Hey everyone and thanks for visiting my blog! I’ve really had an interest in creating a blog over the past few months but I don’t think I’m very good at articulating the random crap that happens in my life (and quite frankly I doubt many people would really care). So I knew I needed to focus on something that I enjoyed but could also get the readers to give their two cents on and since I’ve always loved movies I figured that would be my topic. The format of this blog will probably change somewhat over the next few months, assuming people read it. For now it will just be random movie reviews, whatever I happen to get on Netflix or go see in the theaters. In the future, though, I may put polls up to see what people would like me to review. I’m totally open for any suggestions you all may have and please feel free to comment on reviews or start up discussions about how you felt about the movie. Well, here we go…..

Monday, September 20, 2010

Raging Bull

Jake and Joey
On the outside, ‘Raging Bull’ appears to be a movie about boxing, at least that’s what I always thought, but it offers a much deeper story that really draws you in. ‘Raging Bull’ is about a man named Jake LaMotta (Robert DeNiro), a rising star in boxing in the 1940’s trying to work his way to getting a shot at the middleweight title. Jake is a very angry man who doesn’t seem to be able to connect with people on any meaningful level, even his relationship with his brother/manager Joey (Joe Pesci) seems tense most of the time. People are nothing but objects to Jake, the fact that he is married doesn’t stop him from courting a young girl, Vickie, whom he eventually marries after he gets rid of his current wife. Once married, Jake treats Vickie as nothing more than a servant to him. She should be doing nothing but taking care of him and thinking about him and anything he perceives as her not being 100% committed to him sends him into jealous rages.

Jake is more like an animal inside and out of the boxing ring, reacting on impulse rather than thinking things through. He doesn’t seem to have any objection to throwing a boxing match because it will get him one step closer to the title. He’s constantly accusing his wife of thinking about other men or doing things behind his back without any evidence. He beats Joey up in front of his family after his wife sarcastically told him she slept with him. These impulses lead to the dissolution of any relationship he’s had which results in him being an angrier and more depressed person. But Jake can’t seem to see, until later in the movie, that he is the cause of his own anger and depression, that he’s holding himself back professionally and personally.

Eventually, Jake does realize that he has done a lot of wrong in his life and his way of making up for that is by letting one of his boxing rivals hit him, but this doesn’t really change him. Jake goes through tough times after he retires, his wife divorces him, he’s thrown in jail and he begins a stand up comedy career in clubs that seem to get worse and worse. By the end of the movie when Jake is standing in front of a mirror practicing boxing moves and saying ‘I’m the boss’, we’re not really sure if he has changed.

I really enjoyed ‘Raging Bull’, much more than I expected. The movie really draws you in because you’re never quite sure how Jake will react to any given situation. He may punch somebody, he may cry, he may laugh, it’s a constant roller-coaster with him. It’s sad to see him bring about his own problems which eventually ruin him but it’s hard to sympathize with him because he seems so blind.

Score: 8 out of 10

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