003797Reviews & Counting
Donnie Darko
BLU-RAY disk
08.10.2011 By: Stephanie Cooke
Donnie Darko order download
Richard Kelly

Jake Gyllenhaal
Jena Malone
Drew Barrymore


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Donnie Darko (Gyllenhaal) is a delusional high-school student visited by a demonic rabbit with eerie visions of the past--and deadly predictions for the future.
This is the second time since DONNIE DARKO initially came out that I’ve seen the film. I didn’t remember much about seeing it the first time, just bits and pieces, so it was kind of like watching it for the first time all over again. I remembered the essentials like it starred Jake Gyllenhaal and his sister Maggie co-stars in the film and plays his sister. I also remembered that Drew Barrymore was in DONNIE DARKO, but had forgotten that she was also the executive producer of the film.

Within the first ten minutes or so, I had about half a dozen “Oh! I forgot all about that!” moments happen. I’m more referring to the people that were in DONNIE DARKO like in addition to the already mentioned actors, Patrick Swayze, Mary McDonnell (hells yes BSG!) and Jena Malone. I even noticed for the first time Canadian actor Seth Rogen in the film.

Now, what can I say about DONNIE DARKO that hasn’t already been said? The film is completely effed up but it’s totally incredib, beautifully shot and an all round awesome film. I think I’ll be pondering for the rest of my days the meaning behind everything that happens in the film, since there’s so many ways to interpret what happens (it's all about the possibilities!). Is Donnie seriously that mentally effed up that he imagined the whole thing or was he really seeing wormholes and traveling through time portals?

We could go into a discussion for ages talking about this film, but for me, that’s the thing that makes the movie so good. There are so few films in our generation that we can talk about in length, it’s kind of sad. Even the films that are good or exceptional, don’t really give us much to talk about after the movie is done, other than maybe our thoughts on the film as a whole and what we enjoyed about it. Few filmmakers are able to come up with a movie that will not only keep viewers talking about it after they’ve finished watching it, but keep them talking at dinners, on dates, on a train, on a plane or anywhere else you can carry out a conversation. A ton of people have seen the film, so if you’re ever stuck in a talk where you don’t know what to say, DONNIE DARKO is just one of those films you can mention and get hours of talk time from.
Most of the special features included in this 4-disc set are features that most fans have already seen. A couple new features were included on the Disc 1 Blu-ray, but they’re just the commentaries and nothing really too spectacular. There are a few neat things on the Disc 2 DVD, but other than that, it's all pretty straightforward and basic.

Blu-ray Disc 1 Special Features:
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Richard Kelly and Director Kevin Smith
• Audio Commentary with Cast and Crew
• Commentary with Writer/Director Richard Kelly and Actor Jake Gyllenhaal

DVD Disc 2 Special Features:
Production Diary with Optional Commentary by Director of Photography Steven Poster: Well, I honestly found this a bit boring for my tastes. I’m sure that there are a lot of people who would find this incredibly interesting, but I just found that hearing how they were going to shoot a certain shot or where they were going to shoot a shot, just wasn’t all that thrilling for me. Still, for big fans, it’s a pretty cool little feature.

They Made Me Do It Too – The Cult Of Donnie Darko Featurette: This was actually kind of a neat little feature that did little mini interviews with fans of the film in the UK. Not much more to say about it, they just discuss what they think the film is about, why people love it so much and all that.

#1 Fan: A Darkomentary: I sat down to watch this thinking that I was in for a really cool look into the mind of a person who had some really awesome thoughts on the movie out of their love for it. I was about a gazillion times wrong on this one. Darryl Donaldson enters a contest in 2004 on and wins. His prize was getting his documentary, or in this case “Darkomentary” featured as one of the extras on the DVD.

It is ridiculously creepy. It features a die-hard fan with a creepy selection of Jake Gyllenhaal screenshots, a bunch of Frank drawings, stalking of the actor who plays Frank, James Duval and homemade lyrics to accompany the DONNIE DARKO soundtrack. Plus a trip to San Diego Comic Con to question Richard Kelly about the book The Philosophy of Time Travel that is in the film and also was released as a book and a kiss. I won’t say more than that… you’ll just have to watch it yourself if you haven’t already done so.

Storyboard-to-Screen Featurette: I’m pretty sure that this is relatively self-explanatory. Basically this feature just takes you through the shots as they were drawn out and put to screen. Neat if you’re into that sort of thing… boring as heck if you’re not.

Director’s Cut Theatrical Trailer: Not much to say about this… I mean, it’s a trailer. For the Director’s Cut of DONNIE DARKO… You may or may not have seen it, but either way, you still watched the film (most likely).

DVD Disc 3 Special Features:
• Donnie Darko in Standard Definition
• Director and Actor Commentary
• Deleted/Extended Scenes with Optional Director Commentary
• ”Cunning Visions” Informercials
The Philosophy of Time Travel Book
• Website Gallery
• ”Mad World” Music Video
• Art Gallery & Production Stills
• Cast & Crew Info
• Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots
The 10th Anniversary Edition of DONNIE DARKO really holds up. The film looks great on Blu-ray and the soundtrack is extra awesome in this era of complete B.S. music. Now as far as the actual Blu-ray itself… Well, that’s kind of disappointing, to be honest. The Blu-ray is the same edition from the 2009 release of the film (with a few new (and blah) special features) and the 4-disc set is really just made up of that Blu-ray disc, 2 additional DVDs, one of which is from the original release of the movie and the second DVD is special features that were previously released as well. The only thing that’s actually new about this edition of the film is the inclusion of the Digital Copy of the film.

I’m going to just say it, if you’ve already got the film on Blu-ray, unless you specifically want the Digital Copy, there’s no real point in adding this film to your collection again. It’s nice to have the original DVD (and the special features that were included on said DVD), but unless you’re a huge fan of the film, it’s not really necessary to upgrade to.

DONNIE DARKO is a brilliant film, but this version is most definitely not a must-own unless you don’t already own the film on Blu-ray.
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