The Martin Scorsese Film Collection (New York, New York / Raging Bull Special Edition / The Last Waltz / Boxcar Bertha)
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After Taxi Driver, Scorsese went musical. The Last Waltz (1978), a record of the Band's 1976 farewell performance is a solid candidate for the best-ever concert film. Using the lessons learned as assistant director/editor on Woodstock, Scorsese storyboarded as much of the live concert as he could and relied on expert cinematographers to handle the tough shoot (big cameras needing constant attention for the live event). Scorsese's earthy interview segments were parodied in This Is Spinal Tap a few years later. New York, New York (1977) was Scorsese's attempt to recreate the musicals of his youth. He added the realistic flair of a modern film, but re-created the vintage look and style, with mixed results. The design and music are lavishly produced, but the story involving Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro doesn't click. This "director's cut" has been around for years on home video. The new commentary by Scorsese is interesting, but there's too much dry by-the-facts talk from film critic Carrie Rickey. The DVD extras are plentiful and far more engaging with the new edition of Raging Bull (1979), a Scorsese masterpiece of design and effect following the tumultuous times of prizefighter Jake La Motta (Robert De Niro in an Oscar-winning performance). --Doug Thomas
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The "Jewel in the Crown" of the set is the aforementioned RAGING BULL (1979), which many consider the single best boxing film ever made--and which many consider Scorsese's single finest film to date. Based on the scandal-plagued career and private life of boxer Jake LaMotta and featuring powerhouse performances by Robert De Niro and Cathy Moriarty, it is indeed a film that is difficult to overpraise--a remarkable balance of passion and violence against the sheer beauty of the film itself. The DVD edition, which includes two disks, is remarkably fine here, featuring a remarkably large number of commentary guests and a host bonuses that are never less than interesting and often remarkably insightful as well.
The remaining titles, however, are somewhat problematic--with Scorsese's first major film BOXCAR BERTHA (1972) easily the weakest link in the set. Starring David Carradine and a frequently nude Barbara Hershey, the film concerns the exploits of a pseudo-Bonnie and Clyde as they pillage and lust across Depression era America; suffice to say that the film was produced by the notorious Roger Corman and is best recalled for Hershey's physical charms. Although it receives a respectable transfer the DVD does not offer bonus material of any kind.
If BOXCAR BERTHA is a near-turkey, NEW YORK NEW YORK (1977, now available on DVD for the first time) might best be described as a near-miss--and the only musical Scorsese has thus far attempted.Read more ›
Included with each DVD is a theatrical trailer for its corresponding movie.
New York, New York features a fine collection of extras, including an audio commentary by Scorsese and film critic Carrie Rickey, who proceeds to put the movie into context and gives a brief run-down of the down-beat musical sub-genre. Scorsese is a great talker with an encyclopedic knowledge of film, making this a must-listen for fans.
Scorsese introduces the movie and describes it as a love affair between two creative people. He wanted to recreate the artifice of old Hollywood movies but with realistically behaving characters a la the films of John Cassavetes.
Also included are 15 alternate takes/deleted scenes totaling 19 minutes that involved a lot of improvising between the actors.Read more ›
Now all we need is for Universal to put out a boxed set of the films he did for them! I'd LOVE a "Casino" Special Edition!!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
They can't all work out. Collection of Scorcese's dogs. Buy them separately.Published 8 months ago by Wayne Bennett Brosman
Master Martin S. delights us with the various films in this collection. Not only enjoyable but they also provide an interesting study about the human psyche. Read morePublished on January 7, 2014 by E. J. Jove
Very good collection, A perfect mix of work by a brilliant director. If you are looking for a great pic for movie night this is it!Published on May 27, 2013 by sandra speck
For a Scorsese fan, this is an excellent box set. The two-disk special edition of Raging Bull is fantastic and it has a beautiful transfer as well. Read morePublished on March 23, 2007 by Paul E.
This collection might as well be called "Scorsese's Collection of Twos." It has two PG movies, two R movies. It has two music-based movies, two non-music based movies. Read morePublished on September 6, 2005 by PolarisDiB
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