Frequent are the tales of a good book made into a mediocre film, but rare is the jewel that is an uneven book made into a decent flick. Like many in the 1990s, I read Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho because it was so damn controversial with its violence and whatnot, and didn't even get to the good stuff because I'd been bored into a coma by the endless scenes of business card and pop music discussion. Enter director Mary Harron, who made something coherent out of Ellis' mess with a film that took virtually every line of its dialogue directly from the book while both mocking and enhancing its themes of yuppie rage.
In the performance that weirdly set the stage for his turn as Bruce Wayne, Christian Bale plays the fourth-wall-breaking Patrick Bateman, whose frustration with his empty life of chemical peels and trendy restraints manifest themselves in axe murders and hooker abuse ... or do they? Frankly, I don't get the ending either, but as a chilling performance and piece of acid satire, the 2000 film is a vastly underrated flick, one that's become strangely more relevant in the age of the Occupy movement. You'll never be able to listen to "Hip to be Square" or "Sussudio" the same way again. The 35mm print screens at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $5.50. —Zack Smith