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Mary Harron
Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon
Writing Credits:
Mary Harron, Guinevere Turner

Wealthy New York investment banking executive Patrick Bateman hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies.

Box Office:
$7 million.
Opening Weekend
$4,961,015 on 1236 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD HR 6.1 ES
English Dolby 5.1 EX
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 102 min.
Price: $9.99
Release Date: 2/6/2007

• Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Mary Harron
• Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Actor Guinevere Turned
• Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
• “The 80s: Downtown” Featurette
• Previews


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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
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-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


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American Psycho [Blu-Ray] (2000)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 10, 2018)

Based on Bret Easton Ellis’s controversial 1991 novel, 2000’s American Psycho introduces us to Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale). Young, handsome, wealthy and successful, he offers the modern model of the ideal male.

Except for his insanity, that is. While Patrick seems perfect, beneath the surface lurks a madman who tortures and kills for kicks.

Set in 1987, Psycho provides a relentless parody of the 80s materialistic lifestyle, a notion that seemed more original in 1991 – or even 2000. Watching Psycho in 2018, that side of things doesn’t seem especially fresh because so many other projects have taken a similar path.

Though not to the extremes of Psycho, as it casts the superficial nature of the 80s in a radical manner. To call Patrick and his pals the victims of narcissistic fetishism would be an understatement, as they fail to exist beyond their various consumer choices.

Much of Psycho plays up this element, especially in the movie’s first half. We get a darkly humorous scene in which Patrick and his colleagues peacock each other via their fancy business cards, and the movie follows a litany of other status symbols.

All of this serves to remind us of the shallow nature of the characters, as does the way in which Psycho literally treats the participants as interchangeable. Indeed, a major plot point follows the manner in which the different people resemble each other, a reminder that they’re sheep who look and act the same.

This feels fairly entertaining for a while, especially when we see the way in which self-absorption keeps characters from the truth. Patrick emits massive warning signs about his psychosis, but those around him focus so heavily on their own status and desires that his confessions bounce right off of them.

To call this heavy-handed would be an understatement, as Psycho feels about as subtle as the chainsaw Patrick wields against his victims. At no point does the film attempt a subdued or realistic portrait of a madman, and it’s a mistake to view this as a true horror movie, really, as the emphasis on satire and 80s mockery dominates.

Though those concepts don’t seem especially clever in 2018, Psycho still pulls them off with enough aplomb to make it work – mostly. The movie loses a fair amount of steam in its second half, though not so much that it becomes boring.

Psycho comes with a cast that now seems fairly astonishing. Via Bale, Reese Witherspoon and Jared Leto, we encounter three Oscar-winners, and we also find other notables such as Willem Dafoe, Justin Theroux, Samantha Mathis, Josh Lucas, Chloë Sevigny and Matt Ross.

That’s a pretty amazing roster, and all do well here. Bale’s American accent comes across as less than believable, but it works for the part, as Bale’s speech adds a sense of unctuous phoniness to the character.

Oft-reviled in 2000 and a cult classic in 2018, my feelings about American Psycho reside between those two poles. While I don’t think it turns into a great film, it does offer a provocative and amusing social satire.

Note that the Blu-ray provides an unrated version of Psycho. It makes minor alterations to the “R”-rated theatrical edition, all of which relate to a sex scene. Don’t expect a whole lot from them.

The Disc Grades: Picture D+/ Audio C+/ Bonus B

American Psycho appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. A fairly early Blu-ray, the transfer showed its age.

Sharpness became an inconsistent element. Close-ups provided decent clarity and accuracy, but other shots tended to appear soft and bland.

Bad decisions impacted the image, mainly via copious use of digital noise reduction, a factor that harmed fine detail and left skin tones with a flat, clay-like feel. Edge haloes also cropped up through the film and impacted definition as well.

Shimmering and jaggies didn’t turn into an issue, but a mix of print flaws cropped up through the movie. This meant specks and marks, nothing too serious but still a distraction.

Colors looked fairly bland, as the film’s earthy palette lacked much range. That said, some brighter tones – like reds and greens at a Christmas party – managed pretty decent impact.

Blacks felt moderately firm, whereas shadows looked a bit dense. This wasn’t the worst transfer I’ve seen, but it suffered from too many problems to merit a grade above a “D+”.

Though superior, the film’s DTS-HD HR 6.1 audio seemed fairly mediocre, mainly because it delivered a lackluster soundscape. For the most part, the track focused on music, as score and songs provided pretty good stereo spread.

Otherwise, the soundfield didn’t deliver a whole lot. It threw out ambience as well as a bit more activity during club scenes, but the imaging seemed pretty limited overall.

Audio quality was decent but not great. Music showed reasonable range but came across as a little wan, for the score and songs didn’t provide great punch.

Speech seemed pretty concise and natural, while effects offered good clarity. As noted, they didn’t do a whole lot, but they showed adequate clarity and accuracy. This all added up to a mostly average mix.

As we shift to extras, we find two separate audio commentaries, the first of which comes from co-writer/director Mary Harron. She provides a running, screen-specific look at the source novel and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, sets, locations and production design, costumes, cinematography, music, editing and related topics.

In other words, Harron touches on a wide variety of domains, and she does so well. She brings us a terrific assortment of details about the film and the decisions she made in this informative and enjoyable commentary.

For the second track, we hear from co-writer/actor Guinevere Turner. She delivers her own running, screen-specific discussion of her performance as well as the source’s adaptation, story/characters, and cast/performances.

Inevitably, Turner offers a less “complete” commentary than Harron, and she also repeats some of the director’s material. Still, Turner brings us an engaging enough chat. She doesn’t offer a ton of strong info but she turns this into an enjoyable listen.

A featurette called The 80s: Downtown runs 31 minutes, 46 seconds and presents comments from Turner, author/”former club kid” James St. James, crime journalist Gil Reavill, producer Mike Ryan, filmmaker Phil Hartman, columnist Michael Musto, critic/author Amy Taubin, critic Gavin Smith, and publisher Morgan Entrekin.

As implied by the title, “Downtown” examines New York City in the 1980s. Some of this connects to Psycho, but not a lot, so it seems vaguely unrelated to the film. It’s still moderately watchable, but it comes with an oddly specific POV that makes it less than enthralling.

Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of 12 minutes, 19 seconds. In an unusual presentation, we get some remarks from actors Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Justin Theroux, Reese Witherspoon, Samantha Mathis, and Jared Leto mixed in with the scenes. They tell us a few thoughts about the movie but don’t reveal much of interest.

As for the scenes themselves, they mainly offer minor character tidbits that seem decent but not remarkable. The best omission comes from one in which a supporting character shows self-awareness. It just doesn’t fit the movie’s theme and I’m glad it got the boot.

We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from Harron. She tells us about the sequences and sometimes – but not always – reveals why she left them out of the film. In general, she offers a nice collection of insights.

Also From Lionsgate gives us ads for Crank, The Descent, and Saw III. No trailer for Psycho appears here.

A darkly comedic look at the 80s and violence, American Psycho works in spurts. The movie doesn’t manage a consistent level of success, though it manages decent entertainment value most of the time. The Blu-ray comes with good supplements along with mediocre audio and poor picture quality. The movie needs an upgrade.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 6
2 3:
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