The Movie: 9/10
This is the first time I have watched this tale of a man who feels wronged by life blazing a destructive path through Miami in the 1980’s. It’s true. I have never watched Scarface until now. Some might ask how I can call myself a movie lover when I haven’t seen this iconic film. My answer would be, “There are a LOT of other movies to see!” I did get around to it and this week I watched it with my husband, THE Ascully. He had seen it many times (of course, he’s a dude) but this was the first time on a big screen and the brighter, cleaned up and shiny version. He thought I wouldn’t like it because of the violence. I did like it. I don’t think it’s as violent as people perceive it to be, or maybe I have seen so many truly violent images in movies in my lifetime that the implied grossness and the over exaggerated body count don’t really register with me at all.
I’ll say I don’t get the whole “life did me wrong now I’m going to kick and scream and bully my way into a gaudy mansion surrounded by thugs and dealing massive amounts of cocaine to fund it all” syndrome. In movie character terms, yea, I do understand. He’s a tragic character. He wants to overcome all the shit he’s seen and done and been through in his life in Cuba. As a human being, this bullshit attitude eludes me. Tony needs to just keep washing dishes, buy the restaurant someday, make an honest living, marry a nice woman and calm the ‘F’ down!! But that wouldn’t make a very dynamic entertaining epic story to tell.
I did enjoy this movie on a huge scale. I love to prove my husband wrong, and this time I can do it in a big way. I was stimulated from the beginning with the explanation about the Cubans being tossed out and sent to the US in the early 80’s. I latched onto the bitterness and anger Tony had brewing from the start and even though I think it’s hogwash, I went with it. Why do men has this thing where they think it’s fair to destroy everything around them to just get want to make them feel better about themselves? Talk about being overly sentimental!!
The story is told with a perfect pace, slow at first and then spiraling near the end into the frenzy it becomes. The characters we meat along the way are all mezmerizing. I felt tension every single time a new person came on the screen. “What’s this yahoo gonna do to stir things up? would cross my mind and I felt afraid of what was hiding behind their accents, their awesome 80’s clothes, and their constant need to stare each other in the eye while they talk. I dig it, intense acting, hard core throwing yourself into the part. It pays off even for the folks who don’t spend much time on the screen at all, but have a big impact while they are there.
I can’t say this will be a movie I feel the need to watch over and over and over through the rest of my life. I would say once a year might be fun. There is no denying why this story and this movie capture people’s imagination and sadly even influence some human behavior. It taps into something very primal, the need to move forward at any cost. It’s just a shame that Tony moved forward with a bullet count of thousands and not enough good sense to keep his nose out of that big pile of cocaine. “Never get high off your own supply.”
- The Scarface Phenomenon – A 39 minute look at everything surrounding Scarface, I hate the way rappers and wannabe celebrities are the focus here, otherwise it’s an interesting look at a mindblowing movie.
- U-Control (Scorecard & PIP) – The score card racks up the bulletcount and Fbomb count as you watch. The PIP feature spans the full three hours and features a wealth of information for fans.
- Deleted Scenes – Over a dozen deleted scenes some good some not so good.
- The World Of Tony Montana – A 12 minute interview piece that comes across as an episode of I love the 80’s on VH1.
- The Rebirth – In this 10 minute short we take a look at the 1932 version of Scarface and how it inspired the 1982 version.
- The Acting – Director, Writer & Producer sit down to analyse the performances.
- The Creating – A great 30 minute doc that features De Palma, Oliver Stone and the cast. This is possibly the most informative extra on the disc a must watch.
- Scarface: The TV Version – One of my favorite features on the disc, they had to remove violence and language for a TV version and these clips are hillarious.
- The Making Of Scarface The Video Game – The making of the awful 2006 videogame.
- DVD Of The Original Scarface 1932 – Your probably not that familiar with this 1932 movie, it has very little in common with the newer version but is a nice extra anyway.
- Digital Copy Of Scarface – I think you all know what a digital copy is by now.
- 10 Collectible Art Cards – 10 awesome looking postcards, these are actually fan art chosen from a competition which took place last year.
Cover Art and Menus: 9/10
Every cover or poster I have seen for this movie is awesome, so there ya go. The Blu-Ray does come in a limited tin box, so that’s good for anyone who cares about such things. (that does not include me) I would have any of the promo images on my wall because they are graphic and striking and now that I’ve seen the movie the power of just Tony’s face and the stark black and white and red all makes it that much more cool. The menu has clips from the movie so don’t pay too close attention if you haven’t seen it yet.
Audio & Video: 8/10
Sometimes I think people will not be satisfied no matter what you do, reading reviews of Scarface on various websites it seems the response to the transfer is largly negative. I am here to tell you to ignore those reviews as Scarface on Blu-Ray was a revelation to me. For the first time ever I could actually see everything Director Brian Depalma so lovingly crammed into every shot. For a movie that is 28 years old this is the best it has ever looked. Fine detail is evident in every close up shot, colors are pinpoint accurate and darker scenes never crush or look murky. Older movies such as Scarface are where the HD formats shine so long as they are given the royal treatment during the tranfer process.
The DTS Master audio 7.1 track is pretty much what I expected from a movie of this age, like Platoon which we reviewed a few weeks ago the audio can only be described as thin. Not that I want them to mess with the audio making it sound modern but be forewarned this does sound like a movie from the 80,s and really makes me appreciate how far audio has come in the last 30 years.
If you are a Scarface fan, this set is a must buy, not only does it come in awesome collectable packaging with postcards and the original Scarface movie on DVD. It is simply the best version of the movie you will have ever seen. Highly recommended and one of my favorite releases of 2011.
You can find this special edition right now for around 17 bucks, so I say go for it. That is a great deal for a first timer like me or a long timer who wants to watch it over and over. The extras are good for a true fan so you are getting many hours of quality entertainment (if you can tolerate lots of f-bombs and guys getting shot:)).
Overall Score 9/10