American Psycho: Uncut Version Mary Harron

American Psycho: Uncut Version Mary Harron
After years of excellent character work, Christian Bale is now known by most as Batman. But five years ago, he played a character more disturbed than any Batman foe. Adapted from Bret Easton Ellis's 1991 controversial novel, American Psycho the film divided critics and audiences. Upon considering its just released "uncut" DVD set, one must at least acknowledge the impressive social commentary underlying Psycho's murderous facade. Director Mary Harron gives the film a subtle feminine gaze, turning what could have been a character study of a serial killer into a darkly comic criticism of modern masculine materiality. Bale's Patrick Bateman (what does that spell when you take out the "e"?) is a circa '80s Wall Street big shot with a Huey Lewis fetish. His fiancé, Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon), is beautiful and well-established. His apartment (meticulously designed by art director Andrew Stearn) is perfect, as are his abs. But there's something a bit off about Bateman, namely that he moonlights as a serial killer. Though flawed in its narrative and construction, American Psycho perfectly captures an era and provides an eerie example of the blurring between fantasy and reality in the minds of today's men. The "uncut" version doesn't add too much to the overall vision, but the extras are quite substantial. Though both Bale and Ellis are unfortunately absent from the commentary, Harron and co-writer Guinevere Turner provide a thorough and thought-provoking analysis, and the documentary, "American Psycho: From Book To Screen," goes above and beyond most of the thrown-together docs one finds in these "special" editions. There's also a video essay entitled "The Pornography of Killing" that seems slightly out of place, but is worthwhile nonetheless. Slowly developing a reputation as a cult classic of this cinematic era, American Psycho is about so much more than that and is worthy of a second (or first) watching, uncut or not. (Maple)