Not without its flaws, Seven Psychopaths is still a funny, endearing and charming movie with well-rounded characters and a unique story making for a surprisingly enjoyable and memorable experience. Colin Farrell continues to show that when working on smaller budgeted pictures, he’s a good actor and with Christopher Walken, you’ve got a winner.
Genre(s): Comedy, Crime
Sony | R – 110 min. – $35.99 | January 28, 2013
Directed by: Martin McDonagh
Writer(s): Martin McDonagh (written by)
Cast: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken
Theatrical Release Date: October 12, 2012
Features: Featurettes, UltraViolet Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Disc Size: 27.8 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 4.0/5
Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths is one of the more unique and creative ventures from 2012, an enjoyable adventure with a charming cast of off-the-wall characters. Thankfully, although it takes place in and around Hollywood, it’s not too inside the park and focuses on an actual storyline versus inside jokes that only actors and movie junkies would appreciate.
The story centers on a Hollywood screenwriter named Marty (COLIN FARRELL) who is past deadlines and having trouble even starting his latest screenplay, though he has a general idea and title: it involves seven psychopaths but Marty wants to avoid violence. Aiding him is off-the-wall best friend Billy (SAM ROCKWELL) who spends his days kidnapping dogs and, with partner Hans (CHRISTOPHER WALKEN), brings the pooches back and collects the reward money. Hans is a bit nobler using the money to help his ailing wife who is in treatment for cancer.
Marty, Billy and Hans’ troubles begin when Billy kidnaps the wrong dog that belongs to temperamental mob boss Charlie (WOODY HARRELSON) and he’s none too happy that his precious dog is missing and will by any means necessary get her back. When the connection is made with other missing dogs, the goons are on to Hans and, eventually, Hans’ wife whom Charlie dispatches in a cruel manner.
Given this is entitled Seven Psychopaths we get a variety of characters: there’s a mobster killer dubbed the Jack of Diamonds (for leaving playing cards at the scene); another is a Quaker father (HENRY DEAN STANTON) whose daughter was murdered and lives only to haunt her killer; a Korean man (dressed as a Catholic priest) planning a murder; and then you have the other characters already introduced. There are others though it’s less about the killers and more about the three core characters at the center.
As I said in the opening, Seven Psychopaths is a refreshing movie with well-rounded characters that are not only more than clichés and instead are actually likeable and therefore we care about their outcomes. One would assume with the title, it’d be a balls-out blood fest and indeed there is blood but at the same time, it never dumbs itself down to the audience.
In terms of the cast, obviously whenever you have someone like Christopher Walken, you’re in for a treat and this is no different. Certainly when you compare it to his other roles like in The Prophecy, Batman Returns or The Deer Hunter, this is fairly mundane but he brings a certain soul that it’s hard not to like him and in turn, the others. Colin Farrell delivers a nice performance albeit it’s nothing profound but it’s nice to see him continue to do smaller projects (he also was quite good in London Boulevard). Sam Rockwell probably is the best of the trio, a chaotic force that sends things out of control and he really embodies the title so well. And as the primary antagonist, Woody Harrelson, who replaced Mickey Rourke (reportedly there was a falling out with the director), is funny as the man going through hell just to get his dog back.
Seven Psychopaths is writer/director Martin McDonagh’s follow-up to his crime/comedy/drama In Bruges which he received a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award nomination (lost to Milk) and with his latest, he has shown himself to be, hopefully, a mainstay with creative stories and three-dimensional characters audiences can actually care about (even when they’re fatally flawed). By no means is this a perfect movie, some of the pacing was a bit off, but it’s still an enjoyable little flick that hopefully will garner similar following as In Bruges.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5
This release comes with a glossy slip cover. Inside is a slip of paper for the UltraViolet Digital Copy. Unfortunately although there’s a fair number of featurettes (6), they only total 10 minutes.
Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths (2:31; HD) – This is a basic featurette which has interviews with McDonagh and the cast. It has some behind-the-scenes footage showing the fun they had with one another.
Colin Farrell is Marty (1:25; HD) and Woody Harrelson is Charlie (1:24; HD) are character profiles with the actors chatting about their roles.
Crazy Locations (2:09; HD) shows the various places the crew filmed.
Seven Psychocats (1:31; HD) is a trippy featurette showing cats in the roles instead. Don’t watch this high…
Layers (1:05; HD) – This is a compilation of shots from the movie set to a beat.
Previews – 7500, Faster, The Mechanic
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Seven Psychopaths arrives on Blu-ray with an excellent 1080p high-def (MPEG-4 AVC) transfer presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio. While I might not describe this as “stunning”, it is quite good with fantastic detail levels throughout, free of artifacts and a minor amount of natural film noise which adds to the theatrical look without being overwhelming or distracting. It’s not a perfect transfer (it’s not something that pops off the screen) but it is pretty damn close.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track offered is also impressive with wide range from the quieter, dialogue driven scenes to the action-packed, extravaganza moments especially towards the end with explosions and gunfire. The lossless track is dynamic and fully immersive in the home theater room. As with the video, I wouldn’t say this was the best I’ve heard, hence the rating, but should be more than adequate for most.
OVERALL – 3.25/5
Overall, not without its flaws, Seven Psychopaths is still a funny, endearing and charming movie with well-rounded characters and a unique story making for a surprisingly enjoyable and memorable experience. Colin Farrell continues to show that when working on smaller budgeted pictures, he’s a good actor and with Christopher Walken, you’ve got a winner. The Blu-ray has good audio/video transfers but the features have much to be desired.