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Fight Club

Fox // R // October 15, 1999
List Price: $26.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Geoffrey Kleinman | posted May 20, 2000 | E-mail the Author
The Movie: Fight Club is the story of the every man - Jack, who like most of us clocks in every day to a job, defines himself by what he owns, and simply does not sleep well. Jack finds solitude in myriad of support groups, everything from Men with Testicular Cancer, Sycle Sell Anemia Support Groups, and of course both Blood and Brain Parasite Support Groups. Jack doesn't have the ailments associated with each group, but he isn't exactly well either. Through a series of events Jack meets Tyler Durden and through Tyler he finds Fight Club, a much different kind of support group. I would say more, but as you will find out.... "The First Rule of Fight Club is- You Do Not Talk about Fight Club".

Fight Club is an in your face adrenaline filled movie, which isn't afraid to laugh at itself and at us. It's part action film, part satire, part comedy. A strange and unique blend that really works.

If you haven't seen Fight Club, be prepared, it's a movie that definitely has to grow on you. The first time I saw this film in the theaters I had a mixed reaction to it. Then I read the book by Chuck Palahniuk, and began to find myself really liking the story. By my third enthusiastic viewing on DVD I realized that Fight Club is one of those movies that truly improves with time and repeat viewing.

The Picture: On DVD Fight Club looks great. Fight Club is presented in its theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and is enhanced for Wide Screen TV's. Having seen Fight Club in the theaters I was particularly impressed with the films transfer on to DVD. Fight Club is a very dark film with a lot of deep dark tones. The transfer to DVD masterfully reproduces these dark tones in a very clear and clean way while still maintaining the gritty feel of the movie.

The Sound: Fight Club features truly fantastic 5.l Dolby Digital audio track which is used very well by both the movies sound effects and the excellent score by the Dust Brothers. A nice feature (if you have the equipment to support it) is the main Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is THX EX enhanced - Which basically means it has an additional rear center channel. Fight Club is THX certified, I wish more of the the THX certified movies looked and sounded this good.

The Extras: Fight Club is so packed to the gills with special features, I found myself spending as much time watching the special features as I did the movie. The best special features are the 4 audio commentary tracks on the DVD. It was quite a task listening to ALL 4 commentary tracks, and I'd recommend spacing them out a bit. The two tracks I liked the best were the main Commentary track with David Fincher and the second track with David Fincher, Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter. There are so many layers to this film and these two tracks really flesh out many of the subtleties and meaning which make Fight Club such an amazing movie.

The Second Disc in this 2 disc set is devoted entirely to extras. Be warned, this DVD has so many features and so many options it's almost impossible to get through. While I admired the uniqueness of the way the Making of Fight Club Features were presented (with multiple camera angles and audio tracks), I found the experience of watching them to be disjointed. I was so overwhelmed by option and selections that it really didn't end up being an enjoyable experience. I think the Making of Fight Club Features are a great example of DVD technology being over used and getting in the way of the enjoyment of the material. I would have much rather seen a more compiled making of documentary over the fragments presented on this DVD.

When Fight Club was announced I got the impression that there would be many more Outtakes and Deleted Scenes. There are only 7 fairly short deleted scenes, most of which compare the deleted scene with the scene that ended up in the movie. With so much room on the second DVD I would have liked to see more Outtakes and Bloopers (like on the Criterion release of Armageddon).

If you are a fan of trailers and promos, you'll be in heaven with Fight Club. I don't think I've ever seen such an extensive collection of promotional materials including: Teasers, Trailers, TV Spots, Internet Ads, PSA, Posters, Lobby Cards and even the Film's Press Kit. Of special note are the Fight Club Internet Ads which are extremely entertaining as well as 2 PSA's which are just hilarious.

Conclusion: Fight Club is a really exceptional DVD due mostly to the superb film and sound transfer. It is packed with special features, but quantity in this case doesn't necessarily mean quality. I spent a great deal of time with Fight Club, much more than almost any other DVD that I own, but not all of that time was quality time. Especially on the second DVD, I found myself spending a lot of time just flipping around trying to figure out what I was watching. If Fox had released Fight Club with the great picture and sound and only 2 of the commentary tracks, a solid making of documentary and the deleted scenes, on one DVD, it would have been enough, the rest is bonus.

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