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A screenwriter, struggling for inspiration for his script, gets drawn into the dog kidnapping schemes of his oddball friends. Things take a turn for the worse when a gangster's mutt goes missing.
For more about Seven Psychopaths and the Seven Psychopaths Blu-ray release, see Seven Psychopaths Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 22, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish
Director: Martin McDonagh
» See full cast & crew
Seven Psychopaths Blu-ray Review
What do dogs, rabbits, a disgruntled Vietnamese Vietnam veteran, and dreams of glorious shootouts at the end all have in common?
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 22, 2013
I don't want it to be one more film about guys with guns in their hands.
Who knew the story writing business could be so dangerous, so crazy, so psychotic? Director Martin McDonagh's (In Bruges) Seven Psychopaths is a gloriously unique little venture that's an example of art imitating both real and make-believe lives involved in both the creation and imitation of art...or something along those lines. The movie is like a personal journey through the most bizarre example of art influencing life by way of life influencing art. The film creates a wide circle of elements that see a writer given enough material to flourish a story almost beyond belief, largely because he finds himself living a story that's more intriguing, complex, and dangerous than any fictional narrative could ever muster. Seven Psychopaths might be the definition of "you can't make that up," but in this case, McDonagh did just that. If it sounds a little confusing, it is, at least on the surface. Dig deeper, however, and find a movie that's like the best of Quentin Tarantino meshed with the finest from the United Kingdom. The result is a story sourced from small consequences and intimate circumstances exploded into something far more dangerous, unpredictable, and sadistically funny than most anything the characters -- or the audience -- have ever stumbled onto before.
Marty (Colin Farrell, Total Recall) is a struggling writer with a great title in mind -- Seven Psychopaths -- but no story to go with it. He's confident in the project's prospects but he can't seem to break the ice and get into character, er, make that seven characters. Things start going a bit better for him when his friend Billy (Sam Rockwell, Moon) argues that Marty should pattern one of his psychopaths after a real-life killer who uses playing cards as an identifying hallmark of his handiwork. Billy is also involved in a petty criminal enterprise in which he snatches dogs from well-to-do owners. His accomplice, Hans (Christopher Walken, Click), returns the animals and collects what is usually a hefty reward. One day, they kidnap a little dog named Bonny which just so happens to belong to the ruthless Charlie (Woody Harrelson, Zombieland), a man who will do anything, and kill anyone, to get his best friend back home. When Marty, Billy, and Hans must go on the run to escape Charlie and his goons, Marty will come to learn startling truths about the lines between fact and fiction and find that he suddenly has plenty of material for his work, so long as he survives to write it.
Seven Psychopaths is a product almost entirely of its wonderfully eccentric but nevertheless stable script, a script that finds its influences elsewhere but that blazes its own unique trail at the same time, making use of quirky dialogue and quirkier characters that support the situational content and broad and complex plot arc, not define them. Martin McDonagh's film -- the story of a writer also named Marty -- explores an everyday process here wrought with peril brought about by the unfortunate combination of real and fictional dark tales made of innocent beginnings and admirable goals but shaped for the worse by an unfortunate but gradually inevitable downward spiral, inevitable given the characters who converge within the story and despite the writer's shift in perspective away from violence the more violence dictates the happenings in his real world and not that of his scripted page. It's a story of the assemblage of another story that's fantastically built up but made into a violent and dangerous reality. As fiction becomes clear, reality becomes clouded through a seamless and steady transition that's revealing in a number of ways -- inwardly and outwardly, fictional and literal -- and winds up as a classic case of life and death taken from the page and forced into reality, and vice versa for good measure. In essence, Seven Psychopaths absolutely blurs the lines between fiction and real life for one fortunate/not-so-fortunate writer, creating a beautifully fascinating circle where one influences the other in a never-ending spectacle that can only end when everyone's dead, the story's finished, or both. That is, unless there's a loose end left untied somewhere.
The film is also the beneficiary of an outstanding lead foursome. Colin Farrell delivers the film's most deliberately even performance as a writer entangled in something out of his own mind -- or the minds of others -- but that plays out within his life, not those he creates on the page. He's the emotional balance in the film, the character who makes the transition from wanting to pen a story centered on psychopaths and violence to preferring a gathering of characters for the proverbial "kumbaya" moment rather than explore the darker world of death that slowly materializes around him. Farrell's position of counterweight is shared, to a degree, by Christopher Walken's character, a petty con man who separates victims from their cash not through violent means but certainly via dishonest methods, but he turns around and puts that money to good use, to fund the treatment of his ailing wife. Walken, who would normally be found in the Woody Harrelson role, handles his character's underlying tenderness and deeper understanding beautifully. It's a subdued performance for an actor known for more boisterous parts, but even separated from stereotype he largely sinks into his unmistakable cadence and dominant screen presence in what is one of his best roles of the last several years. Sam Rockwell represents the literal personification of the film's story, one that blends fiction with reality and confuses the two to disastrous consequences. His character transforms the least but evolves the most throughout the film; his is a fascinating study in perception versus reality, something Rockwell handles brilliantly in the film. Lastly, Woody Harrelson proves deliciously vile but weirdly tender in the juxtaposition that, on one hand, sees him dishing out violence and pain at will but showing a loyalty and tenderness normally reserved for dogs towards his own dog. It's another part of a larger puzzle of beautifully realized misdirections, backwards priorities, and real-life make-believe all thrown together competently and enjoyably through the creative mind of Writer/Director Martin McDonagh.
Seven Psychopaths Blu-ray, Video Quality
Seven Psychopaths makes its Blu-ray debut in startling, eye-opening fashion. Sony's latest 1080p transfer is amongst the finest the format has ever seen. It's technically flawless from start to finish, delivering a wondrous high definition, film-like presentation that should impress even the most avid videophile. The image's light, constant grain structure accentuates the many striking details on display. Facial, clothing, and hair textures are nothing short of pristine. Urban Los Angeles elements and desert terrains both capture amazing details, from the most tactile brick and concrete surfaces to the finest sandy and pebbly textures in the film's later desert scenes. The color palette is certainly on the warmer side, but seemingly by filmmaker intention. Colors, within the parameters of that warmth, are beautifully even and distinct, from bright reds to tan desert shades. Black levels are flawless, and flesh tones only pushed by the image's warner leanings. The transfer is free of any wear and unwanted artifacts. This is outstanding even by Sony's impeccably high standards; a must-see image.
Seven Psychopaths Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Seven Psychopaths features a balanced, enjoyable, and technically sound DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack. For much of the movie, the track offers little of sonic note. It moves from scene to scene largely on the back of its clear, focused, center-based dialogue exchanges. Light ambient effects scattered throughout the film and in its various city and desert locales play evenly and clearly through all of the speakers in the configuration. Music delivery is clean and accurate throughout the entire range. Things get a little more sonically interesting in chapter eleven when a heavy, booming blast sends a jolt through the listening area. Some gunplay near the end of the film offers good, solid, hard hits and a natural presence. This isn't a particularly active track, but Sony's losses presentation offers everything in good working order, each element about as precise as can be expected.
Seven Psychopaths Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Seven Psychopaths contians a handful of short, throwaway extras.
Seven Psychopaths Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Seven Psychopaths earns big points for its novel concept, intriguing character roster, and award-worthy script. The film twists around the boundaries of fiction and reality, good and bad, normal and psychotic, and all sorts of other contrasting elements in a film that never settles down, never stays on the straight path, never gives in to convenience or cliché. It's a fascinating spectacle that doesn't always hit the mark but more often than not wins over audiences with exceptional all-around workmanship. Sony's Blu-ray release of Seven Psychopaths features fantastic video and great audio but a largely worthless assortment of extras. Recommended.
Seven Psychopaths: Other Editions
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Seven Psychopaths Blu-ray, News and Updates
• This Week on Blu-ray: January 29-February 5 - January 27, 2013
For the week of January 29th, Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment brings Paranormal Activity 4 to Blu-ray. Since the release of the first Paranormal Activity in 2009, the franchise has cemented its position as horror cinema's most dependable fright distributor, ...
• Exclusive Giveaway: Seven Psychopaths - January 23, 2013
Blu-ray.com and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are offering three members an opportunity to win a copy of writer/director Martin McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths, starring Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken and Tom Waits. The crime comedy ...
• Seven Psychopaths Blu-ray - November 19, 2012
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will bring to Blu-ray Martin McDonagh's (In Bruges) Seven Psychopaths (2012), starring Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Olga Kurylenko, Abbie Cornish, and Tom Waits. Street date is January 29th.
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