184 of 214 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally!
The reason to buy this DVD is simple: one of the most influential films of the 20th century has finally been released in a newly restored, pristine transfer. As an owner of the original DVD release, I can testify that the difference is like night and day.
With every viewing, I come to appreciate Brian DePalma's Scarface more and more. Although not perfect, there is...
Published on November 2, 2003 by Wing J. Flanagan
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Someone must have too much money on hand!
Digital copy that expired at the end of 2012 in a flimsy humidor for people who have never smoked a cigar for more than $200.00???
Published 3 months ago by D. Babcock
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184 of 214 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally!,
This review is from: Scarface (Widescreen Two-Disc Anniversary Edition) (DVD)The reason to buy this DVD is simple: one of the most influential films of the 20th century has finally been released in a newly restored, pristine transfer. As an owner of the original DVD release, I can testify that the difference is like night and day.
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. Subtleties in Pacino's largely unsubtle performance become clear. We can better see what he does with his face in those famously shadowy close-ups; the way he registers what he's thinking privately, even as he swaggers with exaggerated bravado. Where once it seemed he was over-acting at times, it is now apparent that he was carefully playing his character's machismo against a darker undercurrent of great hunger - so intense that it defies articulation. Tony Montana's great tragedy is his utter lack of self-knowlege. Beneath the clouds of cordite and testosterone, he is so painfully needy that he will draw everyone around him into a decaying orbit of destruction. He is a criminal, but he is not immoral. He is a black hole of a man, a vacuous human being whose desires eclipse whatever soul that a life of deprivation and decay may have left him. He acts without apology, or even much thought. He's an animal in both the best and worst senses of the word. The tragedy is not so much that he is killed at the end - he brings that on himself - it is that so many others, not least the addicts that buy his product, must suffer and die as well. It's downright Shakespearean, but with (lots of) f-words in place of gilded Elizabethan speech.
Once you get past those 160-odd f-variants, Oliver Stone's screenplay begins to seem as thoughtful as it is blunt. The language is harsh, but also truthful, with plenty of quotable lines (though you would not want to quote them in polite company).
The improved sound mix also brings into relief something that I had always looked upon as a liability of Scarface - the very "80's" music score, which had always seemed to me the newer equivalent of those ham-handed "jazz" scores from certain 50's melodramas like Man With the Golden Arm. But now the music seems "dated" more in the way of an early James Bond score; it is appropriate to the era. Were Scarface made now, it would still be a legitimate choice of styles.
The extras are thorough, though the "making of" documentary seems to be a longer version of the one from the original DVD release. There is also a documentary on Scarface's considerable influence on hip-hop music, but I smell an Obvious Plug for a CD of music "inspired" by the film. (The package insert proclaims that it's In Stores Now! from DefJam records.)
In any case, Scarface has finally received its due respect in a form that showcases the late John Alonso's brightly-hued, yet somehow gritty cinematography. Alonso also photographed the sumptuous Chinatown. This DVD is also a tribute to him - a master of light and shadow, whose old-fashioned, hard-lit chiaroscuro images contributed in no small way to Scarface's status as a modern classic.
29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gritty, Underworld Masterpiece.,
53 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On DVD, yet again...,
This review is from: Scarface (Platinum Edition) (DVD)Brian De Palma's blood soaked gangster epic is on DVD, once again. I'll say this right off the bat, if you own the previously released Special Edition of Scarface, there's no reason to run out and buy this Platinum Edition, which has an assortment of previously released extras to go along with a counter for how many times the "F" word is used and how many bullets are fired. Besides that, there's nothing here that hasn't been seen before, but if you don't already own Scarface on DVD, well then, this is worth picking up. As for the film itself, it's a bloody crime epic featuring one of Al Pacino's best, and most infamous, performances as Cuban hood turned drug kingpin Tony Montana; but chances are, you already know all that. The DVD's picture quality looks cleaner, and the "remastered and remixed" sound is crisper as well, but whether or not you want to lay down the cash for this depends on how many times you've been suckered into buying the movie.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scarface on Blu Ray,
This review is from: Scarface (1983) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)While I own the 2 disc Standard Def set that came out a few years ago, I thought I would buy this Blu Ray edition without the Digital Copy. Very glad to have made the purchase.
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. Audio always seems to get the short end of the financial straw in film releases and transfers, and Scarface is no different. There were plenty of opportunities for surround foley fx in the riot at the holding camp as well as the final mansion shootout. Sides and rears are sometimes used for slight panning of the vehicles and not much more. The dialogue is clear and properly leveled so once you set your volume you should not have to reset at any time.
The video transfer and movie gets 5 stars from me, while the audio gets 3.
All my movie reviews are of this nature and focus only on the quality of the transfer to BluRay so check them and see if they are of help as well.
Hopefully, this review has been of some help to you in determining your purchase, hope I am on the correct path with a review of the transfer quality as opposed to providing plot summaries.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Say hello to my little friend",
This review is from: Scarface (1983) (2 Tapes) [VHS] (VHS Tape)Brian De Palma's epic blood soaked remake of the 1932 Paul Muni gangster classic may not have gotten all the critical acclaim in the world, but it stands as a landmark performance of the great Al Pacino. Pacino brings to the screen one of his most well known characters in his career as Tony Montana; a cuban refugee who rises to power in Miami's cocaine underworld. Along with him is his best friend Manny (Steve Bauer) and the two begin working for Frank (Robert Loggia), a slimy, manipulative excess driven drug kingpin whose wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) Tony soon develops an obsession for. Oliver Stone wrote the script and helped make Tony one of the most unforgettable characters in all of American cinema. Scarface has since become a cult classic and contains some of the most memorable lines of dialogue in film, not to mention the most rampant use of profanity that would not be topped for years to come. The only problem I ever had with Scarface was it's length; clocking in at nearly 3 hours, there are times when the film drags, but that is only a minor complaint. All in all, if you want to see one of Al Pacino's finest performances (aside from Devil's Advocate, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, or anything beginning with the title The Godfather), then consider Scarface essential viewing, but be warned, this is not a film for all tastes.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Great Cult Classics,
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Limited Edition Blu-Ray & Bonus Features Review,
This review is from: Scarface (Limited Edition) (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) (Blu-ray)Since most people browsing this product have seen this film, this review will focus on the Blu-Ray's special features and video quality.
First off, the visuals of the remastered Blu-Ray are amazing. Watching the Blu-Ray in Hi Def offers you vivid colors, and detail that allows you to spot the smallest beads of sweat on character's faces. While the new edition does offer 7.1 audio, it's more noticeable with respect to the film's music, not as much to spoken dialogue.
The Blu-Ray comes in a special Steelbook metal case, and includes 10 collectible cards with a variety of Scarface graphic artwork. It also includes a bonus disc of the original 1932 film of the same name, which the 1983 version borrows a few elements from.
The good news is that the Blu-Ray contains plenty of extras. The bonus area starts with three-part featurette titled "The Scarface Phenomenon," a mini-documentary that explores how the film became so ingrained with pop culture. It features commentary from Scarface fanatic Eli Roth of Inglourious Basterds, as well as Cuban rapper Sen Dog of Cypress Hill.
The World of Tony Montana offers an interesting look at the lives and lifestyles of the 1980's Cocaine Cowboys. Everyone from DEA agents to local law enforcement comment on the film, as well as their personal perceptions of serious coke dealing.
I was a bit disappointed that the TV Version segment only lasted a few minutes. Clips of the rated R version and the TV edits are played back to back to comic effect. While a funny addition, it could have been much longer.
One of the most interesting featurettes is The Making of Scarface: The Video Game. I'm a big fan of the 2006 Scarface PC game, so it was fun to get a glimpse of the voice actors involved with the project. There is recording studio footage of Steven Bauer, Robert Loggia, Ice-T, Cheech & Chong, Anthony Anderson, Michael York, Sen Dog, Tommy Lee, Ling Bai, Wilmer Valderrama, and Jillian Barberie. The feature offers brief clips of project comments by several of the actors involved, from Michael Rapaport to James Woods. Various executives of both Radical Entertainment and Vivendi also lend their insight on how the game reflected the spirit of the film, as well as Tony's own "morals."
Not all of the extras are new features, however. The Deleted Scenes segment is a great addition to the Blu-Ray, although it was available on previously released DVDs. "The Creating" contains older clips of the film's producer and director discussing why most of the film had to be shot outside of Florida, and their struggle to avoid an "X" rating.
In the bonus feature "The Acting," there are interview accounts of how Pacino, Bauer, and Pfeiffer were cast for the film, and how those actors were able to prepare for their roles. The Rebirth featurette includes comments from De Palma, Martin Bregman, Oliver Stone and Al Pacino on how the original 1932 Scarface provided inspiration for their own take on an epic gangster film.
I only have two serious complaints about the Limited Edition release of this film for Blu-Ray. The first is that there's still no audio commentary by Brian De Palma or Oliver. My other gripe is that all of Pacino's interview clips were noticeably old. While his comments were a solid addition to the Blu-Ray, it would have been nice to get fresh feedback. Recycling clips doesn't just apply to Pacino, there are also a few segments that use noticeably dated footage of producer Martin Bregman.
Overall, the Limited Edition Blu-Ray is an excellent film to enjoy in high definition. The visuals are sharper than you've ever seen them, and there are plenty of bonus features to give you a better understanding of this cult classic. If you consider yourself a Scarface fan, absolutely add this one to your collection.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So, this and my other DVDs, I can guarantee production...,
The supplemental material, including an hour-long "making of" and several outtakes, is well worth the purchase price for fans of this film.
I can't add much to the numerous rave reviews here, except that as much as I enjoy this movie, the ending seems absurd, to put it mildly. This is definitely not a film for all viewers; the intense violence, combined with the extremely frequent use of the "F" word, is realistic, but not entertaining for everyone. Still, for those who enjoy gangster films, this is mostly first-rate, featuring a host of scintillating supporting performances to complement the star turns by Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Steven Bauer. Giorgio Moroder's soundtrack is one of the most memorable original scores of the last 20 years.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece,
The film is ruthless and unforgettable. Everything about the film is perfect. The storyline, the music, the actors and the characters are all awesome.
Of course, for those who do not like violence, Scarface is possibly not the film to see, as it is somewhat gory in parts.
So please, if you don't mind violence, watch this film and I promise you will not be disappointed.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AL PACINO'S FAVORITE ROLE!!!!! A MUST HAVE!!!!!,
Pacino plays a Cuban refugee thug , Tony Montana , who claws and scracthes(taking some lives along the way) to the top of the cocaine world in Miami with the help of his right hand man Manny Ray(Steven Bauer).
Pacino plays this part with such passion and energy that he absolutely fuels this film from beginning to end. You can't take your eyes off the man. He adds humanistic dimensions to Tony Montana. He shows Montana's humor , machismo , intelligence , leadership , guts , and flaws. He even shows Montana's tender side(the scene with Michelle Pfeiffer at poolside). Pacino actually gets you to like a character who is basically a sleezeball. Now that is acting!
There are memorable moments throughout this film and some are very graphic but what is probably the highlight moment of this film is the great shoot 'em up scene at the end ; Sosa's hitmen infiltrating Montana's estate to kill him because Montana botched a major hit for Sosa. When Montana , full of cocaine , finally refocus his attention to the hitmen he fights back in complete defiance to them with a machine gun/grenade launcher. "Say hello to my little friend!" is now one of those famous movie lines of film history. He blast them away like dominoes , withstanding the awesome gunfire because of the cocaine in his system. This is a real "guy's" scene. It's action fueled by high octane adrenaline and Pacino plays it beyond belief. His performance is so elating that you want to grab a machine gun and fight along side him. Pacino IS Scarface!
The DVD comes with great perks like theatrical trailers , production notes , cast and filmaker bio's , the making of SCARFACE(with Pacino) , and 10 outtakes from the film. The film is letterboxed but is not digitally enhanced. It would've been nice to see the film enhanced but it doesn't hurt the experience of watching this film. In fact I don't really care. It's SCARFACE!
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Scarface (1983) [Blu-ray] by Brian De Palma (Blu-ray - 2011)