The Machinist

DVD Reviews | Jun 19th, 2005

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Starring Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sanchez Gijon, John Sharian, Michael Ironside, Larry Gilliard, Reg E Cathey, Anna Massey
Written By:
Directed By: Brad Anderson
Studio: Paramount
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Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) hasn’t slept in over a year. Skinny as all hell, and a mental nut case, Trevor spends his nights in a state of confusion, paranoia, guilt, and anxiety. The only person he can open up to is a prostitute named Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh.) When a horrifying accident happens on the job, Trevor starts to wonder, freak out, imagine, whatever you want call it, about whether his insomniac nightmare is starting to get to him. Or some people are out to drive him completely mad.

First thing you notice when you see the beginning of the movie, is that really Christian Bale? Having lost over 65 pounds for the role, Bale looks like he was held captive at a concentration camp but he has taken the extreme sacrifice of getting into his character. His character, Trevor Reznik, is a walking zombie, with having not slept in over a year, he becomes more delusional and crazy as each day passes. Living in a dreary city, in a miserable job, and in a crappy desolate apartment, no wonder someone like Trevor is the way he is. How can anyone be happy living in a world that is cold and dreadful. Things only get worse for Trevor when cryptic messages and notes pop up in his apartment, and a hallucination of a co-worker that no one else seems to see, leads to a horrific accident at work. From this point on, Reznik feels he was the cause of the accident and that everyone he works with is out to get back at him. Each night, Trevor is stuck in a routine of going to the airport and sipping coffee and nibbling at a piece of apple pie as he chats up the waitress Maria. He would then come back and is always seen scrubbing and washing his place with bleach, including his hands. It definitely has this very Alfred Hitchcock vibe. The whole way the movie looks; cold and uninviting, the music; which is reminds me of a classic horror-thriller movie, and the entire cast bring this movie together for one more great Hitchcock type of film. I don’t want to spoil what happens in the movie but Bale’s character starts to piece all the notes and weird happenings together and definitely makes light of what the hell is going on in this film. Some of you might figure it out from what you see in the beginning but despite all that it still leaves you wondering what everything meant.

Special features include a great audio commentary by Director Brad Anderson, which definitely sheds some light on the decisions that when into making the film and how Christian Bale transformed himself into this very puzzling character. Also, A twenty five minute making-of takes a look at how the film was able to pull off shooting in Barcelona, Spain to take the place of LA, it showed me they worked their ass off on this film. It also continues to show how Bale took the job very seriously and went to extremes to provide the most believable character he could. Features also included 8 deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer.

Still not sure how I like this movie. The film definitely is an ode to Hitchcock, because the movie is hard to make out in the beginning what type of film its going to be, but as it gets deeper into it, the true meaning comes to fruition. Bale provides an excellent performance as does Jennifer Jason Leigh. The cinematography is also great because it provides the back drop to the movie and gives you an aura of how the film should look. The ending is very good because it’s the big payoff to watching the whole film. It explains all the questions you have watching and could almost leave it to come back for a sequel. The Machinist thrills and Christian Bale is great as Trevor Reznik.

8 deleted scenes
The Machinist: Breaking The Rules
Audio commentary by Director Brad Anderson
Theatrical trailer

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Surround CC

Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)


Favorite Scenes: The last ten minutes, Fight at the factory, Scenes with Jennifer Jason Leigh
Rating: R
Running Time: 101 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: