Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The First Rule of Fight Club...

...is you don't talk about Fight Club.

Don't you just love that quote. It's been spoofed so often since then...but which movie started it all?
There are some films that have been written about so much that there isn’t much left to say…and it really is tough doing a list of one hundred films and I sense a burnout coming on. Still, I have to celebrate this film featuring two of my favourite actors [Helena Bonham Carter and Brad Pitt], David Fincher’s 1999 Fight Club, which is #64 on my lists of 100 Favourites.
If I ruled the world Fight Club would have been up for ten Academy Awards. Actor [Norton], Supporting Actor [Pitt], Supporting Actress [Bonham Carter], Picture, Director, Screenplay, Sound, Editing and Cinematography. It would have won for Sound, Supporting Actress and Editing. But that’s just me. Let me just say before I get into what may or may not be a real review that Helena Bonham Carter was scorching in this film. As the seductive and mysterious Marla Singer she has a burning chemistry with both Norton and Pitt. The fact that this talent was overlooked all season long… Oh, the horror. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. Helena just does not get the love she deserves and I'm so mad at Tim Burton [just like I'm mad at Warren Beatty] for taking their women and shutting them away from me... and the world. But I digress.

Fight Club tells the story of an unnamed narrator who has serious psychological issues. One of the weird idiosyncrasies he has is going to different meetings nightly – for alcoholics, cancer survivors, smokers etc. It’s there that he meets the aforementioned Marla Singer. After his house burns down he moves in with his new friend Tyler Durden, who quickly guides him into a world of wantonness in the eponymous Fight Club. This Fight Club is ostensibly a place for men to blow off steam. But what you think Fight Club is really about is all up to you. I'm sure psychiatrists could have a field day asking their patients what was their response to this movie.
Although it never occurred to me [I saw this when I was thirteen] Fight Club is probably not a movie for the faint hearted. The fight scenes, the sex scenes, the language – it’s all particularly adulterated. But if you’re of age [or just don’t care] you need to go get this movie, if you haven’t before. It’s jolly good fun. David Fincher does some ridiculously great directing in this fast paced adaptation of the novel by Chuck Palahniuk. But don’t be fooled into thinking that Fight Club is some vacuous action/violent picture. The underlying implications and themes of this movie are very unnerving. Ed Norton, Helena Bonham Carter and Brad Pitt are outstanding in their roles. I mean I like them all [the former two a lot more], and maybe…just maybe I’m a little biased. But they just act the hell out of their roles.
I’m biased towards actors and I always come out of films thinking more about the acting and less about the writing, directing &etc. Anyhow, what’s so great about the acting in this movie is that the actors are obviously enjoying themselves. The amount of glib line readings that had me rolling with laughter despite their macabre premise are just too much to mention. And there is much hilarity in this movie. It’s not some grim film. The humour is deliciously dark, which is just the way I like it. But even if you aren't able to establish the underlying implications of this movie, I still think it exists a wickedly fun romp in the park. That's the thing with movies like this. Even if there is a serious underlying message beneath all that satire; the film needs to function as a piece without the underlying message. That's what makes Fight Club good. It's both a fun film and a psychological thriller of sorts.
If there’ anything that I didn’t like about Fight Club it’s that Helena Bonham Carter couldn’t do a little fighting herself. That wouldn’t have been super hot…but I digress. This is just a short rant, and not a full review worthy of this wonderful film. But I must say this movie is great. If you haven’t seen it…and I really don’t know what to tell you if you haven’t except – go and see it…NOW!!!

In addition to the TV Meme, I shall be doing a few reposts and recaps of the TOP 100 thus far....
(This is a repost, I shall be unveiling my top ten films some time next week and exams are finally here YAY...so revel in some of my earlier favourites and enjoy the Summer)


Heather said...

One of my favorite films of ALL TIME@

Well played Andrew, well played. And I agree it could have been nominated for 10 Oscars!

Castor said...

For me, Fight Club was a really awesome first watch but my interest has waned considerably since and even though it's routinely on cable TV, I find myself skipping it pretty much every time especially if some of my favorite scenes like Norton blackmailing his boss have already unfolded.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

heather lovely. glad i'm not alone.

castor i totally understand, but i'm liable to watch it out (i do love the end), even though i will admit it is strongest in the first hour.

filmjunkie25 said...

I just watched this movie and thought it was a masterpiece. I'm pretty surprised that Edward Norton didn't get an Oscar nod, or Brad Pitt. They were fantastic in this movie. It's because of this film that the song 'Where is My Mind?' by The Pixies is my favourite song ever. Love it.

Rachel said...

You're 100% correct about the layers of this film. I first saw it at 18 and just enjoyed the hell out of it for the humor, action and sweaty shirtless men.

Post-college I really started to see the underlying message and felt like a shallow moron for not "getting it" all those years. We watch this at least once every six months and it has yet to get old.