There are certain ironies in Million Dollar Baby beating out The Aviator for the best picture Oscar this year, not the least of which is that Martin Scorsese’s own beloved boxing picture, Raging Bull, lost to Robert Redford’s Ordinary People back in 1981. Yet the newly released two-disc special edition of Raging Bull (which also boasted an Oscar for editor Thelma Schoonmaker) is a compelling reminder of the director and his crew at their best. The black-and-white Jake LaMotta biopic also features brilliant work by cinematographer Michael Chapman, ASC, who provides insightful commentary along with Schoonmaker and supervising sound effects editor Frank Warner. Laurent Bouzereau’s new four-part documentary is a testament to this modern cinematic landmark. It includes “Before the Fight,” “Inside the Ring” and “Outside the Ring” behind-the-scenes glimpses.
Written by Bill Desowitz