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Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2005)

Jake Gyllenhaal , Jena Malone , Dee Austin Robertson , Richard Kelly  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,209 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne, Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Directors: Dee Austin Robertson, Richard Kelly
  • Writers: Dee Austin Robertson, Richard Kelly, Raymond Mansfield, Todd Berger
  • Producers: Aaron Ryder, Adam Fields
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: February 15, 2005
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,209 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006GAOBI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,600 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Production diary with optional commentary by director of photography Steven Poster
  • "They Made Me Do It Too: The Cult of Donnie Darko"
  • Storyboard-to-screen featurette
  • #I Fan: A Darkomentary
  • Director's cut theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

With an additional 20 minutes of material added to the original theatrical edition (including scenes not included in the augmented version previously released on DVD), Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut has a slower, more reflective pace than its first edit, and many more moments of emotional and tonal complexity. The film also has a fuller soundtrack (INXS' "Never Tear Us Apart" is featured prominently in writer-director Richard Kelly's mysterious opening) and new, startling special effects that underscore Donnie's ambiguous experience of time travel and cross-dimensional encounters with Frank, the 6-foot provocateur in a terrifying bunny costume. (Of course, new f/x or not, Donnie could still be a paranoid schizophrenic immersed in violent delusions.) Purists might find some of these changes to Kelly's 2001 cult hit about a troubled teen (Jake Gyllenhaal) trapped in alternative, apocalyptic destinies troubling. But overall the film is an even more haunting experience, impossible to shake.

An audio commentary track features a conversation between Kelly and Kevin Smith (Clerks) outlining the former's reasons for making a director's cut. Kelly says his intention was to amplify a science fiction and comic book element in Donnie Darko, re-design the sound (actually, Kelly claims, there never was a sound design for the original release), and purchase rights to various songs (including Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart") that were lost between the film's premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and the film's theatrical release. Kelly says he also wanted to give something new to the film's fans as thanks for their crucial, early support. Other features in this two-disc set include a highly entertaining production diary (including video of pre-production locations research) as well as a short film about the meaning of "Donnie Darko" as understood by some of the movie's British fans. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

During the presidential election of 1988, a teenager named Donnie Darko sleepwalks out of his house one night, and sees a giant, demonic-looking rabbit named Frank, who tells him the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. He returns home the next morning to find that a jet engine has crashed through his bedroom. As he tries to figure out why he survived and tries to deal with people in his town, like the school bully, his conservative health teacher, and a self-help guru, Frank continues to turn up in Donnie's mind, causing him to commit acts of vandalism and worse. The new Director?s Cut includes a production diary of the film (with optional commentary by Director of Photography Steven Poster), a story-board to screen featurette, the Director?s cut theatrical trailer, They Made Me Do It Too ? The Cult of Donnie Darko and the #1 Fan: A Darkomentary.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
132 of 145 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Movie - Transfer to Blu-Ray Not So Good. December 1, 2009
By MGB
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
First I would like to say that this review is more targeted at the Blu-Ray transfer of this movie. When I first found out this movie was available on Blu-Ray I had to have it since it's one of my favorite movies. I already owned the DVD, and was happy with the quality of the video on my up-converting DVD player. I figured the Blu-Ray would have to look better since it advertised as HD 1080p. Unfortunately that was not the case; in fact the DVD looks better up-converted than the Blu-Ray does. How does that happen? It appears the studio did very little to prepare this film for Blu-Ray. If anything they made it worse by trying to doctor it up rather than spend the money to re-master it properly. The movie has a lot of dark scenes which are almost all grainy and not very detailed. The light scenes are not as noticeable but you can still see it unless you're sitting a good distance from your TV. I guess the point I'm trying to make would be to hang on to your DVD until they fix the Blu-Ray transfer. At the new price it's worth buying if you don't already have the DVD, but don't "up grade" to this from your DVD.
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322 of 363 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have DVD February 17, 2003
By pm444
Format:DVD
I missed this film in its theatrical release (apparently it received limited distribution), but since it requires at least two viewings, it's well-suited for DVD. It's difficult to describe the story or even characterize it by genre, which shows how original the film is. Simply put, it's about time travel, but it's about a lot more than that, too.
The acting is consistently outstanding, with a list of well-known names in the cast, along with less familiar ones. Jake Gyllenhaal gives an amazing performance that is so convincing, you forget that he is acting; he IS Donnie Darko. While the story is mainly told through his eyes, the other characters are surprisingly sympathetic as well. This is not an easy feat for a script to accomplish, especially when the viewer must focus so much attention on every event. It would have been easy to create a one-dimensional hero and a bunch of villains, but writer/director Richard Kelly doesn't take the easy way out.
Instead, we get a highly intelligent and challenging film that engages us as much as it baffles us, that injects enough humor to keep us from stress-overload, and most importantly, makes us want to watch it again and again, even after we know what's going on. In this sense, "Donnie Darko" succeeds where other films have fallen short: for example, I enjoyed the complexities of "Memento", but I was not able to identify or even care very much about any of the characters. The same was true of "The Usual Suspects". Both are excellent films, but I viewed both from a distance, more analytically than emotionally.
I did not view "Donnie Darko" from a distance. I was drawn into the world that it creates, and enjoyed it enough to return more than once.
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358 of 415 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably original August 12, 2002
Format:DVD
Any form of media that makes you think has succeeded in what it set out to do.Donnie Darko is a film that succeeds on every conceivable level. The script is original and entirely unpredictable. There isn't a single bit of action or dialogue, not one frame that can be anticipated. The characters, too, are refreshingly well-conceived and highly unique. And it's a treat to see actors we know well (Drew Barrymore, who also produced, and Noah Wyle) stretch well beyond our usual expectations. There is great humor in this film as well as great sorrow. And, ultimately, it's impossible to say if the entire scenario takes place within the dreams of a brilliant but possibly schizophrenic young man or if, as he so desperately wishes, he has, through physics, managed to reverse time.
Jake Gyllenhaal gives a stunning performance as Donnie. Even his body language--incurving shoulders, questioning eyes, uncertain smiles--reveal a vast, searching intelligence. Mary McDonnell gives yet another in a roster of thoughtful portrayals--this time as the despairing mother of brilliant and troubled Donnie, simultaneously loving and hating him for being emotionally beyond her reach. And Jena Mallone is just wonderful, one of the truest, most authentic young actors around today.
This is filmmaking at its best--an adventure for the mind--not to be missed.
Most highly recommended.
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101 of 114 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes less is a lot more ... February 20, 2005
By m-chan
Format:DVD
My rating and the following refers specifically to the Director's Cut. I would rate the original theatrical release five stars.

This director's cut brought to mind William Faulkner's line about writers often having to "kill their darlings" in order to meet the demands of a work's wholeness and integrity. Evidently, Richard Kelly was forced to kill his darlings with the theatrical release, and the result was close to perfection, if not perfection itself. The film's emotional force was stunning; its mysteries challenging; its pace so good that hitting pause to get more popcorn was impossible to do; its soundtrack (to my mind) a tour de force. It worked terrifically as a film experience, being a beautiful "whole" work of art. Extras that included Roberta Sparrow's book were great ... who really wanted to read the book during the movie anyways? (Which we can now do in the DC.)

Which does not mean a director's cut had no hope of working. Or even, maybe, revisions to the soundtrack (although I really think that was touchy business better left untouched). There were some good scenes deleted from the original, mainly between family members, and they didn't seem major pace-cutters. Fortunately, we do get those scenes here, but we also get the overwhelming force of the director's enthusiasm ... and WAY too much embedded detail of his personal vision.

On the upside, there's a nifty freedom to that enthusiasm which translates well into the Darko world IF you are also enthusiastic and into "playing" with Darko. In other words, if you love Donnie Darko already, you may find this cut a lot of fun. The pacing's completely blown, and the ending comes across flat compared to the original.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best movie
Not only is Donnie Darko already the best movie ever, but the director's cut is amazing. If you've only seen the "regular" version this one has some scenes that will... Read more
Published 23 hours ago by sebe80
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie! Both versions have pros and cons...
After reading a number of reviews about this movie (both the original theatrical release and director's cut) and finding them somewhat mixed, I ordered both versions to judge for... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Barbara LeMay
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie - the orginal version, not so the Director's Cut
This a great movie, one of those that will blow you away and have you thinkign about it long after the credits roll. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Gary
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!
I loved it! everything was in great condition and came on time, i recommend! This is a great movie with great cast!
Published 26 days ago by Nicole Padres
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Tale with Stars!
Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this story of a teenager who is showing signs of mental illness. He also seems to be experiencing a rift in time, but it's not until the very end where... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kathryn Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a classic
we watch this every Halloween - its weird. wonderful, touching, poignant and sad. What a GREAT FILM. A MUST HAVE!
Published 1 month ago by Lorraine A. Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
ARRIVED EARLY AND EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED!

MY FAVORITE MOVIE, I PASS IT ALONG SO OFTEN I LOSE TRACK & HAVE TO BUY MYSELF MORE COPIES!
Published 1 month ago by Bret D. Bosher
4.0 out of 5 stars Make sure you know which version you are getting!
I really like Donnie Darko. I bought this as a replacement for a DVD I had gotten before and lost.

When I watched it, I realized I wasn't watching the same movie I had... Read more
Published 1 month ago by myReviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to explain why I love this film so much.
The director's cut is my favorite version. The story didn't seem to need filling out when I first saw this movie... Read more
Published 1 month ago by ProfHarryHill
4.0 out of 5 stars Hell yeah
Great movie. To bad i lost it already... But good prices, and great movie to watch if youve never seen it before.
Published 1 month ago by Designer and The Rye
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