Fight Club

Fight Club

4.7 145
Director: David Fincher

Cast: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter

     
 

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Though the six-month wait for Fight Club's DVD release nearly drove many of the film's fans crazy, 20th Century Fox gets it right the first time. Instead of releasing a bare-bones disc first and a beefier version months later, this feature-filled, double-disc package transforms David Fincher's caustic, pitch-black satire from one of 1999's most controversialSee more details below

Overview

Though the six-month wait for Fight Club's DVD release nearly drove many of the film's fans crazy, 20th Century Fox gets it right the first time. Instead of releasing a bare-bones disc first and a beefier version months later, this feature-filled, double-disc package transforms David Fincher's caustic, pitch-black satire from one of 1999's most controversial films into one of 2000's best DVDs. A pristine 2.40:1 anamorphic, widescreen transfer and Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound get the first disc off to a great start, preserving all of the visual and sonic details that make the film rewarding on repeat viewings. Four entertaining and informative commentaries -- one by Fincher, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, and Edward Norton; a separate commentary by Fincher; another by Fight Club novelist Chuck Palahniuk and screenwriter Jim Uhls; and one by visual effects supervisor Kevin Haug, costume designer Michael Kaplan, production designer Alex McDowell and cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth -- are an audio crash course in directing, acting, and special effects techniques. Though the features on the first disc might be more than enough for many viewers, the second disc rewards diehard Fight Club fans with a bonanza of bonuses that would be overwhelming if they weren't neatly organized into five categories. "Work" digs even deeper into the film's technical achievements and provides in-depth explanations of some of the film's most impressive and involved effects, such as the opening credits' ride through the narrator (Edward Norton)'s brain, the dream-like plane crash and sex sequences, and the photogrammetry technique used in other key scenes. "Missing" presents seven cut scenes and alternate takes, including Marla's (Helena Bonham Carter) infamous "I want to have your abortion" scene and other, more subtly different sequences that lend insight into the choices made while constructing the film. "Art" features galleries of the storyboards, pre-production paintings, costumes, and makeup (an especially impressive and funny section -- the "before" and "after" makeup designs look like reconstructive surgery in reverse). And if the disc's other features are primers on filmmaking, then "Advertising" is a run-through of basic marketing concepts. The promotional galleries include publicity stills and artwork, Internet-only commercials, the theatrical teaser and trailer, and a whopping 17 U.S. and international TV ads, some of which seem to be for slightly different, yet related films (in an attempt to appeal to viewers put off by the film's violence, the "Girl's Club" commercials make Fight Club look like an offbeat romantic comedy). A transcript of Edward Norton's appearance at Yale University's Film Society also addresses his and Fincher's concern about how the film's violence should or could be interpreted. Finally, "Crew" profiles the cast and crew and includes biographical blurbs on everyone from Fincher to the Dust Brothers, whose own commentary and score track unfortunately had to be jettisoned due to lack of room. Indeed, the set uses every available milimeter of space on the discs and the packaging to enhance the viewer's experience. The beautifully designed fold-out case includes the booklet "How To Start A Fight," which features quotes from Palahniuk, Uhls, the production team, and Fox 2000 executives about the process of turning the cutting-edge, underground novel into a big-budget, big-studio picture. In a clever move, the booklet also mixes in excerpts of positive and negative reviews from writers ranging from Roger Ebert and Kenneth Turan to anonymous cyber-critics, highlighting Fight Club's polarizing effect. But even the film's harshest critics would have to concede that the the time, care and details put into the DVD set the standard for the format. Fight Club fans, meanwhile, will find weeks' worth of lovingly obsessive features and information to pore over. Though it was originally planned to be a very simple relase, thankfully this densely packed set gives one of Fox's most interesting films of the '90s the treatment it deserves.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Unrelentingly savage and diabolically witty, Fight Club romanticizes violence as the last recourse of men who feel emasculated by the drudgery and predictability of modern urban life. That sentiment is initially articulated by narrator Edward Norton, playing an angst-ridden corporate drone who anesthetizes himself with mindless consumerism and support-group participation. Norton's unnamed character is roused from his torpor after encountering soap salesman Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt, sweeping away the last vestiges of his glamour-boy image), charismatic leader of disaffected males who hold clandestine meetings and achieve self-realization by pummeling one another into submission. Director David Fincher (Seven), working from an irony-laced script by Jim Uhls (adapted from the novel by Chuck Palahniuk), drenches his able cast in testosterone and assaults the audience with graphic sequences of hand-to-hand combat. Mesmerizing in its almost fetishistic depiction of brutality, Fight Club seizes the viewer's attention from the beginning and grips it firmly through the shocking surprise ending.
All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
A definitive case of a movie that has yet to find its time, David Fincher's unnerving and cataclysmic look at the male psyche takes no prisoners and makes no apologies, which is precisely why the film is so powerful. A kind of stepchild to Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange in terms of its thematic relevancy and misunderstood nature, Fight Club looks and feels like almost nothing that has preceded it. Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter all successfully subvert their onscreen personas, and give fully committed portrayals that never get buried in the film's dazzling set pieces. More than any film of the 1990s, it was hotly debated in terms of its cinematic worth. Some critics deemed it fascist and overheated, condemning the film for its refusal to a create an easily delineated platform on the issues it raises. Others praised the film for this very reason, citing its ability to challenge the minds of moviegoers. The film was a surprising misfire in its initial release, but a legion of die-hard fans subsequently developed. It wouldn't be at all surprising if it goes on to achieve the delayed status of a work such as Blade Runner, another film panned by critics and audiences when it was released that is now viewed as a significantly influential movie and a banner example of film theory on screen.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/14/2003
UPC:
0024543000358
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
R
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
2:19:00

Special Features

4 commentary tracks with David Fincher, Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter; Anamorphic widescreen (aspect ratio 2.40:1); English 5.1 surround; English Dolby surround; French Dolby surround; 17 behind-the-scenes vingnettes with multiple angles and commentary; Outtakes and deleted scenes; Storyboards, publicity gallery, and concept art

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1: The Feature
0. Chapters
1. Fear Center (Main Titles) [:22]
2. Ground Zero [:12]
3. Insomnia [1:32]
4. Nesting Instinct [:26]
5. Remaining Men Together [1:19]
6. Power Animal [:51]
7. Marla [1:35]
8. Single Serving Jack [3:42]
9. Tyler [:17]
10. Jack's Nice Neat Flaming Shit [1:12]
11. Lament for a Sofa [6:21]
12. Odd Jobs [1:16]
13. Hit Me [2:27]
14. Paper Street [3:48]
15. Welcome to Fight Club [:18]
16. Infectious Human Waste [3:21]
17. Sport Fucking [3:17]
18. Tyler's Secret Formula Soap [:37]
19. Chemical Burn [1:05]
20. The Middle Children of History [1:47]
21. Homework [4:41]
22. Jack's Smirking Revenge [:57]
23. Project Mayhem [5:41]
24. Human Sacrifice [:58]
25. Space Monkeys [:20]
26. Psycho Boy [7:38]
27. A Near-life Experience [4:00]
28. Tyler Says Goodbye [1:37]
29. Operation Latte Thunder [5:42]
30. Déjà Vu [2:09]
31. Changeover [5:09]
32. Mea Culpa [:12]
33. Castrating Cops [:37]
34. Kicking and Screaming [3:48]
35. Walls of Jericho [1:53]
36. End Credits [1:22]

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