The Machinist

Cover Art: 7/10
The cover is interesting and it captures that hint of creepiness The Machinist doles out in generous portions. The menu is the cover with navigation, not very imaginative, but functional.

Features: 7/10

  • 8 Deleted Scenes – They did toss in part of a scene that was cut which, during the movie, would have been helpful at that particular moment of the film. Other than that these are just your standard axed scenes that got lost in the process of slimming down the final cut.
  • The Machinist Breaking The Rule Featurette – Interviews with the cast and director shed some light on just how seriously they all took this story. Director Brad Anderson says he was shocked at Bale’s weight loss, but as a director he was actually happy about it because it suited the character. I won’t mention Bale’s skinniness much, it’s obvious, it’s one of those things people like to chat about. Personally, if the guy wants to “get into his role” by those extreme means, I say go for it. It’s not shocking, just kind of yucky to be honest. He talks a bit about it in this featurette, but there was no complex weight loss regime, he smoked, drank coffee, and stopped hanging out at the pub. Basically he stopped eating, brilliant. Brilliant.
  • Director Commentary – Anderson is one of those directors who loves what he does, and he’s so into the story you often want to give him a shake and say, “Dude, it’s just a movie, it’s not real.”..haha But I appreciate his enthusiasm and as you listen you gain a new perspective on the film, which actually makes it better than watching it raw without the commentary.
  • Theatrical Trailer – blah

The Movie: 7/10:
I did like The Machinist, I just didn’t love it. I appreciate the story, the style, even the performances (to a degree). It just didn’t all add up to a classically intriguing film that I will remember and want to see again and again. The story is fascinating. A man has lost a considerable amount of weight, and through the people around him we discover his personality has changed in the recent past. He has become paranoid, and acts quite bizarre. One thing could be making him a bit crazy, he hasn’t slept for a year. That’s right kids, a whole year. Is that possible? Get that question out of your head right now or you will not be able to get into the story at all. The premise is that this man has not slept and barely eaten for a year and it’s caused by something we don’t understand. Something has happened, but you can’t figure out what it is. Between the bleeding freezer, flashbacks of dumping a body in a river, paranoia, fictional people bustling around, and the ominous green glow of the film, you are captivated by all the questions rushing through your mind. It’s unclear why all of these strange things are happening to him, this is supposed to be the intriguing part of the story.

I say “supposed to be” because there are a lot of movies that carry us through someone’s struggles to discover something from their past, or solve a mystery. The Machinist looks fantastic and has many moments of true beauty when it comes to artsy looking shots, but it’s not enough.

Bale is always totally into his roles, obviously, and he does a fine job this time around. His natural charm comes through in the few scenes where he needs to actually have a conversation with someone. I don’t mean there aren’t a lot of dialogue scenes, there are, but it seems that Bale has just enough lines to expose his character’s weaknesses, it never goes into much depth. That’s not a bad thing. I like the pace of the film and how everything is not revealed when you expect it to be.

I was captivated by the process the character was going through, it just never seems to fully suck me into the whole thing. I would say it’s an amazing film, it just doesn’t stick in my mind as one that has the impact some other films of the same genre have had on me personally.

Value: 6/10
I would say this is one for your collection if you dig creepy flicks with not-so-common style. If you are a Christian Bale freak, you have to have it for the weird factor of him being so skinny. If you like Jennifer Jason Leigh this is one of her best, in my opinion, but 20 bucks is a bit steep with so little extras up for grabs.

Rent this one now and buy it later when it’s in the cheap box in a few months.

Overall Score 7/10