Raging Bull Reviews
January 14, 2012
Considered by many to be the greatest sports movie of all time, Raging Bull was said to be a chance to see Robert De Niro's talents in full swing.
Although many people consider Raging Bull to be the greatest sports movie of all time, the difference between a film like this and Rocky is the fact that Rocky was more about the sport while Raging Bull was more about Jake LaMotta himself as a person while his role in the boxing community is also put into clear focus. Either way, I consider it to be a different kind of sports movie as it is a sports biopic, but there is no denying the brilliance of it.
Martin Scorsese's detailed analysis of the self-destructive lifestyle of Jake LaMotta is incredibly well executed. Through the simplest of scenes, Martin Scorsese slowly develops his tale as it progresses through the story of a man and a boxer. As Jake LaMotta becomes a greater warrior in the ring and a more powerful man, it is at the expense of his sanity because he loses control of his rage more and more. The relationships he shares with his wife and brother are greatly affected by this, and without having to dramatise anything, Martin Scorsese builds up the intensity of it all very naturally before unleashing it in several climactic moments over the course of the film, whether they be emotionally powerful in sentimentality of striking in intensity. Either way, Martin Scorsese captures the gritty nature of Jake LaMotta's story excellently. The message of the film seems to be that Jake LaMotta was nothing but an empty shell of a man, and as his shell grew thicker, he just had more space inside him to be empty. The depiction of his loneliness and empty life is sad, but the way that it shows him confronting his demons is brutal thanks to Martin Scorsese's ability to handle the subject matter without any mercy. Upon my second viewing of Raging Bull, I realize that it is truly one of his finest works because of how he takes a simple story and puts so much style and life into it. Raging Bull saved director Martin Scorsese from killing himself with a problematic cocaine addiction, and his treatment of the screenplay crafted by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin is brilliant.
Visually, Raging Bull has a lot of artistic merits to it. In establishing the time of the film, the production design and scenery of Raging Bull do an excellent job depicting its setting of The Bronx. Everything looks beautiful from the production design to the costumes, and it is all captured by the look of beautiful cinematography which establishes a sense of nostalgia by following a classical style yet combining it with some innovative new techniques. Raging Bull is shot and edited beautifully, and the fact that the film is black and white makes it all the more timely and beautiful. In a symbolic sense, it reflects the simplicity of Jake LaMotta as a man and the aggression of him as a boxer through its black and white, so it really has a lot of meaning all while feeling classical. It is a visual masterpiece as much as it is an insightful one, and one of the most visually stellar films on behalf of Martin Scorsese.
And without the slightest falter, the cast members in Raging Bull make a brutal impact headlined by Robert De Niro in a career best performance.
The first thing that viewers get to witness in Raging Bull is the sight of Robert De Niro playing an older version of Jake LaMotta. With his incredible dedication to the role, Robert De Niro is incredibly obese. He actually gained a lot of weight to portray the much older Jake LaMotta, and it pays off because it increases his credibility and gives him the right appearance. He easily captures the aged nature of the man, and it takes a while to realise that it is actually Robert De Niro because he looks like somebody that has never been seen before on screen. Robert De Niro's physical achievement as Jake LaMotta comes into play based on both how he looks and how he fights. When viewers see him go at it in the ring, Robert De Niro floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. His technique is amazing and the work of a truly brilliant actor. So Robert De Niro is amazing physically in Raging Bull, but I haven't even gotten to explaining the more deep aspects of his performance yet. In the role of Jake LaMotta, Robert De Niro is incredibly on key. He captures the emptiness and sadness of the man beneath his tough exterior and conveys it through his consistent aggression and blank facial expressions while he gradually breaks it down over the course of the film's progression. Robert De Niro was born to play Jake LaMotta and captures him in detail within every inch of the character, inside and out, and so it is definitely the greatest performance of his career.
Joe Pesci is stunning as well. In his breakthrough role, Joe Pesci manages to take on the role of Joey LaMotta and use it to empower Robert De Niro all while maintaining a strong character for himself. In some scenes which are just basic moments of dialogue and others which are complex scenes depicting brotherhood between the LaMottas, Joe Pesci is on par every single moment with a deep association with the character, plenty of physical energy and a flawless line delivery. He engages with the character on a perfect level to capture his Bronx nature and shares an incredibly powerful chemistry with Robert De Niro. For a film where Robert De Niro is in top form, Joe Pesci manages to stand out himself with a performance which is the second greatest of his career following his Academy Award winning role in Martin Scorsese's 1990 film Goodfellas.
Cathy Moriarty does a nice job as Vicky LaMotta as well. In her debut performance, she maintains a classical sense of beauty right for the character and maintains the stoicism of a wife dragged through a rocky relationship. As the film goes on she develops more intense in her approach to the material and so she ends up with some really strong scenes. Her screen time is small and she is overshadowed by Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, but she shows a lot of promise as an actress and works hard to establish her relevance in the film.
So thanks to a brilliant and nostalgic visual style combined with intense direction from Martin Scorsese, a screenplay that hits all the right notes and an amazing performance rom Robert De Niro as well as a powerful effort on behalf of Joe Pesci, Raging Bull truly is a great sport biopic masterpiece.
January 23, 2015
Martin Scorsese: maybe one of greatest directors of our time. And this film is, in my humble opinion, his masterpiece. Goodfellas is a great film, Taxi Driver is so powerful, but Raging Bull is just better than them, because it makes you think about what you have seen for a long time, and recreates human´s soul and worse behaviours and feel real pain as Lamotta (brilliant deNiro) self-destroys himself. Unmissable.
January 21, 2015
Oh He was a raging one.
|Jose Luis M.||
January 18, 2015
De Niro y Scorsese nos brindan lo mejor de ellos.
January 15, 2015
Una de las mejores y mas icónicas películas en la historia del cine. La vería mil veces.
January 2, 2015
April 20, 2009
A movie that really deserves all the nice reviews/rates it has got all of the world. Its almost a shame i haven't picked this one up until now considering i have Martin Scorsese (Director) , Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci as fav actors along with a good genre , boxing drama. A superb story to follow with performances on top. The movie are in black and white and that turns out really good actually. Its catching the right 60's feeling i guess.The fight scenes are amazing and very realistic made. This is just a top notch movie in every aspect. All i can say is ,, sit back and enjoy.
December 28, 2014
If I could. I would give this more stars out of 5, My favorite movie of all time. PERIOD!
December 21, 2014
I'm not the biggest boxing fan, neither am I the biggest Scorsese fan. Sure, he have done several solid films. This is one of them.
I enjoy the story. Sad, real and interesting. Lovely put to screen with neat touches and techniques. De Niro does yet another superb interpretation. All eyes are on him in his scenes. The rest of the cast also does a great job.
There is much more to the story than just boxing, I like that. Still we get some rugged and raw scenes. A nice script and great dialogues is also a big plus. Some very witty, hard-hitting lines here. It failed to really get me, but I was never bored. Easy to admire, but harder to love.
7.5 out of 10 ice water jugs.
December 21, 2014
I do like Rocky a bit more, but Raging Bull is a truly compelling film.
December 18, 2014
Excellent performance by Robert de Niro. Great cinematography. Well-directed. However this picture didn't get me.
November 30, 2014
Good film, not as good as the Rocky films and would of been a lot better if it wan't filmed in black and white and the ending was really dragged out in my opinion but apart from that it was rather good.
July 25, 2014
Raging bull is a masterpiece. It mainly doesn't focus on boxing but on Jake LaMotta's violent and intolerable behaviour on his wife and family. You don't live an happy life even without gaining sucess with such behaviour. Well, the message was clear.Raging bull is one of the Scorsese's best and also Robert De Niro's best performance, he was outstanding. It's always a pleasure to watch him, Joe Pesci was brilliant too. Overall acting and some epic dialogues in this movie makes it a true classic.
August 17, 2010
This film reminds me of Casino, Godfather as well as Barry Lyndon! it has some of the most beautiful shots, especially the opening credit, which makes me think of Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn! It is powerful and simple. They were both made in one shot with cast running on the screen, and the background music...Scorsese used Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana for the opening and the end. Everyone should be emotionally charged.
August 3, 2011
Led by a relentless performance from Robert De Niro, Raging Bull is essential cinema, and possibly De Niro and Scorsese's best film to date.
March 9, 2014
De Niro is the king of awful, violent over rated movies and this is one of the most violent.
November 1, 2014
Not really a sports movie but more of a drama about a former boxing great consumed by jealousy. Scorsese and DeNiro, yeah of course it's good.
October 15, 2014
An anger-infested, but accurate and provocative look in the lives of the unsympathetic yet successful Jake LaMotta and his boxing career, his then-wife Vikki, and his verbally abusive, yet concerned brother Joey. Both De Niro and Pesci give remarkable performances throughout the film, with many other actors giving their all, as well as director Martin Scorsese, who has, all together, provided us the boxing film that has aged better as the years went on.
March 8, 2013
A brutal yet an honest take in sports biopics and with Martin Scorsese and Robert De Nero on board, it packs one hell of a punch.
August 7, 2014
Raging Bull has little to do with the subject of boxing per se; it's more of a character study of the flawed, tormented and troubled boxer, Jake LaMotta, and about his inability to connect with other human beings and his 'penchant' for self-destruction. Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin's screenplay unflinchingly explores what drove this man over the edge and what eventually pulled him back. Scorsese has presented the audiences with the most powerful portrayal of jealousy ever put up on the big screen, reviving the golden age of cinema (at least for a while).
As the title suggests, it's not tactics or strategy but rage that drives LaMotta as a boxer. But what's interesting is that his perception doesn't seem to change when he steps outside the ring. He still feels that he has to fight the world on his own with no one in his corner but his brother. Lamotta often destroyed his opponents with a couple of chaotic blows. But sometimes we watch him stand strong, allowing himself to be hammered, refusing to go down. Why? I believe it was his way of confession, it was his way of acknowledging the wrongs he'd done and paying for the sins he'd committed. He hurt everyone around him too much, to forgive himself. Raging Bull is extremely aesthetic and over time, it has come to represent the gold standard in film-making. People can argue that this might be the greatest American film ever made. There's not too much one can say to fight that argument.