Trailer-Dodgeball, The Clearing, I Heart Huckabees, Sideways
Trailer-The Simpsons DVD Collection, Arrested Development
Alternative Version-Extended Version
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Tim Story (Director)
Featurette-Making Of-The Meter's Runnin': Making Taxi
Featurette-Lights, Camera, Blue Screen Tour Guide: Jimmy Fallon
Featurette-Reel Comedy: Taxi
Gallery-Beautiful Criminals (Montage)
|Year Of Production||2004|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (75:12)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Tim Story|
Twentieth Century Fox
Ana Cristina De Oliveira
Black Eyed Peas
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Taxi is a fun, escapist buddy comedy which is quite enjoyable if you're in the right mood and don't try to take it too seriously. Despite being universally considered by critics as one of the worst films of 2004, I found Taxi to be a good Friday night's rental. It has a few laughs, some great car chases, and gorgeous super-model Gisele Bundchen as one of the hottest villains I've ever seen.
Washburn (Jimmy Fallon of Saturday Night Live) is a NYPD police officer whose driving license has been revoked after causing a number of accidents with his awful driving. The likeable but hapless Washburn finds himself near a bank robbery, and is forced to hail a taxi to get there. The taxi is driven by driving enthusiast Belle (Queen Latifah). Washburn finds that Belle has customized her taxi into a high-performance NASCAR-like vehicle, and the two of them form an odd couple partnership as they are soon forced to rely on each other.
The bank robbers are a group of gorgeous Brazilian models, led by the ruthless Vanessa (Victoria Secrets model Gisele Bundchen). Vanessa is also a speed demon, and she and Belle battle it out on the crowded NY streets in some of the most exciting driving sequences since Gone In 60 Seconds.
Those wondering who Gisele Bundchen is should click here.
Fallon is great as the likeable loser who is eager to impress, and lives next door to his alcoholic mum (an hilarious Ann Margaret). But it's Latifah who steals the show as the sassy, street-wise cabby with a heart of gold.
Taxi is a remake of a 1998 French film of the same name, written by Luc Besson. Indeed, Besson co-produced this Hollywood version. A number of changes have been made to the original story, and some for the better. For example, in the original film, Belle's character is a man.
However, the problem with the new version is that at times it appears half-finished, or hurriedly assembled (post audience-testing). The ending in particular doesn't sit comfortably with the style of the rest of the movie. I note in the director's audio commentary that there's some discussion about where the director, Tim Story, wanted to end the movie.
Overall, however, I had expected this film to be far, far worse.
Interestingly, two versions of the film are available on this DVD, the original theatrical version (93:08), and an extended version (99:52). The times given below refer to the extended version.
The transfer is very good.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.
The sharpness is excellent, as can be seen in the detailed shot of Times Square at 10:08. The black level and shadow detail are also great.
The colour is excellent. While at times I feared it was slightly oversaturated as some of the reds seemed a little too rich, I believe this accurately reflects the intended look of the original print. NYC is presented as a vibrantly bright and colourful world.
There were no problems with film-to-video or MPEG artefacts, but at 76:30 the screen did break up into pixels for a very brief moment. A few small film artefacts appeared throughout, and they were never distracting. At times there did appear to be some edge enhancement, but it was relatively slight.
English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are present, and they are accurate.
This is a Dual Layer disc, with the layer change placed at 75:12.
There are two audio options: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), and an English Audio Commentary presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).
The dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent.
The musical score is credited to Christophe Beck, and the film features a a mixture of traditional orchestral score and hip hop, which suits the film well.
As an action-comedy, there is a great deal of surround presence and activity. The rears are often used for the score, and to provide ambience, such as during the many NYC traffic sequences. The subwoofer is also utilized very effectively with plenty of gun shots and car crashes, such as at 19:13 and at 58:05.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are a few extras.
An animated menu with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.
After the forced (and very annoying) anti-piracy advert, there are a series of trailers before the film starts, which can be skipped through:
Presented in Dolby Digital Stereo Surround, Tim Story (director) provides a chatty and informative commentary which touches on many different aspects of the production. Strangely, Story often seems to focus on identifying the locations, rather than providing an in-depth coverage.
There are four short deleted scenes presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.
This extra focuses on the cars and actors of the film.
A look at the extensive use of visual FX in the film.
Fallon takes us for a quick walk around one of the sets.
A Comedy Central marketing promo for the film.
Beautiful Criminals (2:24)
A montage of clips of the models.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Taxi was released on DVD in Region 1 last month.
The Region 4 DVD misses out on:
The Region 1 DVD misses out on:
I would call it even.
Taxi might be a formulaic action comedy, and yes, it has plenty of problems, but it's got enough laughs and stunts to make it a fun Friday night rental.
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is also excellent.
The extras are pretty lightweight.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||Grundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||Sony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer|