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Blu-Ray Review: 30th Anniversary Edition of Martin Scorsese’s Timeless ‘Raging Bull’

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CHICAGO – After Robert De Niro’s “Pupkin”-esque acceptance speech on Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, some of our younger readers may be curious about some of the films that got him to that awkward moment. His second Oscar came for what is undeniably one of the best performances of all time. De Niro would give at least a dozen great performances, some before and some after, but “Raging Bull,” recently released in a beautiful 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray, is the peak of one of the most notable acting careers in film history.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

After several collaborations with Martin Scorsese (“Mean Streets,” “Taxi Driver,” “New York New York”), the two would team on one of the most acclaimed films ever made. At the end of the ’80s, as lists of the best of the decade were being put together, “Raging Bull” regularly landed on the top. Thirty years later, the power of this spectacular film has not been lost in the slightest. The last time that the American Film Institute made a list of the 100 best movies EVER, “Raging Bull” was #4, right between “Casablanca” and “Singin’ in the Rain.” It is a modern classic, although given its now-three-decades-old age, maybe modern is not the right word any more. It’s just a masterpiece.

Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition was released on Blu-Ray on January 11th, 2011
Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition was released on Blu-Ray on January 11th, 2011
Photo credit: Fox/MGM Home Video

De Niro would win the Oscar (and Scorsese should have as well, although that wouldn’t happen for another quarter century until “The Departed”) for going through a massive transformation as Jake La Motta, the legendary boxer who battled in and out of the ring. Jake Pesci and Cathy Moriarty co-star in the film written by the great Paul Schrader. As for synopsis, the less you know about the plot of “Raging Bull,” the better. Just see it. It’s one of the best dramas you could watch.

And it looks amazing in HD. Just amazing. Black & white regularly looks good on the format and this is no exception. Even more remarkable are the special features, which will take you hours to wade through and feature 4 new featurettes — “Marty & Bobby,” “Raging Bull: Reflections on a Classic,” “Remembering Jake,” and “Marty on Film” — 3 audio commentary tracks, and more. Both De Niro and Scorsese came back for interviews and the “Reflections” piece features an interesting collection of young directors (including Richard Kelly and Kimberly Peirce) discussing the greatness of the film. The four new featurettes total about 45 minutes and are must-see for fans of the film. The great, previously-available “Raging Bull: Fight Night,” which is a feature-length documentary about the making of the film, is also included.


A great movie with a great transfer and spectacular new special features. What more do you want from a Blu-ray? This is the first must-own of 2011.

Special Features:
o Commentary by Director Martin Scorsese and Editor Thelma Schoonmaker
o Commentary by Cast and Crew
o Storytellers Commentary
o Marty & Bobby
o Raging Bull: Reflections On A Classic
o Remembering Jake
o Marty on Film
o Cathy Moriarty on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, March 27, 1981
o Raging Bull: Fight Night
o The Bronx Bull
o DeNiro vs. LaMotta
o LaMotta Defends Title
o DVD Version

“Raging Bull” stars Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Cathy Moriarty. It was written by Paul Schrader and directed by Martin Scorsese. It was released by Fox/MGM on Blu-ray on January 11th, 2011. It is rated R and runs 129 minutes.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Anonymous's picture

I loved this movie to begin

I loved this movie to begin with, now that I will be able to see it this way; is gonna rock! After starting work at DISH Network, I appreciate movies so much more than I did before. Especially since my husband upgraded us to HD, it was well worth it! We got signed up for the HD Free For Life, and we don’t have to pay any additional for it. Its great!

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