This week’s releases include: the film version of a stage musical and the story of man overwhelmed by loneliness and disgust.

Fiddler on the Roof on blu-rayFiddler on the Roof (Blu-ray)
In pre-revolutionary Russia, Tevye the Milkman (Topol), a poor Jewish peasant, must contend with marrying off his three daughters while anti-semitic sentiment threatens his home.

Special features include: commentary by director Norman Jewison and actor Topol; deleted song; historical background; and featurettes. (Fox Home Entertainment)

Taxi Driver on blu-rayTaxi Driver – 35th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)
Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) is a traumatized Vietnam War veteran who takes a job as a night-time taxi driver in New York City to deal with his insomnia. His attempts to woo Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), a Senator’s campaign worker, turn sour when he unintentionally takes her on a seedy first date. Later, when Travis encounters a 12-year-old prostitute named Iris (played by then-13-year-old Jody Foster), he sets forth to rescue her from her exploitive pimp (Harvey Keitel). Eventually driven to the edge by the corruption that surrounds him and his powerlessness to change it, Travis decides to take measures into his own hands.

Travis Bickle is a pop culture icon. The line, “Are you talking to me?” immediately conjures the image of a young tough pointing a gun at his reflection in the mirror. Or you may be more inclined to remember the militant-looking guy with a mohawk. In any case, this is one De Niro’s most memorable roles; it was career-defining. Director Martin Scorsese had forged a bond with the young actor that would last several pictures. In addition, Jody Foster made waves as she convincingly portrayed a teenage prostitute. The film received four Oscar nominations: best picture, leading actor, supporting actress and score.

Special features include: original 1986 commentary by Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader recorded by The Criterion Collection; another commentary by Schrader and professor Robert Kolker; an interactive “Script to Screen” feature; “Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver” featurette; “Producing Taxi Driver,” a behind-the-scenes featurette; “Influence and Appreciation”, in which De Niro, Oliver Stone, Roger Corman and others pay tribute to Scorsese and the film in this video homage; “God’s Lonely Man”, a documentary featuring Schrader and Kolker discussing the loneliness themes as seen in the film; “Travis’ New York Locations”, a contemporary video visit to the film’s famous locations in New York City, comparing them to the same locations used in 1975; “Storyboard to Film Comparisons,” with a Scorsese introduction; “Taxi Driver Stories”, in which real life New York city cab drivers share their tales; “Making of Taxi Driver” documentary; animated photo galleries; trailers; and movieIQ. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)


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