Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Episode Ten (American History X / American Psycho)

American History X (1998)

Director: Tony Kaye
Writer: David McKenna
Stars: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo

This film features an incredible performance from Norton and a few scenes that will undoubtedly stick with the viewer. The moments of brutality are particularly memorable and disturbing. Unfortunately, these are in support of a script and director that handle the film's themes with the subtlety and finesse of a jackhammer. There are several moments where the editing and music are trying so hard to make you realize the importance of what is happening that it ends up becoming unintentionally hilarious. A solid, though deeply flawed film. Oh, and Edward Furlong should never be allowed to do voice over, ever... ever.

Score: 5 / 10

American Psycho (2000)

Director: Mary Harron
Writers: Bret Easton Ellis (novel), Mary Harron (screenplay) and Guinevere Turner (screenplay)
Stars: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas

The premiere "How To" guide for fitting in with upper-class society when all you really want to do is stab them to death and play around with their blood. While the film is endlessly quotable and deliciously dark, the main satirical thrust of the film is a bit too heavy-handed for my taste. The black comedy / horror elements hold up fairly well throughout, but much of the Wall Street excess message drags it down overall. Bale is so wonderfully campy as Patrick Bateman, the titular psycho with an insatiable bloodlust, that his over-the-top performance absolutely carries the film. Definitely not for everyone, but if you don't mind your humor being delivered in the form of an axe to the skull, you may just come to love this.

Score: 5 / 10

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