Sometime within the past 2 months, I watched both Dallas Buyer’s Club and American Psycho.

Dallas Buyer’s Club

This movie had gotten a lot of hype with academy award nominations a couple of years back, so my friends and I decided to watch it.  Overall, it was a fairly decent movie.  The story (based on a true story) was very compelling; it touched upon big themes of love, compassion, acceptance, and friendship. The story followed Ron Woodroof after he was diagnosed with AIDS.  When the current medication, with very little research backing, failed to help him, Woodroof started to smuggle in illegal medicines and distribute it to other AIDS patients, who were also desperate for some help.

The movie itself was an eye-opener in regards to the FDA and how it responded to the AIDS epidemic.  My heart went out to patients who were desperate for some cure or some temporary source of life, and instead got screwed over with some half-tested drug. As the movie progressed, I definitely grew to sympathize more and more with the main character (Matthew McConaughey); he developed and changed a lot throughout the movie, becoming a more compassionate human being.  Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both gave very moving performances.  All the other actors were decent; they got the job done and were adequate foils for McConaughey and Leto.

This is where my praise for the movie ends.  It was an enjoyable experience and I am glad I watched it, but it won’t take its place in my selection of favorite films.  I probably will not be moved to watch it a second time. If you haven’t seen it though, I would definitely recommend it, for at least a one-time viewing.

American Psycho

I kind of went into this movie with a lot of expectation, and it kind of fell short…  To those who don’t know, American Psycho is about a wealthy investment banker, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), who is a serial-killer by night.

The movie had a lot of commentary on materialistic culture.  Bateman is a yuppie, full of greed, envy, and narcissism. A lot of his victims are people he is envious of or people he deems to be too shallow and inadequate.  Through him we see a progressively worsening mental condition; in his greed and arrogance, he perpetuates his own never-ending spiral into madness.  Perhaps this is a comment on materialistic and classist societies.  Unfortunately, whether it is or isn’t is a bit beyond me.  I didn’t really click well with the symbolism of the movie. It felt like a farce; it felt super exaggerated in its attempts to make a point, some form of commentary. As a result, I was pretty ambivalent towards the movie until the very end, when he reaches complete snapping point and kills a woman with a chainsaw.

That entire sequence was representative of his final descent into madness. The music and cinematography definitely helped highlight his madness. Christian Bale’s performances was really well done, specifically for this scene and for the movie in general.  I think the color palette for the movie was really well selected; in particular, I enjoyed the black and white thematic/color organization of Patrick’s house.

Realistically though, it was also a one-time movie.  I can’t see myself being moved to watch it again anytime soon (or if even ever). It was an enjoyable movie experience.  I definitely am glad I saw it at least once and I do recommend people check it out if they are ever bored on a Friday night.