Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie Darko
Jena Malone as Gretchen Ross
James Duval as Frank
The film also benefited from a great supporting cast featuring the likes of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Mary McDonnell and Patrick Swayze in an awesome role as a motivational speaker. The presence of Barrymore in the film might lead some to believe DONNIE DARKO is yet another stinker in a long line of teenage slasher flicks but be assured that it’s not. If anyone is afraid to see this movie because they don’t enjoy straight horror stuff, they’ll be pleasantly surprised by what turns out to be an intelligently written film which conveys its characters fears with almost no amount of prop blood. It does however affect the viewer in more subtle ways, mingling natural fears of the dark with the more physical presence of a very scary-looking bunny that shows up in the middle of the night and asks you to do some creepy stuff. The one thing that bothered me - and it's a minor one at that - is that the movie is supposed to be set in the 80s but aside from a couple of 80s tunes in the soundtrack and a discussion about the Smurfs, It never really set that up properly. That being said, it was nothing to detract from enjoying this film and while I can't say it affected my way of life like so many claim it did theirs, I can still give it a healthy recommendation.
Full Length Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Richard Kelly and Director Kevin Smith: At the risk of alienating fanboys round the world, I have to start off by saying that even though I enjoyed his first few movies, I find that no single person is more worthy of the title "overrated" than Kevin Smith to the point where I was really annoyed he would even be in there. That being said, the commentary track was your regular discussion about every topic related to the movie and a few digressions. The following observation isn't necessarily directed toward this track in particular but rather toward all DVD commentary tracks: more and more I'm starting to realize how well we used to live before such things came around and more and more, I'm starting to want to skip commentary tracks altogether. If JoBlo didn't reduce the bag of peanuts I get weekly for working on this site, I probably would too!
Donnie Darko Production Diary (with Optional Commentary by Director of Photography Steven Poster (52 mins): Interestingly enough, this film was shot in 28 days which [SPOILER AHEAD] coincides with the number of days Donnie is given by Frank in the film to save the world. This features chronicles the entire process of making this film from the location scouting through all 28 days of filming. It's pretty complete, very informative and a must-see for diehards.
"They Made Me Do It
Too" - The Cult of Donnie Darko (28 mins): Following the breakthrough
success of the film, a bunch of fans were reassembled to make this feature in
which they explain how DONNIE DARKO has effected their lives. Some of these
fans are quite genuine but a bunch are also quite pretentious and in all
honesty, very out of touch with reality. They seem almost as brainwashed about
this film as Larry Fishburne when he talks about THE MATRIX.
Storyboard-to-Screen Featurette (7 mins): A couple of scenes can be viewed in split-screen format with the storyboards and finished shot playing simultaneously.
#1 Fan: A Documentary (15 mins): Quite possibly the most pathetic site I've ever seen, this features a documentary by a fan made in the context of a competition run by the producers to discover DONNIE DARKO's biggest fan. They were encouraged to make a documentary on why they were such a big fan with the winner having his appear in this release of the DVD. Now this character who claims to be the #1 DONNIE DARKO fan (or as he calls it, Darkon Prime) is undoubtedly one of the biggest creeps I've ever seen. I'm not sure if this was supposed to be a joke or something but it was more depressing than anything else watching a grown man ambush actors and filmmakers both in the street and at the San Diego Comic Con and boasting about the little decorations in his bedroom. It's the first time I had to get up and take a shower following a DVD. I just felt very soiled watching this spectacle unfold. I actually mentioned this one to Indiana Sev before writing this and he remembered people at the Comic Con being genuinely afraid o this guy as he walked around. Very creepy.
In addition to all this you'll find a Director's Cut Theatrical Trailer on the DVD.