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Raging Bull [Blu-ray]
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Robert De Niro teams with director Martin Scorsese in this "extraordinarily compelling" (Leonard Maltin) film that introduced unflinching realism to stunned audiences in 1980. An "exceedingly violent as well as poetic" fight picture that maps "the landscape of the soul" (The New York Times), Raging Bull garnered eight Oscar nominations and won two, including Best Actor for De Niro. De Niro gives the performance of his career as Jake La Motta, a boxer whose psychological complexities erupt into violence both in and out of the ring. Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty are unforgettable as the brother who falls prey to Jake's mounting paranoia and jealousy, and the fifteen-year-old girl who becomes his most prized trophy. A "brilliantly photographed film of extraordinary power and rare distinction" (The Wall Street Journal), Raging Bull is filmmaking at its riveting best.
Stills from Raging Bull (Click for larger image)
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- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medR R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 6.75 x 5.25 x 0.4 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Item model number : MGMV113514BR
- Director : Martin Scorsese
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled
- Run time : 2 hours and 9 minutes
- Release date : February 10, 2009
- Actors : Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent, Nicholas Colasanto
- Dubbed: : French, Spanish
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, Turkish
- Producers : Hal W. Polaire, Irwin Winkler
- Studio : MGM
- ASIN : B001JQTSG6
- Writers : Jake LaMotta, Joseph Carter, Mardik Martin, Paul Schrader, Peter Savage
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #35,498 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
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The movie is all about how LaMotta seemed like he had everything but he really didn’t. For instance, he married the woman of his dreams Vicky (Cathy Moriarty). His jealously however destroyed his marriage and it turned into an abusive relationship. His boxing career was no different. He had a bunch of big fights like three with Sugar Ray Robinson but the game was controlled by mobsters and he had to fight in fixed matches. That just adds to his anger.
Ultimately I felt this story fell a little short. I appreciate the acting of De Niro especially his transformation at the end of the movie as LaMotta got older. In the end however you could tell where the story was going by LaMotta’s personality right from the start.
Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical sports drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and adapted by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin from Jake LaMotta's 1970 memoir Raging Bull: My Story. The film, distributed by United Artists, stars Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta, an Italian-American middleweight boxer whose self-destructive and obsessive rage, sexual jealousy, and animalistic appetite destroyed his relationship with his wife and family. Also featured in the film are Joe Pesci as Joey, LaMotta's well-intentioned brother and manager who tries to help Jake battle his inner demons, and Cathy Moriarty as his wife.
As a means of contending with Rocky (1976), the decision was made to make ‘Raging Bull’ a black and white feature; subsequently, a secondary effect of this creative choice is the period authenticity - making this a simply timeless classic. To further separate itself from other biographical sports dramas, cinematographer Michael Chapman decided to film inside of the boxing ring (as opposed to outside of it) and designed these scenes after seeing LaMotta's moves and techniques in person. This allowed every fight - which totals up to approximately 10 minutes of run time - to be choreographed down to the tiniest detail. The same dedication to accuracy is reflected in the only moments where color (Albeit highly desaturated) are present - which are imitations of LaMotta's own videos that he provided to the crew.
For his portrayal of LaMotta, Robert De Niro won an Academy Award for Best Actor. The preparation alone was grueling and tedious - he studied and trained under LaMotta for approximately a year and then entered in 3 genuine Brooklyn boxing matches (and, #fanfact, he won 2). Influenced and inspired by LaMotta’s own fixation with his weight ( a theme repeated throughout ‘Raging Bull’) De Niro then went on to gain approximately 60 pounds despite having artificial measures ( prosthetics, etcetera) made easily and readily accessible to him. Juxtaposed with De Niro’s season aggression and multifaceted performance are Pesci and Shoemaker - unappreciated and inexperienced at the time - who make for interactions intended to illustrate how difficult LaMotta was to mollify painfully relatable.
Outside of the ring LaMotta is arguably not much of a role model; he could have very easily been sanitized as a way of censoring details about his life, but he admitted openly to being physically aggressive with his wives on multiple occasions. Scorsese doesn't make any excuse for this behavior, but instead focuses on the mitigating circumstances and pressures that LaMotta constantly found himself at odds with as a means of making something of himself. As LaMotta's insecurities nullify his yearn for glory there is a sympathy for his journey - and while undeserved in some respects, this results in an exceptionally immersive and endlessly profound character study.
A quick word on the context in which ‘Raging Bull’ was made because I think it's relevant. In 1978, Martin Scorsese nearly died; After having developed a serious addiction to cocaine to combat a lack of confidence in himself he was hospitalized with severe internal bleeding and nearly suffered a brain hemorrhage following an overdose. While in the hospital he was visited by De Niro and told quite simply: if you want to live, make this movie [Raging Bull]. Scorsese obliged tenfold and threw every resource possible at production, because he thought this would be his last American film. Almost 30 years later Scorsese has proved his audience - and, more importantly, himself - wrong in this respect, and he has shown time and again that he knows how to make and break the rules so as to avoid a cookie-cutter like cinematic experience. Through LaMotte and Scorsese himself it's clear that the way in which one rises to the top takes a back seat to the tenacity in which it is coordinated. Sometimes we crawl. Sometimes we climb. And sometimes we float.
Whatever the manner - there's always a fight. A lingering and painstaking desire to get back up. A risk of getting knocked out. A Risk of getting knocked down. But there’s always a fight.
Fight with everything you have. Fight like you have something to lose. Fight like the depth of your longevity depends on it.
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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.