American Psycho (2000) - Uncut Killer Collector's Edition

Genre(s): Crime / Drama / Horror
Lions Gate || Unrated - 102 minutes - $14.98 || June 21, 2005
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2005-07-17


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Mary Harron
Writer(s): Bret Easton Ellis (novel), Mary Harron (screenplay) & Guinevere Turner (screenplay)
Cast: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage, Chloe Sevigny, Reese Witherspoon, Samantha Mathis, Jared Leto, Willem Dafoe


Theatrical Release Date: April 14, 2000


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Director Commentary
  • Co-Writer/Actress Commentary
  • American Psycho: From Book to Screen
  • The 80s Downtown
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

"So, what do you do?"
"I'm into... murder and executions mostly."

American Psycho is a satirical-comedy starring Christian Bale (Batman Begins) as Patrick Bateman, an 80's Wall Street yuppie who has a pentiant for killing. By day, Bateman sits around in an expensive suit along with his collueges and match-up their business cards almost Western style, while at night he video tapes his sexual voyerisms with prostitutes as well as perform some more freaky stuff on them...

If you take the film at face value, which I did the first time I saw it a few years ago, then this film will make little sense to you. Instead, taken as a satire on the time and attitude of the 1980s, the film certainly has a message and, even with the violence -- which is nothing compared to Tarantino's Kill Bill movies --, I kind of enjoyed the film as a whole. Not only that, American Psycho transcends genres. It's a horror, thriller, fantasy, dark comedy and satire all rolled into one.

It was this film that really broke out Christian Bale into a whole new realm of celebrity. While his portrayal as the Dark Knight in Batman Begins has or will garner him notority with the mainstream movie-goer, it's his uniqe performance as Patrick Bateman that made Hollywood take notice of his talent and which made Bat-fans, like myself, believe he could play Bruce Wayne/Batman.

The film also boasts a solid supporting cast including Jared Leto (Fight Club), Josh Lucas (Hulk), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) and Reese Witherspoon. Although each of them are not in the film that much, they each contribute to the end means.

Is this everything a cult classic should be? Not really. American Psycho is certainly original, but in the end I don't think it's a special movie outside of the performances and a few scenes. For those who don't tend to like violent or odd-ball films, Psycho might not be for you.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

There are two commentary tracks on the disc. The first one comes from director/co-writer May Harron who provides some little factoids, but nothing of note. She talks about why she liked the project, the reasons about story changes, what came straight from the book, what was real and what wasn't, etc. The second track is from co-writer/actress Guinevere Turner and she too gives tidbits about the opening credits (as did Harron), which means that the two might've been better off recording the commentary together (though there might've been a scheduling conflicts). Toward the end, she does talk about American Psycho 2 for some reason and while doesn't overly blasts it (as it should be), she does say it was hanging on by a string (ties to the original) But, the two tracks cover basically the same things. Though these two commentaries weren't bad, it might've been nice to hear from the novelist himself to explain the the audience why or why not he liked the film.

American Psycho: From Book to Screen is a very interesting featurette that is completely filled with interviews; just people involved with the project sitting in front of a screen. What's most interesting about this one is the stories about how the film came to be, and more so about the casting. Aside from Bale, Johnny Depp, Billy Crudup and Tom Cruise were mentioned for the role of Patrick Bateman. However, it was the surprising positive response from Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio. For a time when DiCaprio was on board and director Mary Harron was gone, Oliver Stone wanted to direct a movie that was different from what finally came to the screen. According to the story, DiCaprio dropped out after being convinced that it might hurt his career as his fanbase were 13-year-old girls.

This 50-minute plus featurette is simple which is why I liked it overall. There are no clips from the film... just people talking honestly about the positives and negatives when making the film. The only drawback is there was nothing from Bale or any of the cast members. Why did Bale take the role? Why did Reese Witherspoon take such a small role? Also, I enjoyed the first few parts (The Book, The Deal and The Film), the last one called "The Pornography of Killing: An Essay by Holly Willis" reminded me of being in some liberal arts college class.

The 80s: Downtown is another semi-lengthy (31:44) documentary with more interviews with those seen in the previous documentary. This one details the 1980s in New York from the number of sex clubs that opened to the art galleries that produced many rags to riches stories in SoHo. Interviewees recount their experiences of the 80s and when it actually started; one of them believed it began on August 1, 1981, when MTV first took to the air waves. Also, don't miss out on the explanation of the suspenders... Having never been to New York nor remember much about the 80s, this was interesting to watch, and while there is some useful information, there's also some stuff that is not. If you grew up in the 80s, then this might be a nice trip down memory road (and especially for those living in New York).

The deleted scenes feature commentary with Harron explaining why the scene was cut. There was a scene or two that was cut at the last moment plus there was yet another sex scene that Harron cut as it darkened the film too much.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

American Psycho is presented in 2.35 aspect ratio and anamorphic widescreen. The picture looks fine, though in some of the darker scenes, I notice a little graininess. I don't know if it was what Harron directed the film with or what, but it's minimal and does not detract from the movie.



.::OVERALL::.

For a DVD released to capatalize on the rising star of Christian Bale whose Batman Begins was released the day after the DVD, it's overall pretty good. Some of the special features while informative, came across as some artsy-fartsy and pretentious drivel at times. Outside of that, the film looks and sounds good and is worth buying for the many fans of the movie.