboot. But Rise of the Planet of the Apes is not exactly that; as it encompasses an entirely new concept of the beginning of the story as well as purges the muddled explanations of the original and brings forth a revamped more scientific approach which I think serves its purpose well. Now that isnt to say this film does not have some holes, but I like the line they took overall.
Our main character Caeser, played by a man who has starred in huge blockbusters like King Kong, The Prestige and Lord of the Rings. However; you probably have no idea what he looks like other than those same stellar eyes. His name is Andy Serkis and he is the man responsible for morphing his features into this CGI lead. His countless hours spent watching and mimicking apes has payed wonderful dividends as I believe this is some of the best and most realistic CGI I have ever seen.
Here is a video of Andy and director Rupert Wyatt talking about his role in the feature. (It's about half way down the page)
As soon as the first time we get to graciously meet Caeser the viewer can't help but become attached emotionally. And with a windfall of situations that help us understand his disposition as well as his unravelling transformation; I found it hard to do anything but root like hell for Caeser to succeed. Which in all honesty was a blast! The thought provoking images on Caeser's face say it all.
It was a bit strange following a CGI character through most of the movie, but we did get a solid dose of James Franco who was bearable instead of incredible as usual. We also got a small taste of John Lithgow and Frida Pinto (from Slumdog Millionaire), however both roles were basically story fillers and did not add much to the film.
All in all, this film set the bar extremely high for special effects and I can't wait to see the new wave of this type of film. It wasnt so much of a roller coaster ride as it was a straight downhill slalom as it only picked up steam the entire way. It was packed with ardent passion and brought a sledgehammer of a punch to the screen. I was never a huge fan of the series, but I eagerly await the next one if it follows this same path.
I rate this one 83/100
And the FACE-O-METER says