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Donnie Darko

That was one very strange movie, and after watching it I'm surprised it hasn't gotten more attention. I'd been hearing people talk about it for a while, but never actually had a chance to see it, and then Sunday night during the Diversicon dead dog party it was picked by the remaining fans as the thing to see after the fourth season Farscape episodes that had been playing.

In the beginning, Donnie Darko seems to be just another teenage angst movie: the hero is the son of comfortably middle-class parents, but he's seeing a shrink due to some unspecified emotional problem. It turns out Donnie has an imaginary friend, a fiendish-looking six-foot-tall bunny rabbit who calls himself Frank, and one night in October 1988 Frank calls Donnie out of his house and down to the golf course to warn him that the world is going to end in 28 days. That's where things begin to come off the rails, because when Donnie is roused by some early-morning golfers, he comes home to find his bedroom completely demolished by a jet engine...and over time begins to realize what Frank's warning means, and what he needs to do to prevent the apocalypse. It's a strange, strange movie, but it has its moments of hilarity and sweetness in among the dire calamity. Highly recommended.

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
michaellee
Aug. 22nd, 2005 11:01 pm (UTC)
Donnie Darko is fantastic, and is highly recommended. I think the main reason why it hasn't gotten that much attention is just that it had a really unfortunate planned release date -- fall of 2001 -- and it was an odd and strange enough movie that it took years for it to find its audience, which it is still continuing to do.
wombat_socho
Aug. 23rd, 2005 12:36 am (UTC)
I thought it was really good, and may buy the DVD. After the move and Anime Iowa and all that, of course...
stuckintraffik
Aug. 23rd, 2005 02:15 pm (UTC)
There's also a director's cut DVD. And check out the website as well - it helps unravel some of the mysteries too. All in all a fantastic, layered piece that has more levels of meaning than you can shake a stick at. I'm also looking forward to Richard Kelly's next films, Domino (he wrote the screenplay) and Southland Tales.
radio_gnome
Aug. 23rd, 2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
This director's cut is one of the few director's cuts which I don't like as much as the original, mostly because it seems the director is trying to explain his way out of a problematic (and bad, IMO) ending.

While I enjoyed Donnie Darko, it seems to me like it could have been much better. The director's cut DVD does have some cool documentary stuff on it, and it is fascinating to see how this movie was accecpted totally differently in the UK than it did in the States. But one does get the feeling that someone started a rumour about "how cool" Donnie Darko is and then it became very uncool to not think this was the greatest film since "Harold and Maude go to White Castle".
stuckintraffik
Aug. 23rd, 2005 04:23 pm (UTC)
Ironically, I haven't watched the director's cut yet - just looked through some of the special features. Still, adding more facets to the film just seems like a fantastic thing to me. Oddly enough, when I first saw Donnie Darko it was on DVD when it had just come out - I vaguely remembered wanting to see it when I read a review of it in the Onion, but missed it. I hadn't heard squat since then. Of course, ever since I've been singing its praises, but I digress.
wombat_socho
Aug. 23rd, 2005 05:10 pm (UTC)
The director's cut was what we were watching. It's too bad the remote for the DVD player had been lost; it would have been nice to pause the movie and see all of the text that appears at various points.
wombat_socho
Aug. 23rd, 2005 05:16 pm (UTC)
No movie is perfect, but Donnie Darko is pretty good. It's a long way from being the greatest film ever, but it wouldn't have been a waste of $7.50, either, had I seen it in the theater. There's been word of mouth about it in these parts for a few years, but nobody's going around saying this is the coolest thing ever. People I know usually reserve that kind of enthusiasm for HALO 2. ^^
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