Scarface

I sat at a table working on lecture notes and got tired.  I looked at the free downloads from the CBS website.  At least they had one episode each of The Twilight Zone and Lucy.  I’ve noticed that more people out on the street are wearing A’s caps.  I went to Office Depot, where I bought calculators and protractors.  When I returned home, I needed to take a nap.  On the news, we were getting warnings about rising food prices, so I guess the message is to eat up right now while we can afford it.  I went over to the record store and bought a Ronettes CD and a Wallace and Gromit DVD.  I walked over to the theatre, where the Flashback Feature of the night was “Scarface,” a movie that I’ve already seen too many times.  I thought it was worth another look, though, because the digital projection meant no scratches or dirt on the print.  I could see some details more clearly than in the past, like the menu at the place Tony and Manny work in the beginning.  One thing that struck me was that Michelle Pfeiffer was the whitest person in the cast.  She looked like an albino compared to everyone else.  Her face looks so smooth in many scenes.  Pacino must have more quotable lines in this movie than there has ever been in any film in history.  He says that all he has is his balls and his word.  I couldn’t tell if Tony’s downfall began with his marriage to Elvira or his getting caught on videotape with all that cash.  This wasn’t his greatest period of acting.  He was still going downward until at least “Revolution” before he picked himself back up with “Sea of Love.”  His funniest moment is his dance with Elvira, and his best moment is blasting away at his enemies at the end, James Cagney style.  The guy who played Manny reminded me of John Travolta.  If the character wasn’t a Cuban, he could have fit into this movie.  I had to take Tony’s side about the relationship between Manny and Gina.  I would have been extremely angry and disgusted, too.  I thought Gina was right about the presence of some incestuous impulse.  I couldn’t see why Manny could set aside all those blondes and become fatally attracted to Gina.  It seemed that he was asking for the biggest kind of trouble.  He’s supposed to be in charge of security, but he seems to be terrible at it.  The only real skill he has is wiggling his tongue.  I wouldn’t say that this was Robert Loggia’s best performance.  He gives Tony and Manny their break.  The accents are troublesome for a couple of key members of the cast.  One thing that still fascinates me in this movie is how Tony could spend so much energy pursuing Elvira, and yet he very quickly gets sick of her.  He wanted her because the boss had her.  I don’t know why he didn’t try to find another woman.  He could be so perceptive about the workings of the criminal mind, and yet he couldn’t solve the mystery of a woman.  I thought the scene at the motel in the beginning was still very powerful.  The audience seemed deeply involved during that sequence.  George Kennedy was on the TV.  One of the details that jumped out at me was the presence of USA Today on the sidewalk, since the paper didn’t exist in 1980.  Tony leaves behind a lot of dead bodies.  The local police must be incredibly incompetent not to connect him with any crimes.  Tony kills a cop, and nothing happens to him.  I suppose he could have been right in his suspicion that the guy was masquerading as a cop.  I wondered what happened to Elvira.  She tells Tony that she’s leaving him, and she disappears.  Tony keeps asking his people whether she has called or not.  I wonder if she got any money.  She could be the basis for “Scarface 2,” if she was pregnant with Tony’s child.  Tony, Jr. would be about thirty years old now.  Tony called the people in the drug business “cocker-roaches.”  I wonder how Gina explained the beauty salon to her mother.  Gina doesn’t spend too much time with her work.  I thought that she would have dropped her aspirations to do hair once she got mixed up with Manny and his world.  Tony’s mom was still out there in the end, although by now she would probably be dead.  She was left with a lot of grief.  She should have taken the thousand dollars.  I thought Giorgio Moroder did a better job with the music for “Midnight Express,” but he did bring in Deborah Harry for one track.  We don’t hear any hits of the day on the soundtrack, so it seems that we’re looking at a separate world.  I gained a little bit out of the experience of watching this movie again on a theatre screen.  I saw things in Pacino’s face I never noticed before, and some bits in the background.  The quality of the sound was very good, too.  I watched Pacino closely as he drank expensive wine and ate a salad.  I don’t think his tastes improved over the course of the movie.  He just wanted the money, the power, and the women.  The movie didn’t end until a couple minutes past midnight.  It got some scattered applause at the end.  A lot of people have seen it several times, so the theatre wasn’t nearly full for this showing.  I missed the late news and the first half of Letterman, but I did get home in time to catch Jimmy Kimmel’s This Week in Unnecessary Censorship.  I had to get to sleep shortly afterwards, though.  I awoke this morning feeling that I really needed to take a shower.  I don’t know how much of the Olympics I will watch.  The fun went out when they allowed professional athletes to compete.  Today on CBS This Morning, Erica Hill was gone, and no one said anything about her.  I later read that Norah O’Donnell is replacing her on the show, and Erica is supposedly discussing a new role with CBS.  Four people who died on July 27 were Gertrude Stein (1946), William Wyler (1981), James Mason (1984), and Bob Hope (2003).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind segment for July 27, Bugs Bunny made his debut in “A Wild Hare” in 1940.  In 1961, the Tokens recorded “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”  In 1976, Tina Turner filed for divorce.  In 1978, “Animal House” was released.

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