A great film gets a nice makeover in the next generation format.
Only three new featurettes in HD?The disillusioned Narrator of this film, or Jack, is played by Edward Norton. He is someone who has been living life doing the things he should be doing. He went to college, got a job, has a nice apartment, etc., yet he is completely miserable. He is absorbed in the world around him and in his spare time attends therapy groups because he is so alone and desperate to feel something in this life. Then he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and his world changes. Durden encourages Jack to embrace that aspect of himself that he has repressed. When Jack's apartment explodes and all his luggage is lost on a plane flight, Jack begins to live with Durden (who he also met on a plane) because he doesn't have anywhere else to go.
It is here that Durden introduces Jack to the world of Fight Clubs. These are places where men gather and fight one another. There are rules, they must be adhered to and Jack readily embraces this new lifestyle. This film then devolves brilliantly into a world of grime, grit and psychosis only to have our main character come to understand that a lot of what takes place is more in his mind than he (and us) previously thought. In the end, Durden and his Fight Club s decide to burn it all down and it is here that Jack decides to reclaim his life with a gun.
If you haven't seen Fight Club this movie probably sounds a bit strange. If you have seen it then you are probably upset at my omission of man plot details in this description. I will simply say that I didn't want to give away any spoilers, and I think that anybody interested in this Blu-ray release will probably A) have already seen Fight Club or B) if they haven't, be thankful that I didn't spill all of the beans.
Since this is a Blu-ray disc release the Standard DVD featurettes (taken from ALL the previous releases) are not being covered in this section.
A Hit In The Ear: Ren Klyce and the Sound Design of Fight Club
While I wasn't too excited about this feature I could see would-be sound designers being pretty happy. Essentially, Ren Klyce, the person who designed the audio for this movie, introduces 4 scenes from this film that users can then remix. In fact, Klyce is there, like a little angel in your ear, to talk people through this feature. The scenes are:
- Welcome To Fight Club
- Angel Faces Beating
- The Crash
- Tyler’s Goodbye
I liked this feature. Normally, I find these sorts of things to be a tad hokey but I didn't feel that way here. I am just glad that they didn't try and include a Fight Club game on this release where we get to be Jack, Durden or the other characters. I can't say that I went through each scene but it was interesting utilizing my remote to change the audio experience for this film.
Flogging Fight Club
For those that preach the gospel of Fight Club this section of the Blu-ray disc is for you. Have you ever wanted to make a point to someone and then back up that point with something from a movie? Well, this section gives you that ability in spades. You can look up topics from the film in alphabetical order, talking points, and you can also access the film's commentary tracks. There are 4 on here (from the aforementioned previous releases) so know that you could enter this zone of the DVD and possibly never leave. For my money, the best commentary is that of Director David Fincher, Pitt and Norton. While I might think that this trio is full of hot air a lot of the time, having them in one room talking is nothing if not entertaining.
1080p - AVC MPEG-4 codec - BD-50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc - 2.40:1 aspect ratio. This movie looked incredible on Blu-ray D. I have seen this movie in the theater, on DVD and no Blu-ray. It was darkly shot. That is just Fincher's style and on this film he and cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth have spared no expense in this department. I always thought this movie looked good but it seems like Fox has gone through it and just brightened everything up but nothing about this makes the movie feel artificial or fake. I especially love the exterior shots because I always felt like this movie was intentionally gloomy and hopeless. While the Blu-ray release retains all of this, it really seems to have been opened up even more by the people that put this release together.
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. I have to be honest, in my screenings of this movie in the theater and on Standard Definition DVD, I have always found the sound to be incredible. So, when thinking about the audio on this release it stands to reason that things wouldn't be that much better. After all, how do you improve on something that is basically perfect to begin with? Maybe if I had the speakers on my TV surrounding me, I would have felt something different, but all in all I thought the audio was top notch before and I think that now.
Norton and Pitt are presented in xeroxes on this front cover with the Fight Club lettering in pink (good touch Fox!) against a black and gray background. The back cover features more of the same with a description of this film, a Special Features listing, technical specs and a credits list. The disc comes stored in a piece of cardboard artwork with Norton on the front, a bar of soap on the back, and a front portion that opens up to reveal xeroxed looking pictures of Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter and some writing that is germane to the film.
Fight Club is a brilliant film. It is rich with strong characters, great writing, a great book behind it by Chuck Palahniuk, and performances by Norton and Pitt that are incredible.
The biggest problem that I have ever had with this movie is the problem that I find with a lot of Hollywood films. There is a scene where Brad Pitt's character looks at a model on a poster and asks Norton's character, "Is this what a man looks like?" What Norton should've said to Pitt (and doesn't) is, "No, that's what YOU look like." In all of the discussions of this film I have never heard anybody broach this point. Somehow Brad Pitt, David Fincher and even Edward Norton pass themselves off, beyond the movie, as being these subversive artists. I guess in some way they are but at they same time they are three of the most sought after people in Hollywood. They make millions of dollars for their work. Brad Pitt got $5 million dollars for a commercial for the Super Bowl in 2004! He didn't mingle with any of the extras on the set (I know because I was there), yet, when Hurricane Katrina happened Pitt, Leo DiCaprio and the whole Hollywood, Green, Liberal set were front and center fielding phone calls. Had they suddenly found populist religion? Or, just a good, inexpensive photo op?
Another thing about this film is that I find that people who drive huge, unnecessary trucks, take steroids so they can look big and macho, and are affiliated with political parties who have ideas that are far different than those portrayed in this film, have somehow identified themselves with this movie.
HEY IDIOTS... WHEN THIS MOVIE ESCHEWS MATERIALISM, DERIDES FOLLOWING AND NOT LEADING, AND GENERALLY CLOWNS 95% OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC... THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT YOU!!!!
How in the world this got lost in the delivery of the film is beyond me but I am happy to have this forum to discuss my grievances. I have to think that Fight Club's biggest failing is that it's violence, so stylized and hyper-realized, somehow has overshadowed the great themes and points that this movie was trying to make. Like Taxi Driver before it, people got so caught up in the surface of what was presented on screen that the medium became the message and few people went below the "fight" aspect of this film.
Now, some of you may wonder about me, my politics, and why I have taken this DVD review to discuss these things. Well, rather than give you a regurgitation of everything that has already been said about this movie, I wanted to try and get back to the discussion that I have to believe Palahniuk, and even Pitt, Fincher and Norton wanted people to have about it. Our need to consume, our need to fit some pre-determined model, our need to be like everybody else... the way this need is heaped upon from the moment we enter this world...
Fight Club is an welcome release on Blu-ray D... I just hope people think more about it than they do already.