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Fight Club

A 1999 movie starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt based on the book of the same name.

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I am Jack's carpel tunnel.

  • Jun 12, 2010
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Written by
Directed by David Fincher
Starring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter

Editor's Note: They say the first rule of Fight Club is not to talk about Fight Club.  I'm actually pretty certain that this is also the second rule of Fight Club.  I am breaking both of these rules in this piece but, to be fair, I'm not a card-carrying member of Fight Club so I don't think I have to abide by the group's rules.  Anyhow, you have been warned ...

When David Fincher’s FIGHT CLUB was released in 1999, it was one of those movies that not only made you stop and take notice but had you wondering what the heck had just happened.  Even though the century was about to turn, people did not know what to make of it at first.  How could they really?  Here you have this violent, aggressive piece of filmmaking that is hellbent on literally blowing up most of the institutions that modern society has grown entirely complacent to.  More importantly, all of this unrest stems not from a growing revolt amongst the masses but rather the increasingly debilitating delusions of just one man’s mind.  
“This is your life and it is ending one minute at a time.”
The man in question is never even named.  He is simply The Narrator and he is played by the seamlessly talented Edward Norton.  Norton is the perfect choice for our hero.  His earnest face and effortless charm make him very easy to like and to relate to.  Our Narrator, who is not coincidentally reminiscent of Malcolm McDowell’s narrator in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, starts out just like us.  He has put in countless hours at a thankless job to afford his ideally located condo and to amass the multitude of perfectly suited furniture pieces to fill that space.  He has done everything according to the great design but yet he is in a constant state of unrest.  He can’t even sleep unless he has the chance to shed all of his pain in the arms of people facing their own mortality at nightly support groups for a variety of cancer patients.  He is an exacerbated version of who a great majority of us actually are.  And thanks to Norton’s uncanny ability to draw in his audience, our dormant anger grows with his.
“This chick, Marla Singer, did not have testicular cancer.”
Of course, The Narrator does not have testicular cancer himself but the fact that he actually has testicles at least suggests that he could.  Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) is something of a monster.  She too does not step in time with the rest of the world – chain smoke getting caught in her wildly untamed hair as she walks in and out of Laundromats stealing people’s clothing before walking directly into traffic without skipping a beat.  Marla is what sends The Narrator over the edge.  Her presence disturbs him but he cannot figure out how.  He just knows that he can’t sleep again now that Marla has made herself known.  It might have something to do his addiction cancer support groups.  He appreciates the sincerity of humanity when death is looming and Marla essentially wants to die.  Her death is close, or so she would like it to be, but, unlike her cancer patient friends, her death is one of her own choosing.  Where is the sincerity in that?  To be fair, I would probably lose a wink or two over that conundrum too.
“I know this because Tyler knows this.”
The pressure of life’s trappings starts to hit our Narrator a little too hard at this point and what was waiting patiently to emerge this entire time finally does.  Fincher has been giving us subtle hints; they’re blink and you’ll miss them moments but Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt in his prime, has appeared in frame a few times for split seconds at a time.  We don’t know it then, unless we’re super geniuses or have read the Chuck Palahniuk novel, but Tyler is a complete fabrication of the Narrator’s mind.  The impact of the story rests on the audience not knowing this bit of information until later because they need to believe the bloody reality of these two men beating each other rotten in the parking lot of some dive bar.  They need to believe this because it needs to inspire legions of other men to do the exact same thing.  These men and their nightly brawls are Fight Club.
“I want you to hit me as hard as you can.”
I am not a fighter but I, like the Narrator, beat the living crap out of myself from time to time.  The difference, or at least the one I am choosing to focus on right now, between the Narrator and myself is that I beat myself up under my breath when I don’t think anyone is listening.  He beats himself bloody and he does it right there for everyone to see.  And while he may be beating himself up, he is still fighting back for the first time in his seemingly insignificant single-serving life.  Aside from sincerity, there is something else the Narrator took from his life moonlighting on the support group circuit.  The imminent promise of death is a pretty good reminder for most that they’re still alive.  Pain, the intense kind that leaves scars and ringing in your ears while it drips your blood to the floor, has a similar effect.  This is especially true for those of us who don’t even realize we still haven’t slept in years.

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I am Jack's carpel tunnel. I am Jack's carpel tunnel. I am Jack's carpel tunnel.

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June 15, 2010
I really enjoyed this film as well. I had a few friends that told me that I needed to see it, so I rented it one day and became engrossed in the mythology that is Fight Club. I have never been more taken aback then when Edward Norton beats himself to a bloody pulp in front of his boss. My jaw was on the floor!
More Fight Club (1999 movie) reviews
review by . December 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
NOTE: This was formatted for my blog, so just in case you plan to waste your time reading(as in the pictures and spacing won't be correctly placed) , follow the link :http://rantsofadegenerate.blogspot.com/       "I am Jack's Raging Bile Duct." Post-Modern Castration Paranoia        INTRODUCTION: The 1999 film Fight Club is about..? Well what is Fight Club, here I am sitting on my sofa expecting a 2 hour blood …
review by . July 23, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
"The first rule about Fight Club is..."      I LOVE this movie.  I love Palahniuk in general.  I saw the movie several times before reading the book but I loved the book equally as much.  It was pretty awesome how they didn't change too much between the book and the movie.  Both the book and movie contain tons of awesome quotes including my favorites:      "It is only after we have lost everything that we are free to …
review by . October 05, 2010
Pros: great scripting, excellent acting, awesome plot      Cons: there isn't a sequel      The Bottom Line: If you are a man and you haven't seen Fight Club, you aren't much of a man. Get to the video store and pick this up!      Plot Details: This opinion reveals everything about the movie''s plot. For most men there is a serious rush of pleasure and excitement that comes from an adrenaline charged situation. We live …
review by . June 23, 2009
Fight Club - 1999 If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this is useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all who claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think everything you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told …
review by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Who is edward norton. That is a question youll be asking yourself the whole time your watching this movie. The story follows a man named Edward norton as he goes from a inspection person for the auto industry to the leader of a fight club. And during this he gets caught up with a drug using girlfriend, a man who works as a projectionist at a theatre with a fondness for splicing porn into the movies. It messes with your mind, forces you to think, and then blows what you thought you knew to pieces. …
Quick Tip by . September 16, 2010
better than you'd expect, inventive and more subversive than anything. Not repulsively violent either, title notwithstanding.
Quick Tip by . August 05, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Not the best movie to watch, but a nice mix of fighting and such to make the movie interesting.
Quick Tip by . August 03, 2010
This is by far one of my favorite movies, not only is it intelligent but it makes you think. anyone who plans to watch this should be prepared for confusion.
Quick Tip by . August 03, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Am I the only person not to enjoy this film ??!! I thought it was pretty dumb.
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A dark complex tale with an interesting story. Intense performences and excellent photography.
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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About this movie


FIGHT CLUB is narrated by a lonely, unfulfilled young man (Edward Norton) who finds his only comfort in feigning terminal illness and attending disease support groups. Hopping from group to group, he encounters another pretender, or "tourist," the morose Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), who immediately gets under his skin. However, while returning from a business trip, he meets a more intriguing character--the subversive Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). They become fast friends, bonding over a mutual disgust for corporate consumer-culture hypocrisy. Eventually, the two start Fight Club, which convenes in a bar basement where angry men get to vent their frustrations in brutal, bare-knuckle bouts. Fight Club soon becomes the men's only real priority; when the club starts a cross-country expansion, things start getting really crazy.

Like Tyler Durden himself, director David Fincher?s FIGHT CLUB, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, is startlingly aggressive and gleefully mischievous as it skewers...
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Genre: Comedy
Release Date: October 15, 1999
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Chuck Palahniuk, Jim Uhls
DVD Release Date: August 27, 2002
Runtime: 2hrs 19min
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