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Psycho

Vince Vaughn , Anne Heche , Gus Van Sant    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)

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Numerous critics had already sharpened their knives even before Gus Van Sant's shot-for-shot color "re-creation" of the 1960 black-and-white Hitchcock classic was released, chiding the Good Will Hunting director for defiling hallowed ground. This intriguing cinematic curiosity, though, is hardly as sacrilegious as critics would lead you to believe. If anything, Van Sant doesn't take enough liberties with his almost slavish devotion to the material, now updated with modern references. At times, you wish Van Sant would cut loose with a little spontaneity, a little energy, a little something. Unfortunately, when he does venture outside Hitchcock's parameters, with inserted shots of storm clouds during the murder sequences, it's to little effect. Granted, he liberally splashes color throughout the film (especially in the case of the infamous shower scene), and this is a great-looking movie, but in his obsession with adding a new physical dimension to the film, there's little insight into these characters that Hitchcock hadn't already provided. Vince Vaughn, a robotic and giggly Norman, doesn't crawl under your skin the way boy-next-door Anthony Perkins did, and Anne Heche is admirable if not very sympathetic in the Janet Leigh role. Van Sant does score a minor coup, though, in his casting of the supporting roles: Julianne Moore provides a welcome shot of energy as Heche's irritable and curious sister, William H. Macy is a perfect small-time detective, Viggo Mortensen is studly enough to make you understand why Heche would want to run away with him, and James LeGros walks away with his one brief scene as a used car salesman. And Danny Elfman's gorgeous rerecording of Bernard Herrmann's score is a potent supporting character unto itself. Students and fans of the original film will get a kick out of the modern revisions, but don't expect anything of Hitchcockian caliber; watch it for the sum of its intriguing parts, but not the whole. --Mark Englehart

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This isn't a remake. It's a tribute!!! June 29 2004
Format:DVD
Loads of people are slating this movie for being made at all considering the original was perfect in so many ways and constantly ask why did they do it?
Gus Van Sant isn't remaking Psycho here he's doing what is his version of a tribute. If you go to the film's official website there is a whole section about why they decided to remake the film. Many people said the reason they did this movie was so we'd all have a version of Psycho that is in colour. So why not release the original in coloured format? Well that's because the film works as a black and white piece and turning it into colour would probably ruin it's effect. The classic shots would just end up looking tacky! Gus Van Sant states he isn't trying to make a film which would try and sqaush the original because that just can't be done! He's simply creating a film which would be available to a young audience the way the original Psycho was when it was first released because a group of teenagers would rather see a film with good effects and currently popular stars right! Not watch a black and white film with a cast that is mostly dead now. He wants to keep the memory of Psycho going and by doing that has released this film.
A lot of people also criticise Vince Vaughn for not playing Norman Bates the way Anthony Hopkins did. Vince clearly states on the website that when he read the book he realized that Anthony had portrayed the character in a completely different way. A better way! He didn't want to risk trying to do that so portrayed Norman the way he is written in the original book. Also personally I thought Anne Heche was great as Marion! Plus Alfred Hitchcock's daughter worked on this movie a lot and she says that her father would be extremely proud and flattered that somebody is remaking his movie.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Psycho June 3 2004
By Mac
Format:DVD
I just finished watching the remake of Alfred Hitchcock's classic Psycho.This movie is totally and utterly pointless.Anne Heche is the only thing that makes this film any good.She does a great performance.First of all this film is exactly the same as the original shoot to shoot.The only difference is it is in color and has different actors and acteresses.The director must have been watching the original in the back while directing at the same time.I think that it's nice they tried but you can't remake PSYCHO.They should have at least tried to make it their own version.Thumbs up to the actors but thumbs down to originality.The man playing Norman Bates does a good job but you can't be as good as the original Bates.If there was an award for a film that was a remake and exactly like the original then Psycho(1998) would be a nominee and winner.If you like this movie then you should definetly like the original if you haven't already seen it.Don't waste your time if you've already seen the original.I just wish this one could have made it, but maybe there will be another remake that's better.
"So much of Van Sant's 'new' version of the classic remains the same that you sit there shaking your head, mumbling, why, oh, why?"
-- Peter Brunette, FILM.COM
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3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing New May 9 2004
Format:DVD
Though no worse on several levels than the original, much-overrated "Psycho," Gus Van Sant's remake offers little that is new. Thuggish Vince Vaughn takes up the reins as Norman Bates--he's about as interesting to watch as the stuffed birds in the motel office--and pixie Anne Heche--who is more talented than most people give her credit for--gets to be his first on-screen victim. The comparisons to Alfred Hitchcock's "masterpiece" are not only obvious but required, as Van Sant, a bit too lovingly, literally re-creates nearly every scene, and Danny Elfman's score raids Bernard Herrmann's. Despite all the technical attention, though, there's something desperately missing from this version . . . perhaps the casual, plasticky times in which we live in seem rather "hollow" compared to the "grown up" 1960s in which the original was set, making the style of this film more campy than creepy. In an age when sex and violence are common commodities, even the subtext of the infamous shower scene probably gets lost among viewers used to seeing a 14-year-old's conception of such things. By the time blank-slate Jullianne Moore arrives, much of the momentum from comparing this version to the first is gone, making the rest of the film an exercise rather than entertainment.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Psyched March 23 2004
Format:DVD
As regular readers of my reviews already know, I became interested in the films of Alfred Hitchcock, after studying about him in film school. When I heard that director Gus Van Sant was doing a "remake" of Psycho, at first I thought "why mess with perfection"? But then, curiousity got the better of me, and I decided to see for myself, whether or not it worked. I went to the theater in '98 and felt disappointed but not as though sacreligion had been committed. That said though I hadn't seen it since until now. I decided to give it another look, along with the bonus material, on the Collector's Edition DVD.
Marion Crane (Anne Heche) is a typical office working girl, tired of having to steal away fleeting moments to meet her lover, Sam Loomis, (Viggo Mortensen) who cannot get married because most of his money is tied up in alimony payments. One Friday afternoon, Marion's employer asks her to take $400,000 in cash to a local bank for deposit. Desperate to make a change in her life, she impulsively leaves town with the money, determined to start a new life with Sam. As night falls and a torrential rain obscures the road ahead of her, she finds herself exhausted from the long drive and the stress of her criminal act. She decides to spend the night at the desolate Bates Motel. The motel is run by Norman Bates, (Vince Vaughn) a very peculiar, yet very friendly young man. Little does Marion know, Norman is hiding a few family secrets. After he fixes her a light dinner, Marion goes back to her room and decides to take a shower...
The film may be a 95% shot for shot clone of the original, but the problems with this version have nothing to do with that really.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Performance Vince
I love the cast list in this movie. It was also directed to match the original movie scene by scene. Check it out! Read more
Published 5 months ago by shoozies
1.0 out of 5 stars I think I'm losing my mind
When asked why he made a shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," Gus Van Sant reportedly said "so no one else would have to. Read more
Published 6 months ago by E. A Solinas
3.0 out of 5 stars The original is better than the remake
Even I saw the remake version in the theatrers and on VHS tape, this remake is somewhat different fromthe original version. Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2010 by Kevin Barton
5.0 out of 5 stars Psycho (1998)
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho made an impact on all audiences around the world. Director Gus Van Sant is here to give you this word-for-word remake to make you forever take showers... Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by Chad DeFeo
2.0 out of 5 stars Why?
Why? Why? WHY? Why remake a classic horror film? That means remaking it with exactly the same screenshots, lines, right down to the same camara angles used in the original. Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by Broken_Harlequin
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This Movie!!!!!!!
This movie was one of the best I hav ever seen. It is way better than the original. You have to see it. Vince Vaughn is the BEST Norman Bates. Read more
Published on May 30 2004 by "bammargeragirl62789"
3.0 out of 5 stars So yeah, I enjoyed the remake!
Personally, this movie is worth the effort for the cast. Some great people are in here - in fact most of the main players are in my "favourites" list. Read more
Published on May 1 2004 by Ziggy Spaceboy
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the original
Boy this movie puts Hitchcock and Bloch to shame. Vince Vaughn's accurate portrayal of Norman Bates should garner oscar attention, some great ensemble acting by all. Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2004 by J. Collins
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Horrible!!!!!!
The 1960 version of Psycho is one of my favorite movies of all time, but this remake is pitiful. This was seriously one of the worst movies ever made. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2004
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