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Donnie Darko...a very strange movie


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356 replies to this topic

#1 of 357 Shawn Shultzaberger

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Posted November 03 2001 - 12:33 PM

I watched the trailer this evening and look forward to seeing the movie. But I don't really know what to think of it. It has a very dark look to it (hence the name) but is it sci/fi, fantasy, horror, drama, comedy or what? And is the lead character from the "Bubble Boy" movie?

The release date is October 26th but I haven't seen it playing at any of the theaters around here in Colorado. Has anyone watched it yet?

By the way, I thought I saw a thread for Donnie Darko on the HTF but my memory is fuzzy. I did a search on Donnie Darko and it only comes up with one thread about Apocolyptic movies.

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#2 of 357 Andy Sheets

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Posted November 04 2001 - 12:15 AM

I just watched this movie yesterday. I'm not going to say it was good and I'm not going to say it was bad because, frankly, I'm still processing it. But it is very interesting to watch. I think it was one of those neat little movies that has almost too many ideas all competing for screen time. I guess it's flawed but at the same time you can't really blame a young director for diving in headfirst with all this stuff Posted Image

#3 of 357 Dwayne

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Posted November 04 2001 - 12:43 PM

I am very interested in seeing this film, but unfortunately it isn't playing anywhere around here. I went to IMDB to check out the release dates and although is says the 26th, LA was in parentheses next to the date. So I have no idea when or if this movie will ever get a wide release. It's a shame the film is getting no press since I think alot of people would be interested by the trailer alone.

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#4 of 357 BrianB

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Posted November 04 2001 - 02:51 PM

Quote:
So I have no idea when or if this movie will ever get a wide release. It's a shame the film is getting no press since I think alot of people would be interested by the trailer alone.

I went to see it last night here in Dallas. Very interesting film - had very little info on it, just a couple of good reviews online & in the local newspaper. Very very good. I'll agree with the comments above, there are maybe too many ideas explored in the film, but it was definitely interesting to watch & I'm confident that the creative team behind it will go on to bigger & brighter things.

Well worth checking out. Funny, intelligent & thought provoking.

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#5 of 357 Darcy Hunter

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Posted November 04 2001 - 03:15 PM

I am also patiently waiting for this film to open in my area. I have no idea if or when it will play here. I've been interested in Donnie Darko ever since I saw that killer trailer, and read up a bit about the premise. What really sold me was the clip of the first 8 minutes that I-Film.com had up. Just that whole sequence of Donnie riding his bike around a late 80's suburban neighborhood while Echo and the Bunnymen's " The Killing Moon" plays on the soundtrack seemed to set the tone for a creepy and cool movie.

#6 of 357 Michael Reuben

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Posted November 05 2001 - 03:06 AM

Interesting sequences and performances, but the director hasn't learned how to construct a narrative that pulls an audience along and holds their attention (a number of people left the screening I attended). The film eventually comes around to making a kind of sense, but for long stretches you're sitting there wondering where the hell you're going. If you liked it enough to see it again, I suspect it will hold together much better the second time around.

David Lynch has explored some of the same territory (the creepy things that lie just below suburban "normalcy"), but Lynch has the gift of grabbing an audience's attention and holding it, even when they're not sure exactly what's holding them. Donnie Darko is an interesting effort in a similar vein, but it shows you just how difficult it really is to do what Lynch does.

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[Edited last by Michael Reuben on November 06, 2001 at 08:40 AM]
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#7 of 357 Mark Cappelletty

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Posted November 05 2001 - 07:09 PM

Saw it today and glad I did as I don't think it will be around next week in the LA area. I agree there are too many ideas floating around here, but I also believe that this is one of the best and most unsettling films I've seen all year. Really worth checking out.

#8 of 357 Joseph Young

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Posted December 26 2001 - 11:46 AM

Kind of a cool movie. Posted Image This one got revived at our local art-house theater so I had a second chance to catch it.

I am really biased, however, because the music throughout the picture was some of my favorite. Joy Division, Echo, Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, etc... it all fits together well and sets a mood.

I absolutely agree with BrianB's statement about 'too many ideas competing for screen time.' As the mystery winds tighter and tighter, you expect some kind of revelational answer to the whole thing. But aside from a pretty nifty explanation of
who 'Frank' is
the fascinating concepts are left hanging, unresolved as the credits roll.

I would describe the film, to those who haven't seen it, as Harvey meets David Lynch meets Heathers. Aside from the fact that Donnie Darko is kind of a messy and clunky film, it's got some real originality, subtlety, depth and beauty under its surface.

Patrick Swayze (sp?) is great as the cult leader/self-help guru... casting him was a stroke of pure brilliance.

"I think you're the antichrist." Posted Image

Does anyone know who has the rights to this DVD? I would recommend a rental when it is released.

Joseph

#9 of 357 Shawn Shultzaberger

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Posted December 27 2001 - 09:09 AM

Since it doesn't seem to ever be playing in the Denver area I sure hope it does go to DVD. It will probably be the only way I will be able to see it.

Question: Could the kidlets (ages 11 & 9) watch or cope with this movie? Might be the difference between a purchase or rental if it goes to disk.
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#10 of 357 Joseph Young

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Posted December 27 2001 - 09:55 AM

There is a moderate-to-small amount of gore and some violence and cursing. Nothing over-the-top, but this is definitely a "dark" movie... Posted Image

The film wreaks a kind of twisted, convoluted logic, much as 'Mulholland Drive' did, but that's a good thing. Then again, my cognative skills are sometimes equivalent to a 3 year old's Posted Image (just ask my boss).

This is just a guess, but I don't forsee the DVD until at least March or April of next year unfortunately. If it's sooner, I'll be happy!

Cheers,

Joseph

#11 of 357 todd stone

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Posted March 02 2002 - 10:54 AM

this movie is weird but EXCELLENT. Rent this one at least, but I will be buying it.
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#12 of 357 Jason Whyte

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Posted March 19 2002 - 05:51 AM

Just thought I would give this thread a much-needed bump, since I viewed the DVD of this last night and found it Outstanding. Just brilliant work.

Maybe this is just my kind of film, but director Richard Kelly has made such a strong debut with "Donnie Darko" the same way that Todd Field knocked my socks off with "In The Bedroom" last year, that I'm amazed the film never opened in this area. I want more people to see it.

Oh sure, there is the occasional flaw here and there, but Kelly shows me many things I have never seen before in a film. And from Jake Gyllenhall's performance (this is the same guy who played "Bubble Boy," bear in mind!) to the excellent 80's soundtrack, to Patrick Swazye as a fear-control guru, every moment in this film just gels with me for some strange reason.

Maybe this film will live in my mind like "Mulholland Drive" but I found this film to be wholly original, incredibly thoughtful, darkly funny and beautifully written. Flawed, maybe, but it nevertheless captivated me.

Jason

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#13 of 357 Joseph Young

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Posted March 19 2002 - 06:03 AM

Jason,

I totally agree. Despite the flaws, Donnie Darko totally captivated me with its originality and overall mood/style. I was under the impression this had been released last week, but apparently 3/19 is the official release date.

Too bad the cover art is reprehensible.. (ie. "It will knock your socks off!") Don't let the cover fool you, this movie is not 'final destination' or 'scream' or 'i know what you did last summer.' It played at our local art house for a week and a half and got virtually no press.

Joseph

#14 of 357 EricW

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Posted March 19 2002 - 10:20 AM

i agree the box looks crap. and what about the tagline?
"dark, darker, darko" isn't good at all, and "be afraid of the dark" is totally bad.

anyways, it's all a shame since the movie is very good. i only saw it once, and i'll have to see it a few more times til i "get" the point of the story (if there is one in the conventional sense).
"now, if that's a fact, tell me... am i lying?"

#15 of 357 Mark Schmitt

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Posted March 19 2002 - 12:01 PM

I just saw this movie as well. I'm still trying to figure it out. I listened to the commentary by Kelly and Jake (I'm not going to bother to try to spell his last name) and while it showed a little more light, I still am a bit lost.

How did the tangent universe start? According to the commentary it was when the clock struck midnight. What caused the tangent? Did Donnie start it by leaving his bed? If so, it seems a bit strange that what caused the tangent (Frank calling to Donnie), is, in turn, a result of it.


Can we make this thread spoiler free? I'd like to hear some more discussion without highlighting stuff. I'm too lazy.

Posted Image

If there already is a discussion thread for those that saw the film, please link it. I haven't seen one.
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#16 of 357 JonZ

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Posted March 20 2002 - 01:00 AM

I found it to be a little disappointing,probally becuase Ive been looking foward to it so much.

But at least its creative.

BTW,The DVD transfer is just terribly bright. I had to turn my brightness WAY down.

#17 of 357 Jeff

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Posted March 20 2002 - 01:23 AM

Why did this movie take place in the 80's? As I mentioned in the DVD thread, the young director (26 I think he is) has no eye for the 80's at all and the lack of detail made it distracting for me. A friend of mine who saw it with me had no idea the movie took place in the 80's till near the end. He finally just wondered why all the 80's music was in it. He somehow missed the 1988 as part of the date and didn't take note of the old US election going on.

It should have been done in present day.



Jeff

#18 of 357 EricW

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Posted March 20 2002 - 01:58 AM

this whole message is one big spoiler!
this whole message is one big spoiler!
this whole message is one big spoiler!


warning: explaining the movie to myself (if i'm right) hasn't made me appreciate it anymore - in a small way it's a disapointment to have everything written out, so read at your own risk...

i've watched the movie again on DVD and listened to the first commentary, and also looked at the supplemental book on the DVD. here's what i propose: the tangent universe is created as soon as the portal is opened (at midnight). Donnie is whisked to this universe by God (or a higher being, whataver). the movie is taking place in this tangential universe. as the director comments, Donnie has been placed in this universe to set things right, and all the people around him are there to guide him, either directly or indirectly, just as the book says. the jet engine as the Artifact, made of metal and travelling through the portal as the Noah Wyle character suggests. anyways, Darko is the Christ-like figure who's sent to this world to sacrifice his life to save the universe (this would also explain the use of "the Last Temptaion of Christ" in the movie theater). in the 28 days he's told the universe will end, he gradually learns his role and knows what he has to do to stop the end of the universe, as well as his suffering, which is why he is smiling at the end, in his bed just as the engine hits his bedroom the second time.

before hearing the commentary and reading the book, i thought the point of the story was that the portal had created a loop in time and it was up to Donnie to let himself get killed to end the loop, thus saving the universe. similar but different.

Frank: not 100% on what this guy is - the book says (as i recall from last night) anyone killed in the tangent universe has added powers. so Frank is killed in the end, inside the tangent universe and thus has the power to travel in time within that universe to help the 'visitor' Donnie (now Jena Malone also was killed in the universe, but she doesn't do any time travelling). the question is, is Frank just a puppet? perhaps he's an angel. he's killed, he's exposed to the higher powers/heavens/etc; he knows the rules.

questions:

-what happened to Donnie before he got whisked to the tangent universe? was it just a real-time branch off, or did similar events happen to him like in this movie (the portal opens up at October 30th in the Original Universe and Donnie is whisked to October 2nd of the Tangent Universe)? i suppose if there was a time jump it wouldn't be a true "tangent" universe...

-what was Grandma Death waiting for all these years? a sign of a portal opening?

-was it simply Donnie giving his life that would guide the Artifact back to it's right place? that's what i gather form the director's comments. that still doesn't make things "neat and tidy"... (wait i just realized i fell asleep last night and didn't hear the last 15 minutes of the 1st commentary, it was 3am 8) ANYWAYS, the universe we see at the end of the movie, is it Donnie's original universe or the tangent universe? either way, the jet engine crash heappened because of a ripple in time... Donnie may have guided it back to the right universe, but not the right time...
"now, if that's a fact, tell me... am i lying?"

#19 of 357 Shane Gralaw

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Posted March 20 2002 - 04:53 AM

I saw the trailer for this on a screener for Sexy Beast and while watching SB, it seemed that the psycho bunny had escaped from the trailer and into the feature! Weird coincindence.

#20 of 357 JohnRice

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Posted March 20 2002 - 04:20 PM

I just watched it and I am absolutely stunned. I couldn't care less that the '80s setting is faulty. I also couldn't care less about the other shortcomings people have mentioned. If you try to make too much sense of this film, you are missing the point and will just ruin it. Let yourself go a little.

I'm going to watch it again tomorrow before it has to go back. Honestly, I think I might be buying this one. I haven't been floored this much by a new film since Magnolia. It isn't surprising some folks can't stand that one either.

The main actor was amazing.

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