Sunday, November 02, 2008

Movie Review--Scarface

Okay, I suppose I set myself up for a letdown when I waited literally years to see a movie. I built it up in my mind, expecting it to be something it wasn't. Another serious error I made was renting an older movie. However, I didn't want to own it.

After quite a bit of searching, I finally found Scarface for rent at Family Video for $1 for five nights. The price was definitely right. Somehow, I expected the movie to be about Al Capone in Prohibition-era Chicago, but instead, it was about some Tony Montana in 1980s-era Miami. Not exactly what I was expecting.

The disc I'd rented was pretty badly scratched, so there were places where the movie would kind of "hiccup," and others where it would stop altogether. It was horrible. I wasted most of the extra hour we got from converting back to standard time just trying to find what point I was at in the movie when the disc got stuck. Finally it occurred to me: I don't even like this movie, so why am I worrying so much about it?

In all fairness, I don't have the authority to review this one, since I didn't see all of it. There were simply scenes that would not play. This meant that I often had to skip scenes, meaning I missed pieces of the plot. However, I wasn't impressed with the parts I did see.

The only characters I'll even mention:
Al Pacino: Tony Montana
Michelle Pfeiffer: Elvira Hancock

I hate to say this, but I was bored by the movie. It moved slower than I expected, and it was fairly predictable. I know it is supposed to be a classic, but I can't figure out why. The dialogue didn't seem all that great to me. I can handle profanity in dialogue that is realistic, but littering a script with "The F-word" is a sign of bad writing. I understand that these characters would use a lot of foul language, but it was completely overdone in Scarface, to the point that it lost its effect. It wasn't shocking, it didn't seem realistic, and it just sounded like a group of teenage boys trying to sound tough to impress one another.

Al Pacino's strangely charming demeanor at the beginning of the movie is all that really saved him (in my estimation) in Scarface. I can't figure out what he did to make his character so charming, though. Maybe it was the Cuban accent. I don't know. Maybe it was because his character hadn't gotten so deeply involved in drugs yet. Either way, I got annoyed with Tony Montana about halfway through the movie. He was getting too cocky for me. I wanted Elvira to slap him. All I ever saw her do was anger him by badmouthing him to his face. But then, I hated her character too. It was one of those movies where you just kind of want the main characters to jump out of a window while they're hopped up on cocaine. This scenario would have shortened the movie significantly, saving me a bunch of time. Anyway, Tony's character had far more flaws than good qualities, and by the end of the movie, I felt he got what was coming to him.

Moral of the story? Read a brief IMDb summary before renting a movie, Sunshine. Readers, if you go in knowing kind of what the movie is, perhaps you will like it better than I did. However, I'll just be honest and say I think it is overrated.


B. Roan said...

I really hate to put this in writing, because he is a much revered actor, but I don't like Al Pacino. I have never seen Scarface because I thought it would be a mob movie like The Godfather. I also detest mob movies! However, if you had said it was the best movie ever made, I might have started looking for it, too. Very good review. BJ

Ray said...

Yeah. We have 4 seasons here, but they differ just a little bit.

The leaves JUST started turning colors the past week or so.. and it just started getting cooler.

2 weeks ago it was still warm enough to wear a tshirt and shorts. 70+

Now it's in the 50's and 60's and the leaves are ABOUT to fall.

In about 2 weeks it'll be the dead of winter, and it'll last until April at least. The cold Trans-Siberian winds make it pretty cold!

Spring will happen in April-June, and then summer will be here in July.

July ALSO is the wettest month of the year. It's monsoon season, and rains almost every day. And it'll be gray and gross each and every day!


Robin said...

I do like Al Pacino most of the time, but Scarface left me cold. Too slow, and too violent.