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Fight Club
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28 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

An awful bore

1/10
Author: tedwards77 from Australia
31 January 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really didn't enjoy this film at all & I fall into the target group (male 20-30). 2/10 I'd give this.

There seems a belief too that anyone who doesn't enjoy it is either thick, against violence or especially 'doesn't get the message behind it'. Well, none of those apply to me.

In this flawed film, I understand that it was any of: a)a group of young men rebelling against a Borgeousie consumerism society. b)one man seeing how he is totally dissatisfied with life and how his mind tries to change things or c)people stopping to watch Cornelius fight himself because voyeurism is human nature the film makes a deliberate attempt to make the viewer feel guilty for being a voyeur. (I'll come to that later)

You can take your pick really, whatever way, I still find it crap. Any film (Shawshank Redmeption excepted) which concerns 'one mans' anything, generally creates no emotion in me other than boredom. The whole tagline to the film makes me want to puke: "one 30 year old man's journey of self-discovery."

So what? Are we supposed to sympathise with Norton because of this? I'm sorry but I have sympathy in films with people dying, or who's family have been killed. John Hurt triumphing over cancer in Champions, Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan, thousands of others. Even Norton himself actually in the brilliant American History X. In the 2nd half, I sympathise with him for the life he has found himself with.

But in this (and I find myself saying the same as I did with the equally awful American Beauty) Just because some blokes fed up & having a midlife crisis we're supposed to feel for him. Oh diddums. The only film where this premise has worked brilliantly is 'It's a Wonderful Life' with James Stewart. He was in crisis (and justifyably too) but never resorted to any of the levels stooped to here.

(That might seem a weak point, but It's just come to me & I can't put my finger on exactly why Wonderful Life is so far superior to Fight Club in tackling a midlife crisis, but they are as far extreme as you can get)

I'd also question whether we're all voyers? For every moron that slows down on a motorway to look at an accident on the other side, there's a 100 or so that can't believe the stupidity of it.

There are countless flaws too. The scene prior to the car crash wouldn't have worked? Who was Norton talking to? with the passengers there? Where did he acquire his knowledge of soap from? Would people have watched 1 bloke fighting himself? and much more too. Ok, maybe one or 2 of those have answers but I couldn't find them.

I think to really enjoy this film, you have to have clicked or empathised with the main character, and if you did, I feel a bit sorry for you. It would however account for the popularity of such things as marriage guidance councillors, drugs, footballers agents, even to a degree religion (but only when it becomes absolutely fanatical & life revolves around it).

Maybe it's just me & I'm fortunate but so many people seem unable to get through the little problems that life throws up on their own & without help of any kind anymore, like inventing a friend for one thing.

I know plenty of people who like this, intelligent some of them, so I've no problem with people who enjoy 'Arty & deep' films with psychological meaning to them. I just don't. But not through failing to understand them, Just merely through not connecting with characters who suffer problems like a 'mid-life crisis for non deserving reasons'.

On top of all of that, it was a very slow film too.

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60 out of 117 people found the following review useful:

"Destroy a piece of corporate art" Does this film count?

1/10
Author: saternbaby from United States
1 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Is it possible to tell the truth and lie at the same time? Here is the lie: You can pretend special awareness and moral superiority even as you demonstrate a complete adherence to the system you condemn…and be found honest and heroic in the process.

Is there irony in the fact that George A. Romero's supposed jab at consumerism (Dawn of the Dead) was marketed to consumers, and has since become a trendy tool for industry profit? Is it ironic that this satire of corporate soullessness is a corporate product itself? David Fincher is a commercial director. He directs commercials. Even his films are commercials. The style you see is only the transference of corporate technique into the realm of fantasy for entertainment. This film hasn't done anything socially other than amuse, negatively influence and accrue interest.

I apologize if Fight Club has opened your eyes. I am sorry that you do not realize the truth: that you are just a sheep. We are all sheep. None of us are free in thought or action. We are all selectively intelligent. Some of us are aware, and some of us are more aware. Some are aware enough to see a problem and exploit it. Some are aware enough to see a problem and imagine themselves not an intimate part of it. Some of us know that the most deceptive form of 'evil' is that which makes us feel superior even as we wallow in comfort.

Fight Club is not a bad film because it uses the system to pretend to fight the system. Fight Club is not a bad film at all. It is just an expensive lie packaged for consumers to blindly eat and feel that they are doing something other than consuming, other than feeding the system. Eat the rich, my ass.

Talk about how cool Fight Club is. Talk about how funny you find it. Talk about how a little girl crying at the sight of a grown man's penis is biting social commentary. Just don't kid yourself that Fight Club is anything more than an amusing diversion from the actual truth of the human condition. Just tell yourself that you are not that gullible. Or in Fight Club speak: "You are not your gullibility".

This is what you get when the morally dead take a faux moral perch and attempt to laugh at the carcasses below. You can kick a corpse and pretend that it is dancing. But in realty, it is just dead meat. Want to be an actual rebel? Work with the homeless.

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69 out of 135 people found the following review useful:

The comparison to Clockwork Orange makes me puke

1/10
Author: Derek Dammann from Cincinnati
11 June 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Please.

This is a dismal movie. I'm going to spoil some stuff, so don't read if you don't want, but read on if you want to save some time and money.

After I sat through this abomination, I knew I'd come on here and see that it got great reviews, because it tried to be so artsy that weak-minded people would say they liked it just to try to convince themselves that they have advanced taste. Midway through I told myself that if I heard that "I am Jake's this and that" line again I would get up and leave, but sure enough I kept hearing it and I stayed. Maybe I'm as dumb as the filmmakers. The fact of the matter is that I haven't seen a plot this full of holes since "Slugs". So if I start a fight club, the participants will just start showing up at my doorstep out of the blue and turn into mind-numbed drones that do my evil bidding??? Not only that, but this movie also taught me that if I stick a gun in my mouth and pull the trigger, not only will I live but I'll be able to talk to people in my normal voice, as long as I put a gauze pad on it.

If you still don't know, this movie is about a clinically-depressed guy who's search for therapy leads him to Brad Pitt, who teaches him that beating the bejeezus out of people will brighten his spirits. More guys find out about this, and they all join the "fight club" and then naturally go live with Pitt to become his evil minions. Of course! This must be how the Wicked Witch found all those monkeys. Their evil deeds get worse and worse, and the supposedly still-sane Norton inexplicably keeps hanging out with this bunch. This leads to one totally inane scene where the evil monkeys return from a gunfight with one of their members dead, and all Norton can do is whine "C'mon guys, cut it out".

So after this movie backs itself into a miserable corner, it's only escape is the equally awful "It was all a dream" ending, where we find out that Brad Pitt was just Norton's evil imaginary friend, and that Norton had been committing all these acts himself. Please audience, forget the fact that the "imaginary" Pitt managed to pull Norton from a burning car wreck and pick him up off the ground and hurl him down a flight of stairs. I don't care how psycho you are, your imaginary friend cannot physically pick you up.

Plot hole #9233 asks us to believe that during this short time, Norton had been in EVERY MAJOR CITY in the US forming more armies of mind-numbed robot monkeys, and that every male over the age of 18 in the United States was now a member of his "secret" evil gang. So anyhow, Norton finally realizes that he's been crazy all this time, and to kill Pitt he sticks a gun in his own mouth and blows his neck off, a wound which apparently isn't as debilitating as you would think, since he manages to get right up and make up with his girlfriend and watch peacefully as his evil plot comes to fruition. But wait, you thought he was sane now and would be horrified at what he did? So would I, but that apparently also is not the case.

Before you typically think that my movie tastes aren't as cultured as yours, let me tell you that I loved the masterpiece that was "A Clockwork Orange", and this movie was NO "Clockwork". If Clockwork ended by telling you that the old man in the wheelchair was actually the killer and that McDowell was just his evil imagination, then we'd have a comparison, but Kubrick wasn't that horribly stupid.

I am Jake's bad movie review.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Masterpiece

10/10
Author: adtjoel from United Kingdom
14 August 2012

This is a superb movie on so many levels. Sometime movies get mixed reviews from critics due to the concepts or themes portrayed, or lack of understanding of a complex plot - that is exactly the reason here.

If you are thinking you are going to see movie that just involves people kicking the crap out of each other, you would be very wrong. It is so much more than that.

Just go and see it!

The undertone attacks the society we live in today - consumer driven and unrealistic expectations. It also has themes of violence but at the same time has elements of black comedy.

The acting throughout is superb - great performances from the 3 main character played by Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter.

***Spoilers***

You may have to watch this movie several times before you fully understand it and pick up on all the nuances but I outline some below.

When I first saw this I thought there was something wrong with the DVD because at a few points is seems to flicker (and does) not until I put it on super-slow motion did I realise it was intended. If you slow it down you can see it's his alter-ego starting to form. Not only is this alone brilliant but later on it is revealed that Tyler working at a movie theatre does the same thing - edits movies to insert just a frame or 2 - something you notice but are not entirely was there (like when I first saw it - as I said I thought there was a slight DVD fault). Extremely clever.

When he is beating himself up in his bosses office he says "for some reason I thought back to my first fight with Tyler" why? Because it was exactly the same situation.

How could a fight club possibly form? If you see 2 guys fighting in a parking lot you aren't exactly going to join in - but if you see a crazy guy essentially fight himself you could conceivably approach to see what is going on.

When Tyler is banging Marla he speaks to Ed Norton and then slams the door, Marla says "who are you talking to?" we get to find out. There are many more instances like that, the film doesn't cheat but when you find out the incredible twist you aren't expecting it.

The palette used is superb - bland, subdued, fitting in perfectly with mental illness. Then you get Brad Pitt, looks striking, blonde hair, unusual outfits - He doesn't fit in at all - again, we get to find out why. Superb.

The themes about modern society are absolutely bang on too if you think about them. Are you rich and famous? Weren't we lead to believe we could be? Do we need most of the things we clutter our lives with?

These a just a few things, there are so many more things you will notice, when you see it again and again.

Like I said. Masterpiece.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Fincher's best film along with Se7en

10/10
Author: estebangonzalez10 from Ecuador
29 June 2012

"The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club"

I will go ahead and break the rule and simply talk about Fight Club; the 1999 film that I recently added to my favorite movie list. In my opinion this is one of Fincher's masterpieces along with Se7en. David Fincher has made some great films, but none have ever rivaled his work in the 90's with these two films. Both Se7en and Fight Club are among my favorite films and consider them superior to Fincher's other great recent films like Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Fight Club is an extremely violent film, but I don't think it's gratuitous because the movie really works as a satire and raises several philosophical questions about how enslaved we've become under the capitalist and advertising system, but it also points out the danger of anarchy as well. We've become materialist beings finding our purpose in our possessions and have left out the spiritual part. Sometimes we need to feel pain to remind ourselves that we are alive, and in a way this film works as a highly crafted metaphor. I loved the way the story was presented and how this surrealistic film worked. Based on Chuck Palahniuk's novel of the same name, and adapted for the screen by Jim Uhls, Fight Club is a masterpiece thanks to Fincher's direction and the performance from the excellent cast which includes Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helen Bonham Carter. I really loved this movie from beginning to end, including the twist in the final act. 1999 was the year of great twists considering this is when The Sixth Sense was released as well (my all time favorite film). Fight Club is a must see film for all.

The movie begins with a scene where the narrator (Edward Norton) has a gun forced down his throat by Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), to which the narrator begins to tell the viewer what has led him to this point through voice over narration, and so the film is told in flashback. He takes us back to the days when he was an office worker who experienced severe insomniac problems. The doctor recommended that he visit a support group with men who have suffered from testicular cancer in order for him to really see the pain other people have gone through. Despite not suffering from this condition, the narrator decides to do so and discovers that going to these therapies allows him to finally being able to sleep for the first time in months. After this, he decides to attend a different support group every night and everything seems to go well, until he discovers a manic depressive woman named Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) who is doing the same thing he's been doing: jumping from one support group to another. Seeing her as an intruder and a liar, the narrator can no longer find peace in the support groups and so his insomniac problems begin again. His life will change dramatically when he meets Tyler Durden, a soap maker, in an airplane and has an interesting conversation with him. They exchange numbers and when the narrator arrives home from the airport he discovers his condo has been blown up. He then decides to call Tyler and ends up moving in with him at an old abandoned complex. The two start a very different support group which they call Fight Club since they have to fight one another. The movement becomes popular and little by little they begin to form a revolutionary movement known as Project Mayhem, but things begin to escalate too fast and dangerously.

Edward Norton appeared in the big movie screen during the 90's and this was when he made his best films (American History X, Primal Fear, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Rounders, and Fight Club), although I would have to argue that his best performances were in American History X and The 25th Hour. However he is still excellent in this film as well. Brad Pitt is at his best playing the sort of chaotic and anarchic character who in some ways is similar to the narrator, but in others very different and more dangerous. He has a strong pull on Norton's character and influences him deeply. Helena Bonham Carter also plays one of her best roles as this sort of manic-depressive character who stands her own ground in this mostly male dominated film. The performance from the cast is one of the best things about Fight Club which works in every level. The visuals and special effects are also fantastic. It is a dark film with a lot of violence mixed with satire that had me laughing quite a bit. I absolutely loved this movie and the ending was just brilliant.

http://estebueno10.blogspot.com

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The most significant movie in my life

10/10
Author: netjustice from Israel
23 February 2006

One night I decided to intrude into neighboring computers in the local dormitory network. Nothing personal, just looking for movies and mp3s. The very first file I came across was an avi version of "Fight club". It was a stroke of luck since all I could find in the next few months was almost worthless, but as for this movie - it was SO about time for me! The last thing I paid attention to is the fights proper. But I was appealed to this ingenious depiction of the suffocating atmosphere of contemporary consumerism and inability of an average person to lead a meaningful, and therefore satisfying, life. The movie deals with insomnia and its underlying causes, the charm and usefulness of self-destruction as well as the limitations of this approach. It also makes you wonder how far you would go with transforming your personality to avoid desperation, as opposed to changing yourself for the one you love. The picture radiates an unexpected healing power - neither due to the cinematographic merits per se, nor because of a happy ending or positive message. I suppose, at least for the actual target audience, it is the feeling you're not alone and there are many other "lost souls" out there choking and coping with it just the way you do. For me and a good friend of mine the movie actually meant accepting our attitude towards existence and trying to live up to this perception. We often found each other drinking and watching the movie simultaneously when one emailed his buddy and passed him a reflection that occurred to his mind during the film. Now this period is over but we still know many episodes by heart and keep a very warm feeling to the movie for all it gave us then. I guess there is no need to discuss the excellent work by David Fincher and the cast – the well-earned praises abound elsewhere. But I do highly recommend finding the script by Jim Uhls (available in the internet) and purchasing a double DVD set. The extras, such as "This is your life" music video, render it an excellent bargain.

Go ahead and watch the movie. It's not about fighting others; it's about challenging your life of convenience and compromise. Watch, then think, then watch again. Just like that special "Paper street soap" by Tyler Durden, it both feels good on the skin and it actually cleanses you.

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126 out of 250 people found the following review useful:

A lot of depth for those who look.

10/10
Author: formicidae from canada
8 July 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

To the world: This isn't really a movie about dumb guys beating each other up because they're too bored to do anything else. No, Fight Club is actually about personal and cultural revolution within a corporate consumer society that destroys the human spirit. At least, that's how I saw it.

I loved this movie, and rating it a ten is not some whimsical fancy--I don't hand out gold stars for nothing. It looks good, sounds good, pacing, dialogue, acting, etc. are all excellent. Why it didn't rate higher on the mainstream critics' lists for cinematography alone is beyond me.

What really makes this movie shine, though, is the unflinching way in which it looks at North American society--our mass consumerism, our slavery to stuffy corporate office jobs, our growing lack of what makes us human. The movie doesn't pull many punches.

Norton's character is the automaton office lackey who is desperately searching for meaning in his materialistic shell of a life, Pitt plays the modern-day surfer/hippie Tyler Durden whose devil-may-care, spontaneous attitude to life offers the perfect (?) solution. These two personalities struggle to reconcile their different perspectives on life without destroying their relationship. To make things more difficult, Bonham Carter creates a love triangle to further test the friendship.

Is it better to be free, alive, and chaotic, as in Pitt's anarchistic vision, or safe, secure, and bored like Norton's capitalist American Dream life? Or, can a compromise be found? Can love conquer all? This is the peripheral, deeper stuff Fight Club is made of, not the smack-down action that the trailers and critics focused on.

This movie demands at least one viewing. If you're queasy about violence (there is a graphic fight scene or two), then watch it with someone who's already seen it and ask for an edited version. Even if you don't end up respecting the movie's message or the complicated questions it asks, it remains a well-crafted film, deserving of recognition.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The movie was about a person who can be anybody describes how he could not sleep and that everything around him lacked meaning.

Author: leon-26477 from United States
20 March 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This review has spoilers* Movie summary and comments.

This movie was based on 4 character: The main character (narrator) – Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) – and bob (Meat loaf) and Marla Singer (Helena Bonham). There was no development on Helena Bonham (Marla Singer); we just know that she believed that anyone can die at any time; Meat loaf (Bob) a depress person who had his testicles removed. Then different shots were made just to develop brad Pitt (Tyler Durden) character. He was described as a movie editor, a restaurant waiter and a soap salesman.

The movie was about a person who can be anybody describes how he could not sleep and that everything around him lacked meaning. He meets Tyler on a flight and after having his apartment caught on fire, he asked Tyler if he could go live with him. Then he and Tyler started a fist fight outside a bar which then it became something they would do more often. People around them asked to be part of the fights; therefore, the fight club was form. The club main rules was "you do not talk about fight club." Then the main character describes how fighting gave him an escape from his reality. The reality he describe was based on his boring routine. At some point of the movie, Tyler started to recruit people to start a something called project mayhem. The main character did not know the meaning of project mayhem. The project was based like fight club; you were no allow to ask questions. When the main character confronted Tyler, he was asked to let go of reality and to stop trying to control it. When the main character try to find Tyler, he realized how big fight club became; however, he did not know how. Finally, a person called him Tyler and he realized that he has been Tyler all along. Every decision made or action taken by the member of the fight club was done by the main character. He realized that he created a personality called Tyler to escape from his routine. Project mayhem was based on caused. Blowing up the buildings were the credit cards information were storage. In the end all those building were blow up and the main character shot himself to get rid of Tyler. In my opinion, you don't really know which personality of the main character survived at the end of the movie.

In this movie, The narrative sound effects make the viewer more engage on the things happening to the character. At this points we can only guess he is the main character of the film. A named is not given for the main character of the movie, but we know he is the narrator (Edward Norton). I have watched this movie before but I did not notice that a named was not given to the narrator character. Edward character can be anybody who is simple bored of his everyday activities.

The narration would also describe the characters feelings. It even describe the place and environment where they lived. I mentioned that you could hear the world around Edward to be loud but in one scene, he narrated "everything around him got quiet" after every fight. The establishment of the fight club was to escape from reality. There were close up of people work uniform, people with ties, engagement rings. It displayed that anybody could be at the fight club. The sound effect during the fight were done well. You could hear every punch taken or given as well as the noise of people cheering in the background. Even when the narrator would start talking, you could still hear noise around him.

After the fight club, the recruitment started. People were found and train like military. Then the project mayhem was created with member of the fight club. Same as fight club, you were not allow to ask questions. People in project mayhem did not have a named which means anybody could be part of the project. Only after death, you were allow to be recognized.

When the narrator realized he was Tyler, everything came to him really fast. Fast shots of the past shows the things he did. The sounds was loud and low depending on the character feelings. He realized that his insomnia became his other personality (Tyler).

The movie was done really well. The viewer did not realized that Tyler was not real until the end of the movie. The movie was a representation what happens when we don't accept the reality around us. It describe our breaking point and how our routine can ruined us. At the end Edward said "I have my eyes open now" which means he won't escape from reality anymore or it could mean that he won't ignore his reality anymore. Even if I know the end of the movie, I wanted to see if I could found a point of the movie were the main character should have realized that Tyler did not exist.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Two-thirds of a good movie . . .

Author: The_Film_Cricket from Birmingham, Alabama
13 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In an attempt to get to the bottom of 'Fight Club' I had a conversation with someone recently who argued that the people in this movie get into fistfights with one another as a means of expressing themselves. My rebuttal: Couldn't they sit down and have a conversation? Write a diary? Go on Springer? 'Fight Club' stars Edward Norton, one of my favorite actors who always brings a refreshing intelligence to his work. He plays a depressed urbanite who works too hard doing a job he hates and makes expensive orders from the catalogue maybe as a measure of his worth.

To us, Norton's character is known only as 'The Narrator'. He has no meaning in his life so he develops and interesting habit: he is addicted to various support groups for Alcoholics, sex addicts and one for men with testicular cancer, among others. He spots a woman named Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) who is attending some of the same meetings. He knows that she is an addict like himself but to keep the illusion real so they have to work out an alternating schedule.

On an airplane he meets Tyler Durden who has The Narrator's number right from the start. Later he turns to Tyler for help when his apartment catches fire. So, Tyler takes him into his rather grungy world. Enter Fight Club, an underground society where men get out their feelings and aggressions by beating the snot out of one another. The fight scenes in 'Fight Club' are brutal, bloody but never seem to cause permanent injury.

In trying to defend itself 'Fight Club' jumbles it's own twisted message. The idea of this club is apparently to free yourself from the rules that tie us down. I guess getting socked in the head is suppose to give you a thicker skin (but apparently not a concussion). Then the movie turns all the members of the club into a cult. What? Free your mind and then do as you are told? This is about where the movie goes to pieces. 'Fight Club' makes a twist that pulls the rug out from under what little logical reasoning the film had. The screenplay develops the insane logic of the reality of unreality .. . or something like that. Out of respect for those planning to see the movie I will say no more.

David Fincher is a director that I have a lot of hope for. This is his fourth film and the impressive, intelligent 'Se7en' showed the full power of his potential. I love the style of his films. He uses dark sets and grimy setting to set the story in motion. I was not impressed by 'Alien3' save for the amazing production design and 'The Game' was badly in need of a sense of humor. 'Fight Club' isn't his worst film because of its impressive first act. Imagine what kind of great social commentary could have come from a movie about two people addicted to 12-step programs. That is original. If I want to see people beat each other up I'll watch Jerry Springer.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A controversial satire and a contemporary classic. perhaps the most post-9/11 film to have been made pre-9/11

10/10
Author: badfeelinganger from United Kingdom
19 September 2014

Solid Acting and Amazing Direction A movie that wants to keep its audience unsettled from beginning to end. perhaps the most post-9/11 film to have been made pre-9/11, capturing perfectly both the stirring discontent of the Nineties and the madness both geopolitical and especially economic, that would erupt globally in the decade to come. Wildly inventive, exceptionally cast and undeniably controversial, there's an endless list of subtexts and viewpoints which will fuel debates for years. Fight Club is not just a movie, but a wake up call to a disenfranchised generation sick of being told by advertising what to drive, wear, buy, smoke, drink and eat in order to be cool. Fight Club is still today a definitive film, a statement as strong as any rock anthem and twice as packed with power chords.Essential Hollywood film of 1999.

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