Wednesday, August 11, 2010

#50 - American Psycho - 2000

Its bluray week for me for my Big Fat Summer Movie Marathon and now past the half way marker I have reached movie #50, five o!! That's a lot of movies if you ask me and although its been difficult to get to this point in just 50 days I have done so and I have no doubt I will successfully see all the movies on my list in my allotted time just as I set out to do. This week being bluray week is something that I am very much looking forward too as I have some awesome films I will be watching and I started this week off with one I had never seen but had wanted to for awhile now, American Psycho. All I can say is WOW! Below is my detailed review.

American Psycho star's Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman and successful and materialistic businessman who is obsessed with wealth and material things. Inside the mind of this handsome, charming young man is a barbaric maniac with serial killer tendencies who wreaks havoc on unsuspecting victims in New York City. After doing some research about this film and Bale's role in particular it looks as though there was several different actors who could have very easily gotten the role of Patrick Bateman. It seems that Lionsgate originally had one director all set to direct this film but then switched and eventually switched back. At one point Oliver Stone was set to direct with Leonardo Dicaprio set to star but after that fell through the original director, Mary Herron was back on board and she brought back what was to be the original cast of including Bale.

Bale obviously was the main lead in this film and pretty much carried it. Others who were considered for that role were Bill Crudup, Jonathan Schaech, Jared Leto, and Edward Norton. After the novel in 1991 a couple of other directors wanted to do a black and white version of the film and some pretty big named actors were discussed for the role at that time including Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt. That obviously fell through as well and never came to fruition but boy either of them would have been great wouldn't they have been? This film did include some other big names most notable Reese Witherspoon and William Dafoe. Josh Lucas also starred in this one and I never really thought about it how this movie was actually released after Sweet Home Alabama which I first saw Lucas in. I thought this was one of his first films but obviously it was not. Chloe Sevigny, Jared Leto, and Samantha Mathis also starred to round out the most notable costars.

Back to Bale though. His performance was brilliant on so many levels. I really had never seen much of his work pre The Prestige or Dark Knight and I have yet to see Batman Begins but I really thought his performance in the Prestige was amazing. This was my first real glimpse of Bale as an actor and he was great. By the way that was a great film!! Then in the Dark Knight he was good as well but I couldn't get past the Clint Eastwood "go ahead make my day" type of voice throughout. That was weird. In this movie though like I said, brilliant! His mannerisms, voice overs, and incredibly creepy laughing scenes with that over zealous in your face smile only added to the mystique of Patrick Bateman. Even though others were considered and some biggies at that, I cant imagine anyone being more creepy than Bale. This to me was easily his best role ever!

There were a lot of different elements in this film that I thoroughly enjoyed. Lets start with the music. The soundtrack for this film would be one hell of a soundtrack that's for sure. Considering the setting for this movie was based in the 1980's in New York City the music that was chosen was great. I liked the classic music at the beginning of the film because it indicates to me that although there is a classical and elegant style of music playing it does not always indicate good times are to follow (i.e.: Ghost Ship). There was also some creepy classic music towards the end of the film as well. Other tracks in this film that were so oddly yet perfectly placed were Walking on Sunshine, Lady in Red, Stu Stu Studio, Simply Irresistible, Invisible Touch, and The Greatest Love of All. Yes I left one out and for good reason. Hip to Be Square. I need a whole new paragraph for this one.

Ill start with this, **spoiler alert**spoiler alert**. There you've been warned. The one scene to me in this film which is easily the best scene of the entire movie is when Bateman brings home to his place a drunken Paul Allen (Leto). It is obviously quite evident what is going to happen when we see newspapers on the ground and plastic covering the furniture surrounding where Paul is sitting. What I did not expect was Bateman's pure psychotic behavior to switch on like a light bulb. When he turned on the Huey Lewis and the News song "Hip to be Square" and started ranting about while dressing in his plastic coat and grabbing his ax I was just mesmerized. It got better. He moon walked then did a little shake and shimmy dance that I came to find out was actually and impromptu act by Bale and not even in the script. The entire scene was eerie in every sense of the word but just so darn cool you couldn't help but be blown away. Easily hands down the best scene of the movie.

The setting for this film was New York City in the 1980's like I mentioned before so that was pretty cool as well. I mean after all it was the story of a wealthy businessman and there were talks of wall street throughout the film so where else could it have been shot. Some of the vintage things I found pretty cool in this movie were the portable cassette player Bateman was wearing at one point, the old Buick limo's, and the extra large video camera Bateman had in his apartment. These were all reminders of things that were popular back in that day and age and even though it may not seem that long ago its weird to realize that the year 1980 was 30 years ago, wow!

Considering the brutal nature that this film has there is not actually a ton of killing that we actually see visually. It is the anticipation and after effects of what takes place that is more disturbing. For instance when Bateman kills Paul Allen we don't see the Ax ever make contact with him, we only see his blood splatter all over Bateman's face and the Allen's body on the ground afterwards. A similar scene takes place when Bateman kills another girl in his bed as one of the hookers see's blood soaking the sheets and it is evident that Bateman is stabbing the girl with some sort of object but still no visuals. It is when the hooker tries to escape that we see more after effects visuals like the bloodied and beaten dead bodies hanging in plastic bags in a closet. This sequence in particular is quite dramatic since Bateman is chasing the hooker while naked with blood splatter on his body all while holding a chainsaw. The culmination of the scene is Bateman dropping the chainsaw down a flight of stairs and killing the hooker.

Other scenes that I enjoyed were the beginning sequence of Bateman talking to himself while removing a facial mask, the quick clip of the blonde model's head sitting in Bateman's refrigerator, and Bateman's confession phone call to his lawyers that included his spouting out ever so casually that he "ate some brains and tried to cook it". Very Hannibal Lecterish huh? All in all this was an excellent film and much much better than I thought. With the music, the 80's scene of New York City, and the deranged lunacy that was Patrick Bateman this movie was well worth the watch and a perfect way to start of blu ray week and commemorate the 50th movie I've watched! I give this one a firm A!

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