Spoiler Warning

Always assume Spoilers and possible profanity in context. These are often adult themed movies.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fight Club

Fight Club (10th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]Fight Club is a very important movie, not for the solutions it offers, but for the questions it asks and the bold assertions it makes. David Fincher (adapting from Chuck Palahniuk's novel) is very aware of the world he's creating and uses every power at his disposal to create a harsh and chaotic world that doesn't even want to be likeable (except for the soothing IKEA world and the office which are both soothing to the point of sleep.) The visuals are jarring, harsh clashing colors and seemingly random cuts , flashing cigarette burns, characters talking into the camera, and subliminal images, combine with loud dissonant music to frame a brutal world without regard for anyone in it. Fight Club is no bedtime story.

It's no accident (and nothing in this film is an accident) that the opening scene is the narrator faking testicular cancer to belong in a support group for men who've had their testicles removed.

Our main character (Edward Norton) is a powerless man feeling completely trapped in a life that he feels, is all about owning different things. The corporations he says, will one day control the universe. And what is one life compared to "the corporations." The only time he feels anything, is when faking different conditions to attend support groups for the legitimately suffering. Things start to change when he meets Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) a fellow faker at the testicular cancer group. She stifles his ability to cry and so they agree to alternate nights. He soon runs into Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) on a plane, and he's taken with Tyler's observation on the real purpose of oxygen masks.

On arriving home his apartment and all his belongings are blown up. Not having another place to go he calls his new friend  Tyler. "How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight." Tyler Durden(Brad Pitt) asks Norton's character. he then asks Norton to hit him as hard as he can. Tyler reciprocates and our narrator is amazed at the sensation of real pain a punch in the gut produces.Suddenly, he feels alive.

While some see this film as about finding an outlet for male aggression, I think that view misses the whole point. Albert Camus once said that rebellion (as opposed to revolution) is a man who says "No." Ultimately this is a movie about rebellion, a man who tries to say no, in every way that he can. While video games and news stories used Fight Club as a term for any informal brawling association, they completely missed the fact that Fight Club was not really about men hitting each other at all, but why they would want to. Norton's character has to go to ridiculous extremes to even consider this. But, once he starts, men from all around are joining the Fight Club to test themselves with pain.

To explain the need for Fight Club, Tyler says to the members:
"Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."

Edward Norton's character and Tyler Durden use Fight Club to rebel against the life that's been sold to them. But it's telling that the Fight Club's first outside assignment is to start a fight, which they also have to lose. As Norton observes, most people will do anything they can to avoid a fight. In Fight Club's world, normal people are used to being safe, and confrontation, especially physical confrontation poses a challenge to their whole consumerist bubble of a safe clean world. The actual physical fighting is just an outward symbol of the rebellion, the idea of living life without fearing scars.

Norton is terrific in a very tricky role. He has to be able to present himself as a listless drone, who gradually evolves into a truly dangerous individual. Brad Pitt is pitch perfect as Tyler, the sociopathic bad influence that Norton's character needs to help him reject the numbness consuming him. Rejecting nothing less than all of society and modern civilization turns out to be not an easy task.Helena Bonham Carter is brilliant in her darkly against type role as Marla. Her role evolves as she develops a deeper relationship with both Norton and Tyler. She's at least as numb as Norton is, but more fascinated with death. She speaks calmly on the phone, while thinking she took too much Xanax. "It's not a suicide thing, more of a cry for help thing." she tells them without emotion. The relationship with Marla complicates things, as she gets deeper under the narrator's skin than he would like, leading him into some big revelations about himself.

The Fight Club evolves into "Project Mayhem" a full on anarchist campaign designed to wreak havoc on the outside world as opposed to the insular Fight Club dynamic. Of course this leads to many problems including a casualty. Anarchy taken to it's logical conclusion is one person left in the world, the system destroyed with nothing to replace it and Tyler is perfectly OK with that. Where the Fight Club was about rebellion, Project Mayhem is about an anarchist revolution. Norton's narrator feels more alive than ever, but he doesn't realize that the members of the group have only traded one program for another as evidenced when "Project Mayhem" operatives attempt to follow their orders to emasculate anyone who interferes.

In the end Norton's rebellion against being powerless before society only leaves him powerless again, but the struggle this time is against himself, having become his own worst enemy. While failure to change society was inevitable, against himself, he at least has a chance. The rebellion against society was necessary, if only to let him face this fact. (without giving it away if anyone hasn't seen it, I'll just say that this is shown in a very literal way.)

Fight Club is full of testoserone, but I don't think it should be dismissed as a "man's movie." while modern man's emasculation is certainly a major theme, taken a step further, what we're really considering is the loss of the individual in a society that easily reduces us to numbers, and how we handle that. The testicles after all, are just a symbol for our names (bloodlines, heirs) and that's what's being lost. The issue of the narrator's name for example, is a pretty big deal, and he doesn't know what it really is. Eventually, for Norton's character it comes down to this, "should he be more concerned with the credit record or with Marla?" And that's a dilemma that could easily applied to either sex.

Albert Camus once said that artistic rebellion was the only true rebellion, because we can recreate the world without destroying the world that was. Fight Club does exactly that, without sparing society, or the revolutionary, the government or the citizen. I'm sure there are many that still refuse to believe the world that Fight Club creates. It's easy to say that it's only a movie and an unrealistic one. But David Fincher has definitely created a work of art with Fight Club. It asks real questions, hard ones, and leaves it to us to give the answers. A lot has changed since 1999, but the changes in the world only make this work more relevant. Do we feel any more in control? There has to be more to life than IKEA world, but only we can define what the more is. It is after all a movie, not an instruction manual.


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Mandy said...

Phenomenal review! I agree - it is not just a man's movie. I really enjoyed it. Have you read any Chuck Palahniuk? He is really good.

INDBrent said...

Thanks Emm! Yeah he is. Last one I read was "Choke" which was good, but I haven't seen the movie yet. He's got a great energy to his writing that you can't find anywhere else.

Once A Millionaire's Daughter... said...

Best. Movie. Ever. Period.

I made my 14-year-old daughter watch it with me last week. She said it was pure genius. I say it makes me a bad mother. What do you think.

I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

Keep 'em coming, Brent!

Lena said...

I have never seen the movie actually. Don't know, somehow did not feel like this. But after your review I actually for the first time wanted to see it.

INDBrent said...

Hi Bridget.

Thanks for reading! Yep it's right up there. It's that good. I don't think that makes you a bad mother, quite the reverse. However keep in mind I may not be the best judge. My seventeen year old has always been encouraged to watch whatever he wants. My theory is that as bad as a movie can be, the world has worse things to offer. Better to discuss them with me, than to find these things in secret where I can't help. I am Jack's broken heart :( PS Little Ceasar coming up next.)

INDBrent said...

Hi Lena,

Glad hear that. Be advised it's an important movie (and I think a lot of fun) but it's not easy subjecy matter. It's worth the effort!

INDBrent said...


I tried posting a very long response to your FIGHT CLUB review but was not sure that it went through. I'll include it here and if you want to post it as a response on the site that'd be just fine. Here you go:


Excellent read of the film. Hope you don't mind, but I'd love to add my own take on it, which is not entirely out of sync with yours here. Perhaps it will provoke more discussion. I wrote this shortly after seeing FIGHT CLUB in a theater in 1999. Back then I could not have known exactly how frighteningly prescient the movie would be, or how darkly the masculine id would come to dominate our culture. Still, the film was incredibly important to me, truly life-changing, and I attribute many of the actions I took to achieve success and happiness directly to my response to FIGHT CLUB.

Note: There are major SPOILERS in the essay:

With "Fight Club" David Fincher Grapples with the Mystery of '90s Male Rage

by Jeff Gomez

You're going to find three types of reaction to David Fincher's "Fight Club," all of them extreme. The first type will be disgust at such a joltingly violent, often grotesque film. The second will be uneasy admiration for this mischievously kinetic joyride with Brad Pitt at the wheel and Ed Norton riding shotgun. I say uneasy because the film's satiric elements are subtle enough to miss, and its often bloody imagery is easy to take literally. The third type of response is the one I had. "Fight Club" is a revelation.

The fourth in a quartet of significant American releases that examine the state of masculinity at the end of the 20th century (the other three being "American Beauty," "Three Kings," and "Boys Don't Cry"), "Fight Club" has provided me with clues and even answers to questions I have been asking about myself about the recent insanity I've seen in guys across the country these past few years.

In a time when crime in general is down, when international conflicts result in nary a drop of American blood spilt, and when the economy is booming right along, why are teenage boys blowing away classmates a dozen at a time? Why are men turning assault weapons on their co-workers? Why is our purple mountain?s majesty teaming with armed anti-government militia and a hundred different kinds of hate groups? In short, why are guys so damned ticked off?

Jack, as portrayed by Ed Norton, does not start out as one of these crazies in "Fight Club." He's at the other extreme. A sleepless zombie, trudging through life reaching for the name brand carrot dangling at the end of the corporate stick, Jack doesn't even know he's holding it all in. He's a cog in shirtsleeves and a tie, turning in a massive machine, but like Neo in "The Matrix," he knows deep down inside that something is wrong with this reality.

First Jack finds solace by taking the feminine route. With the continued advances in the women's movement, Generation X men have been raised from infancy to "share our feelings" and "be more sensitive" and nowhere better can this be illustrated than in the 12-Step and other kinds of encounter groups that have proliferated across the country. Fincher hammers this home satirically in the character of Testicular Cancer Anonymous member, Robert Paulson. With his mammoth breasts, anguished bawling and lack of balls, Paulson has become an Earth Mother, dragging Jack into his bosom for a good mutual cry.

INDBrent said...

For most men in this day and age, that's where the story ends. Feelings are vented in measured words, and a group hug is followed by polite applause. In "Fight Club" this is when Marla shows up. Now, I've already heard grumbling that the film bashes women, and that Helena Bonham Carter's portrayal of the only female in the film is a negative one. To the contrary, as screwed up as she might seem, Marla is living proof that women are not the problem!

When Marla starts horning in on Jack's encounter groups, Jack is reminded not only that he is masquerading in them, but that the route he has taken is swathed in classically feminine traits. When a female counterpart appears (Marla, who is also masquerading in the groups), he must put up his shields and hide his sensitivity. He can't cry any more. He's stuck back at square one. Marla's future intrusions will always propel the plot forward, helping to shatter Jack's complacency and self-delusions. In the end, it is she who will be standing at Jack's side as an equal.

Well, if it's not women, then what is it? Enter Brad Pitt's spectacular Tyler Durden. We should have known something of Tyler's true nature from the very beginning. From the start of the movie, he was always there! Fincher inserts nearly subliminal images of Tyler Durden into the film several times during its first half hour. In times of stress, when Jack's anxiety and yearning reach their height, Blip!, there goes Tyler. His arrival in "Fight Club" is every bit as heralded as the demon Pazuzu's in "The Exorcist." In fact, we are clued in that a possession of sorts has taken place on board the plane where Tyler and Jack finally meet. After all, everything on airplanes, according to Jack, is packaged for one.

Tyler Durden raises Jack's plight from the mundane to the mythic. With his appearance, we are no longer rooted strictly in reality. As we'll learn at the film's climax (and as was hinted at in the film's opening title sequence), what we are really doing is taking a journey through Jack's deeply conflicted psyche, a metaphor in itself for the conflict in the national male psyche. By this reasoning, to take anything that we are seeing from this point forward literally is just plain silly. The bloody beatings, the criminal mischief, the corporate terrorism, it's all a dark fantasy of the primal male unleashed. Each image and every incident is vital to explaining the deepest passions and frustrations of this man, and hence all guys to one degree or another.


INDBrent said...

Tyler Durden is handsome, swaggering, and care free. His genius is so impressive, that the followers he collects (the "space monkeys") that they interpret his apparent flights into madness as "tests." (Note the confused look on everyone's faces whenever Tyler and Jack have a disagreement. They're watching a single man have an argument with himself!) Jack is captivated by Tyler, almost enchanted by him. We often see him very jealous over Tyler. And Tyler's responses are a series of escalating rites of passage for Jack: fist fights, the lye on Jack's hand, the crashing of the car. It is with the car crash, actually, that the film reaches an epiphany: Jack can never really have Tyler, they cannot be friends, brothers or intimate in any way, because Tyler is a force of nature. He is masculinity incarnate, and there can be no peace for Jack until Tyler is somehow absorbed and made yang to Jack's yin.

How many of us guys, I wonder, will sit in the audience and feel badly for Jack at the moment we realize that Tyler will always be elusive. Haven't we all had friends who were like Tyler in one way or another, and secretly envied them? Haven't we all yearned for the love and loyalty of a wild stallion that could never be tamed? At the very least, though we respect Captain Picard's sensible diplomacy, don't we still get a thrill when Captain Kirk nails the green alien babe and hauls off and punches that obnoxious Klingon in the mouth?

It would have been easy for Fincher to turn "Fight Club" into a bizarre buddy movie by making Tyler corporeal, but there is more on this director's mind than portraying an elaborate game of hide and seek with masculinity and femininity.

Tyler Durden obviously has problems with intimacy, particularly with women, but he certainly doesn't hate them. He has great sex with Marla. ("The best since grade school!"). He literally bathes himself in women, the soap of whom washes the dried blood, grit and grime of his rage down the drain each night. No, the target of his ire is far more monolithic than the opposite sex, and this is the ultimate significance of "Fight Club."

Political correctness has gotten to the point where at any minute we men can lose our jobs for telling an off color joke or even touching another person "the wrong way." Our bodies have been put on display in Calvin Klein underwear ads and on "NYPD Blue," making us nearly as self-conscious about our pecs and bellies as women have always been about their breasts and thighs. Hell, this is why women are not freaking out and blowing away their colleagues and classmates. Women are used to being restrained, men are only now tasting their own medicine!

In an even darker vein, from the Revolutionary War to World War II the flag that filled men's hearts with glory contained stars and stripes. Things have gone gray since then. The flags we respond to now bear corporate brands: Exxon, Nike, IKEA. This great machine, in which we are all merely cogs, drills us into wanting an endless parade of material possessions. We purchase them all with our credit cards, and will forever feel the gnawing anxiety of debt. The result of all of this for the most part is subtle and insipid. We feel so helpless and weak that we want to explode, and we don't even know why.

INDBrent said...

The enemy behind this final notion is Tyler Durden's true target. Power in this country has shifted from men-at-large to the scant few who possess the vast majority of economic and political wealth. It's a power so compelling that it can make grown men shun Playboy in the bathroom in favor of the latest furniture catalog. It's a power so oppressive that millions of white teen and twentysomething men, who wouldn't have dreamed of doing so a decade ago, have embraced rap and hip-hop culture as a last refuge of down home manliness. Tyler raises an army against this enemy, and risks life and limb to destroy this new power structure. (Note that the feminized Robert Paulson is the first of our guys to fall in the ensuing battle.)

Even at this point, Fincher is not simply asking, hey! what ever happened to the good ol' days when guys were guys? After all, Tyler Durden's army was loaded with "space monkeys" who were as much cogs in his machinations as we corporate drones are in society today. Fincher shows Tyler's philosophy to be ultimately destructive, not just of corrupt society, but of beauty itself. (Jack's unchecked jealous rage destroys blond pretty boy Jared Leto's face.) To achieve the balance signified by the film's recurring yin-yang symbology, Jack and Tyler Durden must come to terms with one another. They must fuse.

By allowing Tyler Durden's Operation Mayhem to succeed in the film's shocking denouement, Fincher is telling us that the result of the Tyler/Jack fusion wipes the slate clean. The conflict between intellect and passion is timeless, and never has it been more difficult for a man to balance out this duality. Perhaps by smacking us around, by giving us a visual bloody nose, Fincher has jarred us out of our collective megacorporation induced stupor. Though he's pretty badly beat up and has a gaping wound in his face, Jack has never been more powerful than he is at the film's conclusion. The ability to have intimacy with Marla, plus the ability to assess society and aggressively seize the right moment, equals a manhood that no longer has to punch or shoot or bomb.

By implication, "Fight Club" also tells us that something is missing. A million years of hunter-survivor aggression cannot be erased in two thousand. Guys need to work out their physical aggressions. Actual organized (and supervised) "fight clubs" like the ones popping up in the Pacific Northwest may not be such a bad idea. And where have all our male rites of passage gone? The breakdown of the father figure in recent decades, and the assertion of womanly sensibilities has left a generation of young men without male transcendence. Instead, adult male political and economic anxieties, listlessness and dispassion, have trickled down into our nation's boys, making them the most materialistic and least affected in history. With the current social, economic and political power structure locked and bolted, their paths seem set for them inexorably from the day they are born. It makes them feel empty, aimless and angry. And yet, there is nothing tangible to rebel against. For a mentally unstable minority, this is so unacceptable, that they take up arms in high schools and start firing randomly.

Does the fact that a film as subversive as "Fight Club" made it through the studio system mean that something has changed? Possibly. "The X Show," "The Man Show," "American Pie," and the aforementioned embracing of rap and hip-hop culture by men across color lines seems to indicate the construction of a Tyler Durden outside of Fincher's filmic universe. Whether us guys can come to terms with him and break the societal logjam that keeps us awake night after night, or whether he's going to run crashing through society like a black-eyed bloody-nosed anarchist, will be one of the most critical issues we'll face in the next millennium.

Ana said...

I completely agree with your comment about it not being a 'Man's' movie. It is a human movie. It is not about how men feel the need to discover their true selves but how humans are all struggling for that.

Marla is doing it in her own, personal, way through her exploration of death and sex.

As for the comments by people (including many media sources) who use the idea of 'Fight Club' as just an excuse for violence against others; that is not the point. It is feeling violence against yourself that is important. It is going up against some one and feeling the need to survive, to fight back and to lose all thoughts and only work on instinct.

It used to be that 'the angry young man' was an individual in film and theatre, now we have a whole generation of them - men and women. We have nothing to fight for anymore, nothing to picket or protest except our own feeling of mundanity.

Everyone is fighting in this film, whether it is physically or emotionally. It is about how important fighting is, if we stop fighting, we die. Other than all that deep stuff, it is still and great an enjoyable film obviously lol.

Lana A said...

I appreciate the in-depth analysis here. And while I do understand that this film has been life-changing for some, I don't think I can identify as personally with the struggles. I'm not saying women's struggles are entirely different in this society, but at least this woman's struggles are somewhat different. I do admire the lambasting of our society that Fight Club provides. And that does feel important and necessary.

But as much as I love movies for the way they challenge the way we think about the world and our own lives, I cannot say any one film has changed my life. It's true when I was a child and first saw It's a Wonderful Life I felt the realm of possibility expand. I saw that perhaps we are meant for more than we ever realize. And that opened me, and I guess you could say that altered the direction of my life. And I can say now that Wings of Desire reminds me of how fortunate we are to be human, making me appreciate more this living breathing stuff.

I'm still waiting for my Fight Club, my completely life-altering film. It hasn't happened yet.

INDBrent said...

Ana, Thanks for reading! I love that Fight Club provokes all these reactions. I firmly do believe that in Fight Club, man is a stand in for human. The struggle is the thing! Great observations.

INDBrent said...

Lana, I don't think it's necessary for women to identify with Marla. I know it sounds odd, but in a way, we are all Jack. (though few of us are exactly Jack or Marla)If Jack is a symbol the details can be changed. The fight is in the brain, not the sex(that's where we enter in the opening credits)All the same, I'm sure some people identify with it more than others. The only reaction I can't understand is the "that's ridiculous" reaction.

INDBrent said...

And, by the way, I agree with Jeff's assesment regarding the way it speaks to males specifically. That's why I think it's so brilliant, because it works perfectly in that way as well as in the universal way! For a symbol to work it has to function not only as a representation but as what it physically is. A duck that stands for love, must still be a duck!

TirzahLaughs said...

Fight Club is one of those movies that is more than it seems. When they advertised, it came off as angsty dark buddy movie with action. That's not it at all.

I identified with Edward Norton's character. Don't most people feel like there is no place for them, the real them. There is no great plan. There is no great tomorrow.

It's just drudergy. And who hasn't done a little shopping therapy...IKEA anyone?

We work to buy things we don't need so we feel better about not having anything important to do.

If I don't go to work, eventually I'll get fired. Will the world stop? Will people die? No. Another cog will replace me.

I am not a 'unique snowflake' as Tyler Durbin says. I am not special.

It's a relief almost to not be special. If I am not special then I have no expectations to meet. I have social duty to uphold.

And the movie touches on pain...physical pain...the fighting. Have you ever noticed how pain, real pain clarifies things for you?

All the little things burn away in the flames of hurt. You are no longer numb. And when your freezing from the inside out, pain means you're still alive.

Yes it's about masculinity. But it's also about Marla Singer. There is no real anymore. It's all gray. It's all suits and ties.

People want to know their life has meaning. They want to know they are part of something bigger. People want to feel. It's why people do drugs, get into fights, drive fast...because finally there is someting besides numb.

Even if you aren't a unique snowflake, you can contribue to the blizzard.

I loved the discussion of this movie above. I just wanted to throw my penny's worth even if it rambles.


INDBrent said...

Thanks Tirz,

Good obervations. I think it's worth noting that most commenters on this post are female. Interesting in light of it being "a guy movie" I think. Maybe the marketers should take another look?
You'll notice I used a couple quotes from Albert Camus in my review. I think that fight club really brings some of his idea to life. The big one being that many people live in "hope". Meaning that you live this life hoping you'll get rewarded by going to heaven (or insert your own equivalent) By doing this you never make an honest attempt to live "this" life. That's what both religion and our mass marketing culture do, they teach us to suspend our pain indefinitely by living in hopes of heaven, a new sofa, a promotion at the job you hate. If you reject hope and live your life now, it's necessary to really feel pain.

Perhaps you've read the bible story where a rich man asks Jesus how to get to heaven, and he replies, get rid of all your stuff and follow me. (We're never told if he does it. I always assumed no) That story is right inside Fight Club too!

Forget hope, just try to notice you're alive right now. Sorry I'm rambling but it's exciting stuff. (and please note I am not attacking anyone's religion, just throwing out an idea)

Lana A said...


I wasn't saying I didn't identify with Marla, specifically. Maybe being a poet I've aways understood marginalization, and the urge to create in spite of it. Because it matters to think and feel and try to reach out. I didn't need a Tyler to wake me up.

And I am not saying I don't have compassion for the situation of Jack. I do. Human society is complex. It's hard to be a civilized animal. What does that even mean? I think the film examines this. A mighty good film. Strong acting. Strong themes. Just not life-altering for me.

INDBrent said...

Lana, "I didn't need a Tyler to wake me up." That's such a great statement.

I understand what you're saying. "This woman's struggles" got it. I don't know if Fight Club changed my life either. But I do know, that i was amazed that this story came out of Hollwood. It's so thrilling when such a bold piece of work, makes it out the door. I'm not sure that I was changed, but definitely cheering.

As you said, being a poet, you have experienced some of these revelations already. Artists are really the choir, if Fight Club is preaching, but this is one instance where at least the choir really enjoys the delivery of the sermon.

And I don't get the "civilized animal" either. There are some who contend that our troubles began when humanity decided that cities should stay in one place. The only animal who tries to be something he isn't.

TirzahLaughs said...

I still want a t-shirt that says, "You Are Not A Unique Snowflake".

I think so much of our angst is that kid's are raised to believe that they are special. Not that you shouldn't build your kid's self-esteem but someone has to be average. Someone has to be below average or there is no above average.

We get what the Chinese call 'little emperors (spelling?)' . Who grow up believing they are a unique and special snowflake. They often can't adjust when the rest of the world doesn't care about their 'specialness'.

Just because you aren't special doesn't mean you aren't worthwhile. Most people aren't special. And the special people suffer because more is expected of them.

I think that note really hit me about that movie...You are not a unique snowflake.

It's a such a relief to just be.

Ah, I'm fixating. Like I always do.

And you are rigth about religion or even corporation. Suffer now, reward later. But what if later never comes? But the hedonist life isn't much easier---eat,drink, and be merry for tomorrow you may doe.

ARe there any answers? Or just more questions.


TirzahLaughs said...

die not doe...Oh I see three or four typos..oh well. For give me, I have erred...lol.

INDBrent said...


Don't sweat the typos. That would be a great T-Shirt! I don't see a problem with certain standards, but the standard the media projects is unobtainable (actually it's usually photoshopped two levels beyond unobtainable) The idea of the "individual" is that you and you alone account for every aspect of yourself. You live your life or don't but it's all up to you, not a calculated guideline to ensure the ideal consumer!
You're right, straight hedonism isn't much easier. I don't know if there's an easy life available here, but I'll settle for one I have some control of.
And ultimately yes, more questions. but if we keep asking them enough, we end up with an answer or two sometimes.

JACQUI said...

Hi Brent. Tirzah referred me to your review - it relates very much to The Love Police on my blog. That was a great review - I'm really into the idea of the film now and will make sure I see it soon. Excellent review, really excellent! Nice one Brent!

INDBrent said...

Thanks Jacqui! I'll look for it on your blogs. Please let me know what you think after you see it. There's no movie quite like it.

Jeff Gomez said...

How excellent to come back and see so many intelligent thoughts about one of my favorite (way under-appreciated) films of all time. Did you know that 20th Century Fox studio head Bill Mechanic was fired for green-lighting FIGHT CLUB and losing a bundle on it? I put it up there with THE GRADUATE as a mirror to the society of its time...

INDBrent said...

It's so exciting to see the effect it has had 11 year later! I did not know that, but I'm not surprised. I hope he feels good about his decision, as it needed to be done. To paraphrase your analysis, "If Fight Club, didn't exist we'd have to make one."

INDBrent said...

Jacqui if you're reading, could you post a link to your "Love Police" entry? Or just say so and I'll do it.

A peaceful protest group, quoting Fight Club!

Ken said...

"they completely missed the fact that Fight Club was not really about men hitting each other at all, but why they would want to." -- nice observation.

Loved the movie -- good post!

Nahla said...

thankkkkkkkkkkkkkkk u so much for ur comment in my blog
really they mean a lot a lot to me :) thank u

INDBrent said...

Thanks Ken! It just drives me crazy when I see something using the "Fight Club" label that way.

INDBrent said...

Hi Nahla,
Sure anytime! Thanks for showing up here!

Liz Lebron said...

I never have seen the movie , but after reading your woderfull review , I really want to see it TODAY! Thanks!

Bernadine said...

I thought this was an excellent review and really one of the best descriptions of the movie that I have ever heard.

Yes, I have seen the movie many times & it's one of those movies that I think that I could watch over and over. In fact, I think that each time you watch the movie, you are able to take away something "more" each time.

Thanks for the review, and think I must soon watch the movie once more!

INDBrent said...

Hi Liz, Fantastic! Please give me your feedback afterwards too. I'm kind of jealous, as I wish I could see it for the first time again!

INDBrent said...

Hi Quiet Waters,

Thanks very much! I completely agree. I have seen Fight Club an insane number of times and it never gets old.

FCEtier said...

The thread of comments was as interesting as the review. I've never seen this film, so I'll put it high on my netflix list!

INDBrent said...

I know quite a response wasn't it. I guess it's still relevant! Please feel free to come back with your take after you've seen it.

Rajini said...

Hi Brent!
Finally watched this movie, liked it so much, thanks to your review! I wouldn't have watched it otherwise!

Most of my thoughts are already covered in the review and subsequent posts. Overall, I felt it is meant for everyone, not necessarily a guy's movie..Its all about rediscovering your inner self and learning to cope with stress!

A couple of scenes are very meaningful, like the one where he loses all his belongings and Brad says 'Its not you who owns them its the belongings which own you' So true, we tend to become slaves of our possessions and start get attached to inanimate objects!

The only gross scene, perhaps being collection of liposuction fat for soap making...That was yukks...ok..never mind!

Thanks Brent, for the recommendation, all of us at home enjoyed watching it!


I didn;t find it so extremely violent

INDBrent said...

Hi Rajini,

I'm thrilled that you came back with your take on it. I'm also thrilled of course that you (all of you at home)liked it.

It's not that it's violent so much as the violence isn't at all glamorous, and they went out of their way to make everyone bruised and dirty. I only throw out the disclaimers because i realize some people are very sensitive about such things.

And I'm also glad that you agree it isn't "just for the guys" It's an important movie with so much to say. Thanks for taking my suggestion, I'm glad it worked for you!

Unknown said...

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Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm really late to this one, but Rabbit mentioned the Fight Club and I thought you had reviewed it at some point. Ah, ok, there's a lot more to this movie than I knew. Excellent review, thanks. You are starting to become a movie encyclopedia, Brent! :-)

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