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Jon Amiel
Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Dermot Mulroney
Writing Credits:
Ann Biderman, David Madsen

An agoraphobic psychologist and a female detective must work together to take down a serial killer who copies serial killers from the past.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
Castillian Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 1.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 123 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 8/2/2011

• Audio Commentary with Director Jon Amiel
• Trailer


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Copycat [Blu-Ray] (1995)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 8, 2021)

With a release date a mere five weeks after the surprising hit Se7en, did 1995’s Copycat suffer by comparison? Perhaps.

Even though it mined similar territory, it made substantially less money at the box office and didn’t appear to inspire a whole lot of critical affection, either.

I seem to recall disappointment when I saw Copycat back in 1995. I loved Se7en and thought Copycat could offer another solid serial killer-related thriller, but I don’t remember much satisfaction from it. However, that was 26 years ago, so I figured I’d give it another shot.

Psychologist/serial killer expert Helen Hudson (Sigourney Weaver) comes with her own stalker: convicted murderer Daryll Lee Cullum (Harry Connick, Jr.), a man she helped put in jail. After a lecture, he traps her in a bathroom, kills a cop and torments her. This puts Hudson through a nervous breakdown and leaves her as an agoraphobic who abandons her trade and can’t leave her apartment.

In the meantime, a new serial killer stalks San Francisco, and the case attracts the attention of Inspector MJ Monahan (Holly Hunter) and her partner Inspector Reuben Goetz (Dermot Mulroney). They eventually receive assistance from an unlikely party: Helen Hudson.

Helen starts with anonymous calls to the police, but this graduates to in-person consultations. Hudson discerns that the murders are the work of a copycat, someone who imitates other famous serial killers. This leads to additional work with the cops – and additional threats to Hudson and the others.

Although both share stories about creative/unusual serial killers, Copycat and Se7en don’t have much else in common. Instead, Copycat borrows heavily from the template created by another successful movie in the genre: 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs.

The twist comes from the fact that our lead acts as the Hannibal Lecter of Copycat - minus the cannibalism, of course. Still, like the legendary Dr. Lecter, Helen gives us a brilliant psychologist whose insights help the authorities pursue a serial killer.

This feels like an interesting concept, as a story with a “heroic Lecter” offers intrigue. Unfortunately, Copycat never manages to do much with its themes or ideas.

Though her character clearly echoes Lecter, Weaver picks a role from her own filmography to inspire her performance as Helen: Ripley from the Alien franchise. While the roles themselves don’t seem all that similar, Weaver approaches them in the same way and even makes some pretty conscious references to her more famous character.

Still, Weaver does okay in the part, which I can’t say for Connick’s absurd performance. He brings an over the top turn as Cullum that provokes many more unintentional laughs than scares.

Even without Connick’s goofy work, Copycat falters because it simply feels too much like a TV movie. It lacks real drama or tension, and it tends to seem predictable.

It doesn’t take much effort to figure out who’ll live or die, and Copycat can’t compensate in other ways. Despite a good cast and an intriguing concept, the film fails to hit the mark.

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

Copycat appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.401 on this Blu-Ray Disc. While not bad, the transfer seemed fairly mediocre.

Overall sharpness was decent to good. Wider shots and interiors could be somewhat iffy, as those elements lacked great delineation. Still, the majority of the movie offered acceptable definition.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed no edge haloes. Source flaws also failed to become a factor, so I saw a speck or two but nothing more intrusive than that.

The film opted for a fairly natural palette that seemed lackluster. Colors were acceptably bright and full but not particularly strong; though the hues lacked prominent weaknesses, they simply didn’t come across as especially dynamic.

Blacks were reasonably dark and dense, but shadows tended to be a little murky. In the end, the image was good enough for a “C+”.

I didn’t find much to make the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack memorable either. The soundscape gave us a reasonable sense of place but lacked much to make it stand out as particularly involving.

We got good stereo score and a general sense of place without elements that added much else to the mix. The track focused mostly on the front speakers and used the surrounds as general reinforcement, so don’t expect much pizzazz here.

Audio quality was acceptable. Speech tended to be somewhat metallic, but the lines remained intelligible.

Music showed decent range and clarity, while effects had similar tones. Those elements could’ve been more impressive, but they displayed adequate accuracy and heft. Nothing here stood out as problematic, but nothing became impressive, either.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we find an audio commentary. Director Jon Amiel provides a running, screen-specific discussion of music and audio design, camerawork and visuals, cast, characters and performances, sets and locations, editing, and some other areas.

While Amiel provides decent info about the movie, the commentary lacks good flow. At times, he just narrates the film, and plenty of dead air occurs. Amiel does deliver occasional insights about the movie, so we learn a reasonable amount about it, but the commentary’s flaws make it a moderately frustrating listen.

Amusing goof: if I heard correctly, Amiel occasionally referred to the lead character as “Helen Hunter”. I don’t know if this was a slip due to the film’s casting of Holly Hunter, if it was a mistake related to the name “Helen Hunt”, both or neither, but it was funny to me.

In 1995, Copycat suffered because it compared poorly to the same era’s Se7en. In 2021, Copycat suffers because it offers a trite, lackluster movie. The Blu-ray brings decent picture and audio as well as a mediocre audio commentary. You can find much better serial killer films.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.75 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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