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Donnie Darko: 10th Anniversary Edition

by on July 28, 2011
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It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years since Richard Kelly introduced the world to “Donnie Darko,” and like a fine wine, the movie has only gotten better with age. To celebrate its anniversary, “Donnie Darko” has been given the release that it deserves with a 4-disc edition Blu ray, packed with so many features, including the masterful director’s cut of the film, that it will leave many fanboys salivating.

Everyone knows the story of “Donnie Darko.” It is a touching tale of a schizophrenic boy and his six-foot-tall rabbit from a parallel universe who tells him to do things. No, it’s the modern retelling of Christ’s last days. It could be the touching love story between a boy and girl. That is the beautiful thing about “Donnie Darko”; it has its own meaning to every person and something new is unlocked with each viewing. I’m not here today to tell you what the movie is about. Half of the experience is forming your own interpretation. I’m here to let everyone know that this special edition is the true experience for any fan … at least until the 15th anniversary.

The movie looks amazing in high-definition, but that shouldn’t be the sole reason people should buy this newest incarnation. The special features are so fruitful that fans will be busy for hours. The most impressive feature included is the director’s cut of the film. There are so many times that a pointless scene or two is added back into a movie and labeled a “director’s cut” just to sell more DVDs, but this is definitely not one of those times. The addition of excerpts from “The Philosophy of Time Travel” in the movie help give it new meaning and bring an understanding that may have previously been hard to comprehend.

Not only is there the original and director’s cut of the film, but each version has interesting commentary. Kelly and Kevin Smith are responsible for the commentary on the director’s cut. It was extremely interesting to hear Kelly’s intentions for the story. I have been a fan of Smith since he started and I think he has an extremely sharp perspective on movies, but I think it would’ve been more interesting to have Jake Gyllenhaal come back for the director’s cut and give his two cents.

Amongst all of the features, there are two that really stand out among the rest. “They Made Me Do It Too — The Cult of Donnie Darko” is a documentary set in London. It is all about the impact that “Donnie Darko” had on the youth there. The movie was an instant hit there, and it’s interesting to hear what the movie meant to these people. They also make a really great point that some movies with substance are sometimes wasted on the American audience. While I don’t feel that way about myself and others that I know, there is some truth to that statement. Hollywood is so afraid to take chances on movies that aren’t the cookie-cutter, summer blockbuster because there are so many people who have to have their stories spoon-fed to them.

One of the best features is a fan-made documentary called “#1 Fan: A Darkomentary.” It’s hilarious to see just how much of an impact the movie makes on one individual. Darrel Donaldson made this documentary declaring him the #1 Donnie Darko fan. The documentary feels very dated but it’s hilarious and borderline frightening. The best moment comes when Darrel goes to the San Diego Comic-Con to see Kelly. While in line, he asks Kelly if he can whisper something in his ear. After many denials, Kelly finally gives in, only to have a big wet kiss planted on his cheek. Darrel’s glee over his kiss is funny, yet terrifying.

The anniversary release of “Donnie Darko” is a must have for anyone who is a true fan. You get a plethora of extras, the original movie and the director’s cut, which only improves on an already fantastic movie.

Film: 4.5 Yaps

Features: 4 Yaps