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S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale [Blu-ray]

119 customer reviews

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(May 12, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Seven years after her brother's death, Samantha Darko finds herself stranded in a small desert town after her car breaks down where she is plagued by bizarre visions telling of the universe's end. As a result, she must face her own demons, and in doing so, save the world and herself.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Elizabeth Berkley, Matthew Davis, James Lafferty, Justin Chatwin, Daveigh Chase
  • Directors: Chris Fisher
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby TrueHD), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 12, 2009
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001RP975Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,486 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 84 people found the following review helpful By E.N. on December 6, 2010
Format: DVD
I can remember a defining moment for me in this film when, only a few minutes in, the titular character looks out her car window and sees a CGI unicorn made of clouds running alongside her. I immediately reached for my gun, but a compassionate friend stopped me, ensuring me that this couldn't possibly be the two hour long Guess Jeans commercial it was setting itself up to be.

My friend was damn wrong.

S. Darko is a sequel, like Troll 2 or the Second World War. The direction is hopelessly one-note and plagiaristic, the dialogue is reminiscent of a TV spot for Calvin Klein cologne, and the story is less a sequel, and more an accidental anthology of mini sequels, each sucking a little harder than the last.

Remember the pensive sequences in Donnie Darko where they'd show a time lapse of cloud cover, or morose suburbanites living out their lives to a somber soundtrack? Well, this movie does, and is considerate enough to include 50 or 60 shot-for-shot reproductions of those scenes for those who might've forgotten. With the bulk of the movie thus out of the way, the remaining running time is filled with multiple time travels that are impossible to care about, because they're established, abandoned, and picked up again like a relay baton in the Special Olympics.

Also, the principle relationship between Sam and her idiot friend is painfully bad. You know the one: lifelong friends who have been forged in the crucible of adolescence to become blood sisters. A bond so close that they can only communicate their intimate connection through the following dialogue:

Girl 1: "We're perfect together."
Girl 2: "Immaculate."

I am not making that up. That back and forth happens at least three times.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By BooksArePortableMagic on May 14, 2009
Format: DVD
1. I think the idea of telling the story from the point of view of the Manipulated Dead instead of the Living Reciever was great. 2. I think the idea of continuing the story using Samantha Darko was great. 3. I believe Iraq Jack was a brilliant character.

These great ideas, unfortunately were poorly executed. Here's why I think this way:

1. As I have watched Donnie Darko, I have certainly wondered what it was like for Frank the Bunny. He was the second most important character in Donnie Darko but we know virtally nothing about him. So I could certainly understand why someone would want to write a movie from this perspective. I think the reason it was so poorly done in the movie is because the idea that Samantha Darko would be the Manipulated Dead is just downright stupid and illogical. The Manipulated Dead should have been a completely different character.

2. Continuing the tale from Samantha Darko's perspective is brillant. Why? Because she would have found the book The Philosophy of Time Travel. She would have been motivated to find out why her brother had this book and what the book meant. She could have tracked down someone who knew Roberta Sparrow, leading her to Iraq Jack. Then Fisher (the director)could have explored Roberta's back story like he said he considered doing in the special features on the DVD. Perhaps Corey could have still been a part of it. A friend occupying her on her journey trying to run from her past, while Samantha was trying to find information so she could understand hers.

3. And while these two young women are trying to deal with their past, Samantha meets Iraq Jack (and some of the towns characters. A few of them were nothing but filler in this movie.).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Winter Halberd on December 1, 2010
Format: DVD
I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a sequel or an homage, but what it isn't is a cohesive, quality movie in its own right. Much if not all of the imagery, and the basic premises, are entirely taken from the original film, AND it doesn't even use them well.

Donnie Darko is a brilliant movie because it takes surreal elements such as Fred, the life paths, and time travel, really introduces and justifies them to the audience, and then uses them to tell a compelling story with a beginning, middle, and end. This film incorporates the life paths, but to no particular purpose. They get one character from point a to point b, and that's it. There is no reason for them to even be included.

The time travel/sacrifice "bit" that absolutely made Donnie Darko is used again, not once but twice. I might excuse it if it were to save two different people, but they were both for Sam. Not that she wasn't lovely and compelling, but really. That just seems greedy. The worst part, though, is that the second "rewind" brings us back to a status quo with a little boy dying of starvation in a cave. No good movie ever, ever ends with children dying cold and alone.

Nothing, in short, is resolved. The two friends don't even make up; Sam returns to a family situation that is only making her miserable, leaving Corey to "crash for something like ever" in the middle of nowhere. Both of their projected futures are incredibly bleak. Perhaps Corey is meant to find some kind of happiness with Randy, but if she were, I think it would be indicated earlier.

Speaking of Randy, why does he even exist?
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Topic From this Discussion
Richard Kelly said never
Hard not to be biased, watched it last night DD is a modern classic no question and I enjoy it now and again. I found that the sequel at worst makes a few fatal choices, and at best is really inconsequential eye candy/homage.
Like alot of part 2s ill advised but a guilty pleasure in an odd way...
May 14, 2009 by Phantasmagoria |  See all 3 posts
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S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale [Blu-ray]
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