Seven Psychopaths Blu-Ray Review
Posted by Joseph Lee on 02.07.2013
If you didn't get to see this in theaters, you missed one of the best films of 2012.
*Colin Farrell as Marty Faranan
*Sam Rockwell as Billy Bickle
*Woody Harrelson as Charlie Costello
*Christopher Walken as Hans Kieslowski
*Tom Waits as Zachariah Rigby
*Abbie Cornish as Kaya
*Olga Kurylenko as Paulo
Story: A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster's beloved Shih Tzu.
Trivia: In the graveyard scene, the grave that the Jack of Diamonds killer is hiding behind is named "Rourke". Mickey Rourke was initially cast in the movie, but dropped out after disagreements with the director.
Seven Psychopaths is a movie that is a lot better than it looks. That's not some sort of slight against the film. The trailer depict it as kind of this wacky, violent comedy, but it's so much more than that. It's a surprisingly thoughtful movie with a message of hope even among all the odd characters and violent gunshot wounds. It's a sort of meta comedy about the nature of writing a proper action film that makes winks to the audience while it goes down the same exact road it spend earlier scenes degrading. It's smarter than your average comedy and funnier than your average gangster movie.
The film stars Colin Farrell as Marty, a struggling screenwriter attempting to finish his script about seven psychopaths, which he wants to be about peace and hope. His friend Billy (Rockwell) rightfully points out how silly this idea is given the title, but Marty is just trying to focus on coming up with who the psychopaths are and where they're going to end up in the film. Billy has his own project going on, as he runs a dog kidnapping scam with Hans (Walken). They steal dogs and then return them for the reward money. Our movie gets going when they steal the dog of Charlie (Harrelson), a crazy gangster who loves his dog more than life itself.
You may remember Martin McDonagh's last film In Bruges, which was another violent movie with a wacky cast. I think that overall, Psychopaths is actually better than Bruges. It's a lot more heartfelt and Farrell is much better here than he was in that movie. As a matter of fact, this may be one of Farrell's best performances in his entire career, which speaks volumes about how good it was. It's amazing that you can get him starring in films like this but then show up for dreck like the Total Recall remake in the same year.
As good as Farrell is, he's almost outshined by his co-stars. Indeed, he's very much the straight man to the insanity happening around him. Rockwell is a complete nutcase as Billy, acting like someone who has no place in civilized society when we first meet him, and it just gets worse as the movie goes along. Walken steals the show as Hans and is just a delight to watch. It's one of his better performances in some time, and it's good to see that he can still get it done as an actor. Woody Harrelson plays the some unhinged character we've seen before from him, but he's so good at it it's hard to complain.
The actors are able to shine through the incredibly smart script from McDonagh, as well as his spot-on direction. This script is, as Walken points out in the film itself, layered. It has aspects of every different kind of movie with the exception of a few (we have no time for a love story here) and plays them all to perfection. It's hard to imagine just how long the script took to finish as there are so many callbacks and foreshadowing moments in the script that it had to take several rewrites just to make sure there are no plotholes.
There's no real complaints from me, because the complaints are mentioned by the movie itself (such as the weak female characters) and played for laughs. The only real complaint would probably be the inclusion of Tom Waits character as overall he doesn't serve much of a point. However, the subplot with that character and the epilogue at the end make him worth it and Waits himself is actually pretty good in the role. It's hard to come up with any problems and even then they're easily ignored. If that's not the sign of a great movie, I would be hard pressed to come up with a better one.
Seven Psychopaths is one of those rare movies that has a mixture of all the right elements to be something special. It's funny, intelligent, genuine, heartfelt, violent and more adjectives that I'm probably forgetting. If you're a fan of In Bruges, dark comedies or anything meta, feel free to check this out as you will probably love it.
The audio is just as clear as it would be in a theater. Everything is clear and easy to hear, even in quiet moments. This is a very dialogue-heavy film so any audio problems would have hurt it a lot more than something with lots of explosions. The film is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
It's a brand new film on Blu-ray, so it's obviously going to look good. Seven Psychopaths surprisingly looks better than you should think as it takes on different locations to tell its story. The desert sequences in particular are very vibrant with color and the whole film looks great in the format. I see no real problems with the transfer but it doesn't blow me away like Universal's transfers have been. You get the movie in a 1080p HD transfer with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio.
Not much here, which is disappointing. All of the features listed barely run over three minutes and are the very definition of fluff. They feel like extended previews that you get before the trailers run before a movie, for those that arrive very early. You get Martin McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths, Crazy Locations, Woody Harrelson is Charlie and Colin Farrell is Marty.
There are also two odd extras called Layers and Seven Psychocats. The first is a short little music bit featuring lines of speech in the film. The second is the trailer for the movie, but with cats. I'm not sure what to make of either, but they weren't very funny.
You also get previews for 7700, The Mechanic and Faster. There is also an Ultraviolet copy. Really paltry special features for such a good movie.
Special Features: 3.0
The 411: While the Blu-ray itself lacks any kind of special features for the movie's fans, the film itself is one of the best of 2012 with stunning high-definition picture and sound. Seven Psychopaths is a movie that is bound to get better with multiple viewings and one that any fan of this kind of film should seek out and enjoy.