Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage, ChloŽ Sevigny
Director: Mary Harron
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
The Bret Easton Ellis novel American Psycho, a dark, violent satire of the "me" culture of Ronald Reagan's 1980s, is certainly one of the most controversial books of the '90s, and that notoriety fueled its bestseller statu... more »
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Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO
Reviewed on 10/14/2015...
Yep they're out there! The news all too often reflects how twisted some men's minds can become (and most are men!) This film shows how good an actor Christian Bale is (American Hustle, The Dark Knight).
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sharp satire of yuppies
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 10/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No doubt about it, Mary Harrion's "American Psycho" is definitely not for every taste and audience demographic. The good news is, perhaps, that the film is nowhere near as gruesome and gory as both its subject matter and its controversial nature would lead one to believe. In fact, its tone of ironic comic detachment helps to de-emphasize the more sordid aspects of the material and to instead highlight the film's bitingly satiric message. Set in the mid-1980's, "American Psycho" casts a scathing eye on the then-brand new, up-and-coming group of 20-something executives known as "yuppies." Patrick Bateman, the psycho of the title, is a man who literally seems to have everything - stunning good looks, a fantastic physique, a beautiful fiancé, a diploma from Harvard and a successful career as a Wall Street executive. Yet, alone of the young men with whom he consorts, Patrick flatly admits to us in voice-over narration that he is literally an empty-suit - that his perfectly maintained outer appearance, seemingly well-ordered social routine and empty, superficial personal relationships merely mask the moral emptiness that lurks at the core of his soul. Much of the complexity of Patrick's character comes from the fact that he seems, paradoxically, to be both obsessed with the idea of conforming to the values of the world he lives in, and, at the same time, being strangely conscious of their unreality and meaninglessness. Thus, we see him becoming almost emotionally unglued because he fears he will not be able to reserve the proper table at a posh upscale restaurant or because he feels that one of his corporate buddies has a more impressive looking business card than he does. Much of Patrick's madness has its roots in the kind of obsessive-compulsive paranoia that arises from the modern insistence that life should and, indeed, can be converted into a perfect, problem-free existence if one just has enough money and a sufficient amount of the right "stuff" to make it that way. Frankly admitting that he feels no emotional attachment to any other human beings, Patrick is thereby free to channel his madness into its ultimate anti-social, taboo-shattering shape and form: serial killing. Thus, as days turn to nights, Patrick begins to rack up his victims and potential victims - a homeless man, assorted prostitutes, an ex-girlfriend, an unctuous business associate, even some policemen who get wise to his activities later in the film. Luckily for the squeamish among us, far more of the film's running time is devoted to a comic rather than thriller mode. The brittle, dryly humorous Mary Harrion/Guinevere Turner screenplay mines the corporate world milieu and the twisted rantings of a values-free mind for all their black comedy potential. Christian Bale brings a remarkable subtlety to a touchy role, managing to seem coolly alluring, chillingly detached, touchingly pathetic and wryly amusing all at the same time. Special credit should go to the stark, almost antiseptic look the filmmakers achieve through the art direction and set design, a look that matches in visual terms the moral and emotional emptiness of the characters and their world. Much was made of the anti-woman tone of the novel at the time of its initial release. Perhaps because the writers and the director are themselves women, the movie seems to have toned down that aspect quite a bit. Indeed, as in a movie like "In the Company of Men," we find ourselves not so much appalled as sadly bemused by the vehemently anti-women comments uttered by Patrick and his cronies because we see what shallow losers these men really are. Harrion and Turner obviously know whereof they speak.To reiterate, "American Psycho" may not be everyone's cup of cinematic tea, but those looking for a sharp little satire of modern American life will find some definite rewards."
"I think my mask of sanity is about to slip."
Dave | Tennessee United States | 11/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on Bret Easton Ellis' controversial novel American Psycho, this film tells the story of an 80's yuppie named Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale) who works on Wall Street by day and kills people by night. Like the often misunderstood novel, the film is more of a dark social comedy than a real horror story. Bateman dresses and talks like all the other wealthy, young Wall Street crowd, and thus mistaken identity plays a big part in his getting away with gruesome murders again and again. Bateman's own grip on reality begins to blur over time and at various times throughout the movie it's quite obvious that Patrick's view of reality is a sick, homicidal dream of endless torture and killing. Even when Bateman confesses at one point, no one listens or seems to care. Everyone has their own agenda and the main concern of Bateman's friends is which extravagant restaurant to dine at next, or getting the latest and greatest business card to impress one another.
Casting Christian Bale was a brilliant choice by director Mary Harron, who almost got fired from the project because of not choosing Leonardo DiCaprio for the starring role. I honestly don't think anyone could've captured Patrick Bateman's personality more flawlessly than Bale, who gave an extraordinary, chilling performance. And casting Reese Witherspoon as the prissy, bubble-brained Evelyn, who's engaged to Bateman but knows nothing of his psychotic, homicidal behavior, was a perfect choice. Much of the dialogue in the film is taken directly from Ellis' book, and the horrific violence of the book was toned down considerably, with much of it taking place off camera. Many viewers don't seem to appreciate the frequent humor in American Psycho, such as the various times Bateman says crazy things like, "I'm into murders and executions" that no one seems to hear. And his philosophical ramblings about the music of Huey Lewis & the News, Phil Collins, and Whitney Huston are hysterical!
The new "Killer Collector's Edition" is a mixed bag as far as worthwhile special features go. The documentary "From Book to Screen" is in depth but instead of having new interviews with the stars there are mostly boring interviews with film critics. Plus, it seemed like there was way too much coverage of the novel and very little on the actual shooting of the film. There's a lame video essay read by some singer and a documentary on the `80s. Thankfully, there are several deleted scenes (with optional director's commentary) as well as several humorous trailers. My favorite special feature (and probably the main reason why you should by this edition) is the director's commentary which tells lots of entertaining behind the scenes info. And, the picture and sound quality are better than ever! American Psycho IS NOT a film for everyone, but for those who enjoy intelligent satires with a little horror mixed in, this modern classic is a definite must for your DVD collection! And before you judge or even watch this movie, you should read Ellis' novel to appreciate the whole, uncensored story.
"I like to dissect girls. Did you know I'm utterly insane?" -P. Bateman"
Devil in a Pinstripe Suit.
The Groove | Boston, MA | 09/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Whether we know it or not, many of us have co-workers who are just like Patrick Bateman. On the outside they exude confidence, style, and success, and they know exactly what to say and when to say it. But on the inside lurks a fragmented soul ready to snap at any given moment. Welsh actor Christian Bale, in one of the best performances you will ever see, brings to life Patrick Bateman, the Wall Street yuppie who works at Pierce & Pierce by day and is a serial killer by night. In adapting the controversial and unpleasant book by Bret Easton Ellis, director Mary Harron purges much of the violence and misogyny that made the novel one of the most despised and misunderstood pieces of literature in the last 20 years. What remains is the book's twisted sense of humor. This isn't a slasher film but rather a clever satire on the yuppie lifestyle of the late 1980s. Speaking in a pitch-perfect American accent that recalls a game-show host, Bale perfectly embodies his character physically and emotionally. His performance makes you simultaneously laugh at, pity, and fear Bateman. Jared Leto is also good in his brief role as Paul Allen (in the book it's Paul Owen; why his name is changed in the film, I don't know); Chloë Sevigny also stands out as Patrick's timid assistant, and Reese Witherspoon shines as his clueless and self-absorbed fiancee. This is the unedited version, which has a few additional flashes of nudity in one of the sex scenes. The difference is so minimal, you'd hardly notice it, showing how uptight the MPAA can get when it comes to editing films. Nonetheless, "American Psycho" is a disturbing but clever film that was one of the best of 2000. It comes highly recommended."