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AMERICAN PSYCHO discussion (consolidated) (spoilers!) (1 Viewer)

Vince Maskeeper

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The sad part is that the studios want to come out with a sequel. No Christain Bale, No female director what's-her-name, No Brett Easton Ellis... god, if this movie does go through it will really suck.
The film is in the can, and should be released (somewhere) soon. The plan, as I understand it, is to turn the AMERICAN PSYCHO into a b-movie slasher series of films (a 3rd is already in preproduction).
Low budget, late night cable fare. Probably will go straigh to video, like From Dusk Till Dawn 2 and 3.
-Vince
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Russ Felton

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I read the book and saw the movie. The book I felt played out as if the murders were real. My interpretation of the part at the end when he is telling the lawyer that he killed Paul Allen and the lawyer saying it wasn't possible because he had lunch with him recently was that all of these people were so image conscious that they would lie about who they know to make themselves seem to be more important then they are (especially if Paul Allen himself isn't around to deny or confirm). Also it was a slap in the face of Patrick Batement because even in death Paul Allen could still one up him.
The movie on the other hand seemed to go with the whole "it was in is head" theory mostly because some scenes seemed over the top (like the cop car explosion) but mostly because of one small scene. In the scene with the chinese dry cleaners where he is arguing with the lady about his sheets, he tells her that "if you don't shut your f**king mouth I will kill you." The lady seems to be startled by his comment but then it cuts to him and her still aguing as if the moment never happened. I know it's a small thing but sometimes the little things mean so much. :)
Russy
 

Seth Paxton

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Boy, I totally saw this film differently than the majority here. Of course, I haven't read the book which might be an influence on interpreting the film.
With that in mind, I thought the whole point of the ending was that Bateman turned out to be a bitter, hateful and totally ineffectual person completely incapable of acting on his own behalf. It's this very fact that fuels his murderous fantasies. They are his only outlet and are so violent because he needs to make up for so much inability in reality.
In his world, all people are shallow (he perhaps most of all) and self-centered. Everything is measured in status, yet the people with status control this world and deny any others access to more status. So Bateman has nowhere to go. He is stuck being a nothing in a world where that is the worst possible thing you can be. If he only had some human outlet where the inner-person could matter (like with his secretary) then he could find comfort with himself. But this idea is totally alien to him.
His facination with bland, VH1 music that he sees as sweeping across all genres while it really is a very small, focused style tells us more about the shallowness of his emotions. Think of High Fidelity in which Cusak tells us that he and his friends judge others by their taste in art (primarily music). Bateman's musical tastes tells us of his complete shallowness, and his pontification on these artists tells us that he is unaware that he has such simplistic (and safe) tastes.
So, not unlike the Columbine kids or so many other "oppressed/nerdy" people turned killer, he looks for his only chance at "power" by killing. But rather than give the character some sort of satisfaction and in some way "verifying" his outlet as reasonable at least in terms of being empowering, we find that even in this arena he can do nothing.
He is a frightening, hateful "Walter Mitty" with "big" dreams but the utter lack of inner-strength to accomplish anything, even murder. In the end the audiance sees him as pathetic, yet can hardly sympathize with him either.
I thought it was a viscious (yet needed) attack on this shallow Wall St business-yuppie lifestyle. I would equate it slightly in themes with "A Place in the Sun", which I saw recently, except in that film the one person who is "alive" is outside this lifestyle trying desperately to break in, and is therefore actually capable of such a crime.
Again, this is what I walked away from American Psycho feeling. Based on this thread I guess it's safe to say YMMV. :)
 

Brad_W

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Vince, that's really lame to hear. I wish they would NOT do such things, but I guess since this is Hollywood we're talking about, there may be a buck to be made.
I wish this part of the book was shown in the movie:
(weak stomach's be warned)
Spoiler:During the prostitute scene (I think, I haven't read the book in a couple of years), Bateman uses acid on a woman's vagina to make the opening larger. Then he spread cheese inside. Taking a cardboard tube from a paper towel roll or toilet paper roll, he put that in there and released a rat in the tube. It ate it's way to her stomach and then Bateman cut her body in half to watch the rat crawl out. He then killed the rat.
My god that's sick!
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Inspector Hammer!

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Did Patrick Bateman really kill?

I don't know the answer to that question, but i'm hoping you do. I just re-watched the film after getting the Killer Collection dvd for my birthday and i'm just as baffled as ever.

I checked out the IMDB looking for an answer but of course found none, so I figured I would tap the vast knowledge and intellect of the finest bunch of film lovers on the net right here in the forum. My attempt is to try to form a collective opinion on whether or not Bateman really committed the crimes in the film or if it was only his desire to committ them we were seeing.

I THINK that he really did them, but what do you think?
 

Robert Crawford

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I think the title of this thread needs to amended because it would ruin the film for those that haven't watched it, but are planning to do so in the future.

Crawdaddy
 

Dennis Heller

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I haven't seen the movie and don't plan to, and I know it's always a mistake to compare movies to the books on which they're based, but I'm going to anyway.

In the book American Psycho, Bateman is always bringing his suits to a dry cleaner who notices blood stains but doesn't say anything. Also, in Ellis's book Glamorama, Patrick Bateman has a cameo, and a character unrelated to Am. Psycho notices and wonders what the strange stain is on Bateman's suit. I don't remember the line, but it's clear that it's a blood stain.

This comparison is cheating, I know; I'm sure the movie is very different from the book, and maybe the point in the movie is that he didn't really do it, but I never got that from the book. Of course, I'm not the world's most sophisticated reader, either.
 

Linda Thompson

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Read this:
http://www.ew.com/ew/article/review/..._21_0_,00.html
Keeping the discussion centered strictly on the movie, it has been stated many times by the creative team that, in their view, the murders were indeed real, but, in retrospect, they feel that they failed to convey that properly.
This EW article (and the DVD commentary) are simply the latest instances of this declaration on the part of the creative team...a Google search will turn up much older interviews in which they express their original intent and vision.
 

JonZ

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IMHO yes he did.

He even confessed and it did no good, becuase his laywer didnt belive he did anything.

The bullet that blew up the police car was a lucky shot(again Patrick can get away and his luck keeps him from getting caught. He is after all - priviledged) and the laywer not believing him was a running theme through out the film. The laywer had lunch with someone he "thought" was Paul Alan (Since they all wear the same suits, haircuts, glasses, etc.)(This is further backed up when the detective "reminds" Patrick he had dinner with so and so(forget the name), when Patrick wasnt even there. It was someone the guy thought was Patrick).

It goes with one theme of the film which is how self absorbed these people are.

I think Bret Ellis has hates the rich. There seem to be common themes through his books (and films).
 

Inspector Hammer!

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See, it's things like the "Feed me a stray cat" ATM machine that throws me off. Also his oft-uttered line in the film "I have to return some video tapes." just seems really strange to me.

However some things in the film do support the 'real' theory, like when he had the girls head in the fridge, Bateman wasn't even looking in the fridge when they show it
, it was shown so that we the audience could see it.

I have to agree that it was real, but not handled well by the filmmakers. It's cool though, they inadvertantly added another layer of delerium to the film which reflects Bateman's spiraling madness and makes it all the more interesting.
 

Jefferson Morris

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Some have speculated that when Bateman returns to Paul Allen's apartment to find no trace of his killings, this may have been because the owners of the property cleaned it up themselves clandestinely to ensure that the value of the property could remain stratospheric.

I've never found myself compelled to really try to answer definitively the question of did-he-or-didn't-he. The raising of the question itself provides the only real comeuppance that can mean anything to Bateman - the horrifying realization that he may still just be another anonymous asshole in a suit, without even murders to distinguish him from anyone else.

--Jefferson Morris
 
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Along the lines of the EW article: Guinivere Turner, co-screenwriter of (and actress in) American Psycho, in an interview with Ron Hogan published in Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture said this:
"When we wrote the script, we wanted it to be absolutely clear that he is actually killing people...And that's not what people are coming away with. They think it's all a dream, or all a fantasy. I was doing a roundtable discussion with a bunch of journalists, and this guy's first question was, 'So did he do it or didn't he?' And I said he was really doing it, so he turns to the woman next to him and says, 'See?'"
I think it ends up becoming a "Lady or the Tiger" sort of question for many people, regardless of the filmmakers' intentions. After seeing the film I was of the opinion, like some have alluded to, that the "I got mine, screw you" culture of the 80s was in essence doing Bateman's clean up work for him and no matter what unspeakable acts he could commit he'd never face any real consequences, much like Robert Chambers in '86.
But I think how you view it depends on what notions you bring to the table, which always makes for interesting discussion when the movie is brought up.
 

Steve_Knutzen

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It's based on a the novel by Bret Easton Ellis (author of Less Than Zero and Rules of Attraction as well) and is a satire of yuppies and 80's pop culture. Also, the main character happens to cut people up. It's really a love it or hate it movie. I am definitely a fan. Bale's excellent as Patrick Bateman (which is eerily close to Batman) and essentially plays him as a cold Bruce Wayne who's alter-ego is a bit more maniacal. When I first heard Bale would be playing Batman, I knew he'd be perfect since I'd seen American Psycho. It's disturbing, funny and a good way to spend two hours. Highly recommended by me.
 

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