Mr. Movie

Regal's "Flashback Thursday" -- no about-face on 'Scarface'

Again this year Regal’s Columbia Mall is doing classic movie flashbacks on Thursday nights.

Last week, they showed Dirty Dancing.

This week is Scarface followed by Back to the Future, Top Gun, Pulp Fiction, the Big Lebowski, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and they wrap up the year with Casablanca on March 26.

What’s cool about what Regal is doing is having a chance to see some of the best films of all-time again on a big screen. Regular readers of my weekly column in the Tri-City Herald know I’m not a big fan of waiting to see movies on a small screen when they come out on DVD.

Movies aren’t designed for a medium that small.

I’ll be posting a review every week, and it’ll be interesting to hear your comments about what Regal is doing. By the way, is there anything you’d like to see? I’ll pass it on to their booking department and maybe they’ll bring it in next year.

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Some consider Scarface to be a classic in the vein of The Godfather or Wise Guys.

I don’t. In fact, I so didn’t like Scarface when I saw it on opening night in 1983 that halfway through the movie I nearly got up and went to the box office to ask for my money back. Since then, I’ve caught pieces of it a couple of times on TV movie channels.

I still don’t like it much, but I do admire what director Brian De Palma did with the movie. It is unforgettable and for reasons other than the gruesome chainsaw scene. The sheer, raw, naked power is classic. And this is Al Pacino back when we still liked him and when his airy vocal delivery was fresh.

De Palma surrounds Pacino with a superb supporting cast: Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Roberg Loggia, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and F. Murray Abraham a year before he won Oscar gold for Amadeus.

Also of note is the writer of the screenplay, Oliver Stone. This is back when Stone did more writing than directing. He based this work on a 1932 movie of the same name.

Chances are very good that the ’32 version didn’t look anything like this. And chances are you haven’t seen anything like Scarface in a movie theater in a long, long time.

What do you think? Is Scarface one of the best gangster movies ever or total crap. Though I’d pay to see it again in a theater in a heartbeat, my vote is total crap.

Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars

Rated R for extreme violence, language, sex, mature themes. It plays Thursday, February 12 only at the Columbia Mall 8 at 7:45 p.m.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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