Carlito's Way Ultimate Edition—Universal
The companion piece to the 1983 Cuban gangster epic Scarface, 1993's Carlito's Way is another Al Pacino/Brian De Palma pairing filled with confident camera movement, high-tension set pieces, and a swaggering, Latino-accented Pacino.
The gritty, humid streets of 1970s Spanish Harlem set the scene for Carlito Brigante's (Pacino) ascension back into the criminal underworld after five years in prison. Freed thanks to legal maneuverings by longtime lawyer pal David Kleinfeld (Sean Penn, who is fantastic in this supporting role), Carlito swears he's going straight. But a bloody shootout lands 30 large in Carlito's lap, which he sinks into a bizarrely nautical-themed disco, making him an instant ghetto celebrity.
Penelope Ann Miller is wonderful as Carlito's dancer love interest, and John Leguizamo and Viggo Mortensen are dynamic in small roles, the former as up-and-coming hood "Benny Blanco from the Bronx" and the latter as a down-and-out, wheelchair-bound homie fresh from the joint.
Although the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack never really leaps out (save for some of the disco-fueled club scenes), the anamorphic 2.35:1 video presentation perfectly fits De Palma's skewed camera angles.
For an Ultimate Edition, the special features are minimal, including some OK deleted scenes, no commentary track, a 35-minute making-of that features the author of the source material, the producer, the screenwriter, the editor, and the director, and an interview featurette with De Palma segments left over from the making-of.