Christian Bale continues to prove he's one of the best young actors today with his stunning performance in "THE MACHINIST". Bale plays Trevor Reznik, a "machinist" suffering from insomnia so badly that he claims to have not slept in an entire year. This lack of sleep is manifesting in problems that are both psychological and physical. While it's too easy to credit an actor for gaining or losing weight for a role, Bale's obvious commitment to this part, shedding incredible weight for his character to appear incredibly thin, is honestly quite powerful to witness. After finding a note on his refrigerator displaying the start of a "Hangman" game, Trevor attempts to find the person responsible for messing with him. Unfortunately, the deeper his investigation, the more disturbing the images haunting him become. Is someone out to get him, or is he just paranoid? This is the mystery.
While the film doesn't move at a rapid enough pace, it's absorbing and it works. The ending is actually surprising as well.
PARAMOUNT has preserved the film's 2.35:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement. While there are some artifacts and some intrusive grain, the overall image is impressive.
PARAMOUNT has provided a DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 mix that's impressive from beginning to end. While it's not overly aggressive, it's completely absorbing. Surrounds are used effectively for music and creative effects. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
PARAMOUNT has provided some extras, including a terrific commentary with the film's director. It's not entertaining, but aspiring filmmakers will appreciate his technical insight. Several deleted scenes, interviews and behind-the-scenes moments are included.