American Psycho

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The Wolf of Wall Street isn’t a remake. Well, not exactly. It definitely isn’t a remake of the other movie titled The Wolf of Wall Street, from 1929, which stars George Bancroft as a man who gets rich in the copper trade and then loses it all through a misunderstanding with his partner, whom he believes is having an affair with his wife. That sounds like something Martin Scorsese would make, or something we’d want to watch after seeing the latest work by him. Unfortunately, the old film is almost entirely lost. Just a little bit of surviving montage material can be exclusively found on a DVD called Unseen Cinema. WoWS is also not a remake of Scorsese’s early short film It’s Not Just You, Murray!, which I posted yesterday and called a template for this new feature. The true story that WoWS is based on has been made into a movie before, though, and you can read about that and 11 other titles I recommend you check out after you’ve seen Scorsese’s latest. As always, the following list may contain SPOILERS for the plot of WoWS, as it is intended to be a discussion of the new movie’s plot points as well as similar precursors and earlier works from people involved.


Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis‘s novels have had an interesting path to the big screen: the only novel that fully captured his writing is The Rules of Attraction, a movie that divided audiences; American Psycho is a cult favorite that Ellis isn’t entirely pleased with; Less Than Zero, although featuring a great performance from Robert Downey Jr., is a terrible adaptation; and the less said about The Informers, well, the better. However, The Canyons is a film Ellis had a very different relationship with. The LA noir is one of many original scripts he’s written, but it’s the only one that has made it to the screen with the help of Kickstarter, producer Braxton Pope, and director Paul Schrader. The movie is as much a statement about filmmaking as it is anything else, and Ellis had his own statements to make about modern cinema culture and adapting the unadaptable.



If you’re anything like me, the same five holiday movies that run every year just aren’t enough to quench that festive thirst so deeply embossed on your very soul. You need more than that. If you are like me, you deserve more than that. You are also not wearing any pants. The general rule for holiday films is that they must at least take place around the season, right? And so, if we simply twist that logic to say that “takes place during the holidays = holiday movie”, then there’s a lot of fun to be had the next time mom and dad come caroling. Just go right ahead and pop in one of the following…



Some of you may already know me by my Twitter handle: @thefilmcynic. It’s a name I’ve gone by for nearly a decade (so, before current social media outlets), because I’m very cynical about the film industry and try to keep my expectations low. I’m also very cynical about the Academy Awards and awards season in general, because we devote so much focus on them — with a wide spectrum of positive and negative angles — and they’re really a bunch of malarkey (much like the V.P. debate, which has inspired my newfound obsession with that word). So, the higher ups at FSR have asked me to write a cynical column devoted to the Oscars. The first one is inspired by the films Seven Psychopaths, Looper and Lincoln and their celebrated performances. As someone who has studied acting (I’m not very good at it), I’ve long taken issue with the way people look at film performances, because there are just so many different kinds. But there are two real distinct types that we tend to recognize while watching and writing about movies that aren’t acknowledged by the Academy: realistic and artificial. The former has been a big favorite since method acting came into play, though it doesn’t necessarily apply to that style nor does that style necessarily always mean realism. The latter could be more expressive and therefore goes back to the dawn of cinema and its silent performances or could even be more stiff, if that’s what’s intended. Directors who […]



Ah yes. It’s that time of the year, folks. The only month where it’s slightly less mean to jump out at a child while wearing a clown mask. The vandal’s holiday… cretin Christmas. It really is a special time for all of us horror movie fans. So let’s light some candles, get our favorite Misfits album out and start this party. They say that nothing can ever outdo the imagination – something that is most evident when it comes to terror and death. It’s not what you see that scares you – it’s what you don’t. It’s why we fear the dark. So while gore is great fun, it’s nothing compared to something merely implied.


Confession Scenes

Nothing more satisfying than a good solid confession, unless of course it’s your own confession – then it kind of sucks. What’s great about films is that there’s never a boring confession; no one ever spends 120 minutes of movie watching to learn that the hero was the one who accidently dented his neighbor’s car. So – here are some confessions in films that, because of the performance or the situation, stood out amongst the rest. Oh also, by definition alone the following is practically all spoilers – so heads up.



Fine, maybe you didn’t ask for it, but someone did! Incidentally, the person who wrote the film and wants to direct it! Weird, right? Commercial director (and second unit director for The Social Network) Noble Jones reportedly pitched a new take on Bret Easton Ellis‘s American Psycho (which of course already has already has its own, very fine, cinematic adaptation from Mary Harron, starring Christian Bale in one of his best roles, which hit theaters in 2000) to Lionsgate a few months ago, followed that by turning in a script within the last few weeks, and is now seeing an uptick in interest thanks to the entertainment industry’s insidery tracking reports. Thanks, assistants at WME who run these things, thanks a lot. Now that we’ve got all the bile out of the way, who the hell is Noble Jones and just what does he want to do with Bret Easton Ellis’s classic villain, popped-collar investment banker serial killer Patrick Bateman? Well, Deadline Rochester calls Jones “a Fincher protege,” which is most certainly not a bad thing. His take on the material moves the action to present day, taking it out of the gloriously yuppie-fied ’80s world that the novel and Harron’s film both lived in (which was sort of, oh, I don’t know, essential to the meat of the story). The film is deemed as “a down and dirty new version” and will reportedly by a low budget affair. The film has not yet been greenlit, but is in “early […]


Fatal Attraction

Have you ever sat at coffee shop, minding your own business and munching on a tasty croissant, when pleasantly and unexpectedly a handsome man or beautiful lady sits down across from you? If life were a movie, one of you would drop something, reach to pick it up at the same time, and charmingly knock heads. Engaging conversation would ensue, you’d fall madly in love, music would swell, and credits would roll like the tears down your movie-self’s cheek. Le sigh and scene. But like movies are oft to show, so much sexual passion can just as easily bring out the evil in characters as it does the good. Movie love can be so intense it borders on destructive, and a budding couple’s sanity can unravel before the audience’s eyes as the story reaches its climax. Sex unites the couple and keeps them together longer than it rationally should, until both partners become weaved so heavily in a tangle of sex-caused insanity neither can see where reality and delusion lie.



Studios have been afraid for too long. It’s time to put Palahniuk’s long, strange trip into the heart of American commercialism and religion on the big screen.



I can see it in my head now – a blood spattered line dance of Patrick Batemans, leg kicking with chainsaws in hand to the sounds of “Hip to Be Square.”

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published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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