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Writer, director, musician, and multimedia junkie. www.felixemartinez.com © 2008-2009 F.E.M.

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    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    Scarface - 25th Anniversary Screening In Miami

    I don't think I've had so much fun at the movies...

    I'm still recovering from the 25th Anniversary screening of the De Palma/Pacino classic at Miami's Gusman Center last Friday night. We got there for the "happy hour" part of the evening just after 6pm, had a few glasses of wine/cocktails, and made our way into the absolutely gorgeous Olympia Theater of Gusman Center...
    ...the decor was simply astonishing. Up above on the ceiling, there were moving cloud shapes. It felt like we had stepped into a Disney Imagineering attraction. We were half-expecting a Tony Montana auto-animatronic figure to pop out and exclaim, "Say hello to my little friend!" and blast us at any moment.

    Well, there was that peacock perched on the sidewall facade...
    So by 8pm, 800 of Tony's closest friends made their way into the theater and settled into their seats. After a rather overlong "pre-intro" by the Friends of Gusman (who put together this fundraising event) and Mayor Manny Diaz, actor Steven Bauer (aka Rocky Echevarria, aka "Manny Ribera") introduced the film...
    Steven set the tone by enthusiastically asking if there were any Scarface "virgins" out there who had never seen the film (you could count them on one hand). So he then granted us permission to yell back at the screen all the lines we knew, because he would be doing the same and wanted to make sure he wasn't the only "asshole" (in Manny Ribera's accent) doing so. He then proceeded to quote lines from the movie, and the crowd went wild, yelling the lines along with him, hootin' and hollerin' all the way. 'Twas quite surreal and a perfect example of collective cinema consciousness.

    At that point we knew this would be a special nite. But it got better...

    Alongside Steven introducing the film was actor/comedian Angel "Chi Chi" Salazar, who provided a hyperkinetic counterpoint to Steven's laid-back demeanor...
    So the lights dim, the film starts, and the crowd goes fucking wild. It was like Rocky Horror on crack.

    Here are just a few audio examples of what this beautiful chaos was like:

    Que Jamon?
    Say Goodnight To The Bad Guy!
    Say Hello To My Little Friend!

    To finish off this great cinematic meal, Steven and Angel returned to the stage after the credits and did a 15 min. Q&A. Here's an edited version (still 12 1/2 min); unfortunately, Angel was often unintelligible (and I had to loose some of his schtick). I was, however, able to retain his classic response to the question: "how many times have you seen the movie?" and without skipping a beat, he says, "every time I want to get laid." Also, later on Angel jokes that Steven slept with "Marta." If you know the movie, you get the joke. Anyway, forgive the audio quality. Pics and audio taken with an iPhone, the Swiss Army Knife of multimedia - can't complain...

    Here's the Q&A.

    So there you are. It was awesome, and there absolutely has to be a 30th Anniversary screening. We have to find a way to drag Pacino, Pfeiffer, and De Palma down to Miami for that one - the Cuban community can now guarantee their safety ;)

    In the meantime, we'll always have the 25th in our memories...

    Monday, August 18, 2008

    A Blu-Fay Day...

    As I sit here and wait for Tropical Storm/Hurricane Fay to pass me by, I decided to take a look at my "buy" list of upcoming Blu-ray releases. These are just the ones I want to get. I'm gonna go broke:

    Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 (I'm tired of waiting for The Whole Bloody Affair version) - 9/9
    Speed Racer (WB skimped on the audio; I guess after its remarkable failure at the box office, the studio seems to want to bury it for good; nonetheless, I loved the film - it's a hoot and it should still look and sound pretty darn amazing on Blu-ray) - 9/16
    Risky Business - 9/16
    The Godfather Collection - 9/23
    L.A. Confidential - 9/23
    Iron Man - 9/30
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original, of course) - 9/30
    Ghostbusters - October (TBA)
    Sleeping Beauty - 10/7
    Young Frankenstein - 10/7
    The Ultimate Matrix - 10/14
    Poltergeist - 10/14
    Assorted James Bond On Blu-ray - 10/21
    The Polar Express (2D and 3D special edition) - 10/28
    Shawshank Redemption - 11/4 (may be delayed to 2009)
    JFK - 11/11
    Band of Brothers - 11/11
    Wall-E - 11/18
    Casablanca - 12/2
    Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb - 12/9
    Taxi Driver - 2/3/09

    I had Amityville Horror and Carrie on my list, but MGM has dropped all the extras that were on the last DVDs while still pricing them at $40 a pop. No thanks. A big slap on the hand (and the forehead) for those folks. Rental time for those titles...

    © 2008 Felix E. Martinez