THE FILM YAP » Noah Wyle We Never Shut Up About Movies Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:14:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Donnie Darko: 10th Anniversary Edition Thu, 28 Jul 2011 04:15:48 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

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


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Coming to DVD April 26 Wed, 27 Apr 2011 01:37:57 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

“Below the Beltway”

In the world of politics, there are more than just two sides at play. Noah Wyle, Tate Donovan and Kip Pardue star in this film about the game of political lobbying. A former insider gets a new perspective as he tries to get back into the game.

Not Rated

“Blood Out”

For Sheriff Michael Spencer (Luke Goss), it’s been hard enough dealing with his younger brother’s murder. But when the detectives in charge of the case refuse to investigate further into the reasons behind the murder, Spencer takes the matter into his own hands.

Rated R

Also on DVD April 26

“Summer Eleven” (Adam Arkin, Rated PG)

“Desert Son” (John Bain, Not Rated)

“Jolene” (Dermot Mulroney and Michael Vartan, Rated R)

“One Way to Valhalla” (Kate Walsh and Gabriel Macht, Not Rated)

“Opa!” (Matthew Modine, Rated PG-13)

“Sacrifice” (Cuba Gooding and Christian Slater, Rated R)

“Sniper: Reloaded” (Billy Zane, Rated R)

Coming soon:

5/3 – The Dilemma (Vince Vaughn, Kevin James)

5/3 – The Green Hornet (Seth Rogan)

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Heroes of the Zeroes: Nothing But the Truth Fri, 06 Aug 2010 04:01:59 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000-2009.

“Nothing But the Truth”
Rated R

Rod Lurie’s earliest plots felt like wild, politically speculative fantasies only because they’ve not yet been introduced as acts in America’s governmental circus. His strongest civic drama, 2008’s “Nothing But the Truth,” bravely ran its hands along the jagged edges of subject matter Lurie instead ripped from headlines.

Inspired by the Judith Miller / Valerie Plame controversy, “Truth” blends John Grisham’s smart pulp and Aaron Sorkin’s whiplash banter with acting so impeccable even David Schwimmer’s weasel face serves him well.

Proving she can switch the lights on (or at least be guided to them), Kate Beckinsale gives a career-best performance as a reporter jailed for contempt of court after refusing to name her source on an expose outing a covert CIA agent (Vera Farmiga). (Knowing the power of fixed gazes on great acting, Lurie rests his camera on Beckinsale’s face while the cuffs are slapped on and situational gravity slams her gut.)

With this cast, “Truth” feels like sitting in on a star-studded, substantive communications-law seminar.

Beckinsale and Farmiga shine as professional, principled women struggling behind different sets of bars. Matt Dillon’s Southern-fried prosecutor aims to coast on legal precedent. Alan Alda’s defense attorney seems arrogantly materialistic but becomes an empathetic ally. Schwimmer is Beckinsale’s increasingly impatient husband. And often-meek Noah Wyle plays a bulldog libel lawyer practically foaming at the mouth.

As rumination on First Amendment attacks and governmental accountability, it’s flawless. Just disregard the eye-rolling “gotcha” twist and roll with the tony presentation of “Truth’s” principles and players.

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Heroes of the Zeroes: Donnie Darko Mon, 29 Mar 2010 05:01:19 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000-2009.

“Donnie Darko”
Rated R

Maybe Richard Kelly’s fate is to be the cult circuit’s Michael Cimino — forever admired for one great film amid subsequent missteps, including a director’s cut of the same movie.

Kelly has yet to match the mysterious mood or magnitude of his filmmaking debut, 2001’s “Donnie Darko” — a collision of time-travel sci-fi, commentary on ’80s Reaganomics malaise and teen angst that’s simultaneously witty and poignant.

Non-Darkolytes should start with the enigmatic theatrical cut and proceed further if curious. Kelly’s cut nicely richens the titular teen’s family bond but literalizes the ending to excess. (Both preserve a solid soundtrack with scenes set to “Head Over Heels,” “The Killing Moon,” “Under the Milky Way” and “Notorious.”)

Jake Gyllenhaal is Donnie, a sleepwalking teen told the world will end in 28 days — news given him on a night he escapes death after a plane engine falls into his room. As visions of a demonic rabbit named Frank persist, Donnie must decide if this apocalypse is a delusion or destiny.

Kelly’s labor of love included his sharpest cast — Noah Wyle, Beth Grant, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne, Patrick Swayze, Jena Malone and Gyllenhaal himself, strikingly sensitive to the persecution of others for a lack of adherence to “normalcy.”

And what works as nervy comedy also foreshadows Donnie’s burden and reinforces Kelly’s thematic idea that teens can be capable of amazing, world-changing things. Concluding with compassionate nobility and an unforgettable epilogue, “Donnie Darko” represented the one moment when Kelly’s eccentricities weren’t extraneous and ambition matched his grasp.

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