Catfight is a film which didn’t grab me from the trailer, despite anything featuring feisty Asian women usually fits right up my street, but then the Blu-ray arrived, so I thought I’d check it out… After all, there’s a chance I could be wrong.
Kip’s (Giullian Yao Gioiello) parents don’t encourage him in any way – in fact, they’re quite dismissive of him trying to better himself. His parents are Veronica (Sandra Oh) and Stanley (Damian Young), a couple obsessed with money and trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’. Failed artist Ashley (Anne Heche) is stressed out with her life and with trying to have a child with partner Lisa (Alicia Silverstone), but while working as a waitress at a dinner party event one evening, held by Stanley, she chances across Veronica. They meet across the bar, but knew each other from college. Before long, a ridiculous altercation or 10 develops.
The initial ‘catfight’ is crazy-brutal and quite unpleasant to watch. Later ones seem more understandable, however.
The immediate revelation that follows is quite something, but I’ll leave you to find that out for yourself – along with other plot points I don’t want to reveal because they were elements not shown in the trailer, and which both screw with your mind AND laugh a lot at the same time. However, it’s safe to say that Veronica is put in a position which she blames squarely on Ashley, and things have changed to the point where Veronica no longer has money while Ashley’s art has taken off.
Well, not everyone loves her work since there’s an art dealer (Stephen Gevedon) who hates Anne’s work, yet he much prefers those of her young friend, Sally (Ariel Kavoussi).
With a good supporting cast including Amy Hill as Veronica’s lunatic aunt, Charlie – who even talks in a deleted scene about drinking amniotic fluid, the situation around the reversals of fortune is far from a new idea for a movie, but it’s an intriguing one in this case.
With superb use of classical music, some silly moments and some poignant ones, it’s thanks to perfect comic timing from both Heche and Oh, there’s something about this bizarre comedy which really works.
Overall, Catfight ends up feeling less ‘Kill Bill‘, but more ‘Kill Each Other’!
Also, check out my new panDOMonium vlog on Catfight below.
The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition, and looks as stunning a print as you’d expect from a modern movie, bringing each separate location (and fight) to life perfectly.
The audio is in DTS HD 5.1 (stereo), and I didn’t spot anything out of the ordinary in terms of split-surround effects. It’s either talking or punching. Or more talking. Or more punching. But punches are fairly one-dimensional in audio terms.
The extras are as follows:
- Fight Choreography (17:23): Does what it says on the tin (so expect spoilers about the fights within), including how each fight was shot in a single day apiece, and there’s even a hint about an alternative ending…
- Deleted Scenes (17:44): There are 17 deleted/alternate/extended scenes, although they’re split across…. TWO chapters(!) Are they paying by the chapter, now? Strangely, the colour grading is all over the place.
- Trailer (2:12): Watching this again, surprisingly it doesn’t give too much away.
- Audio commentaries: one from writer/director Onur Turkel and one from the two leads, simply billed as “Oh Heche”.
Interestingly, the menu features no chapter section… but then you know the deal with Arrow – always 12 chapters only. Also, subtitles are English only, and the menu features clips from the film set to the Overture from Orpheus in the Underworld, which is also used in the trailer.
My review disc was the film and extras on Blu-ray, but if you buy the finished release, there’s also a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Red Dress, plus a booklet featuring new writing on the film.
Running time: 95 mins
Distributor: Arrow Films
Released: April 24th 2017
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Onur Tukel
Producers: Gigi Graff and Greg Newman
Screenplay: Onur Tukel
Veronica: Sandra Oh
Ashley: Anne Heche
Lisa: Alicia Silverstone
Aunt Charlie: Amy Hill
Donna: Myra Lucretia Taylor
Sally: Ariel Kavoussi
Stanley: Damian Young
Tom Ferguson, The Art Collector: Stephen Gevedon
Kip: Giullian Yao Gioiello
John, The Physical Therapist: Tituss Burgess
Angry Guy: Jay O Sanders
Carl: Peter Jacobson
Carl’s Wife: Catherine Curtin
The Man In The Towel: Ronald Guttman
Claire, The Other Art Collector: Eva Dorrepaal
Gynecologist: Lisa Haas
Sperm Donor: Jason Selvig
Howie, The Deaf Guy: Jordan Carlos
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.