Take a trip with the boys back to 1999 as they break the first two rules of “Fight Club” and talk about the dark polarizing comedy? Does the David Fincher film knock us on our ass? Or limp away with its teeth knocked out? Next the boys swing into the present for the reboot prequel (is that a requel?) Rise of The planet of the Apes Is this monkey business better than the 2001 reboot or do those damn dirty apes do it again? Next the boys get caught in the Web of yet another studio reboot of a successful franchise… Does “The Amazing Spiderman” really look all that amazing? All that plus news about Queer Action Stars, Dragons and Zombies.. Oh My! on this new reel of COL Movies #65 – “I am Jill’s Nipples”
- Hollywood’s next big action star is gay!?
- Bruce Willis Enlisting for G.I. Joe 2?
- World War Z officially Dated!
- The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself. Enos plays Gerry’s wife Karen Lane; Kertesz is his comrade in arms, Segen.
- How to Train Your Dragon takes center stage!
The Past: Fight Club
Rotten Tomatoes: 81% Fresh Critics, 95% Audience
Directors: David Fincher
Starring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bohnam Carter
- Director David Fincher shot over 1,500 reels of film, more than three times the usual amount for a 120 minute film.
- Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) was originally going to recite a workable recipe for home-made explosives (as he does in the novel). But in the interest of public safety, the filmmakers decided to substitute fictional recipes for the real ones.
- Author Chuck Palahniuk has stated that he found the film to be an improvement on his novel.
- Although he refused to smoke in Rounders (his character played poker for cigarettes, but did not smoke), Edward Norton agreed to smoke for this film.
- During an exterior shoot in an urban residential area, a man in one of the apartments above the working film crew got so annoyed with the noise that he threw a 40 oz. beer bottle at them. The bottle hit director of photography Jeff Cronenweth, who, although he was cut open, was not seriously injured; the man was arrested shortly afterward.
- The reverse-tracking shot out of the trash can, an elaborate digitally animated sequence, was the very last shot to be added to the film. It required so much processing time that it almost had to be spliced in “wet” – i.e., fresh from the lab – so that the film could be duplicated on schedule. Due to the amount of reflective surfaces in the shot, it took almost 8 hours to render a single frame. The entire shot took 3 weeks to render.
- In the short scene when Brad Pitt and Edward Norton are drunk and hitting golf balls, they really are drunk, and the golf balls are sailing directly into the side of the catering truck
- During rehearsals, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton found out that they both hated the new Volkswagen Beetle with a passion, and for the scene where Tyler and The Narrator are hitting cars with baseball bats, Pitt and Norton insisted that one of the cars be a Beetle. However, Pitt is quoted on the DVD commentary as saying he has since had a change of heart about the new Beetle.
- Three detectives in the film are named Detective Andrew, Detective Kevin, and Detective Walker. Andrew Kevin Walker was the writer of the David Fincher film Se7en (also starring Brad Pitt), and did some uncredited work on this movie’s script.
- In Tyler Durden’s house there is a Movieline magazine cover featuring Drew Barrymore, a close friend of Edward Norton. The Blu-Ray edition of the film (released in November 2009) contains another “in-joke” reference to Barrymore; a fake menu for the film Never Been Kissed, which was released the same year as this film.
- The typeface used for the titles and logo is named “Fight This”.
- Some of fake names used by the narrator in the self-help groups are taken from Planet of the Apes (Cornelius), as well as classic roles played by Robert De Niro (such as Rupert from The King of Comedy and Travis from Taxi Driver).
- Much confusion exists amongst fans about the Narrator’s name. Many believe it is Jack due to his use of the phrase “I am Jack’s…”, but others argue that he only uses the moniker Jack because that was the one he saw in “Annotated Reader”. Interestingly, in the press packages released for the movie, which came in the form of an Ikea-esque catalog, the character is referred to as Jack, as he is on the back of the DVD, and in the booklet accompanying the DVD, where the Chapter list is referred to as “Jack’s Chapters”. Also, the original screenplay by Jim Uhls refers to him as Jack. On the other hand, in the closed captions for the film, he is referred to as Rupert. Edward Norton reveals that he refers to the character as Jack on the audio commentary on the DVD and Blu-ray.
- The original “pillow talk”-scene had Marla saying “I want to have your abortion”. When this was objected to by Fox 2000 Pictures President of Production Laura Ziskin, David Fincher said he would change it on the proviso that the new line couldn’t be cut. Ziskin agreed and Fincher wrote the replacement line, “I haven’t been fucked like that since grade school”. When Ziskin saw the new line, she was even more outraged and asked for the original line to be put back, but, as per their deal, Fincher refused.
- The movie’s line “The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club” was #27 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007.
- The ‘soap slam on dish’ shot used in the trailer took 41 takes to get right. After the 40th take, director David Fincher realized that the soap was sliding out of frame and so he settled for a fake soap prop.
- Starbucks pulled their name from the coffee shop destruction scene. They didn’t mind the director placing their product throughout the film, but did not want their name to be destroyed in that scene. Therefore, the gold globe crashes into a shop named Gratifico Coffee.
- Edward Norton lost 17-20 pounds for this role after having to beef up tremendously for his role as a Neo-Nazi skinhead in American History X. Norton achieved this form by running, taking vitamins and just ignoring the on-set catering.
- Courtney Love and Winona Ryder were both initially considered for the role of Marla Singer, but in the end, it came down to Helena Bonham Carter and Reese Witherspoon. Director David Fincher wanted Bonham-Carter, but the studio wanted a bigger name and chose to go with Witherspoon. In the end however, the decision was taken out of their hands when Witherspoon turned down the role as being “too dark”, and Bonham-Carter was cast.
- David Fincher took 12 takes of the stuntman rolling down the stairs for the fight between The Narrator and Tyler at the end of the film. The take used in the movie is the very first one.
- Author Chuck Palahniuk first came up with the idea for the novel after being beaten up on a camping trip when he complained to some nearby campers about the noise of their radio. When he returned to work, he was fascinated to find that nobody would mention or acknowledge his injuries, instead saying such commonplace things as “How was your weekend?” Palahniuk concluded that the reason people reacted this way was because if they asked him what had happened, a degree of personal interaction would be necessary, and his workmates simply didn’t care enough to connect with him on a personal level. It was his fascination with this societal ‘blocking’ which became the foundation for the novel.
- After the copyright warning, there is another warning on the DVD. This warning is from Tyler Durden, and is only there for a second. “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 you should want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you’re alive. If you don’t claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned… Tyler”
- David Fincher claimed in an interview in UK film magazine Empire, that there is a Starbucks coffee cup visible in every shot in the movie (see also The Game) .
- When a Fight Club member sprays the priest with a hose, the camera briefly shakes. This happens because the cameraman couldn’t keep himself from laughing.
- Helena Bonham Carter wore platform shoes to help close up the disparity in height between her and Edward Norton and Brad Pitt.
- The sex scene between Tyler (Brad Pitt) and Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) was shot using the same ‘bullet-time’ technique used in The Matrix; stills cameras were set up in a circle around the bed, and each one would take a single shot in sequence. These single frames were then edited together and enhanced with CG, as both Pitt and Bonham Carter were fully clothed in motion capture suits during the shoot.
- To prepare for their roles, Edward Norton and Brad Pitt took basic lessons in boxing, taekwondo and grappling, and also studied hours of UFC programming. Additionally, they both took soapmaking classes from boutique company Auntie Godmother. Prior to principal photography, Pitt also visited a dentist to have his front tooth chipped.
- Voted #4 in Total Film’s 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time list (November 2005).
- The front of the product packaging for “Avery 8293 Matte White High-Visibility Labels for Inkjet Printers” shows a sample usage of the label on a shipping package. The address on this label is, “Tyler Durden 420 Paper St. Wilmington, DE”
- Voted #10 on Empire magazine’s 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time (September 2008).
- When the Narrator hits Tyler Durden in the ear, Edward Norton actually did hit Brad Pitt in the ear. He was originally going to fake hit him, but before the scene, David Fincher pulled Norton aside and told him to hit him in the ear. After Norton hit him in the scene, you can see him smiling and laughing while Pitt is in pain.
- According to author Chuck Palahniuk, much of the specific content of the novel (such as splicing single frames of pornography into family films, attending support groups for the terminally ill, erasing video tapes etc) came from stories told him by friends, and from things his friends actually did. Whilst writing the novel, Palahniuk also interviewed numerous young white males in white-collar jobs, discovering that “the longing for fathers was a theme I heard a lot about. The resentment of lifestyle standards imposed by advertising was another.”
- Fox 2000 Pictures executive Raymond Bongiovanni, who died shortly before the project was green-lit, first discovered the book whilst still in galleys. Prior to his death, Bongiovanni worked tirelessly to get the project off the ground, and in his obituary, it said that his last wish was that the novel be made into a film.
- Director David Fincher shot 38 takes of the scene between Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and The Narrator (Edward Norton) in Lou’s Bar after The Narrator’s apartment has blown up. Each take was filmed with two cameras, and for every individual take, Fincher would give the actors a rough idea of what to do, and they would improvise most of the dialogue. The scene as it exists in the finished film is made up of segments from numerous different takes and much of the dialogue, especially Tyler’s dialogue, was completely ad-libbed on set.
- Author Chuck Palahniuk told the producers from the very start that, although he fully supported the adaptation, he wasn’t interested in writing the screenplay. Jim Uhls was ultimately chosen as the writer. Cameron Crowe, Andrew Kevin Walker, director David Fincher and actors Brad Pitt and Edward Norton also did uncredited work on the screenplay.
- Producer Ross Grayson Bell initially wanted Russell Crowe to play Tyler Durden, but he was overruled by fellow producer Art Linson, who felt Brad Pitt was the better choice. Bell has since said that he is glad Linson stepped in, as he can’t imagine anyone being as good in the role as Pitt proved to be.
- The producers considered both Matt Damon and Sean Penn for the role of The Narrator, but director David Fincher wanted Edward Norton,
- During the shooting of the sex scene, actors Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter posed in 10 different positions from the Kama Sutra.
- Prior to filming, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter considered visiting real support groups for the terminally ill, but they decided against it, as due to the satiric nature of the film, they didn’t feel it was appropriate.
- Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter spent three days recording orgasmic sounds for their unseen sex scenes.
- When Tyler (Brad Pitt) catches The Narrator (Edward Norton) listening at the door as he has sex with Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), he is wearing a rubber glove. This was Brad Pitt’s idea, and caused a great deal of controversy with President of Production at Fox 2000 Pictures, Laura Ziskin. She was horrified when she saw the scene and demanded that it be removed. However at a subsequent test screening, the appearance of the glove got the biggest laugh of the whole movie, prompting Ziskin to change her mind.
- To ensure that Bob’s (Meat Loaf) breasts and love handles hung correctly, his fat suit was filled with birdseed, so that it would ‘spill’ over his pants and give the impression of sagging flesh. Altogether, the suit plus the seed weighed over one hundred pounds.
- Make up artist Rob Bottin had to build two different fat suits for Meat Loaf – one with nipples, one without – because the filmmakers weren’t sure if 20th Century Fox would approve the suit with the prominent nipples.
- The cave scene early in the film where The Narrator (Edward Norton) meets a penguin was inspired by the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and was intended by director David Fincher as a ‘warning’ to the audience as to how surreal the film was going to become.
- The breath in the cave scene is recycled Leonardo DiCaprio breath from Titanic, which was composited into the shot.
- During the shooting of the film, Helena Bonham Carter insisted that her makeup artist (Julie Pearce) apply all of her eye makeup with her left hand, because Bonham-Carter felt that Marla was not a person who would be particularly skilled at (or concerned with) correctly applying makeup.
- According to Helena Bonham Carter, she based her performance of Marla Singer on Judy Garland in the later stages of her life. To help her get into the mindset, director David Fincher would often call her Judy on-set.
- The scene where The Narrator’s boss (Zach Grenier) finds the rules of Fight Club in the photocopier and The Narrator points out that whoever wrote it is obviously dangerous and might one day storm through the building shooting everyone, proved to be a highly controversial scene for the filmmakers. In early test screenings, the scene got huge laughs and scored extremely highly with audiences. However, these screenings happened before the Columbine massacre. In all screenings after Columbine, the scene evoked no laughter whatsoever and scored extremely poorly, with audiences commenting that they felt it was in bad taste. This prompted the studio to ask director David Fincher to cut the scene altogether. Fincher considered doing so, but because the scene leads into the pivotal Marla breast-cancer scene, he decided that it couldn’t be cut.
- Filming lasted 138 days, with over 300 scenes shot on 200 locations and 72 sets constructed by production designer Alex McDowell.
- After director David Fincher was finished editing the film, the studio executives were baffled by the piece, and unsure how to market it. Fincher had wanted a highly unique marketing campaign which would mirror the film’s theme of anti-commercialism, but already worried about the possible backlash against the film, the Fox executives refused to go ahead with Fincher’s idea (two of Fincher’s trailers can be found on the DVD in the ‘Internet Spots’ section). Instead, a campaign was launched which was built largely upon the presence of Brad Pitt in the film, as well as concentrating on the fighting (which plays a minor role in the actual film itself). The campaign was highly criticized as giving the impression that the film was basically just about men beating each other up, completely ignoring the comic and satiric elements of the narrative, and for marketing the film to the wrong audience. David Fincher was particularly incensed when he saw ads for the film during WWE and UFC programming.
- In an infamous incident, the Friday that the film was released theatrically in the United States, Rosie O’Donnell appeared on her TV show and revealed that she had seen the film earlier in the week, and had been unable to sleep ever since. She then proceeded to give away the twist ending of the film and urged all of her viewers to avoid the movie at all costs. Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and David Fincher discuss this incident on their DVD commentary track, with Pitt calling ‘O’Donnell’s actions “unforgivable”.
- Rupert Murdoch despised the project and clashed with then-studio head Bill Mechanic over putting it into production.
- As noted during Author Chuck Palahniuk and Screenwriter Jim Uhls’ commentary, the seminary student/priest hosed by the mechanic is ultimately the winning combatant in the fight sequence immediately following the scene in which narrator beats himself up in front of his boss.
- In the scene where The Narrator is sitting on a toilet, with his pants down while reading an Ikea catalog, Edward Norton is actually completely nude from the waist down. Norton talks about it on the DVD commentary to which David Fincher says “really?” Norton then says “Did you notice I never had to go to the bathroom that day?”
- Brad Pitt says he didn’t want his parents to see the movie, but he couldn’t convince them not to watch. They changed their minds after watching the chemical burn scene.
- The Narrator and Marla are both in attendance at a Sickle-Cell Disease support group. Every other member is of an African or Latin racial background. This disease primarily infects people of African, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern or South Asian background, hence a further statement on their need to “crash” these meetings.
- Edward Kowalczyk: Member of the band Live plays the waiter who serves the Narrator and Marla with the line, “Sir, anything you want is free of charge, sir.”
- Called a Dramatic Comedy? would you agree with that?
- Anyone Read The Book?
- Why do some movies only find their audience after they have run in the theaters?
- Worth watching over and over?
- The old adage is that the Book is always better.. The Author of Fight Club says the film was an improvement on his Novel.
- What Celebrity would you fight and what historical figure would you fight?
What We’ve Learned:
- With a gun barrel between your teeth, you speak only in vowels.
- Bob… Bob had bitch tits.
- You can’t die from insomnia
- support groups..cheaper than a movie and there’s free coffee
- On a long enough time-line the survival rate for everyone drops to zero
- one can make all kinds of explosives out of simple household items
- You can swallow a pint of blood before you get sick.
- Self improvement is masturbation, and self destruction
- Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken
Jeff: I want to ask the question, “How can you NOT have this movie in your DVD collection?” I still think it should be there because of the ultimate awesomeness of this movie, but I can understand why you wouldn’t. You should see it at least once.
Ray: I’m one of the people that fell victim to the poor marketing of this film and didn’t see it until it was released on DVD, It quickly became one of my favorite, and most watched DVD’s in my collection.
Steve: Never saw this in the theater, but once I saw it on DVD I really enjoyed it. However, unlike Se7en, watching it again has never had the same impact as seeing it the first time.
The Present: Rise Of The Planet of The Apes
Rotten Tomatoes: 83% Fresh Critics , 90% Audience
Director: Rupert Wyatt
Starring: James Franco, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Fenton, Andy Serkis
- This is the second film in which Andy Serkis plays an ape, having previously portrayed 2005’s version of King Kong. He was also the motion capture actor for Gollum in Lord of the Rings, where he bites off Frodo’s finger. His ape character Caesar bites off the neighbor’s finger in this role, too.
- Caesar uses a bundle of sticks to explain to Maurice how an ape alone is weak but apes together are strong. The bundle of sticks, or fasces, was a symbol of authority in ancient Rome, the origin of Caesar’s name. Caesar’s charisma is also reminiscent of Benito Mussolini, who adopted the fasces as the symbol of his Italian Fascist party.
- The head of the research department Steven Jacobs (David Oyelowo) is named after Arthur P. Jacobs, producer of the original “Apes” franchise. His production company, APJAC, was often referred to as “ApeJAC”.
- This is the first “Planet of the Apes” film in which neither Charlton Heston nor Roddy McDowall, the stars of the original Planet of the Apes, appear. Heston died on April 5, 2008 at the age of 84 whereas McDowall died on October 3, 1998 at the age of 70.
- Shipped to theaters under the code name “Salad”.
- Kathryn Bigelow, Robert Rodriguez, Tomas Alfredson, Allen Hughes and Albert Hughes, Pierre Morel, James McTeigue, Dennis Iliadis and Scott Charles Stewart all were considered by the studio, or passed on the project before director Rupert Wyatt signed on.
- Was this what you expected it to be?
- Yummy, yummy – Tyler Labine
- Did the monkey suffer the “Uncanny Valley” for anyone? !
- Did you catch all the little homage’s to the original ?
- Bright Eyes was the name given to Heston’s character in the original
- Tom Fenton’s Character Dodge Landon is named after Heston’s two fellow astronauts
- The Orangutan “Maurice” is named after actor Maurice Evans who played the Orangutan Dr Zaius
- Charlton Heston appears on screen on the TV’s in the ape sanctuary
- There is a news item on TV about the “Icarus” mission to mars.. supposedly referring to the crashed spacecraft piloted by Heston in the first film.
- Tom Fenton says two of Heston’s most memorable lines from the first film “It’s a madhouse! A madhouse!” and “Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!”
- Jamie Harris plays Rodney, the sympathetic keeper in the ape sanctuary. This is a nod to legendary ape actor ‘Roddy McDowell’.
- In one scene, Caesar is shown handling a 3D puzzle of the Statue of Liberty, in reference to the the ending of the original Planet of the Apes.
- Was the ending clear or too vague? Do you think many audiences understood it?
What We Learned:
- Shooting your test subject is probably not the best way to impress your board of directors.
- Never leave your keys in the mustang
- Draco is still an asshole.
Jeff: I thoroughly enjoyed this movie but I didn’t really think it was that great.
Ray: Wow.. this movie i think was the most surprising for me this summer.. i expected to hate it and walked away loving it.. even with Franco’s wooden acting and creepyish CGI
Steve: I didn’t realize Franco or Labine were in this! I liked the premise and knowing the origin, but didn’t find the acting particularly inspiring. It was all about the monkeys and the CG from afar stunk.
The Future: The Amazing Spiderman
Director: Marc Web
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Irrfan Khan, Denis Leary
- In early January 2010, Sony announced that they canceled their idea of making “Spider-Man 4” with director Sam Raimi and actor Tobey Maguire, who started their work together on Spider-Man, and instead decided to re-boot the Spider-Man franchise with a new crew.
- Before Andrew Garfield was announced for the lead part, Josh Hutcherson, Logan Lerman, Jamie Bell, Michael Angarano, Alden Ehrenreich, Aaron Johnson, and Anton Yelchin were also considered to play the lead role.
- Michael Fassbender was approached by the studio to play the lead villain in this reboot. His Inglourious Basterds co-star Christoph Waltz was later rumored to be attached to the part.
- Andrew Garfield was announced for the lead role in early July 2010.
- Like Tobey Maguire (the original Spider-Man), Andrew Garfield had starred in a Terry Gilliam film before nabbing the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Maguire appeared in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Garfield appeared in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, both films also featuring Johnny Depp.
- On selecting Andrew Garfield to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man, director Marc Webb said, “Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor’s work understand his extraordinary talents. He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit, and humanity. Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.”
- Although numerous characters have been named for Spider-Man 4, Wizard has reported that it may come down to less-of-a-reboot for Sony and more along the lines of a “re-do” of the series by placing it firmly in the “Modern Age” (~1980-current) setting up Venom as the main villain. This was listed in two separate issues in 2009 and 2010.
- Mia Wasikowska, Teresa Palmer, Dianna Agron, Imogen Poots, Emma Roberts, Lily Collins, Ophelia Lovibond, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Georgina Haig, Hilary Duff and Dominique McElligott were considered for the role of Gwen Stacy, but were beaten out by Emma Stone.
- This film marks the first time Dr. Curt Connors becomes The Lizard on film, played by Rhys Ifans. Although the character of Dr. Curt Connors appeared in the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, played by Dylan Baker, the character never became The Lizard in the films despite some strong hints.
- This marks the second time that Martin Sheen and Cliff Robertson have shared a part. They previously played John F. Kennedy in Kennedy and PT 109, respectively.
- Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy) and Sally Field (Aunt May) share the same birthday.
- The first “Spider-Man” film to not feature Mary Jane Watson. Mary Jane was in the original three films played by Kirsten Dunst.
- All four Spider-Man films have filmed on the Universal Studios Hollywood back lot. Ironically symbolic of the series itself, portions of the back lot burned down on June 1, 2008, meaning that first three used the old back lot while this reboot uses the new back lot.
- John Slattery, Sam Elliott and R. Lee Ermey were considered for the role of J. Jonah Jameson before the character was cut from the movie. J.K. Simmons even expressed interest in reprising the role.
- Supposedly this is a “Darker” reboot, compared to the Nolan reboot of the Batman Franchise, are you getting that impression from the trailers?
- Do superhero reboots really need to spend time on Origin Stories?
- Anyone else find the FPS perspective in the trailer hokey?
The film will portray Peter Parker as he is developing his super powers in high school.
Jeff: I’m totally ready for another Spidey movie. Not sure if they really had to reboot it, but interested in this take.
Ray: Much like Rise of the Planet of the Apes.. I’m not very excited by the trailer for this reboot… hopefully it will surprise me as much as Apes did.
Steve: Why do we need another Spiderman movie?