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Scarface Limited Edition Steelbook Blu Ray Review

Review Date: September 17, 2011

DVD Release Date: September 6, 2011

Review by Compay for


Starring: Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Loggia, F. Murray Abraham


Scarface limited edition blu ray review

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 special features.  

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 dealing.


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 collection.





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