Sunday, November 2, 2008

Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko is the story of a young man by the same name growing up in the 80's with some hefty emotional and psychological problems. Sleep walking and hallucinations are regular occurences for young Donnie, which makes him unsure of what he starts to see and do after one night's sleep walking helped him to narrowly miss being killed by a jet engine landing in his bedroom. The mysterious man in the evil rabbit costume, Frank, leads Donnie through late-night acts of demolition and on a quest for knowledge about time travel and worm holes. You still following? If so, then you've seen the movie. If not, then you need to see the movie. Donnie is played by a young(er) Jake Gyllenhaal, and he is supported by a veritable fantasy team of actors including Drew Barrymore, Noah Wyle, Seth Rogen, Jena Malone and Patrick Swayze. Since trying to explain this movie much more would probably make me bleed from the eyes, I will go ahead and get into the ratings...

Original Release: 2001
Running Time: 113 minutes
(Get a refresher on the rating system.)
Acting - $2
Strong performances across the board. Donnie Darko is what put Jake Gyllenhaal on the map, and I think it's because of his ability to portray a character that is the brother of a character portrayed by actress Maggie Gyllenhaal. Many have tried and few have succeeded, but Jake really hit it home. If that wasn't enough to convince, then I have two words for you... "Patrick Swayze". (All kidding aside... everyone delivered magnificent performances here, and that includes Mr. Dirty Dancing.)

Critters & Creatures - $1
Frank... creeps... me... out. Enough said.

Repeat Play - $1
I have watched Donnie Darko countless times over the last 5+ years, but still not enough to earn a full $2. No matter how frequently I see it, I have to have a certain amount of time between viewings. I either need to be in the mood for this movie specifically or with someone that hasn't seen it before in order for this particular case to be pulled from the shelf.

Pump up the Jams - $2
Set at some time in the 80's, Donnie Darko tickles our ears with some classics from the decade. The score by Michael Andrews adds a lot to the creepy cerebral elements of the movie as well, especially with the closing scene's dramatic cover of Mad World (originally by Tears for Fears) that has since been used in other mediums including a Gears of War commercial.

Billicious - $2
I didn't really get into movies too much until I got to college, and this is one of the ones that opened my eyes to just how much there is outside of the small rural town I had grown up in. It was dark. It was deep. It was trippy. It was awesome. Some people are bothered by how trendy it has become to know this movie but I just don't care. Donnie Darko is a great film and if douche bags like it too, then maybe I've been too hard on douche bags in the past and should give them another chance. No... no I shouldn't. You still suck, douche bags.
Total Rating: $8

Donnie Darko is pretty hard to put into words, so I hope those of you who haven't see this movie yet will give it a try and see for yourself how uniquely cool it is. A special thanks to the reader that requested this review. If anyone else has any requests (remember they have to be in the collection) or any other feedback then feel free to leave a comment.

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