The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 1983
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 170 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Al Pacino, Robert Loggia, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, F. Murray Abraham, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Directed by: Brian DiPalma
Music by: Giorgio Moroder
Written by: Oliver Stone
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 6, 2011
"The world is yours.."
Al Pacino gives an unforgettable performance as Tony Montana, one of the most ruthless gangsters ever depicted on film, in this gripping crime epic inspired by the 1932 classic of the same title. SCARFACE follows the violent career of a small-time Cuban refugee hoodlum who guns his way to the top of Miami's cocaine empire.
In the spring of 1980, the Mariel boatlift brought thousands of Cuban refugees to the sun-washed avenues of Miami in search of the American dream. Scarface is the rags-to-riches story of Tony Montana (Al Pacino), who finds wealth, power and passion beyond his wildest dreamsat a price he never imagined. Tony Montana's meteoric rise, lavish life and soul-destroying fall anchor this epic film that inspired a worldwide following. Pacino is at his most memorable as Montana, blasting his way to the top of Miami's drug underworld in a bravura performance.Scarface is a modern day remake of Howard Hawks' original 1932 film of the same name. It is a classic with a resonating influence that can still be found in today's movies, pop culture and music. This film benefits from multiple viewings so as to fully glean the depth of its allegory, nuanced direction, and feral landscape. At the time of its release it seemed to take the gangster genre to a different level in terms of the visceral nature of its depiction. Tony Montana's meteoric rise from rags to ill gotten riches wasn't anything new however Oliver Stone's script took audiences places deep into the dark realms of excess, violence and explicitness that many were unprepared for. The first time I saw it was on home video. I remember feeling frustrated because as much as I wanted to I just didn't like the main character. I was accustomed to finding inherently likeable qualities, bad guys or not. While Tony does have his own morals (no killing kids and looking after his sister), he just sinks too far into the depths of debauchery that by the film's end there is little left but indifference. Of course that is the whole point. Subsequent viewings have led to a greater appreciation for Stone's contemporary depiction of the antihero and the clichéd but grandiose narrative that begins on a note of hope and descends to anarchy that can have but one outcome. Tony Montana has achieved iconic status thanks in large part to Al Pacino's engaging performance. Many of the film's most oft quoted lines come in the form of fans mimicking Pacino's memorable portrayal of Stone's effusive character. Watching it today doesn't elicit the same level of awe with respect to the violent nature of the story but there is no denying its relevance and entertaining aspects as a cinematic work. Yeah, it's a little dated but manages to hold up quite well. Scarface is a classic gangster film with a substantial cult following that has made it a favorite among cinema enthusiasts and novices alike. As such this Limited Edition Blu-ray relief deserves a place in the library of every serious film buff.
This release marks its first time on Blu-ray Disc. For a limited time only, Scarface Special Limited Edition Blu-ray comes with collectible SteelBook packaging, ten exclusive art cards, a digital copy of the film and a DVD of the original 1932 Scarface. And, for the ultimate collector and cigar enthusiast, an elegantly hand-crafted Scarface-themed humidor will be made available in an exclusive, never-before-available, limited edition. Created by the renowned Daniel Marshall, the humidor's exterior is hand painted and polished with the Marshall's trademark 1000 coat brilliant finish. The interior - made with untreated Spanish cedar - will properly condition and age approximately 100 cigars at optimal humidity levels. Limited to 1,000 worldwide, each individually numbered humidor comes embellished with custom medallions inspired by the iconic film and includes a certificate of authenticity.
The rating is for graphic violence, pervasive language, thematic content and pervasive drug content.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Scarface comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 5.6 Mbps.
This is a fair high definition presentation that doesn't quite compare to the best catalog releases I have seen but there were times when I was pleasant surprised at how good it looked. The majority of the time the visuals don't have a high level of dimension however there are plenty of great looking shots that offer an appreciable level of detail during close ups and certain wide angle camera shots. Sharpness fluctuates on occasion which results in some scenes lacking refinement in favor of smoothness. It boasts clean, eye pleasing primary colors and delineated secondary hues that mate well with the source material. Fleshtones are primarily rendered naturally and appear lifelike. Blacks are plenty deep but crush tends to obscure gradations and shadow detail is average at best. This leaves low level scenes appearing flat and lacking depth. Contrast is dynamically applied which adds life to bright onscreen elements like colors and sun drenched exteriors. Grain is present with moderate texture and uneven rendering that when coupled along with the aforementioned inconsistencies suggests to me that the image has been digitally touched up. The effects are minimal and not what I would describe as the worst cases scenario. Otherwise I found little to complain about with this re-mastered 1080p offering that presents this classic film in its finest light since coming to home video.
I am not so sure that this soundtrack benefited from the additional channels in this 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix but it makes the most of the film's recorded elements and sounds quite good. The front three channels are nicely imaged and carry discretely placed sounds with primary focus on the center channel and ambient bleed to the right/left speakers. Giorgio Moroder's music score is spread to the rear channels and broadens the sound field creating a discernible level of presence. Clarity and detail are excellent which pays dividends during the film's active and quieter moments which feature a fair level of atmospheric surround envelopment. Bass frequencies are held to the upper registers, which doesn't rattle the walls, but emphasizes the strength of weapon fire and explosions where appropriate. While the dated elements in this soundtrack are obvious my overall experience with this audio presentation was a favorable one.
- (HD) The Scarface phenomenon(3 featurettes) :
- Say hello to the bad guy! - 11 minutes
- Pushing the limit - 13 minutes
- The world and everything in it - 13 minutes
- Deleted scenes - 22 minutes
- The world of Tony Montana - 11 minute documentary
- The rebirth - 10 minute featurette
- The acting - 15 minute featurette
- The creating - 29 minute documentary
- The making of Scarface: The video game - 12 minute featurette
- Scarface: The TV version (comparative) - 3 minutes
- U-Control Features:
- Scarface scoreboard - How many times is the F bomb dropped ?
- Picture in Picture feature - Access interview footage of Brian De Palma, Al Pacino,
Screenwriter Oliver Stone, and others without interruption to the movie experience.
Also featured is a scene comparison between the 1983 version of Scarface and Howard
Hawks' original film.
- My Scenes bookmark feature
- BD-Live enabled
- D-Box Motion Code enabled
- pocket BLU
- Exclusive Limited Edition Features:
- Bonus DVD: The original Scarface (1932) - 93 minutes
- 10 Collectible Art Cards
- SteelBook keep case
- Digital Copy
Considered one of the most influential gangster films ever made, Scarface's gritty depiction of Tony Montana's lethal ambition has made it a cultural touchstone that spans generations. It explodes onto Blu-ray for the first time in this Limited Edition release that features less than stellar but gratifying high definition video quality, crystal clear lossless surround sound and a comprehensive assortment of bonus supplements that include newly released/exclusive extras which should entice fans/collectors. Scarface has never looked or sounded better which makes this Blu-ray offering from Universal Studios Home Entertainment a worthwhile addition to your high definition movie collection.
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