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FIGHT CLUB

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FIGHT CLUB

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Brad Pitt: he will talk about Fight Club, after all

FIGHT CLUB Rated: R
David Fincher’s stunning take on Chuck Palahniuk’s anti-consumer society novel

The Movie

Just about as atypical as a Hollywood production can get, Fight Club is like no movie you have ever seen before. A cutting edge denunciation of modern consumerist society, it fires up the senses, engages the brain and redefines perspectives.

Violent, bloody and frequently unpalatable, it is nevertheless utterly captivating; blink, and you may miss something extraordinary. The hugely talented Norton lives up to his reputation as Jack, a city professional “slave to the IKEA nesting instict” who finds a cure to insomnia by infiltrating support groups and venting his frust-rations. Losing all of his possessions in an apartment block fire, Jack moves in with Tyler Durdan (Pitt) and together they form the Fight Club – a place where men meet, fight, and pummel life back to basics.

As the anarchy escalates, so Durdan begins his own franchise – one of urban terrorism, known to its followers as Project Mayhem… A disturbing trip into intensifying madness, Fight Club is a visual feast that consolidates Fincher’s position as a star director with enormous pulling power.

Both accessible and challenging, it’s a wholly satisfying film yet one that demands multiple viewings. You’ll probably love it, or you may find it wholly disagreeable; 5 stars - Damn fine disceither way, it is never, ever boring.

The Extras

An immaculate release, so laden with additional features that it comes over two discs in a beautifully designed gatefold sleeve.

Disc one contains the stunning presentation of the feature, together with an incredible four commentary tracks. The first is a solo talk by Fincher; the second includes the director, Pitt, Norton and Bonham Carter; track three has novelist Chuck Palahniuk and scriptwriter Jim Uhls; while the last includes production designer Alex McDowell, director of photography Jeff Cronenweth, costume designer Michael Kaplan and make-up designer Kevin Haig.

Of these, the cast commentary will probably prove the one most popular, touching on the issues of taste, morality and changes to the original novel. Unmissable for anyone who enjoyed the movie, it also highlights Tylor’s ‘subliminal blip’ appearances in the early reels of the film (and on the hotel room video), and underlines the clues to his identity. Very clever stuff.

Smartly designed with the user in mind, the second disc conveniently divides into sections and sub-sections allowing easy access to a wealth of material. The main attraction is the behind the scenes vignettes, which offer multi-angle views of various aspects of the film-making. For example, there are four versions of the main titles, showing different stages of CGI work in progress, which can be played with two different versions of the score.

The making of the airport scene can be viewed in two angles – the production recce or during shooting – with relevant audio tracks. Visual effects sequences, such as the mid-air collision, the ‘Furni’ Catalogue and the car crash can be seen at various stages of development, from CGI roughs to green screen work to the final edit.

On Location is a compilation of behind the scenes footage, featuring Pitt undergoing a full head cast, Meat Loaf being eased into body padding and try-outs for the bursting bags of body fat. One gets the impression that a video camera was left running throughout the entire production; this really is almost as good as being there.

Promos and photos are stored under the banner of Publicity Material, which boasts two trailers, 17 TV spots, five Internet spots, a music video and a text interview with Norton. A stunning promotional gallery includes lobby cards, the press kit and a stunning collection of 150 production stills.

The entire range of storyboards for the film (many hundreds of them!) can be viewed in the Art section, along with effects stills, costume designs, grisly make-up drawings (not for the faint hearted!) and pre-production paintings. Finally, Cast and Crew contains 18 biographies for key talent, although the lack of concise filmographies is disappointing.

Pushing the capacity of DVD to the limit, Fight Club is a glorious celebration of the format. Lovingly compiled with the co-operation of Fincher and his team, it’s almost a time-capsule for the movie and its production5 stars - Damn fine disc – and one that will not fail to satisfy.

David Richardson

Credits
Fight Club

Cast • Brad Pitt
Edward Norton
Helena Bonham Carter
Meat Loaf, Jared Leto
Director • David Fincher
Duration • 139 mins
Screen Ratio • 2.40:1
Anamorphic • Yes
Audio • Dolby Digital 5.1
Chapters • 36
Languages • English, French
Subtitles • English, Spanish
Release Date • June 6
Distributor • 20th-Century Fox

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FIGHT CLUB
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Highlight

Chapter 9 – Tyler
The astonishing mid-air collision. Skip this bit if you are about to take a flight…

Deleted Scenes

1: Chloe and Rupert
At the cancer support group, Jack (aka Rupert) chats to the sex-starved, terminally ill Chloe. “You look like a pirate” he tells her.

2: Marla’s Pillow Talk
Dialogue cut at the insistence of the studio, as Marla tells Tyler: “I want to have your abortion”.

3: Copier Abuse
One scene re-shot to achieve a different tone

4: Tyler Quits Smoking, Jack Quits Work
Two sequences intended as bookends for the scene in which Jack beats himself up. Multi-angle allows access to filming footage.

5: Angel’s Face Beating
The more bloody version of the battering, toned down for the release. Again, multi-angle gives the option of on-set footage.

6: Walter
Two different versions of the scene with Walter, the computer account executive.

7: Tyler’s Goodbye
One scene edited two very different ways.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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