on 8 August 2002
when it opened in the U.S to tepid business, there was widespread misjudgement that it was another testosterone-fuelled man-flick about bare-knuckle fighting. don't make this mistake. those who had read Palahniuk's corrosive social satire knew exactly what to expect. the film begins in the Medula Oblongata of the brain and explores every corrupt brain cell of today's culture. nobody is safe - Starbucks, Ikea and their children, which pretty much encompasses most of the developed world's inhabitants, the corporations, the small businesses, educated and uneducated. the main theme is the crisis of middle-class masculinity and is set in an anonymous city, much like Seven, and is a world of oppressive conformity where nobody has the power or will to break away, least of all Ed Norton's lead character. Norton plays an unconsuming drone (in the same vein of Anthony Perkins' Norman Bates in Psycho)and Brad Pitt, the enlightened anti-social (or perhaps anti-society) Tyler Durden. The cast is flawless, with Jared Leto playing a role with more importance than is realised, as Angel Face and Helena Bonham Carter sheds her corset for a female role to die for, displaying all the nihilism and apathy that the film requires. like Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho, this book was also deemed unfilmable but Fincher's ability behind the camera trashes another dictionary entry. the film ends on as much of an ambiguous point as it can muster, because in the world portrayed on film, nothing can be taken for what it really is. after this, it seems impossible to go back to your ordinary job and your ordinary life and indeed, ordinary films.
Fight Club, in my book the ultimate bloke film. Last week, we were given Heat on BD and this week we have Fight club - Xmas has come early! I'm not supposed to talk about it but...
David Fincher has a pretty healthy looking portfolio under his belt (Alien 3; Seven; Panic Room; Benjamin Button for a start) but this is at the top of the list for me as his best. Top knotch cast topped only by the quirky, strange and damn right clever storyline. Follow the dull life of a John Doe as he seeks to find out more about himself by...I can't say in case people reading this haven't seen it, but lets say by making soap for now. Suffice to say, it's one of my favourite movies ever and shouldn't be missed. There is no way that as a viewer you will be able to take in everything that happens in a single watch. You'll pick up something extra that you didn't notice last time around, each viewing. Did I he really just say that? Did I just see that???
Transfer is great, amazing levels of dark. We have grain in places if you have a hang-up on that but it is rare.
*** WARNING ***: The ultimate frightener ever appears on this BD the moment you put the disk in (I'm stunned they even got permission to do it!). I suffered a heart attack and therefore am not going to give away what it is - why should others not go through the same as me! I laugh now, but at the time I started to cry.
The packaging says that it's English only, however on the disk we have
Languages: English DTS Master; English 2.0 DD; Spanish Latino DD; French DTS; Portuguese DD
Subs: English; Spanish Latino; French; Portugese; Danish; Finnish; Dutch; Norwegian; Swedish; Mandarin (Traditional)
on 16 April 2006
Fight Club is a stunning and brilliant film about the mind-numbing meaninglessness that traps so many in our consumerist society. The unnamed central character, played by Edward Norton, is looking for a way to escape, and that's when he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) who, amongst other things, introduces him to the simple joys of fighting. Through the Fight Club they establish, he is able to feel alive again, but there is a lot more to Tyler than meets the eye... Superbly shot and directed, with excellent performances from all the main actors (particularly Pitt, Norton and Helena Bonham Carter), this atmospheric and psychological film is one of the best things to come out of Hollywood in recent years.
on 22 March 2007
I've never commented on other reviewers comments as they are personal opinions, but some reviewers of this DVD made such silly statements I felt compelled - it is very much an original piece of work. The fact that it's influenced so many others (and lost it's identity) doesn't diminish it's relevance, it underscores it. And the theme's are even more relevant today - consumerism is at an all-time high. This movie was made in a slump - just listen to Tyler Durden ranting about our generation not having a defining war. That's changed since 9/11, but the feeling of alienation/isolation/boredom through constant consumerist-orientated attacks (adverts) is even felt by soldiers... think of the difference between Apocalypse Now and Jarhead... or Full Metal Jacket and Buffallo Soldiers... Fight Club will be relevant as long as we place such heavy importance on purchase power, and it'll always be a classic. At least until the credit records return to zero...
on 16 April 2006
Words can't describe the intelligence and pure brilliance displayed by this masterpiece. This is a cult-classic that demands to be seen again and again, not only because of how stupidly good it is, but just to get your head round its different messages, meanings and twisted logic.
This is a story of self-discovery, taking the main character (played brilliantly by Edward Norton) through a struggle with the very foundations of our modern society and his own twisted state of mind. Brad Pitt shows yet again that he has far more to offer than just his looks, providing a fantastically confident weird 'Tyler Durden'. Every other actor fits their part like a glove without exception and each makes a convincing and valuable contribution to the film, a rare thing in modern cinema.
David Fincher (also director of Se7en) does everything right in Fight Club. Nothing, and i mean NOTHING, is in this film by accident. Every tiny detail has been carefully planned and thought through; whether it be the subliminal flashing images, the intense fight scenes or the psychological mind games constantly being played between the characters and even between the director and the audience.
To explain the storyline any further would be an exercise in futility but the ending makes the film what it is, so whatever you think of it, persevere to the end.
This is my favourite film of all time and it has a huge cult following for a very good reason. Watch Fight Club and challenge your mind and your life like you never have before; that's how powerful and relevant this film is.
5stars, without a doubt
on 11 March 2002
Anyone who has said that they guessed the ending to Fight Club is talking complete rubbish - not just because it twists the storyline into a 180 degree turn, but because it is so completely unpredictable.
Fight Club is in a class of its own. It develops a psychological boundary that is both impressive and, frankly, quite brilliant. Not only does it provoke modern society, but also screams out a message that is seemingly determined to grab the viewer by the scruff of the neck shouting "grow up!"
The film centres around a character called Jack, an insomniac who becomes extremely bored of his life of routine and predictability. That is, until he meets Tyler Durden - a man with a very surreal and twisted outlook on life who introduces Jack to his philosophy on life, with both funny and shocking results.
Fight Club is a film that deliberately laughs in the face of seriousness and as a result, is a film you'll either hate or love. Personally, my outlook on the film was definitely the latter!
on 3 July 2007
So, it's a film which spouted inevitable tabloid controversy, didn't do terribly well at the box office, got at best mixed reviews by critics, then through word of mouth and fast rocketing DVD sales has easily entered into every top films list composed since. It's appropriate that Fight Club's true quality was revealed to the critics by the public rather than the other way around.
The film follows Edward Norton's insurance drone, a bored, soulless man who feels emasculated and numbed by his pointless existence. He lives out his life like anyone else, dull job, IKEA furniture, he's as uniform and grey as any man you pick out on the street.
His life, however, takes a dramatic turn when he meets Tyler (played by Brad Pitt in his best acting role to date). Tyler is charismatic, intelligent, and intriguing. When Norton's apartment is destroyed in a mysterious accident Pitt invites him to crash at his, but then comes the critical request 'hit me'. And so it begins, the two new friends begin holding recreational fights in parking lots which quickly blossom into a the Fight Club of the title where frustrated, emasculated, average men can beat the living hell out of each other with their bare fists.
These fights aren't vindictive, these men are not enemies, the fights make these men friends, comrades, drifting souls all screwed over and repressed by the same system. We often see them embracing with almost post-coital grins on their faces in the bloody aftermath of a fight. Fighting reminds Jack (Norton's character is actually nameless but most refer to him as Jack) not only that he is alive, but that he is a man, that there is a fundamental primal part of him which can be repressed by society but never eradicated completely.
The Fight Club quickly spawns Tyler's new and secretive idea, Project Mayhem. The culmination of Project Mayhem is stunning but I won't tell you what that is because it would spoil the movie.
This is a very deep and multi-layered film, what do you think it's about? Is it a satire on the way feminism, though achieving liberation for women, has made men's liberation next to impossible due to anti-male prejudice? Is it and expression the basic unfulfillment and frustration of the everyday person in a capitalist society? Is it an eye-opening perspective on the way our most basic needs become repressed and dirtied by modern life? I'm not going to tell you, I know what I think, but this film is so deep and open that half the point is trying to work out what it says TO YOU.
So why buy it? It's smart, it's brutal, it's highly re-watchable, and it's a film everyone (men and women alike) needs to see. One of those 'greatest films ever' that actually deserves the title.
I could write a ten page essay on this film, but for now I'll just leave you with a few words of advice: Go and watch it now, it's truly brilliant.
"My eyes are open"
When this movie first came out I had no real desire to see it. All of the publicity was about how violent the movie was and there was not much mention of anything else. I was a bit of a David Fincher fan after The Game and Seven and I really like Edward Norton, who in my opinion is the finest actor of his generation, but I still thought who really wants to see a movie about people knocking lumps out of each other for 133 minutes? I certainly didn't and so weeks went by until one of my favourite UK movie magazines published their top twenty movies of 1999. What was top? You guessed it, Fight Club. But I still wasn't convinced. However, I'd seen everything else that I'd wanted to see and Fight Club was about to leave the theatres and on the basis that every review of the movie in the UK had been five star I felt I had to see it. I didn't expect to enjoy it but I kind of felt that as a supposed film buff it was my duty to watch even if I was going to hate it. I couldn't have been more wrong, I was blown away by this movie. It was nothing like I expected and nothing like the hype. And it's not just a guy movie either, I watched this with my wife and she loved this movie as much as I did and at the end she turned to me and said one word "wow"! Sure there is some very realistic and gorey fight scenes in this movie but to characterise it as a mindless bloodfest is to do it an enormous disservice. This is an incredibly powerful movie that pulls one surprise after another. It has an incredibly original script, excellent direction and wonderful acting. Not only is the ever fantastic Edward Norton better than he's ever been before (or perhaps ever will be) but he is ably supported by Brad Pitt (who I'm generally not a great fan of) as the charasmatic anarchist and soap salesmen Tyler Durden, the superb Helenah Bonham Carter totally cast against type as Marla (...)(in what should have been a multi-award winning performance) and Meat Loaf. Yeah, Meat Loaf in good film, understated, funny, good acting shock!!! Who would have believed it? Not me but then Fight Club is that kind of movie, it is nothing like you'd imagine.
I don't want to give the plot of the movie away in case you haven't already seen it. To my mind the best way to watch a movie (and in particular this movie) is with no prior expectations and an open mind. This movie is a rollercoaster ride that will take you places and directions that no movie has taken you before. How good is it? Well, I read a magazine interview and Edward Norton stated that when he and Brad Pitt watched the movie for the first time, Brad Pitt turned to him and said "you know this is the best movie we will ever be in" and Edward Norton agreed. That's how good it is! Darkly comic, a visual and verbal assault on the senses, Fight Club is perhaps a movie before its time that has divided (and will continue to divide) audience opinions to the widest of extremes. Does it have a deep and meaningful message? Maybe it does and maybe it doesn't and maybe that's exactly the point, maybe that's how our world is at this particular place and time. Whatever, in my opinion Fight Club beats the hell out of most other movies and fully deserves five stars.
on 8 May 2004
Fight Club, is without a doubt one of the finest thrillers ever made. Directed by David Fincher, who also directed Se7en,(another modern classic) Fight Club stars Edward Norton as a man who suffers from insomnia. After a chance meeting with the mysterious Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), Norton's character (who is unnamed and refered to as "The Narrator" in the credits) befriends the friendly yet slightly sadistic Tyler. As a result, he finds a way to overcome his insomnia and the boredom in his life as the two set up an underground, illegal arena where people meet to relieve their agression and beat each other senseless. However, as the film progresses, it seems that nothing in "the Narrator's" life is what it seems and that Tyler has other secret and more sinister reasons for setting up the Fight Club...
That's as much of the plot as I'm going to explain as to reveal any more would be to ruin a brilliant piece of film making. The films credibiltity is mainly down to the excellent performances of it's two leads (Pitt and Norton) and the fantastic, captivating plot, which finishes with one of the greatest twists that I have ever seen in a film, as it makes you look at the entire film again in a different light. Pitt and Norton are perfectly cast as the two friends who are complete contrasts in character and Fincher provides top class direction for a plot that it is chilling, dark, thrilling and at times, also humorous.
Due to the film's final twist (which completely makes the film), it benefits several more viewings- more the reason to buy the DVD! I completely recommend this film as it is easily one of the best and original films ever made- just don't let anyone tell you the twist to the film before you have seen it for yourself!
A little surprised that most of the reviews here are for the vhs or dvd releases. Anyway, here goes for the latest, all singing all dancing scum-of-the-earth blu-ray edition of this un-ageing classic.
I'm a HUGE fan of the film, so I jumped on the occasion when this hit the shelves just before christmas. I must say that the film hasn't aged a bit. It's still relevant and looks and sounds great. However, the blu-ray edition adds much too little to warrant replacing your dvd version with. Ok, the picture is a little crisper, but if you think of the gritty, grimy look of the film, you'll realise that there's little to be gained by a (slightly) sharper picture. This wasn't shot in HD or IMAX and it shows (or rather, nothing shows that would take your breath away.)
The extras are interesting, particularly 'A hit to the ear' in which the sound effects guy draws your attention to the weird sounds that add so much to this film's atmosphere (Think of that echoing chatter and heckling in the basement - the fists pounding faces were given sound using some very gruesome ideas - also think of the buzzing warp behind Tyler's philosophising monologue etc...)
There's also a feature where you get to mix your own sound for set scenes, though this sounds MUCH more exciting than it really is (basically increasing or decreasing sound-effects and voice independantly and choosing which speaker from your 5/6.1 sound system it comes from. Very fiddly and frustratingly inaccurate (this is after all a film's extra, not a dedicated game.)
My advice, if you're considering this, you've probably already got the DVD. If your TV or player does a minimum upscaling, you won't notice the difference here. Certainly not enough to warrant the money here. If you've lost your DVD copy or (shock horror) haven't seen the film, you might as well go with this.