I'm not sure if De Niro had to go that sad and fat and pathetic in the third act, but he absolutely went there.
Despite its meandering pacing, there's a lot about Taxi Driver that continues to captivate: Scorsese's simmering direction; the vivid portrait of 70s NYC; De Niro's haunting performance; sudden eruptions of hateful dialogue and hyper-violence; Shepherd's gleaming eyes; and Herrmann's wistful score. Nearly forty-five years on, what's most fascinating to me is how Schrader's script acts as a very revealing case study on media radicalisation, black-pill ideology, and pathologies of loneliness.
If one of these million ways to shuffle off the mortal coil and embrace the sweet kiss of death is to never watch this abysmally unfunny film and pass away peacefully in my sleep some years later, then sign me the hell up. I'd also gladly take Armageddon, because—let's face it—things are just really looking that way now. Single star for the Christopher Lloyd cameo.
After four years of intense comic-book film fatigue, it's refreshing to watch a film as expansive and interconnected as Endgame and not have it feel like simply another teaser for yet another franchise film (even despite the three-hour runtime). Where Infinity War (and to a larger extent, the preceding twenty-one films that constitute the MCU grand narrative) was about shuffling pieces on the chessboard, Endgame only has one primary concern: reaching the checkmate. And that's where this film ultimately succeeds, in delivering…
“In his review of The Proposition, esteemed film critic Roger Ebert wrestled with the familiar themes of on-screen violence and bloodshed: ‘Why do you want to see this movie? Perhaps you don’t. Perhaps… it will take you more than one try to face the carnage. But the director… has made a movie you cannot turn away from; it is so pitiless and uncompromising, so filled with pathos and disregarded innocence, that it is a record of those things we pray…