May 8, 2009


Title: Scarface
Year: 1983
Director: Brian De Palma
Writer: Oliver Stone
Starring: Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer
Music: Giorgio Moroder
Distinctions: currently #171 on IMDb's Top 250
Synopsis: an immigrant coke-dealer gets rich
Length: 170 minutes
How I saw it: on video twice (rented from Netflix), most recently February 2009
Subjective Rating: 2/10 (Terrible).
Objective Rating: 4/10 (gets points for concept, dialog, cinematography and special effects/design) c. 1.8/4 (Eh).

Why the hell is that a classic? Every single character is a complete assh*** - usually an obnoxious one. Pacino plays his part as if it were a comedy routine (never mind that The Godfather includes some of the best acting ever put on film; I am still confused that he continued to be taken seriously after this movie). There's an 80's Rock Montage Sequence. There are maybe three scenes in three hours that are any good at all (the opening scene interrogation where it still seems like there might be an interesting character in the movie, the bit with the chainsaw, and the shoot-out finale); highlights of the rest of the film include: "Tony shops for a new car," "Tony talks to his banker," and, of course, "Tony Takes a Bath." The one positive is that visually, it doesn't just look like crap - it consistently looks like a deliberate, particular kind of crap.

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