Taxi (2004)

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Released 19-Sep-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action 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)
Deleted Scenes
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)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 99:52
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (75:12) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tim Story
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Queen Latifah
Jimmy Fallon
Henry Simmons
Jennifer Esposito
Gisele Bundchen
Ana Cristina De Oliveira
Ingrid Vandebosch
Magali Amadei
Ann-Margret
Christian Kane
Boris McGiver
Adrian Martinez
Joe Lisi
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music Christophe Beck
Black Eyed Peas
Tim Boland


Video Audio
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
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    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    Washburn (Jimmy Fallon of Saturday Night Live) is a NYPD police officer whose driving license has been revoked after causing a number of accidents with his awful driving.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.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    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.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    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.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are a few extras.

Menu

    An animated menu with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Theatrical Trailers

    After the forced (and very annoying) anti-piracy advert, there are a series of trailers before the film starts, which can be skipped through:

Audio Commentary

    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.

Deleted Scenes (3:44)

    There are four short deleted scenes presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Featurette-Making Of-The Meter's Runnin': Making Taxi (20:11)

    This extra focuses on the cars and actors of the film.

Featurette-Lights, Camera, Blue Screen (5:21)

    A look at the extensive use of visual FX in the film.

Tour Guide: Jimmy Fallon (5:20)

    Fallon takes us for a quick walk around one of the sets.

Featurette-Reel Comedy: Taxi (21:13)

    A Comedy Central marketing promo for the film.

Beautiful Criminals (2:24)

    A montage of clips of the models.

R4 vs R1

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.

Summary

    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.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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