Excerpt: It’s been said that Scarface glamorizes a lifestyle, a means of tough, gritty street survival that takes an unknown Cuban from the immigration office to a lavish, gold-laden paradise. Then he’s brutally gunned down in a full on massacre. If you’re looking at Scarface as a whole and still believe there’s justification because of the money, the movie has misled you… somehow.
Summary: It’s hard to imagine today that De Palma had a constant struggle in order to get an R rating for the film. While still a fairly violent film, nothing in this movie would be considered as taboo today. In fact, the film has often been commended for accurately depicting a culture. Of course, we’re not talking ethnic culture but the cocaine culture that made Miami one of the most violent cities in the country during the 1980′s. Montana is a different kind of villain.
Excerpt: Al Pacino has had his ups and downs. The actor got his big break when he was cast over established names in the part of Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's . It would become one of cinema's greatest roles in two of the most highly regarded films of all time. With that, Pacino was a star and he used his leading man status wisely, picking one good project after another.
Excerpt: The Movie Al Pacino's performance as Scarface d Tony Montana drew some criticism in its day for its over-the-top flourishes, but time and deeper appreciation have revealed it to be something of a marvel. This was a "villain" for the ages, a contemporary bad guy in a close-to-home setting, namely Florida during the height of drug trafficking. And who could deny that the '80s were a time of excess in this country?
Summary: Universal have a history of giving Scarface underwhelming treatment on home video, which is a tradition that they've come close to continuing here. Their HD presentation just about delivers, so long as you're not a fan of lossless original audio, but there is very little "produce" in the Extra Features department beyond the same old Making Of documentary that Universal have been flogging to death for over thirteen years now.
Summary: Fans have been waiting a long time for Scarface to come to Blu-ray and Universal, well aware of the film’s massive fanbase, have really rolled out the red carpet for this release. The film looks and sounds great on Blu-ray despite the fact that the transfer isn’t perfect and the disc is loaded with extras, even including the original film that influenced this version.
Conclusion: Scarface may not be king, but as the mad prince of gangster cinema, it still wields frightening sway over its subjects, even some twenty-eight years after its release. Love it or loathe it, De Palma's crime epic is a tour de force, Stone's script remains one of his most startling, and Pacino's performance holds everything in its orbit. Universal's Blu-ray release captures it all well.