Blu-Ray Review: Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko was one of the first films to ride the power of the internet wave to go from a limited opening to becoming one of the most iconic of the decade. Richard Kelly’s 2001 film caught the imagination of a generation and propelled its star into the ‘A’ list of Hollywood celebrities. It’s a mix of psychological drama, coming-of-age film, science fiction and horror with a soundtrack which is up there with the best.

Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a troubled teen. Living in suburban Virginia, he battles with his anger and behavioural issues. When a new girl, Gretchen Ross (Jena Malone), comes to town it seems that Donnie may be about to embrace a more normal life. Frank has other ideas. A six-foot tall rabbit, who tells him the world is going to end and shows him the future; spurring Donnie into action to save his family.

The new 4K restoration from Arrow gives you a choice of the Theatrical Version or the Director’s Cut. They are very different experiences. In the latter, you get more of the great ensemble cast (including Drew Barrymore, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle and Katherine Ross) in sci-fi/genre format. The former is the much slicker version which caught the imagination of so many. They feel like two very different films, which is testament to Kelly’s writing. Haunting, profound and intelligent, Donnie Darko remains one of the most iconic films of a generation.

Special Edition Contents:

  • Brand new 4K restorations of both the Theatrical Cut and the Director’s Cut from the original camera negatives produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release, supervised and approved by director Richard Kelly and cinematographer Steven Poster

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of both cuts

  • Original 5.1 audio

  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

  • Audio commentary by writer-director Richard Kelly and actor Jake Gyllenhaal on the Theatrical Cut

  • Audio commentary by Kelly, producer Sean McKittrick and actors Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone, Beth Grant, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne, Katharine Ross and James Duval on the Theatrical Cut

  • Audio commentary by Kelly and filmmaker Kevin Smith on the Director’s Cut

  • Brand-new interviews with Richard Kelly and others

  • The Goodbye Place, Kelly’s 1996 short film, which anticipates some of the themes and ideas of his feature films

  • The Donnie Darko Production Diary, an archival documentary charting the film’s production with optional commentary by cinematographer Steven Poster

  • Twenty deleted and alternate scenes with optional commentary by Kelly

  • Archive interviews with Kelly, actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, James Duval, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Noah Wyle and Katharine Ross, producers Sean McKittrick, Nancy Juvonen, Hunt Lowry and Casey La Scala, and cinematographer Steven Poster

  • Three archive featurettes: They Made Me Do It, They Made Me Do It Too and #1 Fan: A Darkomentary

  • Storyboard comparisons

  • B-roll footage

  • Cunning Visions infomercials

  • Music video: Mad World by Gary Jules

  • Galleries

  • Trailers

  • TV spots

  • Illustrated collector’s booklet containing new writing by Nathan Rabin

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp

Donnie Darko is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video on Monday.

Previous Say Psych: Album Review: Has A Shadow - Sorrow Tomorrow
Next Blu-Ray Review: Black Orpheus (Criterion Collection)

No Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.