"You talkin' to me?" Travis Bickle. This film is a true American classic film. One of Martin Scorsese best works! The story of the loneliest man, who lives in New York City disturbed by his past. Possibly one of the greatest anti-heroes in cinema.
Before writing my review on the film I want to warning you spoilers of the film might be said. The film opens with a great shot of a decaying New York, with a taxi appearing from a cloud of steam. This shot alone already sets you up with what kind of movie we're dealing with. This film is about a man named Travis Bickle (played by Robert De Niro), who works as a late night Taxi Driver. In a way this movie fallows a very traditional western theme. A man with a disturbed past (a Vietnam war veteran) goes to the city where he has to set things "right". In the film Travis does not really know how to communicate with anyone. In the film we see this when he takes Betsy (played by Cybill Shepherd) on a date to a porn theater. In the film Travis starts to build a large amount of paranoia which leads to him arming himself to kill Betsy's candidate, Charles Palatine, to later "saving" Iris (played Jodie Foster) from her pimp (played by Harvey Keitel). This whole movie is viewed in the eyes of Travis and we see how the media calls him a "hero" in the end of the film. Which goes to show how the media and society have this idea of what it takes to be a hero. Almost like its saying if it's worth killing a handful of men to save one life?
Above I said how this film fallows a very traditional structure of a western film. You see in most western films the hero rides into the town (in this film on a taxi) and is disturbed by his past. In this case Travis was a Vietnam War veteran, which is one of the reason why he loses sleep at night he can't live with his guilt. In traditional western films the hero is seen as trying to solve a problem in the town either if it saving the water for the town, or fighting off a bully or in this case cleaning up the scum off the streets. By this I mean in the film Travis keeps on saying the line "Here is a man who would not take it anymore. A man who stood up against the scum, the cunts, the dogs, the filth, the shit. Here is a man who stood up. " Which by the end of the film the main character is seen by the media as a hero. The police is never really seen in the film, which I believe its because the director wants to give you the impression that this is a helpless city and there deserves a man that can stand up for it (that man being Travis Bickle).
This film contains one of the greatest lines ever said in film history, which happen to be "You talkin' to me" (which Robert De Niro is known for his improve). This line tells you how insane the character really is and how lonely the man is. My favorite shot in the film is at the end right after the blood shed in the hallway. In this shot the camera almost relives what just happened in such a short amount of time. Also I just want to say Jodie Foster was really good, which this film got her an Academy Award nomination. And the same goes for Robert De Niro he played a killer roll in the film.
This is a very dark film and I would not really recommend it if you are in sad mode since this isn't a really up lifting film. With that said the film is amazing I loved every aspect about it. It shows how a man appears to be a normal human being in the being of the film. To a man that is quickly descends into a violent and offensive mentality due to society having an effect on him. Taxi driver has tested the test of time as being an American classic, and is a must watch to any movie lover.
"I am a big, bright, shining star. That's right." - Dirk Diggler. I think this is one of Paul Thomas Anderson's best films. The cinematography and the cast of the film, is simply amazing. An epic story about characters getting the porn industry and seeing their rise and fall, but at the same time showing how porn changed in the 70's to the 80's.
Before I start my synopsis for the film I have to warn you there might be spoilers in the review. This film is about Eddie Adams (played Mark Wahlberg) getting into the porn business due to the fact that he has a huge talent. The thing I like about this film is it also shows how technology shaped and changed porn in the 70's and 80's. The film deals with how in the 70's everyone was having sex with everyone and it was all fun and games (AIDS was not known). Jack Horner hires a new face on the block Eddie Adams who previously worked as dishwasher. Eddie then gives himself the porn name Dirk Diggler, which let me say that is a great porn name, but that's irrelevant. Dirk skyrockets to fame in no time due to his huge talent. During the film many characters are exposed to drugs, which leads to other events in the film. The overall story was really well done and I felt that Paul Thomas Anderson did a great job delivering it the viewer.
Above I stated how technology shaped and formed the porn industry, which I would like to elaborate on that subject a bit more. For one thing porn was always shot on film and which then later lead to being shot on videotape. Back then there was a huge format war back with VHS and beta tape (like we have now with digital vs film). Back then everyone was using videotape, which I guess you can saw in a way videotape became popular because of porn.
The reasons why I love this film so much is because the cast, editing, but the main reason is the cinematography (Robert Elswit). Paul Thomas Anderson is known for having great tracking shots in his films (example in Magnolia with a 135 second long tracking shot). In Boogie Nights there are a number of tracking shots for example we see one in the very beginning of the film. In that one shot we are introduced to the location, the decade, and a few of the characters in the film. Making a one take shot can be really easy to do, because technically anyone can make a one take just don't cut for a minute or two. But to make a really great and captivating one take you need to be a really good director, which I feel Paul Thomas Anderson is. As for editing this film has a really great use of parallel editing. Which is also known as one of the most intense scene in the film. The scene I'm talking about is when Jack Horner goes to the streets to find a lucky guy to have sex with Roller Girl for his new show, but at the same time Dirk has gone back to masturbating in front of people for money. The film keeps on cutting from scene to scene with suspenseful non-diegetic music. In both scenes we even see a character directing in some form. Both scenarios have a very similar start to a very horrific ending. Which leads into Bucks character going into the donut shop.
I could keep on writing why I love this movie but this review is already getting really long. The only complaint I would give the film is that it is a bit long but at the same time it had my attention during the whole movie (2 hours and 40 minutes). This movie is great with an extraordinary cast and contains great cinematography this film really deserves a watch for sure.