Sunday, May 13, 2007


Say hello to my little friend.

Evil Kev and I watched Scarface last night. This venture was interrupted by a lengthy call with the fire department, so I can comment on something about this movie that I can't always say for others: It held my interest through hours of doing something else. One of the things I'm really liking about watching some older classics is that they aren't made to the conventional formulas, don't follow Hollywood's Three Act Structure to a T... There's something remarkably satisfying about that because the movie can actually surprise you.

Of course, it was mega 80s flashback. Big hair and I guess the lingering days of disco morphing into 80s rock. I don't know. The only disco I remember was put out by Sesame Street. Oh, wait... Staying Alive. I vaguely remember that.

(Spoilers in this paragraph)
This movie satisfies the requirements of hardboiled noir. It's also a rather bleak portrayal of the paranoia that comes with being top dog in the drug business. One of the aspects I found most interesting was the relationship between Tony and Elvira. That really is the ultimate kick. For her, it seemed like the hope of getting out of her cage and having a life. However, the writing was on the wall before those two ever met. Tony was dead serious when it came to the work. Viewers may have thought perhaps he'd learn to lighten up but no, not even she could do that for him. I mean, seriously: Can any guy who watches a friend get sliced into bits with a chainsaw soften up? Not likely. Elvira went from one cage to another, and she was incredibly miserable. Who could blame her? Perhaps for her there was hope in her choice at the end. I don't know. The movie didn't follow that story.

Best surprise
Richard Belzer with a minor role.

Most horrific scene
The chainsaw scene, although it's an example of where the mind fills in what isn't shown.

My 2 cents
Cozy readers/writers will stomach the video on the post below better.

I couldn't help thinking how futile it all was. This pursuit of power, of wealth, for what? No enjoyment whatsoever. Always looking over your shoulder to see who's coming at you.

And in the end, all that waste. It reminded me of reading THG because of a similar moment of awareness, that nature abhors a vacuum, that you knock one gangster down and another rises to fill the void.

Very good movie, definitely worth watching.


JamesO said...

I went (underage) to see Scarface at the Odeon Tottenham Court Road in London when it first came out, along with a couple of school friends. It was an 18 if I recall, and we basically were daring each other to go and see it. To this day I can still remember the feeling I had on leaving the cinema when it had finished - I was actually shaking. Great movie; I might have to go and rent it now.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I never snuck in to see movies. I was a good girl.

Kris said...

If you're watching the DVD, be sure to check out the special feature on how they edited Scarface for TV. Finding euphemisms for 200+ swear words takes some doing.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Kris, we had it recorded off the satellite, but I'd like to get the dvd. It's a movie I could see myself watching again, and that special feature would be interesting.

mcewen said...

I think Scarface is one of those films that I'm almost sure I've seen so I always pass over it in the store, but now I'm not so sure.