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Fight Club: 10th Anniversary Edition (Blu-Ray)





(OUT OF 10)

One of the best films of the '90s is 10 years old. That's right: This fierce dark comedy that paired Brad Pitt and Edward Norton has officially been around for a decade.

The movie has lost none of its sting, and director David Fincher was at the height of his visual game here. Apart from being very funny, Fight Club also offers one of the more stunning depictions of mental illness ever put on film. Thank novelist Chuck Palahniuk for one of the all-time-great twist endings.

Norton is remarkably good as an office worker who is bored to the point of insomnia, so he seeks solace in cancer help groups. He meets a wild man named Tyler Durden (Pitt, in one of his greatest roles), and they form a secret male-bonding club that includes members kicking the shit out of each other in basements. The club later goes beyond the basements into the streets, and eventually into the financial world.

This one ranks with George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead as one of the great cinematic indictments of consumerism. Fight Club was quite controversial at the time for its extreme violence, and it still stands as a brutal viewing experience. Jared Leto's beat-down is especially memorable.

On a side note, my brother named his baby boy Tyler, after Pitt's character in this movie. The first time I held the little guy, he punched me in the face and followed that with maniacal laughter akin to Durden's. OK, the punch and laugh are lies, but my nephew is named after Tyler Durden, which is pretty cool.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Many commentaries, including one with Fincher, Pitt and Norton that gets unnecessarily interrupted by comments from Helena Bonham Carter that were recorded at a separate time. Carter's opinions matter, but they should've separated the two commentaries. Tons of deleted scenes and documentaries make this a nicely comprehensive treatment.

Star Trek (Blu-Ray)





(OUT OF 10)

One of the year's finest films comes to Blu-Ray, and having seen the movie four times already, I can tell you it gets better with each viewing.

J.J. Abrams made this franchise his own while remaining respectful of the Star Trek canon that many geeks value so much. Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine make perfect young versions of Spock and Kirk, embracing the aura of the characters without doing all-out impersonations.

Karl Urban eschews the idea of making Bones his own and opts for an all-out, glorious homage to DeForest Kelley; he is consistently ornery and hilarious. Simon Pegg steps effortlessly into the role of Scotty, while Eric Bana does a turn as Nero, one of the more memorable Trek villains.

While William Shatner is nowhere to be found, Leonard Nimoy puts his Spock ears on for the first time in nearly two decades, and the results are classic. Abrams did something with the Trek universe that allows him to take the characters in all-new directions. I personally love the idea, but some purists probably stomped on their phaser replicas and fed their Spock ears to their dogs.

This one rivals the original Star Wars for sci-fi excitement. There's word that Abrams might resurrect Khan for a future installment, or perhaps give Shatner a chance to revisit Kirk. Regardless of what he does from here, he's off to a fine start.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Loaded ... absolutely loaded. There are tons of documentaries and deleted scenes, including an excised sequence involving the birth of Spock, and more backstory scenes for Bana's Nero. There's also a gag reel and an Abrams commentary. All of the special features take a long time to watch.

Will Ferrell: You're Welcome America—A Final Night With George W. Bush





(OUT OF 10)

The title alone of this show that Will Ferrell took to Broadway makes me laugh. As a sayonara to the former commander in chief (and popular Saturday Night Live character), Ferrell spent 90 minutes a night on a Broadway stage slamming W. with a ferocity that made Oliver Stone's movie look kind of tame.

Good bits include re-created visits to Crawford, Texas, and Ferrell showing up in "Mission Accomplished!" pilot garb. A segment with a dancing Condoleezza Rice falls flat, but Ferrell gets through the night with that patented pained wince intact. (God, that must hurt his face.) While Ferrell's W. impersonation was never dead-on, he did manage to capture that confused essence that made Bush so uncomfortable to look at.

This was broadcast live as an HBO special, and that's what you are getting on the DVD.

SPECIAL FEATURES: There's a road-to-Broadway documentary, a hilarious Bush-on-Bush interview, and a W. quiz that is easy on purpose.

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