Special Edition, Director's Cut
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
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.
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
- 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
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Utterly disappointed. I've seen remasters like An American Werewolf in London and Patton where the remaster was an obvious upgrade. This is NOT. Grain is ridiculously overbearing. Color is muted and pale. Same as the 2009 print with a marginal upgrade.
Audio continues to be outrageously good. The DTS HS-Master soundtrack plays nutzo on my Martin Logans and Boston Acoustics surrounds with my massive Paradigm sub.
Overall, not nearly worth the upgrade price. A terrific movie, but still way short of a reference disc.
I've seen this movie a few hundred times now, and if you knew me you'd probably understand that it's not that strange of a boast at all for me to say it. I currently own three different versions of this and have sifted the contents and commentaries of all of them. The Original Theatrical Release, The Director's Cut (White Box) and the Region 2, UK Release (Black Box with hologram). So far, my favorite is the Original Theatrical release and for the following reasons.
1. Richard Kelly tells the viewer in both versions of the Director's Commentary that he could never get clearance or the money for the songs he wanted to do the film with originally and was `forced' to change some of the music after he toured the film with festival rights. Well ... in all honestly, it was probably for the better that he didn't have the money. I can't bear to watch the film start with the alternate music. Echo and The Bunnymen's `The Killing Moon' is a perfect and very haunting opus-like opening to the film that should have never been messed with in retrospect, regardless of whatever came before it. Tampering with it in such a way is like taking `As time goes by' out of Casablanca, which Michael Curtiz and Jack Warner would've done had Ingrid Bergman not cut her hair and been unavailable to do reshoots and pick-ups.
2. The fireworks at the end is superfluous and a bad choice of visual effects to have man-handled inappropriately into the film. It comes off as a thuggish way to treat the original, without doubt. The eyeball visual and the ocean waves are interesting and seem to fit the tone, but anything after that is just grasping at amateur theatrics.
3. While I do appreciate the additional scenes and the on-screen text of `The Philosophy of Time Travel', it does add to the film, but with the other two mentioned points and the shifting of key music, it negates whatever is gained by the on-screen text.
I remember when Donnie Darko was released and was being advertised with the ad campaign posters all over Hollywood. They were able to secure the large billboard on the corner of Fairfax and Hollywood Blvd and I remember thinking: `Wow, what an odd looking poster. What the hell is that all about?" But I never saw a trailer once.
The ad campaign this film received was atrocious to say the least and it was no fault at all of the filmmakers or flower films, but a direct failure of 20th Century Fox executives who didn't really know what to do with this, even though teen horror was the biggest grossing money-makers in the business at the time. All they needed to do was just advertise it and let the masses decide to go see it. Typically though, almost every modern classic has been panned or mishandled and sometimes this just adds to the beauty and the lore that follows the film ever after.
Unfortunately, the film hit theatres in limited release (LA, NY) just a week and half before 9-11, and much like David Fincher's The Game, which was sunk by the death of Princess Diana, Donnie Darko suffered an equal fate and quietly slipped out of theatres robbing Kelly of the immediate notoriety he should have garnered and does deserve. To be fair though, Kelly does have a pretty unstable reputation as a filmmaker and a Howard Hughes ala Hell's Angels type of aura regarding his movies. Southland Tales took much longer for Kelly to get out and into theatres than was ever needed, and he pretty much spent the 00's working on one film, where his peers put out 3,4 and 5 films, even with Tony Scott taking him under his wing. Work ethic is probably not the problem, but writing and post-production tinkering seems to be his Achilles heel.
Donnie Darko will surely be remembered as his masterpiece. For several years the film had successfully supplanted and pushed out midnight viewings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and their antic driven followers, for the much more morose Donnie Darko and the coffee-clatching style of discussion that often followed afterwards. Having attended both of those in my life, I do not elevate one over the other but enjoyed both equally.
Everything about the Theatrical Release of Donnie Darko is pure magic and the stuff of great filmmaking. Kelly's writing here leaves just enough for the viewers imagination without spoon-feeding and raises enough questions to cause a prolonged dilemma.