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DVD Reviews: Donnie Darko

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 13 July 2003
Distributed by:
The AV Channel
Running Time: 113 Minutes

Donnie Darko is the ultra cool twisted tale of a young man who is a paranoid schizophrenic who is off his medication, has visions of the end of the world, time travel and who engages in conversations with a giant rabbit who tells him what to do and when to do it.

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this moody tale that gets more and more weird as the movie progresses. He is the broody moody student who is usually reserved in class until going off the medication that his psychiatrist prescribed him to keep him calm. The normal laid back kid becomes outspoken in class and in the night things happen that no one can account for.

There were so many cool moments in this movie that it is not funny. I have found that since reviewing this film and asking others about it that in all probability it will achieve a form of cult status over the short term. It certainly is a memorable film that will have you scratching your head for a little while upon it's conclusion.

I almost found the only weak point was the minor part played by Drew Barrymore who is the show's producer. She was certainly a smart woman to put her money behind this one as there are a number of stand out performances by it's cast, including an older Patrick Swayze who plays the part of a positive reinforcement speaker who gets what is coming to him.

This is by no means a splatter film by any stretch of the imagination although there are a number of moments that do involve a tiny bit of gore. For the most part the scariest part of the film is in the viewers imagination and anticipation of shocks. Add to this some brilliant cinematography and pacing of storyline and you have got one hell of a ride.

The audio and video on this title was second to none and I truly enjoyed every moment of it. The picture is crisp and clear and thoroughly enjoyable to watch. The main thing that I loved about the audio was the way that it totally encompassed me, integrating me unconsciously into the movie.

The extras were entertaining on this one as well, with all the stops being pulled out in order to ensure that punters get a very comprehensive package. Almost everything you could imagine was included in these extras, including a hilarious audio commentary for the commercial "Cunning Visions" that you will see during the film itself. This was extremely funny and a very nice touch to round out the DVD. The voice overs were a great touch. Also included on the disc was the music video for the haunting song "Mad World" that features during the movie.

This DVD is a must watch disc and I think that most people will want to add their disc to their permanent collections. Make sure you do it the justice of watching it all the way through and then going through the extras as well. Highly Recommended! Brilliant Movie! Brilliant DVD!

Donnie Darko Features

  • Audio Commentaries

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes

  • Cunning Visions Infomercials

  • The Philosophy of Time Travel Book

  • Website Gallery

  • Mad World Music Video

  • Art Gallery & Production Skills

  • Cast & Crew Information

  • Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots


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