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Teen Movie Critic

Raging Bull

by

Roger Davidson

Raging Bull
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Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese teamed up in probably the best of their collaborations, in the brutal biopic of boxer Jake LaMotta (De Niro, who won a well-deserved Oscar for this). He was a monstrous fighter inside and outside the ring. His relationships with his wife (Cathy Moriarty) and his brother (Joe Pesci) were less than perfect and there is speculation that many of his fights were fixed by mob backers (particularly the ones with life-long rival Sugar Ray Robinson). You couldn't tell that though, the way LaMotta pounded the shit out of his opponents and demolished them.

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.

My Rating = Four Stars


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