Most cinephiles know that Brian DePalma’s 1983 classic Scarface is one of the most influential films of all time. Fans will be glad to know that Universal went all out to make the 4K HDR treatment of the film one of their best, giving those who love the movie (many to obsession) and newcomers an experience they’ll never forget.
For those unfamiliar with the story, the film follows the rags-to-riches saga of Tony Montana (played to absolute perfection by Al Pacino), who’s fresh off the Mariel boatlift that brought thousands of Cuban refugees in the spring of 1980 to Miami in search of the ever-elusive American Dream. As he becomes involved in the rising drug scene there, he gains wealth and power beyond his wildest dreams, though it comes with a steep price. This makes for an interesting rise and fall piece that’ll keep you glued to the screen until its final blood-soaked conclusion.
Universal really went all out on this release, as the transfer of the film to 4K is just as impressive as you’d expect it to be. The visuals are so crisp, clean, and detailed, you’d swear the movie wasn’t made in 1983. The Dolby HD audio is just as stunning, as you’ll hear every bit of dialogue and every bullet that takes out any “cock-a-roach” that gets in Tony’s way with crystal clarity. Universal was also kind enough to send me the “Limited Edition” set that includes a sweet mini replica of the infamous “The World is Yours” statue from the movie. For it to be plastic it has some nice detail and a good amount of weight to it, making it a perfect display piece and conversation starter for your home.
The special features are nothing short of amazing as well, and there’s far too many to mention here. But I’ll list some of the key ones included, such as the original 1932 Scarface movie that’s included, this time with the original uncensored version and the alternate version with a different ending for those wanting the ultimate release of the classic.
“The Scarface Phenomenon”, is a documentary that shows how the film was plagued by controversy leading up to its release, and how the film influenced a new generation of filmmakers while leaving a lasting imprint on popular culture. “The World of Tony Montana” covers the real world of drug enforcement that includes interviews with real DEA agents and fritzed footage of real drug dealers.
As far as some of the other features go, there’s also twenty-some minutes of deleted scenes, “The Rebirth” feature shows director Brian De Palma, producer Martin Bregman, actor Al Pacino, and screenwriter Oliver Stone revisiting the history of the film, from the inspiration of the original Howard Hawks classic to the evolution of the script. “The Creating” is one of the best features here, as it shows a fascinating and controversial journey through the making of the film, which began with the production being forced to leave its location in Florida.
For those who want a good laugh, there’s the three minute “Scarface: The TV Version” which shows a hilarious montage of film clips comparing the theatrical version to the network television version of Scarface, filled with numerous cuts and replaced dialogue that ranges from okay to just plain ridiculous.
Any movie lover worth their popcorn and chainsaws will already have this release of Brian De Palma’s Scarface. Those who may have never experienced the film for themselves, or have been holding out for the perfect release, now is the time to finally pick up this gangster of a 4K release. Not only do you get one of the most disturbing tales of the American Dream ever filmed, but you’ll witness Al Pacino chew the scenery to bits in his iconic portrayal of the Tony Montana. Grab the limited edition if you can, but make sure to set aside some time for this classic film.