DVD Tales: Fight Club to Fog of War

Following from Fifth Element...

Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999)
I didn't see Fight Club in the theaters though I'd heard about it of course. I simply bought it unseen after taking an interest in director David Fincher. And then did it become one of my favorite movies ever? Why, yes it did! Thanks to four commentary tracks, I saw it 5 times the first week alone. It spoke to my GenX rage like nothing else ever had. One of the tracks was between the scriptwriter and novelist Chuck Palahniuk, and so I added him to my must-read list. Never been disappointed with one of this novels as yet. If you have the DVD, watch for that fake FBI warning written by the always subversive Tyler Durden. It flashes by quick!

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (Hironobu Sakaguchi, 2001)
I've never played any of the games, but Final Fantasy has very little to do with those. It's basically a photo-realistic anime that ties into the games' popularity by title alone. No matter. It still looks great today, without that creepy Beowulf feeling you get with newer, more "technologically advanced" releases. The voice acting is quite good, with the likes of James Woods, Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi and, mmmm, Ming Na. Been a fan of hers since The Single Guy. She was hot and she was married to the fuggly dude. What can I say? Oh, and the best part of any animated film like this one? The outtakes.

Flash (various, 1990)
I remember being pretty excited when this show came on the air in the wake of Batman's success. It had the same sensibilities too: a hero in a muscle suit and a Central City that was a mishmash of different eras. The show paid homage to different eras of the Flash too. He was Barry Allen, but with Wally West's power level at the time and a heroic brother named Jay (as in Jay Garrick, the original Flash). It lasted a year and that was it, but was charming enough in a "hero trying to find his place in the world" kind of way The episodes with the golden age hero Nightshade were probably the highlight for me, though I do wish he could have been called Sandman.

Fletch (Michael Ritchie, 1985)
I think I covered all my bases in This Week in Geek not too long ago. Fun documentary, smartest Chevy Chase film, dated music. Yep, everything covered. So just trying to fill space so the picture on the right doesn't overlap. Lalala. Hey, M. Emmet Walsh was in this. Isn't he great? Makes me long for that Bladerunner boxed set. Man, dude can play evil without trying. Maybe he IS evil. Let me check his credits. Sniper trying to take out Steve Martin in The Jerk? Well, there's no such thing as PURE evil.

Fog of War (Errol Morris, 2003)
Or full title, The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara. A deceptively simple documentary with some stock footage, but mostly a frank conversation with mover and shaker Robert McNamara. It's biographical, but that's only its secondary focus. Though he's talking about Vietnam, the message is really about Iraq (and Afghanistan and whatever other quagmire our governments have sunk us in). McNamara manages to criticize present foreign policy without really mentioning anything happening today. Deeply relevant and fascinating.

But what did YOU think? Next: Frank Herbert's Children of Dune to From the Earth to the Moon.


rob! said...

Fletch--minor classic

the Flash--a good show that should've been given a 2nd season to see if it could been a GREAT one

De said...

Have you found the Easter egg on the Final Fantasy disc where it's an animated recreation of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video?

I have yet to crack the shrinkwrap on The Fog of War. It's difficult to find a couple of hours where I can just sit and watch a movie at home let alone devote that time to a documentary.

As for the The Flash, I haven't bought it just yet (it's still kind of pricey down here in the US). However, I do have the second DC Comics-related series that the Bilson/De Meo team put out: The Human Target. Not a bad series even if it's incredibly dated now.

Siskoid said...

Final Thriller: Yes! It's a hoot!

Fog of War: The only documentaries I own are the the ones I find as entertaining as fiction films. In fact, I've watched The Fog of War more than once.

Human Target: I have a vague recollection that this existed, but it wasn't on my radar. I'll have to check into it.

Dan said...

My strongest memory of "Final Fantasy" was that I kept finding it incredibly disconcerting to hear Alec Baldwin's voice coming out of Ben Affleck.

Colin said...

Fight Club is one of my favourite movies, too. So screwed up and so subversive.

LiamKav said...

"I didn't see Fight Club in the theaters though I'd heard about it of course."

You heard about Fight Club? Okay, who wasn't following the rules?

(Since that sequence is now one of the most skitted and referenced scenes ever, I would like to say the Spaced "Robot Club" version is my favourite.

"The first rule of Robot Club is: You do not talk about Robot Club. The second rule of Robot Club is: You do not talk about... no, wait, that's wrong. Sorry. The second rule of Robot Club is: No smoking."


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