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THE MACHINIST (BLU-RAY)
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Brad Anderson

Starring:
Christian Bale
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Aitana Sánchez-Gijón
John Sharian


Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Trevor Reznik has not slept for a year. His every waking minute has become an unrelenting nightmare of confusion, paranoia, guilt, anxiety and terror--each of which is part of an escalating series of clues that will lead to the source of his mysterious affliction.
Is it good movie?
I don’t think that people will tend to look back on The Machinist and find themselves with a middle of the road opinion. This is the kind of movie that will either kick your ass and blow your mind or just soar right over the top of your head. The first time I watched it, I was just dumbfounded- it reminded me of something like Memento.

The Machinist isn’t exactly linear; it is a sort of jumbled narrative that forces the viewer to put the pieces together. Bale plays a drill shop operator who is slightly out of sorts. You see, he is pencil-thin and hasn’t slept in a year. The only things he has going for him are Stevie, a prostitute, and Marie, a waitress who interacts with Trevor in a crappy diner each night.

Of course, things become really, really bizarre and sinister when Trevor meets Ivan, a man who claims to be his co-worker. A terrible accident ensues and then Trevor is forced to piece things together based on cryptic post-it notes he leaves himself throughout his apartment. I won’t give away much more, but this is a real cinematic journey. If you can figure it all out before the movie ends, you’re far more clever than I.

The movie is carried by fantastic performances from Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aiatana Sanchez-Gijon and John Sharian, who add gravitas and a touch of sadness to these already dark proceedings. Bale himself is completely transformed once again. People don’t give this guy the credit he deserves- like Ledger and Oldman in the Dark Knight, Bale is truly a chameleon. It’s a harrowing thing to look at him, weighing something like 90 pounds as his character descends into madness.

If I had a complaint, I suppose it would be that this movie isn’t for everyone and the final conclusion isn’t completely satisfying. As it is though, this is a movie you should definitely seek out, for performances alone.

Video / Audio
Video comes in a 1080p, 2.35:1-framed transfer and looks great- as great as it could I suppose, given the dull and muted colors of this industrial-esque movie. It isn’t reference quality stuff, but that isn’t the fault of the disc.

Audio sports a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack and actually didn’t blow me away. Everything seems a bit muffled and no sound effects really jump out. It’s not terrible, but nothing incredible either.
The Extras
First up for extras you get a commentary track with director Brad Anderson, who is very knowledgeable and easy to listen to. Great track here.

We also get Manifesting 'The Machinist', a twenty minute piece that details themes, script and other stuff while mixing in cast intervies. Pretty much an EPK here.

Next is The Machinist:' Hiding in Plain Sight, which runs about 14 minutes and details the puzzle that is laid out throughout the film. Spoilers beware, don’t watch this first!

The Machinist:' Breaking All the Rules is another making-of featurette that runs 25 minutes or so and is better than the other one, as it is more in-depth.

Finally, there are about 12 minutes of deleted scenes and a trailer.
Last Call
The Machinist is my kind of movie. Dark, entrancing, atmospheric and scary without being foolish, this is a thinking person’s movie. The best part is that once it’s over, you’re ready to watch it again to put the pieces together. The blu-ray isn’t stellar, but I feel like the film was done justice and not just slapped on the shelf. If you haven’t seen this yet, I recommend it highly.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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