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Raging Bull (SE)
DVD disk
02.04.2005 By: Indiana Sev
Raging Bull (SE) order
Director:
Martin Scorsese

Actors:
Robert De Niro
Joe Pesci
Cathy Moriarty

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A bio-pic on the life of middleweight boxer Jake La Motta that focuses on how his self-destructive behavior prevented him from reaching many of his personal and professional goals. De Niro gained a bunch of lbs. for this role and earned an Oscar for his troubles.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Although there aren’t many negative things I have to say about this movie, I still can’t say I thought it was great; it falls more into the good category, for me. The brilliant black and white presentation is gorgeous to look at, the score and music compliment the movie perfectly and the acting performances from Pesci, De Niro and Moriarty are extraordinary. I guess the only problem is that I wasn’t particularly moved by it. ORDINARY PEOPLE gets a lot of slack sometimes because it won the Best Picture Oscar at the 1980 Academy Awards and RAGING BULL, a movie many consider the best movie of the 1980s, didn’t. Well, I guess I’m one of the very few then that thought that decision was a wise one. ORDINARY PEOPLE not only kept me involved throughout but it affected me enough for me to carry it around with me long after I saw it.

After two or three of La Motta’s ‘fits’ in this movie, I just stopped caring and just started wondering when his next unreasonable outburst was going to come. I’m not saying a character has to be likeable for me to get involved in him or her, but La Motta is pretty much just a one-dimensional asshole through most of this film and that, along with many of his fights sprinkled around, is pretty much all this movie serves up for the first hour and a half. As I said before, this movie doesn’t have any real faults or anything, far from it; it’s a masterfully directed character study of a man who can’t keep his rage in the ring from spilling into his everyday life. I just didn’t care all that much about him, or many of the other characters, so that’s why it doesn’t get as high a grade from me, as it has from the majority of other people…
THE EXTRAS
2-Disc Collector’s Set

Audio Commentary #1: Marty Scorsese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker are involved in this first commentary track. Scorsese isn’t his usual manic self here, instead he speaks very calmly and precisely about all that is and was, RAGING BULL. They aren’t speaking together so expect a few lulls now and again.

Audio Commentary #2: Irwin Winkler, Robbie Robertson, Robert Chartoff, Theresa Saldana, John Turturro, Frank Warner, Michael Chapman and Cis Corman are among the cast & crew that chime in during this second audio commentary track. They all come in time to time, on their own, and share their experiences on this very special film in their lives. It was a great idea to get all these commentary tracks rolling on this DVD. There are a lot of golden nuggets on here…

Audio Commentary #3: This third installment is called The Storytellers Commentary and it includes Mardik Martin, Paul Schrader, Jason Lustig and Jake La Motta. The “Raging Bull” himself and his nephew are featured on this track as well as the film’s screenwriters. Some more gold here for die-hard fans of this film, it’s really quite something hearing the real Jake La Motta dish out the goods on this track.

Raging Bull: Before the Fight (26 minutes): A brand new documentary that focuses on how the film came together. The director, along with screenwriters and actors (De Niro, Frank Vincent, Moriarty) all give recent interviews and reminisce on how they all came to be a part of this production. This is a very well produced DVD documentary.

Raging Bull: Inside the Ring (14 minutes): Everything from the fight choreography to how they came to shoot the picture in B&W is discussed here with more brand new interviews with cast and crew. You can finally see what Joe Pesci looks like these days.

Raging Bull: Outside the Ring (27 minutes): Here, you’re offered even more goodies about the film’s production, outside of the ring fights. A big focus is put upon De Niro’s wild and wacky weight gain so he could inhabit and feel like the real La Motta did. The new interviews are one of the main highlights of these documentaries.

Raging Bull: After the Fight (15 minutes): Not much meat to this documentary. The focus here is mainly on the sound and music of the film with a few final thoughts tacked on at the end.

The Bronx Bull (27 minutes): Jake La Motta himself gives us his take on his life and the movie based on it, in yet another documentary on the second disc. The editing of the film is also discussed (again!) by Thelma Schoonmaker.

De Niro Vs. La Motta (3 minutes): A short little feature that compares actual footage of one of Jake’s fights with a scene from the movie with De Niro in a similar situation. Also, a few cool shots of boxing magazine covers from back in the day, featuring the ‘Raging Bull’…

La Motta Defends Title: Old MovieTone newsreel footage re-capping one of La Motta’s comeback victories.

We also get the Theatrical Trailer and a 6-Page Commemorative Booklet.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This is a solid movie that is a must-see for any movie nut, but it just might not have that lasting impression you might be expecting. Still, you can do a lot worse on a blind buy…
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