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American Psycho [Import]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage, Chloë Sevigny
  • Directors: Mary Harron
  • Writers: Guinevere Turner, Mary Harron, Bret Easton Ellis
  • Producers: Alessandro Camon, Chris Hanley, Christian Halsey Solomon, Clifford Streit
  • Format: Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • Release Date: Sept. 5 2000
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (259 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004U8H4

Product Description

Amazon.ca

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 status. This smart, savvy adaptation by Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol) may be able to ride the crest of the notoriety; prior to the film's release, Harron fought a ratings battle (ironically, for depictions of sex rather than violence), but at the time the director stated, "We're rescuing [the book] from its own bad reputation." Harron and co-screenwriter Guinevere Turner (Go Fish) overcome many of the objections of Ellis's novel by keeping the most extreme violence offscreen (sometimes just barely), suggesting the reign of terror of yuppie killer Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) with splashes of blood and personal souvenirs. Bale is razor sharp as the blank corporate drone, a preening tiger in designer suits whose speaking voice is part salesman, part self-help guru, and completely artificial. Carrying himself with the poised confidence of a male model, he spends his days in a numbing world of status-symbol one-upmanship and soul-sapping small talk, but breaks out at night with smirking explosions of homicide, accomplished with the fastidious care of a hopeless obsessive. The film's approach to this mayhem is simultaneously shocking and discreet; even Bateman's outrageous naked charge with a chainsaw is most notable for the impossibly polished and gleaming instrument of death. Harron's film is a hilarious, cheerfully insidious hall of mirrors all pointed inward, slowly cracking as the portrait becomes increasingly grotesque and insane. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

Prior to the theatrical release of American Psycho, director Mary Harron agreed to shorten one scene in order to avoid the dreaded NC-17 rating. The controversial scene--in which Christian Bale's character engages in wild sexual activity with two prostitutes--has been restored to its original pre-release length for the film's unrated release on VHS and DVD. Apart from the shortening of this scene, the R-rated and unrated versions of the film are identical.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. L. Palmer on Dec 29 2004
Format: DVD
Perhaps it is my dark humour, but I've always enjoyed this film. Never take it too seriously, however. If you're looking for a dark satire about Wall Street and corporate America in the '80s, you've got it. Plus, Christian Bale is beyond excellent. Rarely have I been disappointed with any of his films. Reese Witherspoon's character is a bit like her Legally Blonde one later, just slightly less ditzy (and far less pink).
Worth at least one watch, but I'd recommend buying it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Driscoll on July 11 2007
Format: DVD
Mary Harron's film is a depiction of the Bret Easton Ellis (Rules of Attraction, Less Than Zero) controversial novel of the same name. It's only significant difference is that it leaves out some of the more gruesome scenarios in Ellis's book. I'm not sure whether that's a drawback or not but there was some rage missing in our killer's actions. The film operates as a first person narrative and contains the same kind of oddball combinations of extreme violence and dark humor. This kind of humor is exactly my kind of humor, so I laughed at American Psycho throughout. Mary Harron also seemed to recognize that the novel was old enough that she should approach the film as a period piece and she executes this well. Everything about this movie feels like the late 1980s. She creates a virtual remake of the novel as I pictured it in my head years ago. From what I understand Harron also fought hard to keep the role of Patrick Bateman (the title character and the story's protagonist) in the capable hands of Christian Bale. Bale is outstanding here and Harron really seems to be a directorial force with her actors.

Patrick Bateman is a 27 year-old wealthy and successful investor. He is clearly a product of a privileged and ultra-competitive background. We follow him around and listen to all of his observations of the world he lives in. This is of course the yuppie culture of the 1980s. Perhaps Bateman is the extreme yuppie and a harbinger to the ills of this socially produced subgroup and the culture they exist in. As it turns out his world features the substantiality that he is indeed a murderer. Unfortunately no one seems to notice this, despite his blatant and at times hilariously dry claims that he is a psycho. Evidence of his murders also seemed to disappear quite easily.
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By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Aug. 2 2008
Format: DVD
My evaluation of this monstrously nasty film is that the director Harron is on another one of her grand experiments with modern filming. This time she's found another questionable American archetype - the successfully wealthy, greedy, amoral investor banker from Wall Street - and elevated him in god-like fashion, only to have him ruthlessly destroy himself by yielding to the worst vice possible: a serious lack of respect for life. How she contrives this story makes the movie worth watching. Everything in the story line is a metaphor for what has gone wrong in the Age of Reaganomics, where the lust for money is truly in Harron's mind the root of all evil. We get to see Patrick Bateman, at the pinacle of power, portrayed as someone who can order people around, assume different identifies, flaut rules, and dispense with life in whatever fashion he chooses. His lifestyle, right from the start of the film, is so deranged and outrageous that the viewer can't help but offer a helpless laugh at such homicidal insanity. Call it gallows humor but as a device it helps introduce the viewer to the subject of gratuitious violence in a disarming way. While every decent person should be outrightly disgusted at such fiendishly, indecent behaviour on the big screen, some of us aren't. There is a part of us - the soft underbelly of our existence - that wants to laugh, and that's okay. In Harron's mind, this twisted film says as much about how people react to violence as about the untold misery its heaps on society. As Bateman goes on his homicidal mission to answer to the uncontrolled urge to kill, we get to see how the world around him responds. Now, I found that lack of care, concern, and compassion to be the real issue in this flick.Read more ›
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By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 23 2007
Format: DVD
I've finally caught a full viewing of the "American Psycho" because every time it came on TV I would usually catch it towards the end then turn it off. First I must say I found the title somewhat misleading as I fully expected it to be another slasher flick, but it's actually a psychological thriller with a dash of satire.

Christian Bale, as Patrick Bateman, gives a striking performance as a young, wealthy Wall Street yuppie, representing corporate America in the 1980's, where he and his peers are obsessed with getting into the trendiest restaurants and which of them possess the finest business cards. They all have the same haircut and wear the same business suits, rendering them nearly interchangeable and making for frequent cases of mistaken identity.

Bateman, whose idea of foreplay is pontificating on the merits of his favorite 1980's songs, is disgusted with his fellow man's lust for material status and conformity. Lacking emotion, he acts on impulse and murders co-workers and clueless prostitutes while maintaining the facade of shallow, materialistic conformity. Unfortunately, the shallow lifestyle is the very thing that leaves him feeling empty inside and provokes the killings.

The conclusion of the film leaves it to the audience to determine whether Bateman actually murdered anyone or if he merely fantasized the killings. Perhaps it was yet another case of mistaken identity, one which allowed Bateman to get away with murder. Of course American Psycho II (which I saw before part one) answers the question of whether or not he was a murderer. The movie was violent, but not as much of the book. However, I think blood and gore would have taken away from the overall satire of the film by turning it into a campy horror movie.
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