Scarface [Blu-Ray] Brian DePalma

Scarface [Blu-Ray] Brian DePalma
It's nice to see that the folks behind the Steelbook release of the classic ultra-violent, over-the-top ode to capitalistic folly, Scarface, have a sense of humour about it all. There's actually a "Scarface Scorecard" option, wherein an onscreen counters track the amount of bullets fired and f-bombs uttered. At one point, the f-bombs actually take the lead – during the scene when Tony (Al Pacino) discovers his little sister, Gina (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), snorting coke and screwing around with a thug in the men's washroom. But this is short-lived, since there's an assassination attempt on Tony's life a few minutes later that brings the bullet count up to the mid-600s. There's also a "Picture in Picture" feature that shares a variety of titbits and scene deconstructions, occasionally lining up a shot-by-shot comparison to the original Howard Hawks film, which is also included in the set in DVD form. It doesn't add a great deal to a story that's exceedingly straightforward – Cuban criminal comes from communist background to America, only to take full advantage of capitalistic opportunity in an exaggerated manner involving bullets and cocaine – but it does share a few gems of trivia, such as the fact that Michelle Pfeiffer paid for her flight to her audition. What a gal! "The Scarface Phenomenon," which is a three-part documentary included with the set, touches on the excess violence and misogyny briefly, but mostly just reiterates how awesome the movie is. This isn't a surprise, since the interview subjects are completely irrelevant nitwits like Eli Roth and some overly done-up TV host who have nothing of note to say. No one makes fun of Brian DePalma's trademark arty stylizations, like the cinematic embodiment of Tony's rage – honing in on his eyes with ominous synthesizer sounds at key moments – or the enthusiastic mid-movie music montage of Tony moving up in the world. It also would have been nice if someone commented on why every female character had to wear a v-neck dress barely covering their breasts in every single scene. Regardless, it's a comprehensive package that also includes the original DVD features, such as the TV edited dialogue and key interviews about acting and vision, along with an impressively clear HD picture that cleans up a lot of noise and grains. Never before could you watch Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer relentlessly snorting cocaine with such clarity. (Universal)