So what's the deal with Raging Bull

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Greg Layton, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. Greg Layton

    Greg Layton Second Unit

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    I watched Raging Bull for the first time last night, and quite frankly, I am a little confused as to how this is #24 on AFI's top 100 list. DeNiro and Pesci are both superb, the cinematography is outstanding, but the storyline seemed to be quite eratic. We'd see Brando beatup someone and then be mean to his wife over and over again. Also, I was confused about him throwing the fight in the middle of the movie. I understand him "never going down for anybody," but as far as I know, throwing a fight is the worst form of "going down" that a boxer can do. Anyone care to point out what i'm missing about this film? On a related note, what can I expect from On the Waterfront when I watch it later tonight?
     
  2. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    I think that Raging Bull is overrated..

    but BRANDO? Did you watch the movie in a parellel universe near Mulholland Drive?(that's in reference to where Marlon Brando used to live btw)
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    If you can't see it for yourself then it's rather difficult for anybody else to enlighten you on something that obviously you can't gathered from viewing the film from your own viewpoint. Simply put, there isn't a film that's been made that works for everybody. We bring our own personal baggage when encountering any artform and that usually influences our acceptance or non-acceptance of any artwork.





    Crawdaddy
     
  4. Greg Layton

    Greg Layton Second Unit

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    Oops, just caught the Brando mistake. Thanks.
     
  5. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    It's DeNiro's greatest film.


    Cees
     
  6. Greg Layton

    Greg Layton Second Unit

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    Guess I should learn to proofread.. maybe i'll be taken seriously next time.
     
  7. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    One of the great things about movies is that if one doesn't get it, it's possible to revisit the movie in the future and appreciate it more. Greg feels he has missed something from his viewing of Raging Bull, and we can enlighten him on what makes it so great, so that another viewing would be more rewarding.

    FilmSite.org and Roger Ebert have some reviews that might help you.

    As for On the Waterfront, expect it to be one of the worst movies you'll ever see... [​IMG]

    ~T
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Missing something is a very common occurance when watching any film even those you're very familiar with. However, it's rather difficult to ascertain what a given person misses when they watch a film, unless, they can convey in great detail what they didn't see in it. As far as the fixed fight, my advice to him is to watch the film again because to me that plotline was easy to follow from my perspective.






    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    Well, at least Greg is open to some enlightenment rather than just saying, "People have truly gone nuts", for liking a certain actor or film. [​IMG]

    Like Thi said, Filmsite.org has a very good analysis of this film. In my view, it is one of the best films of the 1980's.

    ~Edwin
     
  10. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    I love Scorsese so when I watched this, I was surprised by my feelings towards it. It's a great film, but I can't say I hold any affection for it.
     
  11. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I thought Raging Bull was an excellent movie. I just finished watching it tonight and I've probably seen the movie four or five times over the years. However, the potential and talent were there for even more depth and character development. I think this could have easily been a three hour (or longer) film and would have been even more excellent this way if you know what I mean.
     
  13. AlexCremers

    AlexCremers Second Unit

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    I've seen 'Raging Bull' three times now (that's a lot for me). It's truly one of the greatest (Seventies) movies made in the Eighties. The last time I watched it, I asked myself this question: "Is there anything about this movie that is susceptible for improvement? Can the story of Jack Lamotta be told in a better way?" I scrolled through all the aspects of the films but I couldn't think of one single thing. However, the film doesn't manipulate the audience's feelings the way 'Rocky' does (which I also like). Maybe this lack of manipulation is exactly what some people miss.


    ------------
    Alex Cremers
     
  14. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    The phrase "Different strokes for different folks" seems to be a perfect fit here and many have taken the time to provide some very good explanations for why not everyone has similar tastes.

    Sometimes, other people's opinions can color a person's view of a film. I remember the first time that I saw Forest Gump after being told by several people whose opinions I value that it was the greatest picture they had ever seen. While I liked the movie at the time it didn't live up to my expectations since, in retrospect, nothing could have based on the hype I received. I have since grown to appreciate the film, but I would have been better off going into it cold since it would have then been a surprise rather than a letdown.

    But then here's the problem. Without "Best of" lists a lot of people would probably miss some great films. So we have a bit of Heisenberg's Uncertanity Principle in action here in a somewhat convoluted way.

    [​IMG]

    No one should be ashamed to dissent with popular opinion. It doesn't mean you don't "get it" or that others are wrong. You just have different tastes. And probably (but not guaranteed) your tastes may change over time to come more in line with general consensus. I remember the first time I was touted to watch some Preston Sturges stuff, including "Sullivan's Travels." I just didn't get what the big deal was or why this was considered a "comic classic." With age, I've come to appreciate it a lot more. Some others might not feel the same way, but that's why we are individuals, not clones.

    My two cents.
     
  15. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    Wow...Sturges...love him.

    What everybody else has said...but, I would also point out that anyone who finds Raging Bull erratic or confusing should probably stay away from Scorsese films. He is not a typical narrative story teller. I like to describe his films as highlight reels because of the editing and music that he uses so wonderfully. You must pay attention to a Scorsese film - he does not lead from point A to point B. He goes for more of an overall impression of the "life" of the character(s).

    As such, Raging Bull is an amazing piece of art. The lighting, the editing, the acting, the intensity. LaMotta was quite the interesting person, and this film captures the essence of a life that comes close to greatness but never truly achieves it.
     
  16. Jason Adams

    Jason Adams Supporting Actor

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    I've seen Raging Bull only once, and I hated it. I'm willing to buy the new Special Edtion and see it again though.
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Quentin — excellent post!
     
  18. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Ugh. Robert, I am saying this with all due respect, I really despise this typical stance of yours. It invalidates the very point of this forum. I mean, let's all drop the discussion then since we can't really learn anything from each other (eh... there isn't a film that works for everyone so that's that), and go back to gushing over the latest outlaw receiver or DTSSXXX 9.3 release?

    --
    H
     
  19. Greg Layton

    Greg Layton Second Unit

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    Thanks for your replies. Thanks to filmsite.org, I've found the following things I'm going to reconsider/look for in my next viewing of the film:

    - The fact that DeNiro immersed himself in the role. Knowing that he trained with LaMotta in order to look and feel like a boxer adds authenticity for me.

    - The use of sound effects. I think one of the problems I had was that I watched the film on a sub-standard television. Everytime there was any kind of extended dialog, I'd have to increase the volume to almost 100% just to hear what was going on.

    - The fixed fight. I believe I overreacted here and allowed this to influence how I looked at the rest of his fights, including the all-important title shot. Instead, I should look at it as another example of LaMotta's stubornness in that he managed to do what he had to do on his own terms.



    Dave: I do know what you mean, this is probably the main aspect I found hard to deal with. I didn't like how the film cut back and forth the way it did. Just as I felt I was getting comfortable with a scene, I'd be catapulted into a fight scene.

    I believe that this has changed the way I will look at films. In the future, instead of rushing to a negative conclusion about a film which obviously has great characterisitics, I need to consider exactly what I didn't like about it and decide if I need to watch it again.
     
  20. John Doran

    John Doran Screenwriter

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