Edition Steelbook Blu Ray Review
Review Date: September 17,
DVD Release Date: September
Review by Compay for
Starring: Al Pacino,
Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
Robert Loggia, F. Murray Abraham
In the history of Hip Hop,
no other film has achieved greater cult classic status than
1983's Scarface. Written by Oliver Stone and directed by
Brian De Palma, the story of a Cuban refugee's rise and fall
during the Cocaine Cowboy era has made a decades-long impact
on Hip Hop heads across the globe.
Odds are, anyone visiting
an Urban Latin culture website has seen this epic gangster
flick. This review will focus on the limited edition Blu-Ray's
First and foremost, the visuals of the newly remastered Blu-Ray
are amazing. Watching the Blu-Ray in high definition
offers terrific colors, and detail that lets you spot the
smallest beads of sweat on characters faces. While the
new edition offers 7.1 audio, it's more noticeable with
respect to the film's music, and doesn't seem to make a
significant difference 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 real treat of this
newly released Blu-Ray is that it contains plenty of extras.
The bonus area kicks off with a featurette in three parts
entitled "The Scarface Phenomenon," a mini-documentary
that explores how the film became so ingrained with pop
culture. It features commentary from actor Eli Roth (Inglourious
Basterds), a self-described Scarface fanatic, as well as Cuban
rapper Sen Dog of Cypress Hill. Sen's own family
experience includes waiting in Green Card offices with his
family as a child, which makes for an interesting parallel to
the film's government office scenes.
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 are given the chance to
comment on the film and their perceptions of heavyweight coke
I was a bit disappointed
that the TV Version segment only lasted a few minutes.
Clips of the rated R version and Universal's TV edits are
played back to back to comic effect. While a funny
addition, it definitely could have been longer.
One of my hands-down
favorite featurettes is The Making of Scarface: The Video
Game. As I'm a huge fan of the 2006 Scarface PC game
released by Vivendi, it was fun to get an actual glimpse of
the voice actors that were involved with the project.
There's recording studio footage of Steven Bauer, Robert
Loggia, Ice-T, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Anthony Anderson,
Michael York, Jay Mohr, 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
execs of Radical Entertainment and Vivendi also lend their
insight on how the game had to reflect the spirit of the film,
as well as Tony's own code of behavior.
Not all of the extras are
new features, however. The Deleted Scenes segment
is a terrific addition to the Blu-Ray, although it was
available on the previously released special edition DVDs of
the movie. The Creating contains older clips of
the film's producer and director discussing why most of the
filming had to be done outside of Florida, and the struggle to
avoid the notorious "X" rating.
In the bonus feature The
Acting, there are insightful interviews detailing how
Steven Bauer, Pacino and Pfeiffer were cast for the film, and
how the 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 offered inspiration for their take on the rise
and fall of a gangster.
I only had two real
complaints about the Limited Edition release of this film for
Blu-Ray. The first is that film aficionados still
aren't treated to an audio commentary by Brian De Palma or
Ollie Stone. My other beef was that all of Pacino's
interview clips were noticeably outdated. While his
comments were a welcome addition to the Blu-Ray, it would have
been nice to get new feedback from the veteran actor.
The use of recycled clips doesn't just apply to Pacino, there
are also a few segments that use footage of producer Martin
Bregman from a time when he was noticeably younger.
Overall, the Limited
Edition Blu-Ray is an excellent film to enjoy in high
definition. The visuals are sharper than ever before,
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
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