A few words about…™ American Psycho — in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Recommended 4 Stars

Mary Harron’s American Psycho is a wonderful, and interesting tribute to what is percevied as the male psyche, hormonal or otherwise.

The great Mr. Ebert hit the nail on the head with his 2000 review:

“It’s just as well a woman directed “American Psycho.” She’s transformed a novel about blood lust into a movie about men’s vanity. A male director might have thought Patrick Bateman, the hero of “American Psycho,” was a serial killer because of psychological twists, but Mary Harron sees him as a guy who’s prey to the usual male drives and compulsions. He just acts out a little more.”

After appearing in Empire of the Sun, thirteen years previous, Christian Bale is back as a consenting adult hitting the bar scene, in the form of Patrick Bateman.

His talents are obvious here, and it’s a pity that he was hardly seen thereafter.

I noted in my words on Halloween, that Lionsgate is making full use of their catalog library, and stepping up with funds to create new 4k image harvests, and American Psycho is yet another recipient of that thoughtful studio parentage.

Image – 5 (HDR10 / Dolby Vision)

Audio – 5 (Dolby Atmos)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

24 Comments

  1. The book was also a satire, or at least, supposed to be a satire; except almost no one got it. The long dispassionately written lists of consumer items in the book, and the long, dispassionately written descriptions of murder, are supposed to be of a piece. The only real problem was the author, though talented, had difficulty pulling it off and while he was attempting a pure ironic prose on the order of Jonathan Swift"s "A Modest Proposal" he was not really able to achieve this, at least in the opinion of this reader. Also, it's a bit easier when dealing with images to create through editing and composition a kind of ironic image process by staging things in such a way that all the images are in "quotes." Many of Altman's films are able to create a kind of ironic detachment through use of performances and also editing and camera style that don't match an audiences expectations of the genre, as in MCCABE AND MRS MILLER. ROBOCOP is different in that everything is pushed to an extreme, which is a stylistic tendency in Paul Verhoeven's films in general, which is why many of his films, such as BLACK BOOK, are misunderstood, because the films seem to start off more or less traditionally, and then appear to go off the tracks into extreme melodrama and violence, whereas in fact, the excess in Verhoeven's films are not mistakes, but the basic movement of where things are supposed to be going. ROBOCOP is more successful in that the excessive, almost parodist style and the subject matter seem better matched.

  2. bujaki

    I remember it as a cutting satire (see Robocop).

    Devastatingly funny for warped minds – the scenes where Patrick Bateman argues the merits of Huey Lewis, Phil Collins and Whitney Houston are classic. It's fantastic that films that received such terrible releases on blu ray initially – slathered in DNR and with lacklustre sound – are now getting the best possible transfers in 4K!

  3. I'm hearing from a pretty reliable viewer at Blu-ray.com, that the Blu-ray disc is not at all spectacular, sourced from an older master. So those without a 4K set-up might want to investigate further before jumping in. But he does reflect Mr. Harris's satisfaction with the UHD.

  4. Keith Cobby

    Why would the blu ray not use the same source as the 4k?

    Because it's just the old BD recycled and not a new one.

    I'm 99% sure the BD in the "AP" 4K is just the release from 2007.

    I could be wrong, but I don't think Lionsgate has produced new BDs for any of these older titles released on 4K – they're all just the existing discs tossed into the package…

  5. Colin Jacobson

    Because it's just the old BD recycled and not a new one.

    I'm 99% sure the BD in the "AP" 4K is just the release from 2007.

    I could be wrong, but I don't think Lionsgate has produced new BDs for any of these older titles released on 4K – they're all just the existing discs tossed into the package…

    Damn! This sucks, because now would be the time do it. I've said this in another thread (the Halloween 4K UHD RAH thread), but I still prefer watching non-HDR/DolbyVision material, as those modes cannot be properly calibrated on any display as I quickly found out. So I have a much more accurate image in SDR/709 1080p Blu-ray space, seeing it exactly as the creators intended. The downside is less resolution, which sometimes matters, and sometimes doesn't. I wish there was a 4K non-HDR 🙁

  6. Worth

    A few non-HDR 4K discs have been released in Europe, but it seems that HDR is viewed as the main selling point for UHD.

    Correct, because the resolution uptick is not noticeable many times, and especially on <65" displays. So they throw in HDR there with some bling. The biggest selling point should be the larger color space, but again, most displays can't be calibrated properly for that, OLEDs have issues with WCG, etc. Is a mess!

  7. B-ROLL

    "Sarcasm
    Sarcasm is "a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter gibe or taunt". Sarcasm may employ ambivalence, although sarcasm is not necessarily ironic. Most noticeable in spoken word, sarcasm is mainly distinguished by the inflection with which it is spoken and is largely context-dependent. Wikipedia"

    Not following you here. My comment was meant to respectfully illustrate that Christian Bale is still making movies, nothing more.

  8. John Dirk

    Not following you here. My comment was meant to respectfully illustrate that Christian Bale is still making movies, nothing more.

    Sorry, I believe RAH is fully aware of Mr. Bale's C.V. and was trying to be funny … I apologize if I offended anyone …

  9. B-ROLL

    Sorry, I believe RAH is fully aware of Mr. Bale's C.V. and was trying to be funny …

    I agree and probably shouldn't have made the original comment suggesting otherwise.

    B-ROLL

    I apologize if I offended anyone …

    Same here. I was confused but not at all offended.

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