Review: Carlito’s Way Blu-ray

Carlito's Way Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Brian DePalma | CAST: Al Pacino, Penelope Ann Miller, Sean Penn
RELEASE DATE: 5/18/2010 | PRICE: Blu-ray $26.98
BONUSES: two featurettes, deleted scenes
SPECS: R | 144 min. | Crime | 2.35:1 | DTS-HD

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Extras | Overall

Carlito's Way movie scene with Al PacinoBagged by many critics when it first hit theatres, Carlito’s Way has become a favorite with fans of crime movies and star Al Pacino (Scarface).

Based on the books by Edwin Torres, Carlito’s Way follows an ex-con (Pacino) as he is released from prison, finds his former girlfriend (Penelope Ann Miller, Flipped) and tries to leave his former life of  crime, but forces conspire to pull him back in.

The film’s performances are uniformly good, from Pacino’s troubled Carlito, to Miller’s sweet but not too sweet Gail and Sean Penn, in a brilliant showing as Carlito’s crooked lawyer. John Leguizamo (Gamer), Luis Guzman (Old Dogs) and Viggo Mortensen (The Road) are also in the great cast.

And in its Blu-ray debut, Carlito’s Way looks and sounds great, baring a few scratches here and there.

Directed by Brian De Palma, the 1993 movie is still a tight thriller, dripping with anger, regret and greed.

De Palma talks about how well it plays, even after repeat viewings years later, in the featurette “Brian De Palma on Carlito’s Way.” He says that when the movie came out on DVD years after it was released in theaters, he popped it into his player and was surprised to see how much he enjoyed it.

The De Palma featurette is the shorter of the two behind-the-scenes pieces on the disc, but both are excellent viewing. The other, “The Making of Carlito’s Way,” is what making-of featurettes should be. Produced by the great DVD producer Laurent Bouzereau, the mini-doc delves deep into the production of the movie, beginning with when Pacino took a copy of an early script to producer Martin Bregmann. Bregmann admits that it was the worst script he had ever read, “a real turkey.” But Pacino’s interest was enough to warrant further work. The making-of also includes interviews with DePalma and eventual writer David Koepp, who describe the good parts and bad parts of making this movie.

The disc also has a set of deleted scenes, which are not in high-def and have not had any restoration work done, so the quality isn’t great.

All the special features have been taken from earlier versions of Carlito’s Way on DVD and the now defunct high-def format HD DVD, which was issued in 2007. Owners of these versions might not see the need to buy this new Blu-ray, but fans who don’t have this movie in their library will want to give this new edition a try.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.