"Seven Psychopaths" is probably unlike any film you've ever seen. In a world flooded with movies, this film managed to carve out a niche that is all its own. As it featured a promising cast, I was delighted to give the Blu-Ray Disc a closer look when it arrived on my desk, courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Marty (Colin Farell) is a struggling screenwriter in Hollywood, trying to break out big time when his best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) suggests he writer a story about a series of psychopaths, and begins to outline one such character in remarkable detail, kindling the Marty's interest.
Meanwhile, Billy is running a small "business" of his own stealing other people's dogs and returning them to their owners after a reward has been posted. With the help of his friend Hans (Christopher Walken), the two have developed quite the scheme, but things start to go haywire when they steal the wrong man's dog - that of psychotic gangster Charlie (Woody Harrelson).
As the dog thieves try to evade the gangster's grip, Marty gets drawn in more and more into the bizarre world of Billy and Hans, but all the while the two men manage to invent more and more psychopath stories, helping Marty along as he tries to develop his hit screenplay.
"Seven Psychopaths" manages to juxtapose two opposing ends of the genre spectrum - comedy and thriller - and does it exceedingly well. The movie is funny as hell with its bizarre situations and more so with the wonderfully twisted way the characters react to the these situations. At the same time the film is brutally violent, an element I typically do not care very much for, particularly in the light that these days movies have developed a tendency to be gratuitously violent for no other purpose than its own sake. In this particular combination, however, it creates a stark contrast that makes "Seven Psychopaths" truly enjoyable with unexpected turns of events.
A big part of the movie's appeal comes from the cast and their portrayal of these weird, yet charming, characters. Sam Rockwell is perfect for the part of gung ho best friend that teeters on the edge of overeagerness, while Colin Farrell's rough edges play nicely to create a downtrodden alcoholic main character. Needless to say that it is Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson, however, who steal the show with their hilarious turns as characters that defy every cliché.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is presenting "Seven Psychopaths" in a pristine 1080p high definition transfer on this release, with an image that revels in detail. Textures are nicely reproduced and the film's somewhat gritty look is also maintained perfectly well throughout. The transfer's solid black levels add visual depth to the presentation that firmly roots the picture.
PResented in a DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio track, the audio of the film is perfectly matching the imagery on the screen. It is dynamic and active, making good and frequent use of the split surround channels.
As extras you will find a number of short featurettes on the disc, covering aspects such as the movie's locations, the layers of the story, the seven psychopaths, along with a look at Woody Harrelson's and Colin Farrell's takes on their characters. Director Martin McDonagh also gets a word in in his own featurette, discussing the making of the movie.
"Seven Psychopaths" was a real surprise. I wasn't sure if I'd like the film and was surprised, just how much I enjoyed it. Don't turn it off too soon, though, because there is a real gem of a scene awaiting you during the end credits that you do not want to miss. That scene alone, in a way, sums up everything the film is about, the madness, the humor and weirdness of it. Check out "Seven Psychopaths" for a film you won't forget.