Scarface (1983) [Blu-ray]
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With every viewing, I come to appreciate Brian DePalma's Scarface more and more. Although not perfect, there is much more right with this film than wrong. It helps to compare it with its countless imitations: where most subsequent crime films rush headlong from one bloody gunfight to the next, Scarface takes its time. Its languid, gliding camera has a certain elegance in the way it reveals story points without relying on clunky Dick-and-Jane dialog or overwrought MTV pyrotechnics. A prime example is the infamous scene where Tony Montana (Al Pacino) attemps to buy two kilos of cocaine from some Coloumbians for his boss, Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia). Watch the way the camera drifts from the Miami Beach hotel room, across a peaceful sun-drenched street, over to the car where Tony's associates are waiting for him, then slowly back up to the bathroom window, where the sound of the idling chainsaw grows louder. Creepy. Insinuating. It's comparable to the best work of Hitchcock - a day-lit nightmare where the ordinary becomes sinister. Watch closely as the Columbian dismembers Tony's friend limb by limb. In spite of the scene's reputation, we never actually see what's happening. Like the shower murder in Psycho, all the violence is implied - so strongly, in fact, that DePalma had to fight the MPAA in a well-publicized battle to keep Scarface from receiving an X rating.
It's interesting the way that the improved picture and sound seem to contribute to every aspect of the film.Read more ›
In past version I often wondered why it appeared so blanched out, especially in the early scenes as Tony Montana, Manny, Angel and a friend were going to do the deal with the Columbians. The new Blu Ray edition brings back all the color and vitality to the original image and stays vital though out the film. The Blu Ray version truly has provided a significant improvement over previous Scarface releases. It's not perfect, there is some grain here and there, easy to see in the sky shots and when the cement walls are in the shots. However, this grain is not exceedingly so and does not distract, nor is it there in most of the film. At the end of the movie, as Tony and associates bring Gina back to his mansion after Tony kills Manny, there is a wide shot of the red carpeted staircase. I did notice some aliasing at the bottom of the staircase, but as the camera zooms in, it goes away. Red has always been a very difficult color to reproduce which is why it is rarely used in credits as it can cause stair-stepping and aliasing, however, this was the only instance where I saw any and it last but a few seconds.
The blu ray transfer is really very, very good.
The two disc Standard Def version used DTS 5.1 audio while the Blu Ray provides 7.1 DTSHD audio. The score is spread very nicely though out the entire speaker system,(mine is 5.1) however, there really is very little use of any of the channels for discreet directionality making the 7.1 possibilities only useful for the music score itself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love it. But gave it 4 stars for a weak & standard Miami hood story. Lessons are there to be had.Published 2 days ago by Raven of Reviews.
The best movie in the whole of the Milky Way Galaxy! Tony Montana is the vivid image of vulgar and raw power! God I love this guy so much and I am going to name my son after him.Published 4 days ago by Quentin Elliot
The DVD version I had was old, and I don't think the transfer had today's TVs in mind. THe BLU RAY seems a great transfer (i.e. the resolution is good)!!!!Published 7 days ago by John Rand
disappointing - because Al Pacino was in the starring role, I thought it would be good.Published 12 days ago by Sonia
I love how this deluxe set comes in a tin case and ten movie cards! And the price was right. This was a Hanukkah gift for my father and he actually watched it that very night,... Read morePublished 12 days ago by MisanthropicGirl
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