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Scarface: Collector's Edition

Violent Cuban immigrant Tony Montana (Al Pacino) tears through the American Dream with the uncompromising principle and ruthlessness of a pit bull, rising through the ranks of the Miami drug trade like a criminal Messiah. Pacino's performance is a tour de force, and the tacky, pastel opulence of Miami is a vivid backdrop for Tony's rabid indulgence of booze, drugs, fast cars, and the occasional tiger. Director Brian DePalma, showing amazing control of his bad cinematic habits, for once lets the story develop without his trademark intrusive camera tricks, and Oliver Stone's script was a prescient foreshadowing of the rampant and conspicuous greed that would mark American culture in the 1980s. Not as cartoony as some critics have claimed, Scarface suffers only from its length (nearly three hours) and some poor casting in the supporting roles. Also with Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Presented in 2.35:1 widescreen, but from a so-so source print, and the transfer is not without an occasional shimmer. Moreover, the Dolby 2.0 mix is a little muddled. In all, it's not so hot for a Universal "Collector's Edition." Extras include some dull outtakes, a "making-of" documentary, trailers, and textual supplements.

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