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SCARFACE (1983) 
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Post Re: SCARFACE (1983)
You reviewed Scarface? Finally, I've been wanting to know what you thought of the film.

I think I'd have to agree with pretty much everything in the review. On reflection it is a bloated movie, one that could have done with some editng. Perhaps the scenes in Freedom Town could have been shortaned. The sections where Tony is working for Frank seem like padding, such as when they are at the beach oggling women, though this leads to one of the most used quotes and a personal favourite scene ("first you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women" and Manny's technique to pick up women respectively). And the scene where Tony sees his mother and sister, while poigent and effective, seems wasted as it's not brought up again and the love triangle with Tony, Gina and Manny could have come up anywhere.

The over the top swearing certainly deserves mention. In a way this is part of the fun of the film to some. Like impressing young adults with how much of it there is. However the film is meant to be a serious look at the twisted rise and fall of Tony Montana, and things such as the language and probably the ending create a divide between this and parody. Some might say how full of himself Tony is would create this as well, but this is perhaps one of the points of the movie. Tony thought he was bigger than everyone else, and for a brief moment he was.

Overall, I would say that Scarface is a great, if rather flawed film, and with some editing to the language and padding it would have made a better movie.

Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:44 pm
Post Re: SCARFACE (1983)
As far as I'm concerned, any reasons to praise the movie are separate from the quality of the film itself. It is an extremely effective time capsule of 80s excess, probably one of the best out there. Still, that doesn't change the film's major flaw: the cheese. I remember watching it again a few years ago and being taken aback and kind of shocked by just how cheesy it is. I have never been a fan of DePalma and I was especially unimpressed with his work on Scarface. There's an argument to be made that the film is more self-aware and satirical than we think, but I believe that's giving DePalma too much credit. He has never given any evidence for this being the case, so I must assume that he was intending for the movie to be taken seriously. Compared to other gangster movies that came before and after it, it has no reason to have aged so awfully. Defenders of the film who try to spin that fact as some kind of proof of DePalma's genius just continually prove my point because they're basically admitting that talking about the quality of the film itself is going to get them nowhere.

Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:29 am
Post Re: SCARFACE (1983)
TheOutlawXanadu wrote:
Scarface is like Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon in that it's become a brand of clothing; something that's cool to have heard of and claim to like.

The difference is that whereas TDSotM is actually good, Scarface isn't. It's a three hour movie entirely devoted to a static, annoying character who has so many flaws that they completely erase and legitimate themes the film was trying to promote. It's a very boring, unrewarding thing to see.

Man, I thought you were ragging on Dark Side for a second

Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:44 am

Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:08 pm
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Post Re: SCARFACE (1983)
You have got to be kidding me . James , you are probably the second most respected film critic alive . You are a tremendous source of inspiration and I always check your reviews before seeing something in a theatre . Most of the time you nail it . When I saw your rating I had to pick my jaw off the floor . I immediately assumed you did the review in 83 and like most critics , just didnt get it at the time . Imagine my shock when I see its a recent review. Like the poster said earlier in this thread. .. Love you James but you could not be more wrong here .
That said , Do keep up the fantastic job overall . We need you !!

Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:18 pm
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Post Re: SCARFACE (1983)
I actually came to Scarface fairly late. I first saw it about 9 years ago, long after I'd seen Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco, The Godfather movies, New Jack City and a ton of other organized crime movies. I like Scarface. It's three hours long, yet I've never been bored when I've watched it. The over-the-top elements are what make it work. For some films this wouldn't be the case. It does work here. However, as I wrote elsewhere

If the over the top aspect of the movie is what has made it a classic, it also keeps it from reaching masterpiece status the way Goodfellas has.

That's my overall view. Scarface is a great movie. But it doesn't quite reach the level of masterpiece the way Goodfellas and other crime movies have. However, Pacino's performance here may very well be the most iconic one he's ever given. Yeah he's over the top and playing a maniac 90%. But it's the moments when he drops the psychopathic side that gives the character added dimensions. When he:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
refuses to kill the journalist because his wife and child were in the crossfire
that adds more dimension to the character and a certain sense of pathos as
[Reveal] Spoiler:
that helps set the stage for his downfall

The one part of Scarface that has become dated is Giorgio Moroder's score. The synth beats immediately scream 80s.

This ain't a city council meeting you know-Joe Cabot

Cinema is a matter of what's in the frame and what's out-Martin Scorsese.


Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:13 am
Post Re: SCARFACE (1983)
When it's all said and done, James' prefered to watch Marley and Me over Scarface. :P Sometimes it must get difficult picking those damn stars.

Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:14 am
Post Re: SCARFACE (1983)
wisey wrote:
When it's all said and done, James' prefered to watch Marley and Me over Scarface. :P Sometimes it must get difficult picking those damn stars.

Yeah, stars are a great short-hand but there's no substitute for reading the review itself.

Also, what's going on, wisey? I haven't seen you around in ages.

Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:26 pm
Post Re: SCARFACE (1983)
PR0METHEU5 wrote:
Love ya James, but couldn't disagree more. :P

Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:22 pm
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