American Psycho Review
American Psycho has already been cover in some detail, and with considerable aplomb, by D.J. Nock. I agree with more or less everything he has to say about its strengths and weaknesses, so, rather than simply repeat everything he has already said, I recommend reading his review.
Lions Gate presents American Psycho in its original unrated cut, with a 1080p MPEG2-encoded transfer in its proper 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Unfortunately, this is by far the worst-looking high definition transfer I've seen so far, with an extremely processed and unpleasant-looking image that is about as far from being film-like as you can possibly get. There are few visible compression artefacts, but only because there is essentially no detail to start with, while the heavy noise reduction applied to the whole image gives the actors the appearance of having bathed in grease. Vertical ringing approximately ten pixels high is also visible at the top and bottom of the active picture area, suggesting that it has been run through a filter more than once, effectively adding ringing to the ringing. There is even a digital tape drop-out towards the end of the film, which is a minor issue in the grand grand scheme of things, but does indicate the complete lack of quality control that has gone into this release.
Two audio tracks have been included: a English DTS-ES 6.1 track at 1.5 Mbps, and a English DD 5.1 EX track at 640 Kbps. There is very little difference between the two audio tracks, both of which sound similar to the 448 Kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 EX track on the DVD release. American Psycho doesn't have the world's most inventive audio design, and the dialogue does come across as a little tinny at times, but it's serviceable enough for the most part. Optional English and Spanish subtitles are also provided for the film itself but not the extras.
The Blu-ray release of American Psycho is clearly modelled after the unrated Killer Collector's Edition DVD released in 2005. Unfortunately, no doubt due to a combination of using a single-layer Blu-ray disc and the space-hungry MPEG2 codec, a number of bonus materials have fallen by the wayside.
Of the features that are included, the first up are two audio commentaries, one featuring Mary Harron and the other featuring Guinevere Turner. Why the pair were recorded separately is anyone's guess, as they have worked together on numerous occasions, most recently on The Notorious Bettie Page. Both commentaries are good and filled with solid detail, but there tends to be quite a lot of overlap between the two, with one effectively cancelling the other out. Most interesting for the unique perspective provided by the fact that they are both non-horror people responsible for making a horror film, I would definitely recommend giving both a listen, although, if you only have time for one, the Harron commentary is probably the better of the two by a very narrow margin.
This is followed by a collection of five deleted scenes, running for around 12 minutes, and featuring optional commentary by Harron. Finally, a 32-minute featurette entitled The '80s: Downtown, which essentially takes the form of a series of personal recollections and musings by various people who lived in New York in the 1980s, has been ported over. Why this, surely the least interesting piece on the DVD, was included, while the the excellent 45-minute documentary From Book to Screen was not, is anyone's guess.
Also missing in action are the original theatrical trailers.
Looking at this Blu-ray release of American Psycho, I am left with the unshakable feeling that Lions Gate put the least possible amount of effort into it. With a shoddy transfer that should never have been allowed through quality control, and a greatly pared-down array of extras, this disc really should not have been released in its current state.
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