American Psycho appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. A fairly early Blu-ray, the transfer showed its age.
Sharpness became an inconsistent element. Close-ups provided decent clarity and accuracy, but other shots tended to appear soft and bland.
Bad decisions impacted the image, mainly via copious use of digital noise reduction, a factor that harmed fine detail and left skin tones with a flat, clay-like feel. Edge haloes also cropped up through the film and impacted definition as well.
Shimmering and jaggies didn’t turn into an issue, but a mix of print flaws cropped up through the movie. This meant specks and marks, nothing too serious but still a distraction.
Colors looked fairly bland, as the film’s earthy palette lacked much range. That said, some brighter tones – like reds and greens at a Christmas party – managed pretty decent impact.
Blacks felt moderately firm, whereas shadows looked a bit dense. This wasn’t the worst transfer I’ve seen, but it suffered from too many problems to merit a grade above a “D+”.
Though superior, the film’s DTS-HD HR 6.1 audio seemed fairly mediocre, mainly because it delivered a lackluster soundscape. For the most part, the track focused on music, as score and songs provided pretty good stereo spread.
Otherwise, the soundfield didn’t deliver a whole lot. It threw out ambience as well as a bit more activity during club scenes, but the imaging seemed pretty limited overall.
Audio quality was decent but not great. Music showed reasonable range but came across as a little wan, for the score and songs didn’t provide great punch.
Speech seemed pretty concise and natural, while effects offered good clarity. As noted, they didn’t do a whole lot, but they showed adequate clarity and accuracy. This all added up to a mostly average mix.
As we shift to extras, we find two separate audio commentaries, the first of which comes from co-writer/director Mary Harron. She provides a running, screen-specific look at the source novel and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, sets, locations and production design, costumes, cinematography, music, editing and related topics.
In other words, Harron touches on a wide variety of domains, and she does so well. She brings us a terrific assortment of details about the film and the decisions she made in this informative and enjoyable commentary.
For the second track, we hear from co-writer/actor Guinevere Turner. She delivers her own running, screen-specific discussion of her performance as well as the source’s adaptation, story/characters, and cast/performances.
Inevitably, Turner offers a less “complete” commentary than Harron, and she also repeats some of the director’s material. Still, Turner brings us an engaging enough chat. She doesn’t offer a ton of strong info but she turns this into an enjoyable listen.
A featurette called The 80s: Downtown runs 31 minutes, 46 seconds and presents comments from Turner, author/”former club kid” James St. James, crime journalist Gil Reavill, producer Mike Ryan, filmmaker Phil Hartman, columnist Michael Musto, critic/author Amy Taubin, critic Gavin Smith, and publisher Morgan Entrekin.
As implied by the title, “Downtown” examines New York City in the 1980s. Some of this connects to Psycho, but not a lot, so it seems vaguely unrelated to the film. It’s still moderately watchable, but it comes with an oddly specific POV that makes it less than enthralling.
Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of 12 minutes, 19 seconds. In an unusual presentation, we get some remarks from actors Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Justin Theroux, Reese Witherspoon, Samantha Mathis, and Jared Leto mixed in with the scenes. They tell us a few thoughts about the movie but don’t reveal much of interest.
As for the scenes themselves, they mainly offer minor character tidbits that seem decent but not remarkable. The best omission comes from one in which a supporting character shows self-awareness. It just doesn’t fit the movie’s theme and I’m glad it got the boot.
We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from Harron. She tells us about the sequences and sometimes – but not always – reveals why she left them out of the film. In general, she offers a nice collection of insights.
Also From Lionsgate gives us ads for Crank, The Descent, and Saw III. No trailer for Psycho appears here.
A darkly comedic look at the 80s and violence, American Psycho works in spurts. The movie doesn’t manage a consistent level of success, though it manages decent entertainment value most of the time. The Blu-ray comes with good supplements along with mediocre audio and poor picture quality. The movie needs an upgrade.