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In the tradition of Urban Legends and Final Destination, Donnie Darko is an edgy, psychological thriller about a suburban teen coming face-to-face wit his dark destiny. Jake Gyllenhaal leads a star-filled cast (including Drew Barrymore, Noah Wyle, Jena Malone, Patrick Swayze and Mary McDonnell) as a delusional high-school student visited by a demonic rabbit with eerie visions of the past - and deadly predictions for the future. This "excitingly original" (Entertainment Weekly) nail-biter will keep you on the edge of your seat until the mind-bending climax.
- "Cunning Visions" infomercials
- "The Philosophy of Time Travel" Book
- "Mad World" music video
- 20 deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary
- Art gallery & production skills
- TV Spots
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I did not see an unboxing video before buying and I was blown away when I received the box. It really feels like a bargain at $31. The artwork done throughout by Candice Tripp is awesome.The included 90 page book is very well done and I found all of it interesting. I have not read the 2001 Donnie Darko book which the long interview was from and I really found it to be quite compelling.The post cards included with the Directors Cut and poster with the Theatrical Cut are both done well. The amount of special features and extras included is very impressive. I have watched some of them and I'm looking forward to watching the rest. There is material here that has not been released before.
The video quality of the special edition is impressive and a huge improvement over prior Blu-rays. Critics that have reviewed the Blu-rays are also very impressed. The difference for me is more obvious in outside scenes. Overall it offers better clarity and it is a bit darker. The Blu-ray appears very film like and shows details that I have never noticed before. Shadows and dark areas are handled very well and look great. This is not a Blu-ray to show off your home theater with. Look for more recent titles shot digitally. This is an older low budget movie shot with 800 ASA stock. The 800 ASA film was used so that film could be shot with less light. 800 ASA film has more grain and grain is apparent on these Blu-rays but it is not distracting. Bottom line is that this is the best this movie has ever looked and likely the best it will ever look. Arrow Video did a top notch job with their restoration.
Sound is very good and I cannot tell a difference from earlier Blu-rays.
This is a fantastic Limited Edition and well worth the money. For people that have bought the earlier editions and others that have not seen the film this is highly recommended.
With that said, Donnie Darko for years has lacked the proper bluray release it deserves. The previous american bluray transfer was sorely lacking, to say the least, and it seemed no care was put into the audio and picture quality whatsoever. It was only a slight improvement over the DVD, and so I never went ahead and purchased it, hoping that someday a better quality package would be released.
Thanks to Arrow Video, my prayers have been answered. This limited edition four disc set is ESSENTIAL to all Donnie Darko fans, and is exactly what we've been waiting for. Firstly, the box set is gorgeous, as are the supplements. There's an informative booklet, as well as two digipacks- one for the theatrical cut, another for the directors cut- within those are a double sided Donnie Darko poster (one side is the poster for the theatrical release, the flipside matches the box set's cover), and an envelope appearing to be handwritten by Donnie to Roberta Sparrow. Inside are a collection of various post-card sized artwork. The digipacks themselves also have gorgeous covers that perfectly represent the atmosphere of the film and are nice to have in the collection.
However, as great as the packaging is, it would all be for nothing had the actual film's look been once again neglected. With great relief it can be said that this is the best the film has ever looked on home video. Thanks to a new 4k restoration approved by director Kelly, the film looks noticeably better. While it still has that intentionally hazy quality to it, the detail is sharp and clear, the grain is finely retained, the colors are appropriately saturated. There really is not one flaw I noticed while watching (and this is going for the preferred theatrical cut, as I have not revisited the director's cut yet). I can't state enough how great the film looks now, it's like watching it with a fresh pair of eyes.
The special features also don't disappoint, filled with interviews, several commentaries including the cast, crew, and writer/director, as well as a lengthy documentary exploring the genesis of the film, the making of it, leading to its release, and finally it's enduring cult legacy over the years. Plus the same special features from previous dvd/blurays have been carried over.
In short, if you love Donnie Darko this is a MUST OWN package that was long overdue, but I'm so very pleased to finally have it in my collection. Thank you to everyone involved in the process of making this special edition, and to the filmmaker himself for a film I'll never stop loving.