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Scarface - DVD

"Say Hello to my leeetle friend!"

Probably one of the most imitated lines in film history and rightly so. It captures in a single sentence the manic energy of Al Pacino's performance in Brian De Palma's story of drugs, guns, Cuban immigrants, more drugs and even more guns in 1980's Miami.  Bolstered by a gloriously over-the-top script written by Oliver Stone, 'Scarface' tells the story of Tony Montana, a Cuban exile, who arrives on the shores of Florida, immerses himself in the 1980's culture of excess and works his way through the ranks to become one of the biggest druglords in the USA.

Yes, it's violent, yes, it's excessive and yes, every other word does appear to be a curse but the truth is that it is simply a great story and even though the movie is well over two and a half hours long, it never once feels like it drags or overstays it's welcome. In fact, repeated viewings uncover some (unexpected?) emotional depth in Stone's writing - particularly in Tony's relationship with his sister, who may well be the only pure thing left in his life. His struggle to keep her at safe distance from his business whilst simultaneously eliminating everyone in his path is only one of the levels on display in Pacino's performance.

In fact, it is fair to say that this is one of Pacino's greatest performances. Unlike some of his later work that appeared simply to riff on previous characters, Tony Montana is one of Hollywood's greatest creations. Funny, charming, very excitable and increasingly psychotic, it's easy to see why Pacino had such fun playing it. The supporting cast, too, is on top form with sterling turns from Steven Bauer, Robert Loggia, F Murra Abrahams and a young Michelle Pfeiffer but it truly is Pacino's movie.

DVD Extras

  • Deleted scenes
  • 'The Rebirth Of Scarface' featurette
  • 'Acting Scarface' featurette
  • 'Creating Scarface' featurette
  • 'Scarface: The TV Version' featurette
  • Def Jams Presents: Origins of a hip hop classic
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Teaser trailer
  • Interactive menu
  • Scene access

To be honest there's not a huge difference between this new package and the previously released version of the movie. There's still no audio commentary but the 'Rebirth' feauturette details how a planned remake of a 1930's gangster classic turned into this movie with it's heart and soul set so firmly in the 1980's. Key cast and crew members chip in for the 'Acting' and 'Creating' features and there are a lot of laughs to be had when looking at the changes that had to be made for 'Scarface: The TV Version' - especially when you consider this movie has over 160 uses of the 'F'-word. The most bizarre feature is the Def Jam documentary, starring a number of Hip-Hop stars all extolling the virtues of Tony Montana and his single-mindedness to make it to the top of his profession. Some even go as far as to cite him as an influence on their own career.... maybe I'm getting too old to understand youngsters today........

Movie - 8/10
Extras - 7/10

Sean G