Seven Psychopaths (2012)

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Released 13-Mar-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Black Comedy None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 106:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Martin McDonagh
Studio
Distributor
Entertainment One Starring Michael Pitt
Michael Stuhlbarg
Sam Rockwell
Colin Farrell
Abbie Cornish
Christopher Walken
Case ?
RPI ? Music Carter Burwell


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Irish director/screenwriter/playwright Martin McDonagh doesn't stray too far from the blackly comic crime story he told in his first feature In Bruges with his second effort Seven Psychopaths. Once again we are drawn into the funny/crazy/dangerous world where bloodshed and belly laughs are a split second apart.

Marty Faranan (Colin Farrell) is a Hollywood script writer with a serious case of writer's block. He has in mind a new script for a film called Seven Psychopaths but he is finding it impossible to put words on paper or even work out what the story is really about. This is despite the efforts of his best friend Billy Bickle (Sam Rockwell) who tries, in several unconventional ways, to gather stories of psychopaths to populate the film. Billy is an out of work actor who is supplanting his income by working with his friend Hans (Christopher Walken) in the business of dog kidnapping. The scam is simple. Steal the dog when the owner is not looking and then wait for a reward to be posted before the dog is miraculously found.

As Marty begins to gather stories of psychopaths he finds things are getting a little too close to home. When Billy and Hans kidnap the dog of local mob boss Charlie Costello (Woody Harrelson) all hell breaks loose. Charlie loves his dog with a passion and wants it back right now even if it means leaving a trail of corpses. His job is made a little bit more difficult by the fact that there is a psychopath called the Diamond Killer who is dispatching mobsters, leaving a playing card with the Jack of Diamonds at the scene.

Seven Psychopaths is a work of wild invention and frequent riffing on stereotypes of the genre. Marty begins wanting to make a dark and violent story about psychopaths but as his journey progresses the intended film, much to the displeasure of Billy, assumes a more Zen like nature. Billy wants a giant shoot out at the end and orchestrates a showdown with Charlie to get the ending the film deserves.

All this is heaps of fun, albeit often gory fun. Farrell is the blank every man whilst Sam Rockwell gets to play his favourite type of deranged good guy. Woody Harrelson has a blast with the psychotic Charlie and Christopher Walken puts in his best performance in ages as the ageing crook. Notable mention should go to Tom Waits who plays a psychopath with a bunny rabbit. Women don't score as well in the movie, a fact which is commented on during the film itself, with Abbie Cornish and Olga Kuryalenko getting brief roles. This is pretty much a blokes film.There are some fun cameos which I won't spoil.

The film is a little flabby in the middle and perhaps a bit to the zany for its own good. However with a funny script and a bunch of performers who are clearly loving their job this is an enjoyable experience.

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Transfer Quality

Video

Seven Psychopaths was shot on 35mm film and projected in the cinema at a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This DVD preserves the original cinematic aspect ratio. It is 169 enhanced.

The film has a light grain structure probably associated with filming on Super 35 mm. It suits the Noirish nature of the film, casting Los Angeles in a hazy sunshine.

The image quality of the DVD generally is very good. The colours are strong and vibrant with an agreeable stability. The flesh tones are accurate.

There is a sharpness to the picture and no evidence of artefacts or compression.

There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

Seven Psychopaths features a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track running at 448 Kb/s.There is also a 2.0 track running at 256 Kb/s.

The sound is strong throughout. The dialogue can be heard clearly.

The surround is not used to a great extent except in some of the shootouts although there is some ambient sound which is spread across the channels. The sub woofer only rarely comes into play.

Music for the film is supplied by experienced composer and frequent collaborator with the Coen brothers Carter Burwell. He supplies another quirky interesting track for this film. Music comes from a variety of sources but with an overall soul feeling.

There are no technical problems with the sound.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

There are no extras on this DVD.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 1 DVD has a very short suite of extras. I am obliged to rank it preferable to the Region 4 DVD because of the extras, but only just so, as they are apparently little more than puff pieces.

Summary

Seven Psychopaths belongs in the collection of any fan of black comedy and Hollywood comedies combining The Player, Get Shorty and Tarantino violence into an experience which is sometimes unmanageable but always interesting.

The DVD is of good quality both in sound and vision terms. I would have liked extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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