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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 5068192 )
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« #12030 : June 02, 2013, 11:29:46 AM »

If the adolescent rants about "abbatoirs of retarded children" are in the graphic novel I'll pass.



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« #12031 : June 02, 2013, 03:19:17 PM »

True Confessions (1981) 6.5/10

The first half of the movie sort of slogs along – if it wasn't headlined by De Niro and Duvall, I might have shut it off – but it picks up in the second half.

There is some decent material here that IMO could have been made into a better movie.

This is the only movie in which De Niro and Duvall have appeared together, except for Godfather 2, in which they didn't share any scenes.


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« #12032 : June 02, 2013, 03:44:19 PM »

The Full Monty - 8/10 - It was funny watching this while going through a Cracker marathon. I kept expecting Robert Carlyle to whip out a bayonet and gut Tom Wilkinson (or better, Mark Addy). I enjoyed it though.

Trouble With the Curve - 4/10 - Part of this movie is a grouchy geezer rant against Moneyball, starring Clint Eastwood. The rest is an anodyne romance with Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake acting all cutesy. The leads are charming but there's no there, there. Just cliches and treacle.

« : June 02, 2013, 03:45:39 PM Groggy »


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« #12033 : June 02, 2013, 08:00:30 PM »

just saw Taxi Driver (1976) for the second time (first time on blu-ray), and I really don't love it as much as the rest of the world does. I understand that there are lots of characters and scenes and moments that are very memorable -- and I guess there are lots of people for whom the theme of loneliness strikes a deep chord -- but this just wasn't a movie in which I ate up every moment, where every second was a joy like "OMG this is amazing." It just wasn't. I think the movie succeeds on many levels - the characters are all terrific, all the actors are just wonderful in their roles, the scenes of urban decay, the pre-Giuliani New York of crime and porn theaters and whores and guns and dope and pimps, shown very well, the scenes with Harvey Keitel and Jodie Foster are so difficult to watch cuz they make you feel so dirty, which is exactly the point. So when you break down the scenes and actors, there's not anything I can criticize.
 However, there are some movies -- the ones I consider classics -- that just grab you. Every second of it is a joy, you are just eating up every moment, and I just didn't feel like that here. I know that many people consider this the greatest movie of the 1970's, maybe one of the ten greatest movies of all-time, but for me, it's no better than good. This is not an anti-Scoreses thing; to the contrary, I love love love Scorsese's body of work.
But I just don't rate Taxi Driver as a classic.

Here are Scorses movies I rate above Taxi Driver: Who's That Knocking at My Door (9/1), Mean Streets (9/10), Goodfellas (10/10), The Color of Money (8.5/10), The Aviator (10/10), The Departed (8/10), Casino (9/10). (Note: I only saw Raging Bull once, a while ago on a little screen, and need to see it again before I can really decide how I feel about it. I plan to see it this week).


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« #12034 : June 03, 2013, 01:32:18 AM »

What strikes a deep chord for many people (consciously or not) in Taxi Driver not only loneliness but also existentialist themes, shown in a very pragmatical light (who am I? How to be someone? Am I defined by what I do or by who I am?). If these themes (or the way they're used here) don't ring a bell for you, then you won't see the film as what you call a "classic".

I thought more or less what you think of it when I saw it first. Now, these themes talk to me and have become very important questions of my day to day life, but I still have a thing against self destructive people and characters.

« : June 03, 2013, 01:33:37 AM noodles_leone »

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« #12035 : June 03, 2013, 05:43:51 AM »

Maybe existentialist themes dont interest me that much because I was raised in a very religious home, in which there was a very firm knowledge of who we are, how we got here, what we are doing here, etc. Can't say I've kept everything, but those fundamental beliefs stay with you


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« #12036 : June 03, 2013, 06:04:02 AM »

Personal history and education exeplains a lot about what themes we care :) Schrader grew up in a very religious but also very strict/obscurantist family (he saw his first movie when he was 17). I think he kind of rejected all this as soon as he lived alone.

More info on his wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Schrader

« : June 03, 2013, 06:05:07 AM noodles_leone »

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« #12037 : June 03, 2013, 06:12:09 AM »

My parents never owned a television, i bought my own when i was 15 (they were cool enough to know i was different and didnt make a fuss). I never saw movies till i started going to theaters on my own when i was 13. Titanic was my first movie, Kate Winslet was the first pair of tits I saw


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« #12038 : June 03, 2013, 11:07:00 AM »

What strikes a deep chord for many people (consciously or not) in Taxi Driver not only loneliness but also existentialist themes, shown in a very pragmatical light (who am I? How to be someone? Am I defined by what I do or by who I am?). If these themes (or the way they're used here) don't ring a bell for you, then you won't see the film as what you call a "classic".
Using a psycho to explore these themes isn't much use, though, is it? Travis is both demented and dangerous, and whatever "truths" he comes up with aren't going to be of much help to (presumably) sane people like us. Yeah, we can still ponder these issues on our own--but we don't need Travis's example as a jumping off point. I mean, we already have Camus's The Stranger, what more do we need?

Btw, a lot of people don't seem to understand the picture. The point of the bloodbath followed by the community's adulation is that it's all down to chance. Travis happens to kill the right people in the right circumstances, and so is honored for it. But obviously things could have been different--as we see in his choice for his original target (the political candidate). If he'd shot the politician he would have been a pariah. But circumstances prevented that, so Travis went for target #2 and got lucky. Scorsese makes it clear we haven't heard the last of Travis, though. As he drops Betsy off at the end of picture and starts to drive away, he sees something in his rearview mirror to which he reacts. As Scorsese informed us on the old Criterion LD commentary track, he was at pains to get Herrmann to put a sting on the audio track at just that moment. According to Marty, Travis the human timebomb has just been re-set and has resumed ticking. The film ends on a note of coming apocalypse. Maybe Schrader/Scorsese were also suggesting that there are many Travises out there, spawn of a rotten society about to turn on itself. Well, it was 1976, after all, when New York was very different, before Times Square had been Disney-fied.



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« #12039 : June 03, 2013, 11:48:02 AM »



Btw, a lot of people don't seem to understand the picture. The point of the bloodbath followed by the community's adulation is that it's all down to chance. Travis happens to kill the right people in the right circumstances, and so is honored for it. But obviously things could have been different--as we see in his choice for his original target (the political candidate). If he'd shot the politician he would have been a pariah. But circumstances prevented that, so Travis went for target #2 and got lucky. Scorsese makes it clear we haven't heard the last of Travis, though. As he drops Betsy off at the end of picture and starts to drive away, he sees something in his rearview mirror to which he reacts. As Scorsese informed us on the old Criterion LD commentary track, he was at pains to get Herrmann to put a sting on the audio track at just that moment. According to Marty, Travis the human timebomb has just been re-set and has resumed ticking. The film ends on a note of coming apocalypse. Maybe Schrader/Scorsese were also suggesting that there are many Travises out there, spawn of a rotten society about to turn on itself. Well, it was 1976, after all, when New York was very different, before Times Square had been Disney-fied.

do you think that final shot was Scorsese setting us up for a possible sequel?

btw, I've I've heard people argue that Travis dies in the shootout; the rest of the movie is his dying thoughts. (When he picks up Betsy in the cab, I think you can see a scar on the left side of his neck where he was shot - which would indicate that perhaps it is literal - but it is not very clear, as Travis is only shot from head-on in that scene).
My problem with the "dying thoughts" interpretation is that it does not explain that final shot. Even if he is indeed fantasizing, as he is dying, about being a hero and Betsy respecting him, that wouldn't explain why he would be suddenly reacting to that thing in the mirror. I think it's all literal.

btw, I believe that Scoreses commentary you mention is on the blu ray. I didn't listen to any of the commentaries, but I saw on the menu that the blu ray offers like 3 or 4 commentaries, including one that is called "original commentary by Scorsese" or something like that


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« #12040 : June 03, 2013, 12:26:56 PM »

Using a psycho to explore these themes isn't much use, though, is it?

Yes it is. It's even pretty smart. And don't forget that Travis is nothing more than a Vietnam vet version of Paul Schrader, with slightly less self control.

Travis is both demented and dangerous, and whatever "truths" he comes up with aren't going to be of much help to (presumably) sane people like us.

He doesn't find out much. We could learn some truths watching him, but I don't think it's a movie with a really deep message. It's more about depicting a particular state of mind and what happens when you strech these questions.

Yeah, we can still ponder these issues on our own--but we don't need Travis's example as a jumping off point. I mean, we already have Camus's The Stranger, what more do we need?

I (really) love Camus, but he's no Dostoïevski: he's not very exhaustive. He wrote short and smart books, but he never did the definitive work on a topic (even if such an achievement was reachable by a human being). Moreover, The Stranger's murder happens completely out of the blue. Travis' actions and trials are all planned in advance. So we're not talking about the same thing.

Btw, a lot of people don't seem to understand the picture. The point of the bloodbath followed by the community's adulation is that it's all down to chance. Travis happens to kill the right people in the right circumstances, and so is honored for it. But obviously things could have been different--as we see in his choice for his original target (the political candidate). If he'd shot the politician he would have been a pariah. But circumstances prevented that, so Travis went for target #2 and got lucky. Scorsese makes it clear we haven't heard the last of Travis, though. As he drops Betsy off at the end of picture and starts to drive away, he sees something in his rearview mirror to which he reacts. As Scorsese informed us on the old Criterion LD commentary track, he was at pains to get Herrmann to put a sting on the audio track at just that moment.

Yep, that's what I mean by "Am I defined by what I do or by who I am?"
The Sartrian answer is "by what I do", because nobody cares about your potential. It has no effect on the world. What you do, whatever the reasons are (will, luck, love, money, hard work...) has real consequences. The regular religious answer is "who I am", because that's the only consequence that matters. The Scorsese answer is, as far as I (and you I guess) understand is: "who I am", because sooner or later, that's what I will do.

According to Marty, Travis the human timebomb has just been re-set and has resumed ticking. The film ends on a note of coming apocalypse. Maybe Schrader/Scorsese were also suggesting that there are many Travises out there, spawn of a rotten society about to turn on itself. Well, it was 1976, after all, when New York was very different, before Times Square had been Disney-fied.

Once again, Schrader is a real life Travis. And he's still out there, so watch out DJ!

« : June 03, 2013, 12:40:37 PM noodles_leone »

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« #12041 : June 03, 2013, 12:35:53 PM »

do you think that final shot was Scorsese setting us up for a possible sequel?

I don't think so... The whole movie led to this... The ending is designed to be like the opening, but with a more menacing tone, as noted by Jenkins. Scorsese talks about it on the commentary track.

btw, I've I've heard people argue that Travis dies in the shootout; the rest of the movie is his dying thoughts. (When he picks up Betsy in the cab, I think you can see a scar on the left side of his neck where he was shot - which would indicate that perhaps it is literal - but it is not very clear, as Travis is only shot from head-on in that scene).
My problem with the "dying thoughts" interpretation is that it does not explain that final shot. Even if he is indeed fantasizing, as he is dying, about being a hero and Betsy respecting him, that wouldn't explain why he would be suddenly reacting to that thing in the mirror. I think it's all literal.

I don't believe this, but I understand how the god's POV floating camera with lots of fades shots can hint at this theory.


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« #12042 : June 03, 2013, 01:15:54 PM »

BTW, sorry I was using equivocating terms in my previous post:

When I said "in the left side of his neck where he was shot," I meant that someone fired a gun and the  bullet hit the left side of his neck.

When I said that in that final scene "he is only shot from head-on," I meant that scene where picks up Betty in the cab, the camera films him only from straight-on, not from the side, so it isn't completely clear whether or not he has that scar from where the bullet hit him.
(I think you see the scar when he turns his head once, but it is not very clear [perhaps intentionally so?] if he has no scar, then the final scene is definitely a fantasy -- no way would he recover from those bullet wounds without a scar. But if he does have the scar, then the final scene can be a fantasy or reality).

Anyway, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have been so careless as to use the word "shot" twice in the same post but referring to different things


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« #12043 : June 03, 2013, 01:17:25 PM »

I don't think so... The whole movie led to this... The ending is designed to be like the opening, but with a more menacing tone, as noted by Jenkins. Scorsese talks about it on the commentary track.

I don't believe this, but I understand how the god's POV floating camera with lots of fades shots can hint at this theory.

To say nothing of the possible wish-fulfillment scenes of Travis being made a hero, and then getting to snub Betsy. The only problem with this idea is a) as Drink says, the look-in-the-rearview bit doesn't square very well with it, and b) Marty doesn't seem to be aware of this interpretation. At least, he's never mentioned it as far as I know.



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« #12044 : June 03, 2013, 01:17:58 PM »



Yep, that's what I mean by "Am I defined by what I do or by who I am?"
The Sartrian answer is "by what I do", because nobody cares about your potential. It has no effect on the world. What you do, whatever the reasons are (will, luck, love, money, hard work...) has real consequences. The regular religious answer is "who I am", because that's the only consequence that matters. The Scorsese answer is, as far as I (and you I guess) understand is: "who I am", because sooner or later, that's what I will do.



If by "what you do," you mean to say "how you earn a livelihood," then yeah, religion definitely doesn't define you by that.

If by "what you do," you mean to say "your actions, ie. good deeds or bad deeds," then some religions will definitely say you are defined by that

« : June 03, 2013, 01:22:30 PM drinkanddestroy »

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