Donnie Darko (Imagine Ent) (2001)

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Released 2-Jul-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Audio Commentary-Richard Kelly (Writer/Director) & Jake Gyllenhaal
Audio Commentary
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spots-5
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Music Video-Mad World
Filmographies-Crew-Donnie Darko Website Gallery
Notes-The Soundtrack Liner Notes
Featurette-CV; Infomercials +/- comm, His Name Is Frank, Book Covers
Gallery-Production Stills; Concept Art
Gallery-The Philosophy Of Time Travel
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 108:33 (Case: 113)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (63:29) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Richard Kelly
Studio
Distributor

Imagine Entertainment
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal
Jena Malone
Drew Barrymore
James Duval
Beth Grant
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Holmes Osborne
Katharine Ross
Patrick Swayze
Noah Wyle
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Michael Andrews


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Donnie Darko is a film about a high school student who has visions of a rabbit that predicts the end of the world.

    Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a high school student who suffers from a sleeping disorder and is seeing a psychologist in relation to his emotional problems. One evening Donnie has a vision where a large rabbit, named Frank, tells him that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. That same evening a jet engine from an unknown plane falls through the roof of Donnie's house and lands in his bedroom. As the deadline approaches, Donnie continues to have visions of Frank and he instructs him to perform various acts of destruction. Slowly Donnie begins to piece together what he must do and why he is having these visions.

    This stunning feature debut by writer/director Richard Kelly was shot in only twenty-eight days and has excellent performances by all the cast members. The script is intelligently written, is worthy of multiple viewings and is open to various interpretations. Many people feel that this was definitely one of the best films released last year and if you are looking for a film with more to offer than your standard simplistic Hollywood plot line then Donnie Darko definitely deserves your attention.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The high quality video transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is always consistently sharp and high levels of detail may be seen throughout. No low-level noise was detected at any time during the transfer. During the numerous dark scenes, excellent levels of shadow detail are displayed.

    The transfer displays a natural colour palette throughout and it is always vibrant and well saturated.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected at any time during the transfer.

    Some very minor aliasing artefacts may be seen during the transfer with examples visible at 12:34 and 93:47. Both of these aliasing artefacts are extremely minor and are never disruptive.

    A number of small film artefacts may be seen during the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 0:52, 2:04, 6:46, 9:29 and 11:19. All of these artefacts are very minor and are only minimally distracting.

    A small amount of movement in the frame may be seen at 1:40 and 13:47 but this is most likely due to the original source material and not a fault of telecine wobble. This small amount of movement is never disturbing.

    A single set of yellow English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles is provided for the transfer. I extensively sampled the stream and found it to be consistently accurate.

    The layer change occurs at 63:29 at the start of Chapter 16 during a scene change and it is not disruptive.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    English Dolby Digital 448 kbps 5.1 and Dolby Digital 224 kbps 2.0 mixes are provided for the main feature. I listened to both tracks in full and found them to be consistently of high quality.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. No dropouts or problems with audio sync were detected at any time during the transfer.

    The original score by Michael Andrews makes its presence felt throughout the feature and this always works well with the on-screen action. This score is also complemented by the inclusion of various pop tracks from the late 1980s.

    The surround and LFE channels are used extensively throughout the surround mix to create an enveloping soundfield.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The animated menu is presented at either 1.78:1 or 1.33:1 depending upon player setup. A very short video transition between the main menu and the movie is not flagged as 16x9 enhanced as it should be but this is not distracting.

Audio Commentary-Richard Kelly (Writer/Director) & Jake Gyllenhaal (Actor)

    This feature length scene specific audio commentary by writer/director Richard Kelly and lead actor Jake Gyllenhaal discusses their work on this film. This interesting commentary discusses the origins of the project, casting, cut scenes, their interpretation of the storyline and points out numerous small items that may have been overlooked by most viewers.

Commentary - Cast and Crew

    This feature length scene specific audio commentary features cast and crewmembers Richard Kelly, Sean McKittrick, Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone, Beth Grant, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne, Katharine Ross, and James Duval. During the commentary the group discuss the relationships between the characters, their influences, rehearsals, improvisations, why they became involved with the project and their views on hypnosis. It is clear from their interactions on this commentary that the cast and crewmembers all enjoyed their work on the film.

Trailer (2:21)

    This theatrical trailer is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 that is not 16x9 enhanced.

TV Spots

    This is a collection of television advertisements presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and not 16x9 enhanced.

Extended and Deleted Scenes

    This collection of twenty deleted and extended scenes is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and not 16x9 enhanced. Two Dolby Digital 224kbps 2.0 soundtracks are provided with either the original audio or an audio commentary by writer/director Richard Kelly. The following scenes are provided:

Cast and Crew

    Selected filmographies are provided for the following actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, James Duval, Beth Grant, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Katharine Ross, Patrick Swayze and Noah Wyle. Short biographies are provided for the following crew members: Richard Kelly, Sean McKittrick, Nancy Juvonen, Steven Poster, Alexander Hammond, April Ferry, Eric Strand, Sam Bauer and Michael Andrews.

Music Video: Mad World - Gary Jules (3:21)

    This music video by Gary Jules is presented with a Dolby Digital 224kbps 2.0 soundtrack and at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, not 16x9 enhanced.

Website Gallery

    This is a collection of 40 pages taken from the film's official website. Unfortunately, this content is quite hard to read but it will inspire you to visit the official site.

Soundtrack

    A three-page collection of liner notes from the film's CD soundtrack release.

Infomercials (5:43)

    This is a collection of infomercials for the Jim Cunningham Cunning Visions motivational program. These infomercials are presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a choice between the original audio and a comedic commentary by Cunning Visions CEO Linda Connie and infomercial director Fabian Van Patten.

His Name Is Frank

    This is an eight-page slideshow featuring the character Frank from the Cunning Visions motivational program.

Book Covers

    A single page shows two covers of motivational books by Jim Cunningham.

Art Gallery

    Forty-eight Production Stills and twenty-seven Concept Art images are provided.

The Philosophy of Time Travel

    This is a twelve page collection of pages from the book The Philosophy Of Time Travel. Unfortunately, these pages are quite difficult to read and would have been better presented as DVD-ROM content as a higher resolution PDF file.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

The UK Region 2 version of this disc misses out on;

    The R2 UK release of this disc contains a number of additional extras. These include a short featurette and gallery featuring UK artworks inspired by the film, a series of short interview segments with cast and crew members, a series of various scenes on set and a plain text version of 'The Philosophy of Time Travel' book gallery in addition to the graphical version found on the local release. While the R2 release excludes the excellent 'Mad World' music video and the additional features reportedly provide little significant information my slight preference would still be for the UK R2 release.

Summary

    Donnie Darko is a highly enjoyable film that will engage viewers who are in the mood for a complex and intelligent film.

    The video transfer presented on this disc is of excellent quality with no notable artefacts present at any time.

    The audio mixes provided are both of excellent quality and always works well with the on-screen action.

    The extensive collection of extras provides a wealth of information that will be appreciated by all viewers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Thursday, March 06, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

Other Reviews
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Comments (Add)
Awesome -
Re:Awesome - catindahat
Re: Awesome -
Transfer Quality - Shane A
Re. Transfer Quality -
Awesome -
Region 2 release... - Dark Lord (Bio? We don't need no stinkin' bio!) REPLY POSTED
Re: Region 2 release - catindahat
R2 transfer quality? - Mickey Juice REPLY POSTED
Re: R2 transfer quality? - REPLY POSTED
transfer - REPLY POSTED
Easter Eggs??? -
Director Cut - Stimpy (da, what's a bio Ren?)