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De Niro does the unbelievable task of making such a nasty individual like LaMotta such an interesting person. Scorsese on the other hand choreographs the fight scenes as if they were scenes from a war movie. Moriarty as LaMotta's don't-take-shit-from-anybody wife and Pesci as his don't-take-shit-from-anybody brother are well-matched with De Niro's powerhouse performance. Michael Chapman's gripping black-and-white cinematography puts the sport of boxing in the viscous light it deserves. With every staggering punch the boxers lay on their opponents, the camera seems to be right in their faces capturing the horrific beatings they take. Though it's a nasty subject, it is strangely hypnotic. Coming from a filmaker like Scorsese, I'm not really surprised.