Occasionally, a viewer may revisit a film from years in past that they may not have liked, and it seems much better the 2nd time around. That kind of thing happened every so often when dvd was new. But, now with blu-ray, and its ability with the right sound system and monitor, to offer an experience at least as good as in its original theatrical presentation, if not even better. Well, "FIGHT CLUB" was a film this reviewer didn't like at all originally, and having to review it for its blu-ray release, found it to be not only better, but actually a great film! How to explain such a major difference? Not sure. But, perhaps just not being in the right frame of viewing solitude when this critic attended its opening night release, may have had something to do with it. There's no perfect explanation, but "FIGHT CLUB" is really one of those great surprises, and it's never looked or sounded better than it does here on blu-ray.
David Fincher directs this tale, based upon the Chuck Palahniuk novel of the same name. Ed Norton narrates and stars as the lead character, a young man so detached from the world around him, he attends various support group meetings, without any of the ailments they address, just to feel close to anyone through pain, sadness, despair or anything at all! There doesn't seem to be any escape from his mundane life, that is, until meeting Tyler Durden(Brad Pitt), while travelling on business. While Tyler would appear to have a mundane life, if judging him from his job, creating and selling soap, he's actually anything but dull. In fact, Tyler's strong charisma and set of unusual values, has an immediate appeal. And with Ed Norton finding himself suddenly without an apartment to live, after it's suddenly destroyed in an explosion, he decides to take up Tyler's suggestion of sharing a place to live together. Tyler's impact on the other's dull life is immediate, dangerous, but never dull. While a secret "Fight Club" opens the door for these changes, there are plenty of other equally disturbing life changes that are introduced, changing a life of detachment for a life of living on the edge, but more align with total nihilism.
There's a lot to take in during "FIGHT CLUB," and it certainly calls for multiple viewings to fully catch everything that's going on, leading up to a bizarre but appropriate climax.
"FIGHT CLUB" may not deserve the label of "MASTERPIECE," but it certainly comes close!
FOX has provided the correct 2.40:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p.AVC/MPEG 4 blu-ray release. Colors vary in their intensity due to the various styles Fincher employs in any given scene, but they're always dead-on. Blacks are inky, complimenting the noir-ish look Fincher also utilizes, but the incredible detail is never swallowed up by shadows. Intentional grain gives the image the film-like quality desired by Fincher and it's never intrusive. There are a few instances wherein the image falls flat, but the great majority of the film offers stunning "jump-off-the-screen" resolution. A GREAT LOOKING TRANSFER!
FOX has provided a DTS-HD Master audio 5.1 mix. It joins the ranks of the best sound mixes available on blu-ray thus far! From the opening credits all the way through the end credits, the listening experience is immersive, energetic and dazzling! An incredible selection of songs pumps through all speakers, during key scenes, with unsurpassed fidelity. Ed Norton's narration, is perfectly balanced within the complex mix of sound effects, music and dialogue. Definitely one of the greatest reference quality blu-rays available!
"FIGHT CLUB" certainly is an acquired taste, and not for the masses. It's definitely not the kind of film one should think of trying with elder parents after dinner at a holiday gathering! And, fans of "FIGHT CLUB" will likely have very specific tastes regarding their tolerance of other kinds of films as well. With that in mind, Director David Fincher employs his unique kind of humor with a calculated gag, occurring as the blu-ray begins to load and set up in a player. For about a minute and a half, unknowing viewers will believe their "FIGHT CLUB" blu-ray has suffered from some kind of manufacturing mix-up, as the menu appearing after loading, is not for "FIGHT CLUB," but instead for another very different kind of film from FOX, the cute, mass appealing romantic comedy, "NEVER BEEN KISSED." While the unknowing will likely be upset, before the film reverts to normal, making the gag obvious, this critic actually hopes FOX will now choose to release "NEVER BEEN KISSED" on blu-ray!!! It's actually a fun film, and it marks the first appearance of a very attractive, young newcomer named Jessica Alba in a major studio release!
All the commentaries from the special edition dvd are carried over for this, and while all are excellent, the best features Fincher, Norton, Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter. An interactive-type guide with search features is presented, along with a ten minute clip from the recent SPIKE TV awards wherein Fincher, Pitt and Norton were given an award for the film with induction into "GUY MOVIE HALL OF FAME."
The other extras are in standard definition, and made up of various featurettes, deleted and extended scenes, trailers and more! GET THIS QUICK!!!
Chuck Palahniuk novel