WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review


Reviewed In Issue 02 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Logia.

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 2
Sound Rating: 3
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): MCA/Universal Home Video
(Catalog Number): 41473
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $39.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 170
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): No
(Theatrical Release): 1983
(LD Release Date): 01/1/93
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Brian De Palma
(Screenplay/Written By): Oliver Stone
(Story): NA
(Music): Giorgio Stone
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Ed Richardson
(Visual Effects): NA
(Costume Designer): Patricia Norris
(Editor): Jerry Greenberg & David Ray
(Supervising Sound Editors): Edward Beyer
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Louis A. Stroller
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Martin Bergman

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography):
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.35:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.35:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Mag Stereo
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Scarface is a gripping crime epic inspired by the 1932 classic of the same name. Al Pacino’s unforgettable performance as gangster Tony Montana is a tour-de-force of Brian De Palma filmmaking. The screenplay by Academy Award® winner Oliver Stone follows the violent career of a small-time Cuban refugee hoodlum who wants to be somebody in the crime underworld of Miami’s cocaine empire. Gunning his way to the top to become a drug trade kingpin, Pacino’s Tony Montana is mesmerizing as he pursues his twisted version of the American Dream. His taste of power is cut short when he makes the fatal mistake of becoming an addict himself. A vengeful Bolivian cocaine supplier wants Tony terminated. Tony’s downfall climaxes in a hail of blood and bullets, whose images are both vicious and exhilarating.

LaserDisc Picture:
The digital video transfer looks very much like film, but is inconsistent in terms of color fidelity and balance as if the transfer was put together from divergent master elements. The dark areas lack shadow detail in several scenes. However, many scenes look extraor-dinarily real, particularly those set against the background of Miami’s fascinating Latin lifestyle.There is this documentary feel throughout which heightens the realism of the graphic violence. The Panavision® scope aspect ratio is preserved at 2.35:1.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack mix is somewhat veiled and the surround enhancement is uneven as it appears, then disappears, collapsing to mono in several scenes. When the surrounds are prevalent, they do a good job of defining the soundscape of the widescreen compositions. The driving musical score by Giorgio Moroder is well positioned in the mix and serves well to create the appropriate tension.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: