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That's Entertainment. A Raging Blu review.
on 23 August 2011
Can I assume that you are all familiar with this film? An iconic classic that features one of the finest ever performances from Robert Deniro as Jake LaMotta, chronicling the rise and fall of the ill-tempered, insecure, flawed man but brilliant boxer. You are? Good, ill move onto the Bluray itself then. If you aren't familiar with this movie though, you owe it to yourself to see it. Fantastic acting performances from literally everyone involved, beautifully shot in black and white with a mesmerising soundtrack and moments in the boxing ring that look, at times, impossibly authentic.
This 30th Anniversary edition of Raging Bull uses the same transfer as the 2009 Bluray release, although that is no bad thing to be honest. The picture quality is excellent and one of the finest Bluay transfers from a 1980's film ive seen. Blacks are solid, whites are nice and crisp, the greys are varied which considering it was shot in black and white means a lot. Fine detail is very good and no DNR has been applied. There is a layer of grain over the picture, but not only is this a natural by product of the film used, it also adds to the gritty realism of the movie. Inside the boxing ring you can see the swirls of smoke passing across the ring lights, the beads of sweat on the boxers, and the blood appears thick and dark. The increased detail also allows you to really appreciate the shape Deniro got himself in to play this role. Which makes the transformation to washed up LaMotta all the more impressive.
The DTS-HD audio track is also very good, standing out in particular during the boxing scenes. You really get the feeling that you are in their with LaMotta.
Extras: Some quality extras here, most of them will have been seen before though. Thankfully, there are 4 new featurettes on this release which total up to around 40 mins. We have interviews with Scorcese and DeNiro on the making of the film and the impact it has had on their careers. Scorcese also has a feature where he talks about his early career. Remembering Jake Lamotta is from the Veteran boxers association of New York, who discuss various points of LaMottas career.
The rest of the extras have been on previous releases, but are worthwhile if you've never seen them before. The 3 audio commentaries from previous releases are all here; Cathy Moriarty on the Tonight Show; Raging Bull: Fight Night - a 4 part feature length documentary; a behind the scenes featurette; newsreel footage from Lamotta defending his title and most interesting, Deniro vs LaMotta; a shot by shot comparison of the two. It is eery how close DeNiro resembles LaMotta during the in-ring fights.
And that is your lot I guess. Overall I would say that Raging Bull has received the Bluray treatment it deserves. A fine transfer, very good audio track, all the previous extras and 40 mins of new ones. If you don't already own the 2009 release then this one to go for.