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American Psycho

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 98 mins . R . PAL


I don’t know what all the fuss was about with this film. As far as I could figure it out, this is simply the heart warming tale of a boy and his axe. And his nailgun…and chainsaw…and…well, okay, maybe it’s not so heart warming. In fact, you tend to feel a little detached and remote from all the goings-on in this film, much like main character Patrick Bateman as he goes about his grisly deeds.

Bateman works for a Wall Street firm and is being consumed by the superficiality of his colleagues and his life. They put too much importance on getting a reservation at Dorsia which is the latest trendy restaurant and who has the most stylish business card. These are the new tools to measure themselves against each other, and the competition is getting tougher. His successful life is becoming more and more meaningless and he knows there is something wrong with him.
"Try getting a reservation at Dorsia now YOU F**KING STUPID BASTARD!"
As it all starts to become too much to cope with, he snaps and finally lets rips with his inner demon that has its own way of dealing with things, namely the aforementioned axe, chainsaw, nailgun etc etc.

Christian Bale turns in a comic book performance as Bateman, coming off as a young Gordon Geko crossed with Jim Carrey meets Charles Manson. He probably does the best he can with the material, easily playing cool calm and detached with his role. The story is played out a little too much like a book narrative to work totally successfully as a movie, but it has an independent spirit which is determined to create a slightly skewed vision for a story which is probably unfilmable, but interesting to watch anyway.


You know well by now that Columbia TriStar are well regarded for the consistent quality of their releases. There is no exception here, so that although it’s not quite their best, it’s still very good and sits happily in their stable of releases.

We have a picture that comfortably renders the clinical sets of sterile minimalist whiteness such as Bateman’s apartment with ease, with all its hard edges and flat lifeless walls. Then, just as easily it paints the dark shadowy clubs and restaurants with warms colours and rich enveloping blacks. This alternating use of colouring works well within the film and also on the dvd, moving from warm to cold as the story and settings play out.

As can be expected, it has a very clean image mostly free from artifacts of any kind (except for some shimmering on venetian blinds) and the detail is presented with a pleasant film like quality.


This doesn’t really have anything in it to show off a full 5.1 channels to its best, but at least the quality of what we do get is good. The audio sounds like a minimalist approach has been taken with it, so although it is clear and defined, it doesn’t layer to much upon itself to create a dense soundstage.

Vocals are a little chesty but at times it assisted in making dialogue a little clearer. The soundstage is predominately front heavy, but the rears do lend a little support in ambient effects and the occasional directional steering.

And then there’s the soundtrack. The songs do sound about as good as you’ll ever hear them outside of a music dvd, and are used well throughout the story, but I guarantee you’ll never think of “Hip To Be Square” and “Sussudio” the same again.


Not much, suprisingly. Although I would have thought a directors commentary would have been included for this film, we don’t get one. More’s the shame, too. A discussion on the thoughts behind the story, style and content of this film would have been fascinating. Anyway, on to what we do get.

Probably the most notable of the few items is the isolated score of the way too 80’s soundtrack. Damn! Did we ever really like this stuff back then? Alright, I admit that I did like some of it, but not bloody Whitney Houston for gods sake. Her music makes me want to take an axe to myself. As always though, I encourage and applaud the inclusion of isolated soundtracks, so a thumbs up here.

The featurette, although a tad short (as most of these things are) is still welcome on disc. Obviously it doesn’t go into much detail (infact it’s easily the most lacking in info I’ve seen yet) and is little more than a bad promo piece, but every little bit is welcome when it doesn’t interfere with the visual quality of the film itself.

The single theatrical trailer is good and the talent profiles very brief, and that’s it for the extras on this single layer disc.


I think you need to make up your own mind whether or not to see films such as American Psycho. Some people react badly because they can’t admit that what they see is a little too close to home, others react well because they can detach themselves from any emotional involvement in the story and just enjoy it on its entertainment values alone.

Personally, I feel that no harm comes from watching a film with an open mind and only then forming your true opinion of it whether it be good or bad. At least you gave it a chance to present its side of the story, so to speak.

As a dvd, it does everything right with the exception of being a little feature lacking, but then most people will definitely be buying this on the strength of their opinions of the movie only, and should still consider it a worthwhile purchase.

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      And I quote...
    "I have a feeling that quite a lot of you are going to feel you have something in common with Patrick Bateman. I think I do."
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
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          Sony 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB930
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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