Dear Mr. Martin and Ms. Porter,
I purchased your DVD and Video Guide 2005 recently, and have overall been quite pleased with its coverage and the quality of the reviews.
However, I'd like to suggest that you reconsider your entry for Fight Club; perhaps you should assign it to the contributing writer who did your entry for A Clockwork Orange (rated 4 stars in your guide), or at least to a writer who has some affinity for and understanding of horror movies?
In your guide, Fight Club is listed as a no-star "turkey," and your guide's text reads:
This appalling, grotesque, and interminable endurance test is fairy-tale fiction for serial killers, imbeciles who succumb to road rage, and frustrated white guys: all the morons who seek excuses to justify their increasingly bad behavior and hair-trigger tempers.
Wow. Fight Club is certainly not everyone's cup of tea; many people couldn't see past the film's smokescreen of violence. Fight Club is a movie about fighting in the same way that American Beauty (rated 4.5 stars) is a movie about cheerleading.
True, there are some people who missed the point entirely and came away thinking it would be cool to gather in grimy basements and bash each other's brains out, but then there are people who watched Deliverance (5 stars, your top rating) and came away gleefully yelling "Squeal like a pig!" at each other. Neither gross misinterpretation is the fault of the filmmakers.
I am neither a serial killer nor a white guy. I personally thought Fight Club was quite a well-done movie, as do many other film buffs under the age of 40, such as reviewer James Berardinelli.
It looks to me that Fight Club punched some buttons in your reviewer, and as a consequence he or she turned in a subjective, ill-considered, knee-jerk review that does little to guide moviegoers. Why else would he or she feel the need to spend most of the review insulting people who find merit in the film?
It's fine if you decide Fight Club truly has less technical, writing, directorial, and acting merit than B movies such as The Horror Show (2.5 stars) and Octopus (2 stars).
But seriously, do you think it's a good idea to call your readers "imbeciles" and "morons"? Particularly if you genuinely think some of them might be serial killers?
Surprisingly, I got a response from contributing editor Derrick Bang, who writes: "Sorry, but no sale; we stand by our comments ... and, quite frankly, we do believe they quite adequately describe our opinion of the film."
No sale, indeed! I am unlikely to purchase further editions of the book and I expect others might feel the same way.