Colin Timothy Gagnon (sacredspud) wrote,
Colin Timothy Gagnon

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Brief rundown of my weekend, plus Donnie Darko Director's Cut review

Friday night Ellen and I got together, had dinner, and went over to fuzzyinthehead and agaysexicon's place to "watch crappy movies." april_tehe showed up too. By the time we got together though, we were all pretty tired and "movies" became "part of movie." I'd also overanticipated the crappiness of the evening's movie, so my selections went unconsidered, which is fine. They're my movies, I can watch them whenever. April left about a third of the way through Dr. Strangelove, and this gave Ellen and I a good excuse to stand up and stretch our legs. We did not finish the movie.

On Saturday, Ellen and I went to the Taste of Madison with her friends Angie and Jessica whom she hasn't seen in some time. I haven't been to ToM before, and I had a good time. Meeting her friends was relatively painless. In the evening, Ellen indulged me and we watched Return of the Killer Tomatoes!, which I would like to point out that she actually liked. Honestly, it's difficult not to. When the other two Killer Tomatoes films make it to DVD (I'm guessing somewhere around 2014), I'm totally having a marathon, and we're totally having pizza with boysenberry sauce. Totally.

ribsinbacon and I got together on Sunday afternoon and had lunch at Stillwater's. Then we um, took a road trip to Oregon (the city, not the state). A good time was had by all, but I had to cut the visit kinda short because I'd promised Tom and Keith that we'd see Donnie Darko in the evening. I called Tom after Ribs dropped me off, and was told (this pissed me off) that the plans had been pushed back a few hours. We finally did see the 9:30 showing, which started really late and got out around midnight -- too late for Tom and Keith to make it back to their bus in time. Luckily, another bus was departing for Janesville at 1:50, so I stuck around until it showed up.

Anyway, Donnie Darko, director's cut. I really like the movie Donnie Darko, but I think it's very overrated by a lot of my friends. I won't spoil anything, but this review will be meaningless to anybody who's not familiar with the original cut.

The director's cut is substantially longer (20 minutes) than the original theatrical release. What's been added? Good stuff. Jokes and time travel, mostly. The time-travel additions generally revolve around excerpts from the book, which are already available on the original DVD, so if you've pored over the special features, you already know the plot. If not, well, the reinserted footage adds a lot of depth to (and pretty much explains) the movie.

Did anything stand out as particularly good or bad? Yes, and yes. Bad stuff includes the addition of a few sound effects and a recurring visual effect that was so out of place it made a lot of the audience squirm. Also, the song The Killing Time by Echo and The Bunnymen was replaced with something by INXS during the titles. If you're me, you care about that crap. Some alternate takes were used for no apparent reason, and small bits of dialogue have changed. Good stuff? (The few) Other soundtrack changes were good choices. Much of the new footage actually tightens the plot. The rest goes a long way toward fleshing out the characters. Oh, and there's hilarious extra footage of the self-help videos. The new parts related to time-travel are nothing that wasn't previously available, but they explain some very major plot points and their addition helps a lot.

Overall verdict? The director's cut is a better movie -- I'd even insert the word "much" into that sentiment. If you liked Donnie Darko to begin with, you'll probably appreciate the director's cut. If you actively disliked it, you probably weren't going to fork out $8.00 anyway, and it can stay that way.

Oh, and the long takes during the song Head Over Heels by Tears for Fears are still gorgeous. Anyway, I have to go to bed.
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