Monday, April 13, 2009

Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko is one of those films that people either love or hate. I find the film to be brilliant, and to be one of the greatest independent accomplishments in the last decade. The film is entirely original from start to finish, drawing more inspiration from philosophy and scientific theory than modern film. Each of the performers bring something sharp, quirky, and uniquely funny to their characters. Gyllenhaal in particular plays what I will always consider his defining role, mixing dark humor and wit with a boyish sense of wonderment and confusion. The plot is deeply immersed in its own bizarre mythology without ever fully explaining any of the symbolism or imagery to the audience, which acts as an amazing strength to the film that begs revisiting. That is, unless you watch the Director's Cut, which assumes the audience is full of surface level dullards and dumbs down the film beyond recognition.

Producer's Cut: 10/10.
Director's Cut: 8/10.

HorrorBlips: vote it up!

7 comments:

  1. I agree with you. That is one of my favorite films. I had to watch the original again immediately afterwards...just to preserve my memories.

    Cheers!

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  2. How frustrating was that damn DC?? I had absolutely no idea that Directors cut = entirely new film.. Im so pissed that I traded in my original copy after buying the DC without watching it, but thats what I deserve lol..

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  3. I'm really not much of a fan of this one, to be honest. I felt that even the 'normal' cut of the film was pandering to audiences, and was quite heavy handed in parts. I think Richard Kelly just got lucky with this film, as his follow up to this was a bucket load of ass curry.

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  4. I can see why many people dont like it, or rather dont like the idea of it, being the cult phenomena that it is, but no one can really dispute the originality of the characters and plot, and the excellent direction for a new director.

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  5. Yup, what made it work for me was how likeable the characters were (especially he parents, for a change), and Frank the Bunny was pretty damned cool. I dunno, I guess it's the overhype over some of these films that bugs the hell outta me, and probably the fact that alot of people I know who love it seem to hate on directors like David Lynch for being pretentious.

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  6. I'd even take a director's cut as a completely new movie - just not, when the movie's so much worse, as I agree with you is the case here.

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  7. See thats exactly why I think many people are turned off to the film Johnny, I saw it waaay back in Freshman year of college when they were doing select screenings on college campuses prior to the DVD release, so going into it completely unexpectantly gave it an entirely different experience entirely. I know the film has a ridiculous cult following in the UK, I couldnt believe how big it was when I was in Brighton compared to the smaller following here in the States.

    Yeah House, I typically love reexperiencing movies I love when the directors are able to regain control, which completely redeemed Alien 3 IMO, but man something sure went wrong here..

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