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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Martin Scorsese
USA 1980

 

With this stunningly visceral portrait of self-destructive machismo, Martin Scorsese created one of the truly great and visionary works of modern cinema. Robert De Niro pours his blood, sweat, and brute physicality into the Oscar-winning role of Jake La Motta, the rising middleweight boxer from the Bronx whose furious ambition propels him to success within the ring but whose unbridled paranoia and jealousy tatter his relationships with everyone in his orbit, including his brother and manager (Joe Pesci) and gorgeous, streetwise wife (Cathy Moriarty). Thelma Schoonmaker’s Oscar-winning editing, Michael Chapman’s extraordinarily tactile black-and-white cinematography, and Frank Warner’s ingenious sound design combine to make Raging Bull a uniquely powerful exploration of violence on multiple levels—physical, emotional, psychic, and spiritual.

***

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 violentas well as poetic" fight picture that maps "the landscape of the soul" (The New York Times), Raging Bull garnered eight OscarÂ(r) 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 and sexual 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 Bullis filmmaking at its riveting best. *1980: Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor (Pesci), Supporting Actress (Moriarty), Cinematography, Sound, Editing (won.)

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 13th, 1980

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Also coming on 4K UHD by Criterion on the same day:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Criterion Spine #1134 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:09:18.751         
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,548,477,045 bytes

Feature: 34,260,283,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.80 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1984 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1984 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,548,477,045 bytes

Feature: 34,260,283,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.80 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• New video essays by film critics Geoffrey O’Brien (25:23) and Sheila O’Malley (17:51) on Scorsese’s mastery of formal techniques and the film’s triumvirate of characters
• Three audio commentaries, featuring Scorsese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker; director of photography Michael Chapman, producers Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler, casting director Cis Corman, music consultant Robbie Robertson, actors Theresa Saldana and John Turturro, and sound-effects supervising editor Frank Warner; and boxer Jake La Motta and screenwriters Mardik Martin and Paul Schrader
• Fight Night, a making-of program featuring Scorsese and key members of the cast and crew (25:52 / 14:36 / 27:16 / 15:14)
• Three short programs highlighting the longtime collaboration between Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro (13:25 / 10:21 / 14:42)
• Television interview from 1981 with actor Cathy Moriarty and the real Vikki La Motta (7:42)
• Interview with Jake La Motta from 1990 (5:34)
• Program from 2004 featuring veteran boxers reminiscing about La Motta (10:55)
• Trailer (2:09)
PLUS: Essays by poet Robin Robertson and film critic Glenn Kenny


Blu-ray Release Date: July 12th, 2022

Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 23

 

 

I probably shouldn't have waited till it was almost Summer - the slowest season for physical media - before addressing our current financial difficulties on DVDBeaver - and, hence, having a Patron Drive.

 

We are behind on our bills as commissions continue to decline and each month we have a net-loss of patrons - gaining only a couple while losing a dozen or more. We need about 100 to stay alive. I have the dark thought of what will be our very last review after 20-years. I don't want to 'throw in the towel' - even if it is, appropriately, Raging Bull 4K UHD. I love our current Patrons - and thank them for our existence to-date. Please consider keeping us around with a couple of dollars or more each month (your pocket change!) so we can continue to do our best in giving you timely, thorough reviews, calendar updates and detailed comparisons. You will then receive our weekly Newsletter sent to your Inbox every Monday morning, you can participate in our Silent Auctions and have access to over 100,000, personally selected, Blu-ray and 4K UHD film screen captures. Thank your consideration and assistance in the past.

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion Blu-ray (June 2022): Criterion have transferred Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull to Blu-ray and a 4K UHD transfer - the latter presented with an HDR pass. We won't be able to obtain 4K 2160P captures, probably, till after the release date - a function of the encode. This is presently true of almost all 4K UHD transfers. We will add them here when accessible. The 1080P should give you an idea of the rendering as it will be from the same source - cited as being from a "New 4K digital master, approved by director Martin Scorsese".

Criterion produced a Laserdisc (Pioneer USA) of Raging Bull in December 1990, but this new Blu-ray and 4K UHD will be their first digital edition of the film since then. Raging Bull was part of 'The Martin Scorsese Film Collection' DVD set from 2005 (reviewed HERE) and was released on Blu-ray by MGM in 2009. We compared to DVD editions HERE. We've matched captures from all of these editions, comparing to Criterion's new 1080P below.

The captures can attest to the improved contrast - brighter and more detailed in spots - and it has a tighter, more accurate ratio within the frame. It has fine consistent grain. Raging Bull's cinematographically captured a certain period utilizing a heavier stock and presenting the film in black and white (for all but the colored Polaroid-ey /16mm flashbacks of happier times. These are purposely damaged with prominent scratches.) It hence produces a more subtle visual improvement via the new 4K digital master. This style is more indicative of the period representation than any of the digital editions to date. The new Blu-ray has superior detail beyond MGM's 1080P. It is clean but there are instances where it can look marginally green. This is not true of the 4K UHD that has exceptional contrast and very fine texture - wiggling throughout the image in a highly film-like appearance. I can relate that this 2160P looks absolutely flawless on my system. The most pristine Raging Bull has ever appeared digitally. The 4K UHD visuals are brilliantly notable in every facet of the film from the kinetic moving camera - purposely hazy within the ring and still frames to the outdoor pool sequences and indoor darker nightclubs.

NOTE: We have added 88 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray and 4K UHD disc, Criterion use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo track (24-bit) in the original English language. Raging Bull is rife with aggressive effects that usually centre around pugilism and crowd enthusiasm (early fight in the audience) although Joey (Joe Pesci) has quite a dust-up as well - in and outside of a club. Punches, grunts etc. are impacting in the lossless - with perfectly balanced dialogue. Raging Bull is notable for the poetic music of Pietro Mascagni used by Scorsese (Frank Warner’s sound design); specifically Intermezzo's Cavalleria rusticana and Guglielmo Ratcliff plus Silvano: Barcarolle conducted by Arturo Basile. There is also a cornucopia of music sampling representative of the era by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, The Ink Spots, Louis Jordan, The Mills Brothers, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra (Come Fly with Me,) Nat 'King' Cole (Mona Lisa,) Perry Como, Ray Charles, Frankie Laine, Gene Krupa's Drum Boogie and others. It sounds wonderful and flawless in the lossless. Criterion offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray. and Region FREE 4K UHD disc.

The Criterion Blu-ray and 4K UHD disc offers three previously released commentaries. The first, recorded by the Criterion Collection in 1990 for their Laserdisc (also found on the last MGM Blu-ray), features director Martin Scorsese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker. The second, recorded in 2004 for MGM, features director of photography Michael Chapman, producers Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler, casting director Cis Corman, music consultant Robbie Robertson, actors Teresa Saldana and John Turturro, and supervising sound-effects editor Frank Warner. The third, also recorded in 2004 for MGM, features boxer Jake La Motta with his nephew Jason Lustig and screenwriters Mardik Martin and Paul Schrader. It was great to revisit Scorsese / Schoonmaker, and in the second -  Chapman and writer Schrader in the third. Despite being quite old these commentaries still hold valuable, and varied insight into the production, wring, direction, camerawork and performances as well as a another window on Jake La Motta. The rest of the package's supplements are on the second disc Blu-ray - which also has the feature in 1080P.

There are two video essays. The first is written and narrated by film critic and poet Geoffrey O'Brien, exploring director Martin Scorsese's mastery of formal cinematic techniques in Raging Bull and the layers of aesthetic choices on display in the film. The second, written and narrated by film critic Sheila O'Malley, observes the film's triumvirate of Jake La Motta, his brother Joey, and his second wife, Vickie, and how actors Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Cathy Moriarty gave the characters everything they had. Criterion include the previous four-part making-of documentary ('Before the Fight' - 'Inside the Ring' - 'Outside the Ring' and 'After the Fight') produced by MGM in 2004 featuring director Martin Scorsese, producers Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler; actors Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, and Frank Vincent; director of photography Michael Chapman; editor Thelma Schoonmaker; screenwriters Mardik Martin and Paul Schrader; and sound-effects supervising editor Frank Warner. They run shy of 1.5 hours in total and examine the writing, casting, and preproduction of the film including in-depth look at the choreography and the shooting of the fight scenes, behind-the-scenes stories and the last is a featurette on how the sound design, music impact the film. There are three short programs (Marty and Bobby, Marty on Film and Robert De Niro on Acting) that highlight director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro's longtime friendship, collaboration, and mutual dedication to their craft. The first two were produced for MGM in 2010; the third features audio excerpts from a 'Harold Lloyd Master Seminar' recorded in 1980 at the American Film Institute. In total they run about 40-minutes. Included is an 8-minute interview with Cathy Moriarty and Vikki La Motta, on whom Moriarty's character in Raging Bull is based, recorded in 1981 for Belgian television. There is also a 5-minute interview with Jake La Motta from 1990 and a 10-minute program from 2004 featuring veteran boxers reminiscing about La Motta. Lastly is a trailer and the package has a liner notes booklet with essays by poet Robin Robertson and film critic Glenn Kenny.     

Martin Scorsese's magnum opus Raging Bull is a pure example of the great American tragedy - a searing biographical sports drama. No film, before or since, has come close to its visceral impacting level on boxing or any other sport. Yes, Chapman’s 'extraordinarily tactile black-and-white cinematography' and Schoonmaker distinctive editing buoy the exceptional performances (casting many lesser-known actors and actresses - ex. Pesci was a struggling actor was working at an Italian restaurant in New Jersey) of a brilliantly written and magnificently realized story. Undeniably spoken with The Godfather as the greatest American film ever made in the last 1/2 of the 20th Century. De Niro read the La Motta autobiography on the set of The Godfather Part II and became fascinated by the character. He loaned the book to Martin Scorsese. The rest is cinematic history. Raging Bull in 4K UHD is the preeminent reason to adopt the new format for those serious home theatre aficionados who have delayed, what is, inevitable for them. We can't give a higher recommendation.

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion Laserdisc from Dec. 6th, 1990 - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM (20th Anv.) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM (original) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM- Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Also coming on 4K UHD by Criterion on the same day:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Criterion Spine #1134 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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