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SEPT. 19-SEPT. 26
In all honesty, I’ve always thought that Brian De Palma was a fucking hack. Sure, Blow Out and The Untouchables were enjoyable (if highly derivative) moviesbut it is beyond me how the man responsible for Body Double, Snake Eyes, and Mission to Mars ever joined the ranks of highly esteemed directors who understand the difference between an homage and a rip-off. So it stands to reason that I never held the same reverence for Scarface as my white-hatted college counterparts, who unfailingly hung a “Say Hello to My Little Friend” poster on their dorm wall next to their Reservoir Dogs poster. De Palma’s controversially bloody 1983 adaptation of Howard Hawks’ 1932 film updates the rise-and-fall gangster story to ’80s Miamicomplete with a Giorgio Moroder soundtrack and a wardrobe presumably borrowed from Crockett and Tubbs. Yet, despite its dated feel, dragging story line, and repetitive moralizing, Scarface remains an unforgettableand worthwhileexperience, mostly due to Al Pacino’s over-the-top performance as Tony Montana. With an already epic running time of 170 minutes, Universal’s theatrical re-release mercifully does not feature the 22 additional minutes of deleted footage that will be included in the upcoming two-disc anniversary edition DVD. As entertaining as they are, how many more scenes of Pacino snorting coke, gunning down his adversaries, and cramming the word “fuck” into every line could even a Tappa Kegga Bru pledge be expected to endure? The film screens daily (see Showtimes for a full schedule) from Friday, Sept. 19, through Friday, Sept. 26, at Loews Cineplex Wisconsin Avenue, 4000 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $6-$8.50. (202) 244-0880. (Matthew Borlik)