Sunday, February 1, 2009


I finally saw Scarface last night, which I was very excited about--I love Al Pacino and have been meaning to watch the movie for ages.

Basically, I adored it. I will probably watch it many more times in years to come, despite the fact that it's rather depressing (well, the latter half, not really the first). I also appreciated the use of the chainsaw during the first drug deal, being as I am a huge fan of Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original, of course--don't even talk to me about the remake). The movie was, as you can imagine, at times excessively violent, but then again, the drug world is a rather violent place. And this is Hollywood.

For those who aren't familiar with the movie, here's a brief synopsis, thanks to my friend Wikipedia: "Scarface is a 1983 epic crime/drama film directed by Brian De Palma, written by Oliver Stone and starring Al Pacino as Tony Montana. A remake of Howard Hawks' original 1932 film of the same name, the film tells the story of a fictional Cuban refugee who comes to Florida in 1980 as a result of the Mariel Boatlift. Montana becomes a gangster against the backdrop of the 1980s cocaine boom. The film chronicles his rise to the top of Miami's criminal underworld and subsequent downfall in Greek tragedy fashion."

A pleasant surprise was Michelle Pfeiffer, who starred as Elvira, an ice-cold but beautiful cocaine addict who becomes Montana's wife. I've always loved Pfeiffer, and her acting was impeccable here. I don't know how much weight Hollywood made her lose for this role, though, because her ribs were clearly visible on her already small frame.

Pacino was...just amazing, as usual. The film's only downfall was the super cheesy montage halfway through, meant to show Montana's rise to gangster fame--quick shots of thousands of bills being counted, Montana and his cronies drinking at presumably schmoozy restaurants, Montana and Elvira getting married, all set to what I can only describe as an outrageously dreadful early-'80s postdisco soundtrack. I really could have done without that one.

Otherwise the movie was perfect, and I highly recommend it. However, it's not recommended for anyone for whom large piles of cocaine could be a trigger (there's a LOT of it in this movie), those who can't handle violence and the occasional gory closeup, and those who aren't down with profanity.

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