6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Raging Bull" has been called the greatest film of the 80s. After seeing this film last night I would say it is one of the most powerful films of all time. De Niro, was also at the top of his game here, as Jake LaMotta, the infamous boxer known for his abusive life style and somewhat paranoid delusions during his reign as world middleweight boxing champion, 1949 - 1951. Throughout the film, he beats his wife (played expertly and convincingly by the 19-year-old Cathy Moriarty), convinced that she is cheating on him, and that is more or less what the film is truly about. The boxing is just what he does for a living, and could be considered as a way to release some of his deeper, harbored anger.
The film is most often compared to "Rocky," more than any other, apparently because they both concern a certain level of boxing. As much as I absolutely adore "Rocky," "Raging Bull" is a deeper, more realistic film. But whereas "Raging Bull" is raw, "Rocky" is inspiring. The only connecting thread is the apparently central theme of boxing, which is used as a theme in "Rocky," and a backdrop in "Raging Bull." They're entirely different motion pictures -- one uplifting, the other somewhat depressing -- and the people who try to decide which is better need to seriously re-evaluate their reasons for doing so. They both succeed splendidly well at what they are trying to do, and that's all I have to say about their so-called connection.
The boxing scenes easily rank with the most brutal and violent moments ever put on film, shot in stark, unadorned black and white and utilizing unlikely sounds including shattering windows and animal cries to great effect. Thelma Schoonmaker's jarring, discordant editing in these scenes also deserves special mention. The scenes of domestic violence are not for the faint of heart, but there is really no other way to tell this story.
This is certainly one of the most intense films Scorsese has directed, and one of the most important of his career. Along with "Taxi Driver," it is an iconic motion picture that will stand the test of time for years and years to come.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
In 1980, it is famously recorded that the real Jake LaMotta walked out of the movie theater where he had just seen the completed "Raging Bull" for the first time, turned to his ex-wife, who was also invited, and whined, "I wasn't that bad, was I?"
"No," she deadpanned. "You were worse."
It is hard to imagine anyone being worse than Robert DeNiro's version of LaMotta. Hot-tempered, violent, masochistic, treacherous, pathologically jealous, Bobby D plays just an all around horrible human being, one with almost no redeeming value at all save for his ability to withstand punishment in the ring. And indeed, it is this last quality that offers Jake a place where he can come to grips with his demons in a legal and fairly lucrative way, as he quests for a shot at the middleweight title.
The era that the real Jake LaMotta competed in was one of the most interesting in history. Boxing was at the height of its popularity and the 160-pound division was loaded with talent, including Michele Cerdan and the great Sugar Ray Robinson, but it was also a time when the Mob, in the personage of Frankie Carbo, largely controlled access to the title. Fight outcomes were sometimes fixed, odds were skewed, bribes were offered and taken, dirty tricks were played, and some otherwise honest men had to look the other way to get what they had already earned on merit. The scene in the film where the mobster Tommy tells Jake's brother "There's no way he's getting a title shot without us" is not far-fetched.
Jake's reluctance to play ball with the mob, who he considers cowards, is one of the few ethical things he does in the film; but in the end he gets in bed with them, throwing a fight with a hapless opponent and enduring disgrace and suspension of his license so he can take on Michele Cerdan for the title. By that time, the real LaMotta later said, "I knew in the dressing room I was gonna be champion; nobody could have beaten me that night."
He probably wasn't wrong. LaMotta, in real life, had no punch (unlike the movie, where he tears opponents to peices) and relied on his boxing ability and brick chin to wear down his opponents and win decisions on points. When he was in the zone, he was damn hard to beat; he handed Sugar Ray Robinson his first defeat and nearly knocked him out doing so. However, he was just a bit too big in the frame to fit comfortably into the middleweight division, and a bit too small to make the light heavyweight limit of 175 pounds. Thus he had to starve himself recklessly between fights to make 160, which often left him with nothing in the gas tank down the stretch of grueling 12 and 15 round fights. His brutal defeat at the hands of Ray Robinson in the 13th round of their sixth and final match, which he had been winning on points, is a good example of this. And like a lot of fighters who have to kill themselves to make weight, he had a tendency to balloon up enormously between bouts, a habit which probably shortened his career.
All this outside the ring drama, this weight gain and weight loss, this constant pressure to perform did not help his mental state, and DeNiro does a masterful job of showing how the same qualities which made LaMotta successful as a fighter ultimately wrecked him as a person. We know within 10 minutes that this man has almost no chance of living a normal life outside of boxing, and we are not wrong. The part of the film which follows the fat, lonely, broken-down LaMotta through levels of disgrace and humiliation is every bit as grueling as the scenes where he wars in the ring. Only at the very hend, through (sort of) repentance and a refusal to give up, does the man, and the audience, find any peace. His last words to the victorious Sugar Ray, mumbled through busted lips from a state of half-consciousness, more or less some up the film's ultimate message: "You never got me down, Ray. You never got me down."
In "Raging Bull" Scorsese made one of those movies that transcends its subject and becomes an instant classic, and DeNiro gave one of those performances which stands out even in a career as distinguished and brilliant as his. But it is not for the faint of heart.
PS - When asked if he ever actually said "You never got me down, Ray" to Robinson, LaMotta laughed and said, "No, I didn't say that. But it was the kind of thing I would have said, if I could have gotten my mouth open."
PPS - this movie begins one of the great feuds of cinematic history, between Joe Pesci and Frank Vincent. In "Raging Bull" Pesci pummels the hapless Vincent outside the Copa for flirting with Jake's wife. In "Goodfellas" Pesci beats Vincent unconscious, throws him in a trunk, and then stabs him to death. In "Casino" Vincent finally gets his revenge by beating Pesci with a baseball bat and then burying him alive in an Indiana cornfield. I shudder to think what Scorsese is gonna do with these two guys in his next film.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2003
Martin Scorsese's 'Raging Bull' is his finest movie to date, a bleak look at 1940s middleweight boxer Jake La Motta. Seen by Scorsese as his final film, the New York director crafted a brilliant, mesmerising movie that captivates and shocks with its brutallity. Jake La Motta - an up-and-coming boxer - cannot get a shot at the title unless he gives in to the local mafia. This is a story typical of any boxing movie, but the plot is not the essense of the film, La Motta is. Based on a true story, Scorsese has used La Motta's autobiography loosley to explore the tormented, paranoid, insecure mentality of the character. The plot is arguably flimsy in this sense. Many scenes that occur in the movie have not occured at all in real-life, and other scenes are moulded perfectly for the film. For example, the real-life friend of La Motta, Joe Savage, and the boxers brother, Joey, are embodied in Joe Pesci's character Joey, La Motta's on-screen brother/manager. The script is dedicated to La Motta's struggles, in and out of the ring - he gets scared, so he beats his wife, he's worried, so he hits his brother - his only emotional outlet is violence.
'Raging Bull' was made at a very personal time for Scorsese, and this is reflected much in the film - the black and white photography, the unsympathetic look at La Motta, and even his wife and brother - there is no subjectivity in this film. This is particularly emphasised at one particular scene when La Motta holds the belt after becoming champion and starts to cry - La Motta is charged with emotion, yet the scene is cut away with almost a harshness to life after the event.
Martin Scorsese, I feel, is one of the greatest - if not the greatest - active director about. He has created some of the great movies, but certainly not Hollywood movies. 'Taxi Driver', 'Goodfellas', 'Casino', 'The Last Temptation of Christ' - all brilliant in their own right, but 'Raging Bull' is his masterpiece. The acting throughout is flawless - Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty giving great performances as La Motta's punch-bags, but of course, they are outshone by Robert De Niro's earth-shaking portrayal of the Bronx Bull. It is my personal favourite of any celluloid-captured performance.
This is not a boxing movie, it is a character study. It treads on all of Scorsese's themes - a sinful protagonist, Catholic guilt, redemption, violence, etc. This is what cinema is all about - an artistic, stylish piece of filmmaking.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2002
What can I say about 'Raging Bull'? It's my favorite movie of all time, the title character is played by my favorite actor of all time, and the director is my favorite director of all time.
Any questions? :)
What a way to start out the 80s! The decade before you had the birth of such films like 'Mean Streets,' 'Taxi Driver,'(both directed by Marty Scorsese), 'The Deer Hunter,'(Cimino)'The Godfather (Parts 1 & 2)and 'Apocalypse Now.'(all by Coppola).
..Then Marty comes back with a tour de force film that examines the trials and tribulations of an ordinary man's soul.
Robert De Niro, in his second Oscar-winning performance, portrays 1940s Bronx boxer, Jake La Motta. What's so interesing about this movie, as well as practically ALL of Scorsese's cinematic gems, is that here you have an ordinary man trying to live an ordinary life by his own standards but can't because the local hoods have other plans for him. He's in constant struggle of normalcy and answering to a 'higher' power.
Jake La Motta is a lot like Charles Foster Kane ("Citizen Kane"). He wins support and followers just as quickly as he loses them while losing those who loved him in the process.In essence, this film bears a lot of similarities with "Citizen Kane."
La Motta is a tragic figure, a victim of his own self-disgust and complexities. He fights in two rings: the actual boxing ring and the domestic ring that includes the two people he loves most, his brother Joey (Joe Pesci)and wife, Vickie (Cathy Moriarty). Because he keeps what he feels for both so close to the surface, it eventually erupts and drives them both away. At heart, La Motta is a closet romantic. He becomes smitten with a fifteen-year-old Vickie the first time he sees her and she becomes his trophy and ideal. In the scenes where Jake is looking at her, there is no sound. It's as if this young girl's presence takes Jake completely out of reality. It's amazing to watch scenes with Moriarty and De Niro. When he pines for her, when he meets her, marries her, and even when the marriage goes sour.
It's also absolutely mesmerizing to watch De Niro transform in front of the cameras. He goes from a promising boxer to a burnt-out has-been. De Niro gained over 60 pounds for the scenes later in the film. He still holds the world record for the most weight an actor has put on in preparation for a role. It's absolutely incredible. De Niro, you're the best there is and the best there ever will be!
Cathy Moriarty and Joe Pesci give flawless perfomances. They deservably won best supporting actor/actress nods for this film. It started Moriarty's career and reignited Pesci's.(You're awesome, Joe! :))The cinematography and editing is top-notch. It doesn't any better than this. And Marty...dearest Marty, you're a master! In my book, that best director Oscar should've gone to you years ago! You're number one!
26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 1999
When you view Raging Bull in TRUE WIDESCREEN you see Scorsese's cameo in the final shot of the film when DeNiro performs his monologue in front of the mirror.
I own a copy of Raging Bull on VHS, but it isn't widescreen. So, I bought a copy of it on DVD because MGM advertises that Raging Bull is WIDESCREEN on the DVD case.
The widescreen on Raging Bull DVD is phony. IT IS NOT THE WIDESCREEN version of the film.
MGM tries to TRICK you into thinking you have widescreen Raging Bull by adding black bars to the standard television format.
So, instead of gaining up to 50% more image on the left and right of the screen, you actually LOSE a good percentage of the image at both the top and bottom. This is not widescreen.
It is false advertising done by MGM.
The True widescreen version of Raging Bull shows director Martin Scorsese. The DVD version of Raging Bull which is supposed to be WIDESCREEN does not.
If you want to see for your self, select a scene from Raging Bull "widescreen" and examine the composition. Memorize the top, bottom, left and right of the screen.
After you have done so, view the exact image on standard format. You will notice the difference. MGM has cropped off the top and bottom of the picture in the widescreen format hoping to trick us into thinking with have the real thing.
I am very disappointed with MGM and encourage you to refrain from purchasing Raging Bull DVD until a TRUE widescreen version is released.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 1999
This is Scorsese's finest moment. A poetic work that mixes the deeply personal story of a boxer with unbelievable directorial style. The movie's fighting scene's are something to behold. We get almost a dance sequence of poetic movements and violence. There is also a religious underplay in the movie (Scorsese is a devote catholic) which is shown through the final boxing bout, where DeNiro is 'crucified' on the ropes. Aside from the black and white photography and expert use of the camera, the movie's real focus is not boxing, but masculinity. LaMotta feels somewhat inadequate sexuallly and as a man. He has to constantly prove that he can fight and be a 'contender.' He is violent and a bad husband because he is constantly beating himself up. He struggles with the notion that his girl finds another boxer attractive. His response is mauling him in the boxing ring so that he is not a 'pretty boy' anymore. Another conflict exists between LaMotta and his brother, who is played brilliantly by Joe Pesci. La Motta suspects and eventually accuses him of sleeping with his wife. By the end of the movie he is a pathetic performer. A man who is now paid to provide cheap laughs. A man who was never knocked down by one of the greatest boxers in history. He is alone and decreped. Overweight and driven to a life of sleazery by his own paranoia and narcoticism. Scorsese is showing us that it is LaMotta, and not other people, who keeps fighting himself. This movie is a touching and brutal look at a fighter. It is a hallmark movie in terms of its style and film work, but more improtantly it shows us the tragic fate of a man not being able to come to terms with his own worth and manhood.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2011
Lets get something straight! This 30th Anniversary edition is not worth the extra expense. Everything on this disc is a direct port of the older version with the exception of four 10 minute featurettes (Marty & Bobby; Raging Bull: Reflections on a Classic; Remembering Jake; Marty on Film) and a DVD. It's interesting to see Scorsese and DeNiro interact in the the first featurette but the rest is just a rehash of stuff found elswhere in the previous extras. Unless you have a real need for the DVD your not getting much for your money (The older version can be had for under 10 bucks)and the Film transfer is exactly the same.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 1999
this movie has all the ingredients of great filmaking. first, the cast is superb. the underated cathy moriaty and joe pesci are excelllent in their supporting roles while deniro is in his prime. second, if you enjoy historically correct biographies this movie is a winner. the attention to detail is astounding, from the clothing to the automobiles. third, the black and white cinematography is breath-taking w/ it use of shadows and smoke. finally, although the casual viewer might see this film to be about boxing, i see a more profound storyline. this film is about a one-dimensional person who has great athletic gifts but lack social skills and self-confidence. so much so that he drives away the only people that love him and that deserve his trust. ultimately, this man ends up like a fish out of water (once his boxing career has ended), financially-strapped and lonely. this is one of my favorite movies. i highly recommend it.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2000
What Bobbie de Niro offers in this movie is something more than simple acting. I read somewhere that Scorsese wasn't so enthusiastic at the idea of making this movie ( maybe bacause at the time he was going through one of the harshest moments of his life ) and one of the reasons that this movie saw daylight was probably because de Niro wanted to make it at all costs - and when you watch him playing La Motta you can understand why! Very probably the man knew that this would prove to be one of the best movies of the last twenty years and undoubtfully one of de Niro's strongest performances : nothing short of Brando's one in " In the Waterfront ". To see how powerfull and merciless was La Motta in the ring and how pathetic he was outside - I found it really touching! This was a man who had to fight against himself more than against his opponents, a restless heart, a macho, prisoner of his catholic upbringing and his bad temper, but deep down inside a very good hearted man..."which friends, I don't have any friends..." The black and white, the links between slow moving scenes and the normal fight ones, the creation of the atmosphere of the fourties and the fifties - everything is quite perfect in this masterpiece! I really like Robert Redford's directing in "Ordinary people", but quite frankly the Academy Award should have gone to Scorsese that year. And it would have been well deserved!
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Back in the 1940's, Jake LaMotta was one of the most talented middleweight boxing athlete in America. Electrifying and scary, his tactic of getting close to his opponent and punishing them with blow after blow earned him the nickname "Bronx Bull" or better yet, "The Raging Bull".
But as electrifying and fierce as his style was in the boxing ring, his personal life was full of jealousy, obsession, anger, ignorance and eventually throwing a boxing match in order to get himself closer to the mafia in order to earn a title match.
Although considered one of the best boxers in the last century, there was more to LaMotta's life which was captured in his 1970 memoir "Raging Bull: My Story".
With the success of "Rocky" in 1976, Americans had an interest in boxing movies and what best than to work on a story that dealt with a real champ who had significant personal issues, a full-length movie adaptation of LaMotta's memoir and who best to direct it than Martin Scorsese, who was riding high from the success of his films "Taxi Driver" (1976) and "New York, New York" (1977) and Scorsese and De Niro worked together on the 1973 film "Mean Streets" (which would be the time when De Niro started to persuade Scorsese in considering "Raging Bull"). The film would be the first for actress Cathy Moriarty and the second for upcoming actor at the time, Joe Pesci.
Although at the time of release, because of its violent boxing content and domestic violence, the film had mixed reviews from critics. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two, Robert De Niro for best actor and "Best Film Editing" by Thelma Schoonmaker.
But overtime, "Raging Bull" is now regarded one of the greatest films ever made by film critics including the American Film Institute, the British Film institute's "Sight and Sound" and various newspaper publications. Gene Siskel has put the film as #1 in his top 10 list, Roger Ebert lists it as his #2 in his top 10 and France's "Cahiers du Cinema" has it listed as their #8 film in their worldwide cinema top 10 film list. Most recently, the American Film Institute has it listed as their #4 "100 Years....100 Movies" list.
The film is so well regarded that in 1990, "Raging Bull" was listed in the National Film Registry during its first year of eligibility.
The film would also be recognized for De Niro's ability of playing a physically fit and toned boxer but then gaining 60 pounds for portrayal of La Motta after his boxing career. As for Scorsese, he had a major hand in the film's editing and mixing as the director thought "Raging Bull" would be the final feature film he would be working on (Scorsese was going through personal challenges and wanted to do documentaries).
"Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition" is presented primarily in black and white (with only color focused on the montage wedding video clips of Jake and Joey and La Mott). But the picture quality is fantastic!
You can see details of the character, the sweaty hair, the beaten up face, the blood on De Niro's legs, the film looks great!
The black and white footage and the contrast levels are perfect. The blacks are nice and deep, the white and grays look absolutely wonderful! A fine layer of grain can be seen and no DNR or artifacting at all. This is a wonderful presentation of this film and "Raging Bull" looks absolutely wonderful on Blu-ray!
It's important to note that I am aware that "Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition" is the same transfer as the previous 2009 Blu-ray edition of "Raging Bull" and some are able to see a translucent stripe on the right side of the screen (which reviewers mentioned in their 2009 Blu-ray review). I didn't see it but this seems to be a 50/50 case depending on one's hardware it appears or because it shows very few times, people miss it. I didn't catch it at all.
But really, I don't think anyone should complain because the PQ is wonderful!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
"Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition" is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English Surround Sound. Dialogue coming from the front and center channel is excellent but it's those fight sequences where Scorsese really wanted people to feel and hear the ferocity, the brutality of boxers. From the leather gloves landing on flesh, the fluidity of the punches and hearing classic to modern announcers talking about the fight, hearing the the flash bulbs from the photographers, everything is captured remarkably well and making you feel the action with the use of audio.
And this extends to crowd cheering ambiance as they scream for LaMotta and boo him when he pretty much gives up on a fight. Every cheer and jeer, you hear it through the surround channels but it is important to note that because the film features a lot of dialogue, it's a film that is more center and front channel driven.
Still, audio is crystal clear!
Subtitles are presented in English SDH, Spanish and French.
"Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition" comes with the following special features:
* Filmmakers Commentary - Director Martin Scorsese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker.
* Cast and Crew Commentary - Featuring audio commentary with cast and crew featuring Irwin Winkler, Robbie Robertson, Robert Chartoff, Theresa Saldana, John Turturro, FrankWerner, Michael Chapman,and Cis Norman.
* Storyteller's Commentary - Featuring audio commentary by Marcik Martin, Paul Schrader, Jason Lustig and Jake La Motta.
* Marin and Bobby - (13:35) A new featurette for this 30th Anniversary Edition, both Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro talk about their relationship and how they work very well together.
* Filmmakers Reflection "Raging Bull" - (12:15) A new featurette for this 30th Anniversary Edition,Directors Kimberly Peirce (Boy's Don't Cry), Richard Kelly (Donny Darko), Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) and Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men) talk about why "Raging Bull" is a masterpiece!
* Remembering Jake - (11:04) A new featurette for this 30th Anniversary Edition, members of the Veteran Boxers Association of New York talk about their memories of meeting Jake LaMotta and their experiences with him.
* Marty on Film - (10:30) A new featurette for this 30th Anniversary Edition, Martin Scorsese talks about his passion of cinema and the making of films.
* Cathy Moriarty on the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson - (6:42) An early interview from 1981 with Cathy Moriarty being interviewed by Johnny Carson about "Raging Bull".
* Raging Bull: Fight Night - (1:22:32) The making of "Raging Bull" from how the book became a film, the making of the film, the fighting sequences, outside of the ring and after the fight. A magnificent making of featurette!
* The Bronx Bull - (27:54) Jake LaMotta, film critics and editor Thelma Schoonmaker talk about how the film's fighting sequences being exact as they were to the real fight footage, shooting in black and white and the great improvisation between De niro and Pesci.
* De Niro vs. La Motta - (3:47) A scene showing how Martin Scorsese made certain fight scenes identical to the actual fight. From the punches, to the falls and more.
* La Motta Defends Title - (1:00) An old MovieTone news clip feat. Jake La Motta.
* Original Theatrical Trailer - (2:09) The original theatrical trailer for "Raging Bull".
"Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition" comes with a slipcase cover plus a DVD version of the film. DVD is presented in 1:85:1 widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Dolby Surround, Spanish and French Mono. Subtitles are in English SDH, Spanish and French.
"Raging Bull" is one of Scorsese's masterpiece which may have not done well in the box office because no one knew how to interpret the violence featured in the film but after time, critics and cinema publications worldwide recognize how "Raging Bull" was wonderful cinema.
Where people expected another "Rocky", "Raging Bull" was nothing like that film. Where "Rocky" made viewers sympathetic to a man that one would root for, "Raging Bull" was the opposite. As viewers, we are forced to be sympathetic to a man who is no angel, who had personal issues and really, a guy that had his own personal inner demons. A guy that many people feared and didn't want to get on his bad side.
Jake LaMotta was not a perfect man. Awesome boxer in the '40s with an iron chin and a fighting style that really scared those who were in the ring with him but this is not a film just about boxing, this is a film about man's self-destruction. A man who loses it all by bad decision-making and although the film is loosely based on LaMotta's real life but in reality, as Vikki LaMotta told Jake who was depressed about seeing what kind of man he was, when he asked her was he that bad, her answer was "he was worse".
That's what makes "Raging Bull" so intriguing because for the most part, people never sympathize with a brutal man, an abusive man but through "Raging Bull", it's like watching an intriguing trainwreck of how Jake LaMotta lived his life and how this man had everything from a wonderful boxing career, made great money, had a beautiful wife but it was never enough for him. He wanted more money, he was blinded my jealousy and he lived his life day-by-day and eventually got himself in trouble.
And to accurately show this man's life, it was going to take remarkable dedication.
This was a story that Robert De Niro wanted to be made into a film. He started pitching it to Scorsese back when they were doing "Mean Streets" six years before "Raging Bull" was filmed. He continued to persuade him year after year and even told him that he would do everything necessary to get the physique of a boxer and be toned and then gain 60-pounds to show Jake LaMotta after his prime. That's amazing dedication but for Scorsese, this was a man who was going through personal challenges. He believed he lost his filmmaking mojo and wanted to quite feature films. He was not feeling good about his life and when "Raging Bull" didn't become the box office hit like "Rocky", needless to say, Scorsese wasn't thinking he would have much of a career afterward. Especially from the unfavorable reviews it received from the Hollywood Reporter and Variety Magazine.
Also, professionals advised Scorsese to not use unknowns but he was dedicated in hiring Cathy Moriarty to play Vickie LaMotta and Joe Pesci to play Joey LaMotta and he kept to that decision because the collaboration between De Niro and Pesci would become wonderful as the two were able to improvise and make it feel real and they continued that with "Goodfellas" and "Casino". As for Cathy Moriarty, this person was working at a nightclub in the Bronx with no acting experience but she had that style that complimented Jake's character.
And while the acting was magnificent, it was Scorsese along with editor Thelma Schoonmaker that really made "Raging Bull" literally kick ass!
Scorsese wanted to achieve perfection. He knew very little about boxing but he wanted to emulate it the best that he can but also making sure that every boxing match was different. And while most actors would complain, De Niro was patient. He wanted the role and he has an amazing repertoire with Scorsese and no matter how many takes it took, they got the fighting down with some matches being nearly an exact copy of the actual fight (using classic footage, Scorsese worked up storyboards) and Thelma Schoonmaker is one of the best in the business and knows what Scorsese wants but knowing hot to piece together every punch, capturing the brutality of a boxing match and making the viewer see the pain that LaMotta was inflicting or getting himself.
With "Raging Bull", this is a film that features wonderful filmmaking, top notch screenplay and magnificent acting that everything comes together perfectly.
And as for this Blu-ray release, yes... a 2009 Blu-ray edition with the same PQ and AQ has been released and is available for quite cheap but why upgrade to "Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition"?
For me, if you are a filmmaker who loves Scorsese's work or a cinema fan that admires his oeuvre, these four additional special features show us Scorsese, the filmmaker and Scorsese and De Niro, their awesome collaboration. It also is nice to see filmmakers come together and show their appreciation and explaining why "Raging Bull" was a masterpiece for them and then also hearing from past boxers who have worked or were good friends with Jake LaMotta chiming in.
Now does this justify the upgrade? It depends on you. Are special features meaningful for you? If not, then the 2009 Blu-ray will suffice. Otherwise, if you really love this film and love Scorsese's work and De Niro's work, then yeah... "Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition" is worth it! And if you haven't purchased this film on Blu-ray yet, then this 30th Anniversary Edition is the way to go.
Wonderful PQ, AQ plust three wonderful audio commentaries, a wonderful making of 1.5 hour long featurette and plenty of special features, if you truly enjoy this Scorsese masterpiece, "Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition" is a must-own and a must-buy!