Blu-ray Review: Fight Club


It wasn’t until I started writing about movies online that I found a shared love with Fight Club, but it actually seems like every single movie blogger running a movie news driven website has a special relationship with this film. As a matter of fact, I thought I loved this movie, but now realize I am a mere fan compared to the legions of followers Tyler Durden and David Fincher have amassed. Luckily this film hasn’t inspired a legion of Project Mayhem followers as much as it has inspired folks to journey on a path of loving film and Fox has put together an impressive Blu-ray to make sure they can continue down that path and do so in superior high definition.

The Fight Club Blu-ray, as evidenced in the screenshots you can see at DVD Beaver, is vastly superior to the excellent 2-disc DVD I’m sure adorns every fan’s shelf. Most notable is the absence of a greenish hue that gave the previous DVD edition a slight look as if we were living in the world of The Matrix, but now each frame is as crisp and clear as you could possibly imagine, all while maintaining its dark and murky appeal. Admittedly, the moment we see a battered Angel Face (Jared Leto) in makeup looks more fake than it ever has, but it’s a price I’ll pay for the crystal clarity of the rest of the feature.

The new DTS track is as impressive as one could ask for as the punches hit home with disturbing precision and the damp environment of a dark cellar is brought to life all around you.

As far as new special features go it’s not as if you are getting a ton, but there are subtle benefits. In the featurette department there is a whole section designed around sound designer Ren Klyce’s work including a six minute introduction titled “A Hit in the Ear: Ren Klyce and the Sound Design of Fight Club” followed by the ability to individually adjust the sound mix on four separate scenes. The featurette is interesting and more than enough as the sound mix sessions are an absolute bore unless you truly have a lot of time to waste.

Next is a ten-minute “Flogging Fight Club” feature from Spike TV’s 2009 Guys Choice Awards presentation celebrating the tenth anniversary of the film and its entry into the Guys Choice Hall of Fame. Mel Gibson is on hand, riding in on horseback honoring the film with Fincher, Norton and Pitt accepting. The best part of this is the inclusion of behind-the-scenes footage as the trio decide what they will say on stage and Norton coming up with the idea for Pitt to thank Gibson as “sugar tits”.

The only other new feature makes use of the four commentary tracks that are available, all of which are worth a listen if you have never given them the time of day on your 2-disc editions. They range from fun to informative and this new Blu-ray gives you a whole new way of listening to them. By accessing the “Insomniac Mode” you can either search a database of keywords to find specific commentary discussions or hit play as the four tracks will be listed on the left side of the screen with the topic being discussed in each featured along the way. This allows you to tune in to another commentary if the description interests you. It’s a fantastic way to mix things up if what you are listening to ever gets dull. Criterion does a similar indexing of their commentaries and it’s nice to see another studio starting to catch on.

The most disappointing portion of the release will be for anyone picking this up that doesn’t already own the 2-disc edition as it appears all of the short extras have been carried over but are an absolute nightmare to access through a branching navigation I gave up on after only watching one featurette. The ability to navigate this stuff is so much more rewarding on the previous DVD edition, which means it won’t be leaving my shelf should I ever choose to revisit them.

As for the film itself, I enjoy it a lot and owning it on Blu-ray is an absolute must for anyone with fond memories. And instead of expounding any further I think I will direct you to our very own David Frank’s ten year anniversary column celebrating the film where you can continue the discussion even further.

Overall, this is a disc I wouldn’t hesitate to buy, or if you know a fan of this film and they own a Blu-ray player this makes for a VERY easy gift idea. The picture and audio alone separate it from its previous DVD release and the best of the special features are still readily available. This is a must own in my book.

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