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Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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|Format||Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen|
|Contributor||Dee Austin Robertson, Joan Blair, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, David Chameides, Patience Cleveland, Merribelle Anderson, Rebecca Asher, Mark Anderson, Mishi Burke, Todd Berger, Raymond Mansfield, Drew Barrymore, Jake Gyllenhaal, Richard Kelly, Daveigh Chase See more|
|Runtime||2 hours and 13 minutes|
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
- Aspect Ratio : 2.35:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 7.75 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 4.8 Ounces
- Director : Dee Austin Robertson, Richard Kelly
- Media Format : Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 2 hours and 13 minutes
- Release date : February 15, 2005
- Actors : Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Mark Anderson, Merribelle Anderson
- Dubbed: : English
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish
- Language : Unqualified, English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Studio : 20th Century Fox
- ASIN : B0006GAOBI
- Writers : Dee Austin Robertson, Raymond Mansfield, Richard Kelly, Todd Berger
- Number of discs : 2
- Best Sellers Rank: #11,208 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviewed in the United States on April 26, 2017
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There are 20 deleted or extended included in this DVD, but each on has to be played separately (no 'Play All' feature) and you must select commentary on/off for each one of them. This is not the best arrangement for a deleted/extended scenes section. The actual content of this section is pretty decent with most of the scenes having the possibility of really having added something to the story and most could've made the film had the director not had to cut the film down to 2 hours from the original rough cut of about 2 and half hours it originally had.
There are two commentaries on the DVD, one with the Richard Kelly (writer/director) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie) and another with Richard Kelly, two producers (Nancy Juvonen and Sean McKittrick) and several cast members: Holmes Osborne (Eddie, Donnie's Dad), Mary McDonnell (Rose, Donnie's Mom), Jimmy Duval (Frank), Beth Grant (Kitty Farmer, Donnie's Health Teacher), Drew Barrymore (Karen Pomeroy, Donnie's English Teacher), Katharine Ross (Dr. Thurman, Donnie's Therapist), and Jena Malone (Gretchen, Donnie's Girlfriend). First, the sound quality of the commentaries is below what one has to come to expect on commentaries. You can hear the commentary track fine, but the track of the movie itself is all but silent during the time in which the cast or crew is speaking, almost shut off which is a turn to many people (but you can put on closed caption, although that can often distract you from the commentary if you are reading it), and it is back to full regular volume when their is no active commentary. My only complaint on the second commentary is that Drew Barrymore often `hogs' the commentary and was way to close to the microphone (which only accented her shrill voice on this commentary) during the recording of the commentary, she tried to hard to be `deep' in her comments way too often and it gets annoying at times. Many of the tidbits and insights provided in both tracks are interesting and above par with many other movie commentaries, but by no means exceptional. It is fun listening to what Kelly and the others have to say and then watching the movie looking for these things on your own, but don't only watch the film looking for hints that the director left for the audience and nothing else; this takes away too much from the film, so don't do that.
The theatrical trailer is above average and can be appreciated by both those that have already seen the film and those than haven't. The several TV spots, all 30 seconds or less, are largely repetitious.
The cast & crew information section is above average listing all of the actors' other films through late 2002 (most DVDs list only some films and are not current beyond the movie on the DVD). There is a total of nine crew bios (as opposed to a simple list of past work) including Richard Kelly, Sean McKittrick, Nancy Juvonen, Steve Poster (director of photography), Alexander Hammond (production designer), April Ferry (costume designer), Eric Strand (editor), Sam Bauer (editor), and Michael Andrews (composer).
The `Mad World' music video is OUTSTANDING, and I have seen it many, many times already. It is quite addicting, and even if I close my eyes and just listen to it, it is still great.
The `Website Gallery' is very hard to see and is not anything special and does not add anything to the DVD. What is shown is really a sampling of what the website has to offer, which is somewhat hard to navigate but during the cast and crew commentary they give you the three passwords for levels one, two and three if you listen closely.
The `Soundtrack' feature provides interesting linear notes, but is not an isolated soundtrack of the movie (which is really the score of the movie with the lone exception the `Mad World' Tears for Fears songs covered so eerily by Gary Jules for the movie).
The `Cunning Visions' section features the infomercials from in the movie with optional directors commentary). There is also a `His Name is Frank' section that is a fun little feature of several place cards that are designed like those featured in the Cunning Visions `exercise' in Donnie's health class and shown during Jim Cunningham's assembly. You can also look at the book covers used for Jim Cunningham's two books feature as background material during his assembly at the school.
`The Philosophy of Time Travel' book feature is disappointing showing only several pages (including the appendices featured in the film) and all the pages are hard to see.
The `Art Gallery section' is neat with a bunch of artwork that inspired works in the film and some of which was used directly in the film. The production stills are plentiful and interesting.
The `Scene Selection' feature is as good as any other DVD with moving images as opposed to stills to mark each chapter, and there are a total of 28; good for a 2 hour movie.
Overall, I enjoyed this DVD especially the `Mad World' music video and the two commentaries as I personally enjoy the opportunity to see the entire movie a different way when I can and the commentary tracks give me this opportunity.
Donnie Darko is inspired (I would guess) by the weird combination of Philip K Dick, Wes Anderson, JD Salinger and the classic James Stewart movie �Harvey�. It announces the arrival of two great new talents in Writer/Director Richard Kelly and the young actor Jake Gyllenhall, in what is a hugely original, ingenious and entertaining movie. Set in 1988, around Halloween time, this movie has the conventional leafy-suburbia-plus-high-school setting, which alludes to the horror genre of Carrie and Halloween but it is no horror movie. It also has specific elements that suggest that it�s a psychodrama about a young man with schizophrenia but this is not �A Beautiful Mind�. It also ponders the possibility of time travel but this is not science fiction. Stranger still, Donnie Darko is unusual in that (unlike most retro 1980�s pictures such as The Wedding Singer) it actually has a very cool soundtrack drawn from the period of my youth, which includes contributions from the likes of Echo and The Bunnymen, Tears For Fears and Joy Division.
So, what is Donnie Darko about? Well, without giving up too much of the plot, Donnie is continuously visited by a 6 foot tall rabbit named Frank, which unlike the Pooka in the classic �Harvey� is both visible to the audience and strangely satanic. Frank tells Donnie that the world is going to end in 28 days six hours and forty two minutes but not to worry as everything is going to be all right. Guided by Frank he narrowly misses being killed when an engine from a 747 crashes through his house whilst he is lying sleeping on a local golf course and the plot thickens when it becomes apparent that the aviation authority has no record of any aircraft losing an engine. Donnie is of course undergoing therapy with a local shrink and hypnotherapist played by Katherine Ross (The Graduate, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid) and the suggestion is of course that Donnie is hallucinating, for as his sister says �he hasn�t been taking his pills�. One of Donnie�s recurring visions suggests that he can see the future before it happens and so he becomes obsessed with the possibility of time travel and a book written by a retired teacher, who is now a scary old recluse, �The Philosophy of Time Travel�. There are also many other sub-plots including Donnie being inspired by his English teacher (Drew Barrymore) and Graham Greene�s short story �The Destructors� into some playful vandalism. In addition to this Donnie�s subversive thoughts and actions begin to undermine the stability of the local community that is strangely gripped by a slimy fundamentalist guru played by Patrick Swayze.
Much of this movie is darkly comic and there are some great scenes including a conversation between Donnie and his therapist, where she asks him what he thinks about at school. Like most teenage boys he inevitably replies �having s*x� before proceeding to unbutton his trousers about to m*sturbate. There is also a scene where at a PTA meeting Donnie�s mother challenges the local bigot by asking "Do you even know who Graham Greene is?" she confidently and proudly replies "Oh please! I think we've all seen Bonanza".
Personally I loved this movie but whether or not you enjoy this movie probably depends upon how far left of centre you like your movies. If you are not a fan of independent cinema or movies by the likes of Wes Anderson and David Lynch then you probably wont like this. However there is much to recommend in Donnie Darko, not least the cast, which includes, Noah Wyle (ER), Mary McDonnell (Dances With Wolves), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Confessions of A Dangerous Mind) and the previously mentioned Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore and Katherine Ross. Jake Gyllenhaal�s exquisite comic timing and laidback personality endows Donnie's existence with a dreamlike quality at odds with his teen angst and the suburban paranoia of his surroundings. Meanwhile writer/director Richard Kelly creates a wonderful sense of tension and keeps you guessing throughout the movie that even after the final titles have rolled you are still left to mull over what you have just witnessed.
Whilst critics may argue that Donnie Darko fails as a psychological study and/or horror movie, you cant help but feel they are missing the point, as it deliberately avoids easy classification to a specific genre and instead concentrates on being intelligent, ingenious and highly original. Closing appropriately to a cover version of the old Tears For Fears song �Mad World� and the lyrics �the dreams on which I�m dying are the best I�ve ever had�, neatly ties up the previous two hours and what was for me a very satisfactory cinematic experience. Destined for cult status this undoubtedly deserves five stars!
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Arrow have surpassed themselves, everything the Donnie Darko fan could want is here.
It is about time that someone did justice to this excellent, thought-provoking piece of art commited to film. The box set is very well made and sturdy in construction, the new artwork is wonderful and could not be better in my opinion.
The Blu-ray transfer itself has very slight grain and softness to it, but I find that it works well with the overall tone of the film (being set in the 80's). I have not watched the bonus features yet, but I expect they will not be disappointing.
Too long had Donnie Darko languished in the bargain bin of DVD/ Blu-ray releases, this one finally did the job that Donnie always deserved.
The only small gripe I have is that the book included basically re-hashes much of "The Donnie Darko Book", which I already own.
But I will still give 5 stars as the film is one of the best ever and it finally got some recognition.
Well done Arrow.