American Psycho appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. This turned into a pretty terrific presentation.
Sharpness fared nicely. Only the slightest sliver of softness ever occurred, as the majority of the movie offered fine clarity and accuracy.
I saw no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and the image lacked edge haloes. In terms of print flaws, I saw a couple of tiny specks but overall, this was a clean presentation. A fine layer of grain appeared to rule out egregious application of digital noise reduction.
The 4K UHD brought out the movie’s earthy palette in a warm, rich manner. The hues showed concise tones and the use of HDR accentuated the colors without making them overbearing.
Blacks seemed dark and deep, while shadows showed nice smoothness and delineation. Only the minor source defects kept this image from “A”-level consideration.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the film’s Dolby Atmos audio seemed less impressive, mainly because the soundscape lacked much ambition. For the most part, the track focused on music, as score and songs provided pretty good stereo spread as well as information in the surrounds.
Otherwise, the soundfield didn’t deliver a whole lot. It threw out ambience as well as a bit more activity during club scenes or a few action-oriented segments, but the imaging seemed pretty limited overall.
Audio quality was positive. A major factor, music appeared full and rich, as both score and songs demonstrated nice kick and oomph.
Speech seemed pretty concise and natural, while effects offered good clarity. As noted, they didn’t do a whole lot, but they showed positive range and accuracy. This all added up to a soundtrack that suited the movie.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the original Blu-ray from 2007? Audio showed a bit more range and oomph, but visuals became the more obvious source of improvement. The old BD looked terrible, so the 4K became a radical upgrade in all picture-related ways.
The 4K mixes old and new extras, and we find three separate audio commentaries, the first of which comes from co-writer/director Mary Harron. Recorded in 2005, 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.
Also from 2005, 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.
New to the 2018 4K UHD, we get another commentary with Mary Harron. She brings another running, screen-specific look at… the same topics she discussed in the 2005 track.
Harron continues to be engaging and informative, but the 2018 track feels extremely redundant. On its own, it’s a good discussion, though not as strong as the 2005 piece. Stick with the old commentary and skip this repetitive discussion.
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.
Not found on the Blu-ray, From Script to Screen lasts 48 minutes, 53 seconds and features Harron, Turner, Taubin, Smith, Reavill, Entrekin, producers Chris Hanley and Ed Pressman, writer/critic Nathan Lee, and singer Sarah Ellquist. The show looks at the novel and its push toward movie theaters.
After three commentaries, some of the information repeats, but not as much as I might expect. “Script” gets into controversies in an active way and becomes an effective take on the subject matter.
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.
A second disc offers a Blu-ray copy of Psycho. This replicates the 2007 release and it includes the two 2005 commentaries, the deleted scenes and “Downtown”.
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 4K UHD boasts excellent visuals along with appropriate audio and a nice selection of supplements highlighted by a terrific commentary. The 4K offers a radical upgrade over the awful Blu-ray, so fans should feel delighted with this release.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of AMERICAN PSYCHO