When anyone makes a list that dares to be the definitive compilation of a particular genre, scrutiny is bound to follow. FlixMix’s Ultimate Fights, the first in a series of DVDs from the upstart company, will be no exception.
But it would be unfair to suggest that Blade, Gladiator and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon don’t produce the most ultimate fight sequences ever shown on film, it’s just suspect that they were all released in the last few years.
However, when a DVD pats itself on the back by quoting Hong Kong action director Tsui Hark, “Greatest collection of fight scenes in one explosive experience,” in its advertising campaign, it is asking for trouble. Especially when Hark is the guy who does the audio commentary track.
And who is to say the films chosen are the most ultimate? There is an underground boxing match scene from Snatch with Brad Pitt kicking butt. But Pitt’s film Fight Club was left off the list. How can you compare that scene to the Ed Norton-Jared Leto showdown where Norton’s classic voice-over says, “I wanted to destroy something beautiful.”
And the chick-fight sequence from The Player’s Club is funny because two strippers are scrapping it up. But it certainly isn’t the most ultimate battle on screen with females involved, if that’s what the producers were going for. The Patricia Arquette-James Gandolfini bloodfest from True Romance was more of an ultimate fight.
What’s confusing is why Scarface is added to this list. Al Pacino’s famous line, “Say hello to my little friend,” is a constant pop-culture reference, but the scene is nothing more than expletive-filled gun battle between him and a mob. In other words, no punches are thrown.
The high points are the title cards of the players in each scene and a how-to-fight-in-movies featurette.
The behind-the-scenes fight-training guide was presumably put there to teach kids that these actors don’t actually hit one another, and it’s all done with makeup, camera angles and sound effects.
But the funniest thing is the WWF-inspired title cards which prelude each sequence.
All in all, the DVD is 85 minutes of fight scenes from action movies, and that’s pretty much it. For $19.98 (suggested retail), there are better compilation DVDs out there.Maybe FlixMix’s future DVD homages to the horror and comedy genres will be more ultimate.
Ultimate Fights will be available on DVD and VHS April 16
-William Albritton, movies editor