DVD Video - Reviews [Fight Club (Special Edition)]
ORIGINAL FULL DVD REVIEW
Fight Club (Special Edition)
Release Date: 6/6/00
Run Time: 139 minutes
Starring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Helena Bonham Carter, Jared Leto, Zach Grenier
Directed by: David Fincher
Movie Summary: [Drama]
Tired of his dead end, white collar existence, a confused young man and his devious friend create a new club whose members relieve their frustrations by beating each other to a pulp.
Widescreen: 2.35:1, Color, 5.1 Dolby Digital EX, Surround, Additional Languages: French, Subtitles: English, Spanish, Closed Captioned, Region 1
4 Audio Commentaries by David Fincher, Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter and more, 17 Making Of vignettes, 5 Deleted Scenes and Outtakes, Music Video, Trailers, TV Spots, Public Service Announcements and Internet promo, Production Stills, sketches, paintings, storyboards and lobby cards
What's the point to all of this? I was in one of those moods the other day as I walked down the street kicking the loose concrete out of the way, occasionally tripping over the deep cracks in the sidewalk. And while I walked past the laundry mats and the Chinese food take-out hole-in-the-walls – I remembered that today I had to do my laundry – I hadn't done it in three weeks and my boss at work asked if I had been taking the company trash out again as he wanted to remind me that it wasn't in my contract. It's funny how he always asks me that when I haven't cleaned the shirt on my back for three weeks. I work at a sewage disposal plant. I'm not sure how he can tell. Life is average. I mean – have I ever been in a position to say any more about it? After all – seriously, what's the point to all of this? My trip down the street that day was different that time around. Other than the passing traffic – even the cats in the windows didn't change. A stranger approached me in a frantic state of mind that day. Grabbed me by the arm, sweat dripping down his brow, his lips quivering and bloodied, dried blood staining his shirt collar. He spoke quickly, slurring his speech, "Take this!" he said, cramming a package in my hand, "Here lies everything you wanted to know! Take it!" ... he released my arm and ran off in the direction I had come tripping over the same cracks that had jumped in front of my feet. I looked down at what he had left with me. Unknowingly, what I would soon find out was that I had nothing more or less than a contemporary bible that spelled out all the answers anyone in my generation ever asked. And someone called this work of art Fight Club. I had some work ahead of me.
This bible has come to me in the form of a DVD. What an exceptional idea, I thought. Spread the word utilizing the latest new age digital medium. "Cutting-edge crew," came to mind. The answers within this package arrived in two parts – that is two discs. The first contained a story – a story of someone familiar. Someone I felt I knew well – but I couldn't quite put a finger on it. Jack [Edward Norton, Keeping the Faith, American History X] was his name and it was a stranger named Tyler [Brad Pitt, Seven, Legends of the Fall, River Runs Through It, Thelma and Louise] that changed Jack's life. Jack was on a path to self-actualization through consumer awareness and emotional and psychological experimentation, but by no means did he plan on getting there any time soon. Jack had his share of problems that lead him on a roller coaster ride with no end in sight. Tyler was the guy that Jack could not be. Tyler had the balls to make a difference. Jack appreciated that about him. Through their combined efforts, a regiment of motivated soldiers spawned by way of Jack and Tyler's successful club organization of which its main purpose was to serve as a means for utilizing an individual's stored fury, a fury condemned to each of us by the trials and tribulations of a lost life walking an unknown road. Tyler gave these men hope. Hope that there was a greater purpose beyond the video games, late night b-movies, bad football games, and Jerry Springer re-runs. Fight Club was more than just flying fists, bruised ribs, and black eyes. And the world was about to find this out.
Even though some of you might view this material strictly as second-rate street propaganda, the quality of their product is something to reckon with. From the colorful hard paper packaging to the stunning digital recreation of the images on my screen – this material is of stupendous workmanship (though, it does smell a bit like soap). The video sparkled in true digital clarity without so much as an artifact or blemish of any kind. Truly a treat to watch are the CGI scenes that plague (if there were any such thing as a good and kind plague) sequences of this video that are divinely creative in all aspects of the word. This is good video. If the meaning behind their word is any bit as powerful as the video in their product, I'm certainly prepared to take up arms in their coalition.
The audio was good enough to write home to mother about – but I didn't think she would really care. And so now I write to you. My girlfriend, as most girlfriends do, has chosen to make a table out of my subwoofer. Putting myself in her shoes – I must admit that the extremely flat plane that is the top of my subwoofer is very attractive in terms of it supporting something that might deceivingly seem more important than the multi-hundred dollar piece of consumer electronics sitting below. What better than for it to support a plant. And she waters it every day. Fight Club allowed me to seek revenge upon this advocator of photosynthesis. Needless to say, this production is quite bass heavy at times – heavy enough to give ol' Sprouts a jump or two in the air. However, not heavy enough to break its life sustaining shell.
Apart from the bass, the lively use of channel separation is magnificent with all channels, front and back, dancing merrily to the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. I utilized my receiver to tune in a 6.1 matrixed version of the Dolby soundtrack – but that's a different story that won't apply to many of you. The wild use of visuals in this production was equally matched by the capabilities of this mix in a tuned environment. It is advisable - that you turn it up (bearing in mind that you might kill a plant or two in the process).
It is the core and purpose of all information that creates its true value – whether it is to be consumed and practiced … or simply forgotten. Fight Club offers you a chance to make this decision for yourself. I, on the other hand, have already mailed in my application for membership (their website was down). Throughout the canals of this 2-disc package, there is an abundance of material that will put you in tune with creators and the creation of this organization. The first disc offers the story I had described earlier with the means to tailor the presentation to your own liking (languages, subtitles, audio format, etc.). Within these features is the option to preview the tale of Fight Club utilizing one of four commentary tracks hosting the likes of the incredible talent involved in this global uprising. Members of the commentary include director David Fincher [Seven, The Game, Alien 3], Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter [A Merry War, Wings of a Dove]. The second disc is its own rainbow where the gold is hidden. Peruse the aisles of data that consists of a surplus of marketing material that is countless TV Spots, Theatrical Trailers, short Internet Trailers, and even a few humorous public service announcements from Jack and Tyler (pay close attention to the final comment that Tyler makes in his announcement – this piece of information will surely prove valuable when survival is key). There are a series of deleted and alternate scenes that are presented well in that additional information indicates what is different in instances where alternative footage was used instead of that which was left on the cutting room floor. This type of presentation should set an example for future releases that exhibit deleted scenes. A music video of final production clips is set to the tune of the Dust Brothers rhythmic and driving efforts. Among the variety of silent extras rests a series of production stills, sketches, paintings, storyboards, lobby cards, and an in-depth cast and crew section that touches on nearly every major talent involved. If you're crafty enough to think outside of the box, utilizing the remote of your player – you might find the hidden section that offers actual Fight Club paraphernalia with humorous ad descriptions to boot. The single most entertaining area within these extra features is the background production footage which can be manipulated to your liking. Everything is here from analysis of the explosive and disturbing gunshot-through-the-head sequence to the digitally rendered sex scene. Each of these featurettes allows the viewer to modify the footage they see and the audio they hear – on the fly. The combination of all these facets of functionality and features makes for a terrific means of generating interest in the production of this project. While the navigational menus were simple, yet cleverly molded in theme with this production, the pictures of soap malevolently tantalized my guilty conscious with memories of my boss's comments.
This is a relic representing the very state of my humanity. My purpose in this world is clear now thanks to the compilation of information on this DVD. My initial concern with the status of my life's destined path has now faded away like the morning fog of a warm day. If you have found yourself in similar shoes searching for a purpose or a means to achieving the goals you have set aside for yourself, but never really understood the benefits if you realized any of them – then I offer you the knowledge that is within this comfort system. Violence isn't our focus – but the means for forgetting – forgetting that before today I wasn't part of a team of individuals that are just like me. Now I have to go. I'm coming up on someone down the street that will need this DVD as badly as I have.