Tag Archives: Reese Witherspoon

American Psycho (2000) Review

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American Psycho

Time: 101 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] contains violence, offensive language & sex scenes
Cast:
Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman
Willem Dafoe as Detective Donald Kimball
Jared Leto as Paul Allen
Josh Lucas as Craig McDermott
Samantha Mathis as Courtney Rawlinson
Matt Ross as Luis Carruthers
Bill Sage as David Van Patten
Chloë Sevigny as Jean
Cara Seymour as Christie
Justin Theroux as Timothy Bryce
Guinevere Turner as Elizabeth
Reese Witherspoon as Evelyn Williams
Director: Mary Harron

In New York City in 1987, a handsome, young urban professional, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), lives a second life as a gruesome serial killer by night. The cast is filled by the detective (Willem Dafoe), the fiancé (Reese Witherspoon), the mistress (Samantha Mathis), the coworker (Jared Leto), and the secretary (Chloë Sevigny). This is a biting, wry comedy examining the elements that make a man a monster.

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With it being just after its 20th anniversary, I thought it was worth watching American Psycho again. I liked it when I saw it, it’s a great movie. I’d probably now consider it to be one of my favourite films of all time. While it was a little polarising upon its release, it became quite a cult classic over time, and is now widely held in high regard. Dark, satirical, over the top and hilarious, it has become one of my favourite movies.

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Now on the surface, it seems like a disturbing horror thriller about a serial killer. You really can’t watch this movie as a straight up thriller however, because it’s not that at all. This film is a dark comedy and has some over the top ridiculous moments, so you can’t take this movie too seriously. It’s very much a satire, especially of 80s Wall Street Yuppie Culture. With viewings after the first one however, it works much better as you pick up even more details that the movie has that you didn’t realise on the first viewing. The ending is a little ambiguous and is easily debatable. I know of a couple of different interpretations of the movie, and without going into it, both versions give the movie layers, making it more than just a darkly funny movie about a narcissistic serial killer. The use of voiceover is pretty much pitch perfect, showing Patrick Bateman’s innermost thoughts, often to hilarious effect. The writing is very strong, and has incredibly quotable dialogue. From what I heard, the book written by Bret Easton Ellis was way more violent and controversial than what the movie showed, and based on some things I heard about it, writer/director Mary Harron and co-writer Guinevere Turner managed to get the right material from it and make the best movie possible. At an hour and 40 minutes long, I was entertained from beginning to end.

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Christian Bale gives possibly his best performance to date as lead character Patrick Bateman. He brought this character to the big screen excellently, and completely embodied him. He was absolutely hilarious and absolutely magnetic on screen. The movie is very reliant on him being great, as he’s at the front of the movie from beginning to end, from the deliveries of lines, the comedic timing, and he definitely brought it. Taking on this role was such a big risk for Bale at this point in his career, in fact he was advised that playing it would be career suicide. However, the risk paid off, and it launched his career even further. It’s basically impossible picturing anyone else in the role of Bateman. There was a case where Leonardo DiCaprio nearly replaced Christian Bale, and as great of an actor that DiCaprio is, I can’t see him or really any other actor delivering what Bale did here. Other actors like Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon and Jared Leto do well in their supporting roles.

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Director Mary Harron directs this movie and she did an excellent job. She managed to capture the feeling of the 80s really well with her direction, especially when it came to the excess. Speaking of the 80s, the music choices were fitting and the use of it in the movie worked perfectly. The violence is bloody and over the top but often times its cartoonish, and most of the time is easily funny, especially when watching much of it on multiple viewings.

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American Psycho is a movie that gets better the more you see it. A dark comedy, excellently written and directed, with a career best performance from Christian Bale at the centre of it, it’s one of my favourites. 20 years later it still holds up quite well. If you haven’t seen it, check it out, especially if you are a fan of dark comedies.

Hot Pursuit (2015) Review

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Time: 87 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence and Sexual References
Cast:
Reese Witherspoon as Cooper
Sofía Vergara as Daniella Riva
Director: Anne Fletcher

Straight-arrow policewoman Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) is excited and thrilled about her next assignment. Her task is to escort Daniella Riva (Sofía Vergara), a wisecracking Colombian beauty, from San Antonio to Dallas so both she and her husband can testify against a drug lord. Plans go awry when Mr. Riva gets ambushed, leaving Daniella a widow. Cooper and her witness must now use their wits to escape from crooked cops and murderous gunmen, while not killing each other in the process.

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I’ll just get this out of the way, I haven’t regretted seeing a movie this much since Fifty Shades of Grey. As you can probably tell, my reason for reviewing this movie was because it was called one of the worst of 2015 and I’m currently catching up on everything  that came out last year, like with Fifty Shades of Grey I regretted watching it. Despite its two very talented and credible leads, they have nothing to do in this movie, with horrible writing, unfunny humour and terrible direction. Nothing in this movie works, there really is no reason to watch this movie.

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Right out the gate I’ll say that Hot Pursuit was a worse 2015 comedy than Unfinished Business, not one joke worked. From the very beginning the film didn’t work and it only got worse when Sofia Vergara is brought in, it goes directly from being unfunny to painfully obnoxious. As the film moves along, it somehow gets even worse, with the humour becoming more annoying, forced and at times embarrassing. It only took me 15 minutes for me to hate this movie. This movie’s level of ‘comedy’ can be summed up in one scene: to get Reese Witherspoon out of a situation after being caught trying to look through someone else’s car, Sofia Vergara comes in and acts like her lesbian lover and starts trying to kiss her and it’s all done in an intentionally very awkward way. In the second half of the movie it actually tries to be serious and it doesn’t work because the audience doesn’t even care about what’s going on. The only thing I can thank this movie for is the fact that it’s less than 90 minutes but that’s hardly a compliment.

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Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara are very talented and have been great in comedies. Here though, they have no chemistry and have nothing to work with. Both of them are annoying, whether it be their voices (not the accent, the way they are directed to speak) or the choices that the characters make. Their interactions together drive the movie, and unfortunately that’s where it has the worst moments. It doesn’t help that their characters aren’t really that different from one another, so they can’t really play off each other. Both Witherspoon and Vergara have charisma and can play each other well, look at the bloopers in the end credits, it was much funnier than any line delivered in the actual movie, and both actresses interacted well together. It’s just that the movie gave them horrendous material to work with.

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Hot Pursuit is a hot mess in every sense of the word, the performances were annoying, the writing was worse, the comedy was even worse than that. I don’t know how they managed to get two credible actresses on board with this movie. This movie has absolutely no redeeming element whatsoever and if you are one of the few people that this movie interests, I’d recommend not watching it. I know this movie isn’t supposed to be for me, after watching it though, I can’t see this movie being for anyone.