Tuesday, October 05, 2010

American Psycho

(2000) **

American Psycho is a glimpse into the life of Patrick Bateman, a wealthy man who works (or sits in an office not working) for his father's Wall Street company. Patrick is a psychotic narcissist with some major obsessive compulsive tendencies and a penchant for violent killings. He is also very competitive with his colleagues when it comes to business cards and restaurant reservations.

I feel dirty after watching this film--and its not because of the blood and sex and violence. Those scenes were pretty fun. It's more the fact that I've only ever heard people sing this films praises, and I just kinda thought it sucked. I wanted to like it. I really really wanted to like it--but I just didn't. I only squirmed during one scene involving a cat and an atm. I found the flick's inconsistencies distracting and they disrupted my ability to find the character believable or get into the movie. Hell I was bored during a number of parts--and who wants to be bored in a psycho thriller horror flick? So after years and years of hearing how freaking wonderful American Psycho is, I feel dirty and wrong for my reaction to it: purely disappointed.

Then again, maybe people just liked Christian Bale's body. I know that was one of the redeeming qualities for me.

yup, pretty hot

So how do I break down this movie?

One star for the months of preparation Christian Bale did to get his body into that shape. Plus another star for the blood, sex and violence, minus one star for the stupid perfectly timed chainsaw hitting the target multiple stairs below. Plus one star for the intense business card competitions. Plus one star for the cast. Minus two stars for the boring heavy handed commentary about 80's wall street greed and self absorption that made me regret my time spend watching the film. Plus one more star for the other redeeming features including how Patrick's character imparted some major wisdom to the audience: a good work out routine and beauty regimen is imperative. Also important, good taste in music (Patrick likes Huey Lewis and the News, Genesis, and Whitney Houston as they make a great soundtrack for murder), and keeping your torture and killing utensils neat and orderly and how to cover furniture with plastic sheeting before any major blood letting and good taste in music. Leaving what I consider to be a generous 2 stars.
even then, he wanted to be Batman


Catfreeek said...

Welcome Tami! Excellent review, I loved your breakdown to the 2 star rating. I am so looking forward to reading more from you. Great stuff!

JPX said...

I second that welcome, Tami, terrific review! I completely agree with you. I read the book and didn't enjoy it any more than the film. After hearing Bale's rant on the Terminator movie set I officially can't stand him now. I look forward to reading more of your stuff!

AC said...

welcome, tami!

sorry to hear this movie's so disappointing! i'd always heard good things too, but i'll steer clear (unless i need an eyeful of buff christian bale- could happen).

Landshark said...

Good stuff, Tami. I think my wife hated this book.

And JPX, I'm with you on the Bale hate. He's in Mel Gibson territory.

50PageMcGee said...

hey tammers! welcome to the monkey house.

american psycho is the only thing by Ellis, i've read. i think it's an effective book. for one thing, the erotic writing, right up until things go bananas, is pretty hot. you're there, you're reading, you're getting into it...

then things go bananas, and you're all worked up into a heat when something really bad happens. and there's an uncomfortable short circuiting that happens in that moment. you're not prepared for it by any kind of buildup of suspense. it's all erotic, erotic, erotic, and then bang, you get hit with something really gross. and in that time before you lose your stiffie (dudes) or, whatever it is that happens with women -- your tits deflate or whatever -- you're thinking, "i still have leftover springage and something wrong just happened. does that make me crazy too?"

it's, i think, a completely intentional mixing-up that ellis does, and if you're not on board with the concept, you'll just feel toyed with, rudely. and you'll hate the book for it.

the movie just doesn't do that.

it's more straight black comedy. the business card stuff and the extended paeans to Sussudio are cute, but they're all taken from the book, and there's more detail there.

anyway, i think it's rad that you came on board and i'm looking forward to more reviews from you.

Octopunk said...

Hey Tami! Excellent start. I understand your feelings of dirtiness and I think that means you're a true Horrorthonner on the first go. Wouldn't have it any other way.

You know, I never got around to hearing the Bale Terminator rant and I think I'm better off. I like him as an actor.

As for American Psycho, I didn't like the book that much and the movie wasn't as good.

Whirlygirl said...

Welcome Tami! Awesome review. Loved your rating breakdown as well.

I've never read the book, but have seen the movie...forever ago. I remember liking it and being disgusted. That was way back before I watched a ton of horror. I really can't even remember a thing about the film and I also wouldn't be surprised if I hated it now. I'd say I'd watch it, but I've got my hands full with the French.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Welcome aboard Tami(Trevor's friend)! Great review. I didn't care for this movie either. I found it mean spirited and unsatisfying.

50 Page - "tits deflate"? That's the funniest thing I've ever heard.

DCD said...

Welcome, Tami! I had toyed with watching this flick this month, but I think I'll skip it based on your review and the other comments.

Great review!

Trevor said...

Wow Tami! perfect review. I was going to start writing my review of it tonight, but maybe I'll wait so as to avoid comparisons to yours, which is clearly brilliant.

I saw on i tunes today that you can rent American Psycho 2 with Mila Kunis for 99 cents.

How dirty will that one make us feel?

Tami (Trevor's friend) said...

Aww! Thanks guys! I feel so warmly welcomed :0) Its great to finally be part of the horrorthon....

50, you're hilarious. I haven't read Ellis' book but I can imagine how it could be effective in that way.

JPX, since I saw American Psycho after I heard Bale's rant on the Terminator set, I definitely had a moment here and there while watching the movie where I wondered, "is Christian Bale just playing himself?"