It's a remake of a Classic. A frame for frame remake, in color, with 90's actors, set in the 1990's yet still feels like 1960.
When word of a remake first made it into the air, there was uproar from all angles. How could someone even think of remaking a masterpiece, repainting the Mona Lisa or even re-spreading the vegemite on my toast this morning? I mean, I did a good job and was very impressed. Sure it was black but I'm not after a colored version of the ever reliable vegemite. You've probably guessed I didn't really enjoy myself this time around. Well read on anyways.
Marion Crane (Anne Heche) has been given the responsibility of banking $400,000 for a wealthy business man. She takes the afternoon off to do the banking and get home for some rest and relaxation but the money in her hand-bag is just crying out for her to skip the state. She does so and ends up at the bates Motel to stay overnight.
In the original, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) sent chills through us as we watched the mind of a psychotic killer take the lives of those who stayed in the almost deserted Bates Motel. In the remake, Vince Vaughn does a great job, maybe even better, of portraying the disturbed man who takes a liking to Marion with a slightly altered peep-hole scene.
Needless to say, for those who have seen the original, Marion doesn't ever leave the hotel opting to slump on the cold white floor of her bathroom with some deep knife wounds in her back.
Her sister Lila (Julianne Moore) is now worried as it's been a week since she was last seen and the owner of the money has now hired a private invesigator (William H. Macy) to find her. His poking and prodding at the Bates Motel sees him suffer a similar fate.
The mystery disappearances at the Bates Motel causes Lila to investigate with her sisters boyfriend. What they find is something a little more disturbing than a crazed man.
Another flawless transfer from Columbia. The first few chapters of the movie are a dull brown, intentionally. From there, the closer we get to the Bates motel, the more saturation we encounter.
One of the stand-out scenes is ofcourse the shower scene. Here we are blinded by the bright white bathroom, a brilliant contrast to the deep red blood.
Shadow detail is fine, image detail is very defined and color and saturation are just right. If ever there was going to be a color version of Psycho, this is how it would've looked.
The only gripe I had is that there was a little edge whitening in some scenes. Most noticeable when a pole or a person was standing in front of a sky background, you can see a fine white outline around the object. This is usually attributed to edge enhancing but I'm not sure if it is exactly that.
Ok, overall a decent soundtrack but at times was a little quieter than the norm. The music is the main attraction in the audio and it is a very haunting soundtrack at times. It's clearly been remastered for the 90's 5.1 standard and really shines at times by being alot more dynamic.
Surrounds are used extensively but it's not really a surround movie. There a times when there is no ambience, times when there is perfect ambience and times when there is 90's ambience - very artificial surrounds, particularly in the final scenes when we're in the psychiatric ward with Norman Bates.
It's a shame that a great movie now has a re-done version to take the shine off it. The only thing that saves this dvd are the extras and the fact that they remained true to the original script and style.
Their main reason for doing this remake is to reach a 90's audience who haven't seen the original. There's a cheaper and more respectful way to do so - re-issue the original in a new print. Plain and Simple.