Club" DVD Packs a Wallop
by Jim Bray
The DVD release of
Fight Club is clear evidence that 20th Century
Fox Home Video has learned how to offer incredible bang for the movie
First, Fox unleashed
a special edition DVD of The Abyss,
a video masterwork that included two versions of the film as well as a
second disc worth of goodies.
The precedent being
set, Fox obviously decided to top itself with the Fight Club
Available in what
could be called a super deluxe collectors edition, the
DVD is a new benchmark for DVD content and packaging.
Based on a novel by
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club is director David Finchers
extremely Kubrick-esque look into the modern male psyche.
The film follows Edward Nortons character, Jack, on
a journey from tightly wrapped insomniac to, well, you really have to
experience the movie to see where his journey takes him.
Brad Pitt and Helena
Bonham Carter co-star in supporting roles to Nortons Jack,
though support probably isnt the most accurate term
for what they give him. These people are from a generation whose parents
were too busy indulging their whims to bother raising their children,
and the kids resent it.
is definitely not what one expects, and the commercials dont come
close to hinting at what its all about. Words, in fact, dont
really lend themselves to describing a buddy film without buddies, and
a movie thats as much a mind game as it is entertainment.
Its a finely
crafted masterpiece, and my earlier comparison to Stanley Kubrick wasnt
made lightly. Fight Club brings to mind the late masters
A Clockwork Orange with a healthy dose of Eyes Wide
Shut thrown in to further mess with your already spinning head.
fitting that, while Fight Club wasnt a huge smash at
the box office, Fox Video has chosen to bestow upon it such loving treatment.
Regardless of the money it made theatrically, Fight Club is
an important and thought provoking film and its almost sure to become
a huge hit and an eventual staple in its video incarnation.
The DVD is an experience
right from the time you remove the shrink wrap.
Unlike The Abyss,
you only get one version of the movie, but that version has been beautifully
mastered to the Lucasfilm THX standard and the exquisitely shot film looks
better than it did in my neighborhood theater (which cant seem to
focus correctly). The Dolby Digital audio is so good that, during scenes
in which the director has chosen to include a deep, nearly inaudible bass
track to heighten the mood, I could feel a breeze from the movement of
air emanating from the subwoofer.
Its the extra
material, however, that really makes the Fight Club DVD so
much more than just a high quality audio/video experience.
The package itself
simulates a plain brown paper wrapper tied together with string and when
you slide the inner package out youre greeted by a colorful, three-part
cardboard sleeve that contains the two DVDs and an 18 page color
Disc One contains
the movie, and the disc is also blessed with four audio commentary tracks
in which director, cast, writers, and key crew members share their thoughts
and experiences about working on the flick. Commentaries like these are
quite common, and theyre almost always fascinating, but FOUR?
are also must haves for film students, and they take the DVD
from the realm of entertainment and make it educational as well.
The second disc is
loaded with wonderful goodies, including six clips shot during Fight
Clubs production that use the DVD mediums multiple
angle feature to give you different perspectives on key sequences.
There are also nine behind the scenes vignettes (with commentaries) on
how the films special effects were created, a collection of original
storyboards, some deleted scenes and bloopers, and a gallery of still
Fox also throws in
original artwork, publicity material, a music video narrated by Brad Pitt,
My hats off.
Fox has done a magnificent job with Fight Club and deserves
a lot of credit.
So how about Star
Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace?
Fight Club, from Fox
139 minutes, Widescreen (2.35:1), Dolby Digital
Starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton Helena Bonham Carter,
Written by Jim Uhls, directed by David Fincher
Jim Bray's technology
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