Fight Club (Rental) (1999)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Rental Version Only
Available for Rent

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 133:25
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (64:52) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By David Fincher
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Brad Pitt
Edward Norton
Helena Bonham Carter
Meat Loaf
Jared Leto
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI Rental Music Michael Simpson
John King


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Fight Club is based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk.

    Edward Norton plays Jack, an insomniac who is addicted to catalogues (especially Ikea catalogues) who has created his perfect apartment. Unfortunately, this does not fill the emptiness of his life. He finds relief from his insomnia when he starts attending support groups for people with terminal illnesses, such as testicular cancer, blood parasites and tuberculosis. Waddle, Waddle, Slide! He, of course, does not suffer from any of these illnesses, but goes along anyway. Everything is wonderful until Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) starts turning up to these support group meetings. She is a faker, like Jack. I found Helena Bonham Carter's performance excellent, and one of this movie's highlights for me. Jack cannot enjoy the meetings whilst she is there, as it reminds him that he is a faker, too. So, they come to an arrangement where they split up the support groups so that they won't bump into each other, but this is not the last we see of Marla, believe me!

    Jack then meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a soap salesman who has stopped being a consumer and is into the rawer experiences of life. The two become friends and one night the two get into a friendly bare-fist fight, just to see what it would be like, as neither have been in one before. They find the experience so profound that they continue the fights each week. Soon, other people want to fight them and so Fight Club is born. The story evolves from here, so I am going to stop my plot synopsis at this point.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 (measured). It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture is extremely clear and sharp at all times. The colour and skin tones are perfect. David Fincher has deliberately used a muted colour pallet in many scenes to enhance the movie's mood. There is no low-level noise, edge bleeding or edge enhancement.

    Shadow detail is excellent when it is meant to be present. There are many dark scenes in this movie, all of which look naturally dark, with some areas being pitch black with no shadow detail, and other areas of the image containing excellent amounts of detail. Overall, Fight Club presents a very nice balance of black, unlike the previously-reviewed End Of Days.

    Pixelization and graininess was impressively absent, and apart from some trivial solarization in the smoke in the opening credits (around the writing), no other MPEG artefacts were seen.

    I cannot remember seeing one single instance of aliasing. No film artefacts were noticed either, but there could have been the odd one or two small ones, which tend to slip by unnoticed when you are actually watching the movie, as I was doing.

    This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring in Chapter 19, at 64:52. There was only a very slight pause, which was not at all disruptive to the flow of the movie. This is an excellently placed layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is only one audio track on this DVD, an English 384Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout the entire movie, even during scenes that had high ambient background noise. There are a couple of trivial instances of dialogue replacement but they are not of any real significance.

    I had to stop playing and restart on two occasions to rectify drifting audio sync, however, this is not a disc audio sync problem, it is a problem with the particular firmware version in my Sony DVD player. This problem happens so rarely I have not bothered to seek an upgrade yet...maybe it is time to do so now.

    The Dust Brothers (Michael Simpson and John King) musical score suits the movie well.

    The surround channel usage can only be described in one way - excellent. However, the sound field does collapse into the centre channel on several occasions. I felt that this was either a deliberate choice by the director or the result of some poor sound mixing rather than a transfer problem.

    The subwoofer was well-used and perfectly integrated into the sound stage. Not once did it call attention to itself.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    As this is only the rental version of Fight Club, all we get for extras is a poor quality Theatrical Trailer.

Menu

    The Menu is not 16x9 enhanced but looks OK when viewed in 16x9 mode. The main menu is a picture of a pink bar of soap with the words Fight Club inscribed in it. The menu selections are; Play Movie, Chapter Selection (36), Language Selection and Theatrical Trailer. This is a pretty uninspiring menu.

Theatrical Trailer (2:33 minutes)

    The Theatrical Trailer is of average to acceptable quality due to having what I consider to be a pretty severe video glitch at 0:28. Plus, it is it not 16x9 enhanced and only has a 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack. Twentieth Century Fox will need to upgrade and fix the quality of this trailer before it releases the retail version of Fight Club.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 version comes on 2 discs, and has the following extras (hold onto your hats for this one, folks):
Disc One
Disc Two
    As you can see, there are a ton of extras on the R1 version, so many that they actually had to be put onto two discs. Hopefully, the R4 retail version of Fight Club will come with all these R1 extras. This is doubtful, but we will have to wait and see on this one.

Summary

    The video transfer of this movie is superb, and is easily of reference quality.

    The quality of the soundtrack is truly excellent, and only just falls short of being reference quality.

    In regards to extras, all we get for now is a poor quality Theatrical Trailer. As this is only the rental version, we will have to wait and see what we get on the retail version. It is worth checking out the R4 vs R1 section just to see the unbelievable amount of extras that come on the R1 version, on two discs, no less!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Monday, June 12, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

Other Reviews
Michael D's Region 4 DVD Info Page - Dean M (Don't talk about my bio. We don't wanna know.)

Comments (Add) NONE