“Say hello to my little friend!”
This is just one of the many cultural references that have come out of Brian DePalma’s 1983 epic film, Scarface. Al Pacino plays Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee that arrives in the United States with nothing, and leaves with everything. It’s a story about the American Dream, about excess, and about ambition. A fantastic supporting cast (including Michelle Pfeiffer, F. Murray Abraham and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), and a script by Oliver Stone makes Scarface one of the…greatest gangster films of all time.
The various audio tracks on this disc are truly fantastic. English-speaking viewers have the option of following the action in Dolby Digital 5.1, or the always-noteworthy DTS 5.1. Both tracks are superb here, and the Dolby track actually gives the DTS version a run for its money. The DTS track has a wide range of volume levels, which forces the viewer to listen to this movie loud, which is a good thing. The sound field is actually not as spread out as the Dolby track, but there is plenty of punch coming from the low end.
This one really boils down to personal preference. I am a DTS fan, so that’s the one I’d pick. However, you really can’t go wrong either way. The audio tracks included on this set are reference quality.
On the back of the box, Universal has stated that this two-disc collection features video quality that is better than the original. After viewing this film, I believe it. This is a near-flawless transfer, with the only minor blemishes coming from the original source material. Backs are deep blacks, which is a good thing, because there are a lot of them. Conversely, bright colors pop off of the screen, providing a sharp contrast in the color palette, which mirrors the dual nature of Tony Montana himself. This is a fantastic job by the folks at Universal.
The entire second disc of this two-disc masterpiece is devoted to special features. For those of you that own the original release of this title, these extras make it worth your while to pick this title up again. The main event here is a three-part documentary on the film. “Scarface: The Rebirth” discusses the original film, the early interest of Pacino, crafting the script and finding a director. Next up is “Scarface: Acting”, which discusses the casting process, including a short biography of Steven Bauer, and special attention for the unknown actress cast to play Pacino’s love interest, Michelle Pfeiffer. The third segment of this docu-trilogy is “Scarface: Creating”. This segment is the real meat of the piece, where the actors, director and producer discuss location scouting, filming, special effects, camera work, music and even the efforts that went into obtaining an “R” rating. All told, the three segments (which can be viewed in a “play all” format) clock in at about 55 minutes, making this a formidable special feature.
Also included here is a short piece that compares the theatrical version to the TV version, which is a nice bit of guilty fun. Twenty-two minutes of deleted scenes are also included, as well as some Cast and Crew bios. Lastly, we have “Def Jam Presents the Origins of a Gangsta’”, a surprisingly insightful piece that examines the impact that the film has had on the inner city, and those who live in it.
These are top-notch extras, and they are just one commentary short of being total perfection.
This two-disc version of Scarface is a must have for any true film or DVD fan. Everything is done to the nines here, from the dynamic video, to the plethora of extras, to the fantastic film itself. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up.
Special Features List
- Scarface: The TV Version
- Deleted Scenes
- Cast & Filmmakers
- Def Jam Presents the Origins of a Gangsta’
- Scarface: The Rebirth
- Scarface: Acting
- Scarface: Creating