Video Picks Archive

July 14, 1999
This Week's Video Picks
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This week my picks are Affliction (1997 - ) and Taxi Driver (1976 - ).

The first film, directed by Paul Schrader, stars Nick Nolte as a cop in a small New England town. He investigates the shooting death of a businessman who was deer hunting. Nolte's character also has to deal with being separated from his young daughter and the legacy of his abusive father (James Coburn, finally winning an Academy Award) who he becomes more like every day. A good effort from a solid cast including Willem Dafoe and Sissy Spacek.

Schrader originally made a name for himself with the second film, which he wrote for director Martin Scorsese. One of the greatest works from the last pinnacle of American filmmaking -- the mid 1970's. Robert De Niro stars as Travis Bickle, a disturbed and lonely Vietnam veteran who takes a job driving a cab in New York, in the middle of the night. Bickle tries to improve his surroundings by taking matters into his own, violent hands. Winner of the Palm d'Or (the highest award) at Cannes, this film is also notable as the feature film debut of Albert Brooks. It also stars Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, Cybil Shepard, and Peter Boyle. A "Special Edition" was just released on VHS and DVD that contains a new featurette about the making of the film.

For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Affliction (1997)
Taxi Driver (1976)

Here's some merchandise for sale at
Affliction (1997) -- VHS
Affliction (1997) -- DVD
Affliction, a novel by Russell Banks -- Paperback
Affliction: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack -- Compact Disc
Taxi Driver: Special Edition (1976) -- VHS (pan & scan)
Taxi Driver: Special Edition (1976) -- VHS (widescreen)
Taxi Driver: Special Edition (1976) -- DVD
Taxi Driver, a screenplay by Paul Schrader -- Paperback
Taxi Driver: Original Soundtrack Recording -- Compact Disc Home
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Capsule Reviews © 1999 Matt Heffernan