Daily Archives: March 19, 2012

American Psycho by Mary Herron (2000)

Adaptation of a controversial novel by Bret Easton Ellis. The careful and detailed descriptions allowed for an accurate depiction of Patrick Bateman’s obsessive attention to detail. Christian Bale is perfect in the role of an insane serial killer leading an immaculate life of a 1980’s yuppie.

Although made in 2000, the film breathes and feels the 1980’s – the times of Wall Street, walkman, golden watches and first cordless phones.

It is a horror film but on the verge of comedy. Thankfully certain scenes described in detail in the book were too hard core to be shown on the screen.

It’s a good film and Christian Bale  is the embodiment of pure evil.

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Tootsie by Sydney Pollack (1982)

Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray, Jessica Lange, Geena Davis…

This was the next film that Hoffman did after his Oscar awarded “Kramer vs. Kramer”. The role is strikingly different from anything he did before. Comedy. When (still) attractive male actor turns into a tragically unattractive masculine woman actor. To get a job, transforms himself physically to discover an entire new world he was totally oblivious to before.

I watched this film for the first time in early 1980’s on a black&white micro-tv made in East Germany. Over 25 years later, with a surprise I recognised some of the scenes that I had carved in my memory as magnificent. And they did not lose any of the charm and magic. Interestingly, the film did not age and is still a great entertainment. And probably will be for at least the next 25 years. Cult classic.

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Midnight Cowboy by John Schlesinger (1969)

With young Jon Voigt and Dustin Hoffman, who, one more time, proves to be an an incredibly talented prolific actor. Hoffman puts on a voice and accent of a New York vagabond cheat of declining health who cons the freshly out of Texas newbie (Voigt) aspiring to make a living as a male escort.

The story is illustrated in a romantic way showing the glass ceiling and the glass walls of the big metropolis. The first day we watch Joe Buck smiling happily at the outside world, observing the busy streets, shop vitrines, beautiful women, dog walkers. Gradually he realises how many doors are closed for him, a dummy out of nowhere, with limited spelling capabilities and not enough confidence to actually succeed at the dreamed path of a hustler as he defines himself.

In an unlikely fashion, the pair becomes friends and they both abandon New York City after a few misadventures and a few brighter spots – such as the Warholesque party where they manage to eat, smoke, drink and where Joe finally finds a woman willing to pay for his company.

The film won Best Picture in 1970. Deservedly. Great cinema.

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Burn After Reading by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

A pantheon of actors including John Malkovich, Richard Jenkins, Frances McDormand, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton. An imaginary story of the intertwined fates of employees of a certain gym and employees of the Pentagon. It is fairly hard to imagine them crossing paths in any ‘normal’ circumstances. The connecting clue is a dating website and in an unlikely fashion a CD with data gathered by the unfaithful wife to blackmail her husband becomes a toy in the hands of a middle aged gym employee who tries to gather funds for her cosmetic surgeries. A twisted story without a clear message. What stays with you for a long time is John Malkovich’s voice dropping the f bomb every other word. The role was written specifically with the actor in mind. Other actors also deal with out of the ordinary roles – Brad Pitt as a retarded gay obsessed with his looks is very convincing. It’s worth a watch.

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Filed under Catching Up, film reviews