Raging Bull : Ultimate Edition (1980) [DVD]
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Martin Scorsese's acclaimed biopic of Jake La Motta, the boxing world champion who rose rapidly to fame but swiftly fell from grace. On the road to success, La Motta (Robert De Niro) marries the beautiful young Vickie (Cathy Moriarty), but the pressures of success soon make him paranoid and he ends up alienating both his wife and his brother, Joey (Joe Pesci). Shot entirely in black and white, the film features brutal fight scenes and sees an Oscar-winning performance by De Niro, who famously tailored his physical appearance to suit the role, putting on 50 pounds to portray the portly, middle-aged La Motta.
While every Martin Scorsese fan has her or his favourite movie, few would argue that Raging Bull is one of his very best. It strikes a near-perfect balance between formal experiment (it's shot in black and white and features heavily stylised, slo-mo fight sequences) and emotional content, delivered through the compelling true-life story of heavyweight boxer Jake La Motta (on whose autobiography it was based), and frequently scores high on critic and audience polls of the best films of the 20th century.
The traditional rise-and-fall biopic structure serves as a vehicle for a brutally tender distillation of most of the director's favourite themes (male violence, sexual jealousy, ambition and failure). Onscreen, it features two of his favourite leading actors, Robert De Niro (whose intense physical exertions and pasta diet for the role won him an Academy Award), and Joe Pesci, as La Motta and his brother Joey respectively. Trapped in a bubble of emotional and verbal inarticulacy, Jake and Joey's constant, repetitive bickering ("Did you fuck my wife?" La Motta asks over and over again in one scene, undaunted by however many times Joey denies it), is counterpointed by Jake's eloquence in the ring, manifestly the only place where he can express himself. As the title suggests, the guy's an animal, a real antihero in satin shorts.
The smouldering, statuesque Cathy Moriarty is on hand as Jake's long-suffering wife Vickie, as are a whole posse of Scorsese regulars. All are aided and abetted by several of Scorsese's most gifted and vital off-screen collaborators: screenwriter Paul Schrader (co-author of Taxi Driver), cinematographer Michael Chapman (Taxi Driver), and the indispensable Thelma Schoonmaker, editor of almost every Scorsese film since his feature, Who's That Knocking at My Door?. They don't come much better than this. --Leslie FelperinSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Raging Bull is the best sports film ever made, the sheer emotion it puts you through, the detailed fights scenes, the first-class sound, this has never been repeated on big screen. Rocky may be fans favourite, but this is the best.
It is hard to believe that De Niro trained for the part for over a year, fought in three fights, then shot the film, take a few months out of filming to put on 50 pounds and then finished filming. Not only the best actor, but also this shows commitment to the part.
I loved Raging Bull from the first time I saw it, I am sure I am not the only one.
P.S if you want to see another movie about the life of Jake La Motta, there is another movie called The Bronx Bull, starring William Forsythe.
Raging Bull was not a big box office success; time has been more than kind to the film, now of course it’s regarded as a classic.
De Nero had already won his first Oscar in Godfather 11; this became his second - to date.
The story is very true to LaMotta’s career. He fought Sugar Ray Robinson an incredible six times!
De Nero, with his nose job, actually looks a little like LaMotta. For the latter part of the film, when Jake was fat, De Nero went away for several months of eating, and put on nearly five stones!
Excellent film – I love the De Nero - Joe Pesci combo's – all great films.
And finally, according to his biographies, LaMotta, was, as the film shows, a brute to his women. He’s been married six times and remains a very popular character in America.
Not only is the film a compelling and visceral tale of a man’s battle with his inner demons (and questionable sanity) but it is (still, 35 years on) a mightily impressive technical achievement. Cinematographer Michael Chapman’s evocative black-and-white photography is stunning – whether it be the fast-cut, wide angle boxing ring shots, the steadicam, vérité-like sequences or the lingering, more intimate close-ups. Similarly, the film’s sound design (courtesy of Frank Warner) is like something straight out of Leone – with its echoing camera flashes and punches adding to the film’s sense of realism. Certainly, Scorsese does not hold back in terms of the brutality of his sporting focus – this is barbaric stuff (and, admittedly, rather exaggerated for effect) as LaMotta dishes out and (happily) takes vicious beatings ('He ain’t pretty no more’).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome. This film is simply brilliant. Along with the first Rocky Film it is probably the best Hollywood film about the world of Boxing. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Mr. Jonathon Holmes
a real dad movie. watch with ur dad. failing that watch with someone else's dad.Published 2 months ago by Sam B
Good value dvd , came from France , played in English so don't panic !Published 3 months ago by Claire