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DONNIE DARKO (2001)

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DONNIE DARKO (2001)

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 21:13

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Written by 

The Buzz:

 

     A young troubled teen (Jake Gyllenhaal) narrowly escapes death by following an “imaginary” friend named Frank out of the house one evening. Frank warns Donnie that in 28 days the world will end and Donnie begins seeing visions that force him to question reality and man's place in space and time. By the end of the film Donnie realizes he must make a tough choice and sacrifice in order to put right all he's done.

 

 

 

Life of the Party:

 

     If I have to explain to you why you need to see Donnie Darko then... cinema has failed you. Jake Gyllenhaal has been hit and miss in his career, but in this breakthrough picture he absolutely nails it. You have lots of other stars popping up on screen like the first theatric role for Seth Rogan, plus parpts for Drew Barrymore (who also produced this), Patrick Swayze (ROADHOUSE!), Jake's real life sister Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mary McDonnell, James Duval, etc etc etc. To top that off it's a love story between two troubled kids all twisted up in a movie about time travel, quantum physics, and parallel dimensions. The imagery is superb and really drives the creepiness of the film, though the special effects can appear a bit dated when watching it now, at the time they were remarkable. This is an absolutely difficult movie to talk about at length without spoiling it, so I just want to end with – watch this movie. You may not love it like I do, but I think you'll agree that it's one of those movies that people should experience because there's just nothing like it.

 

Donnie Darko vs The Gelatinous Cube

 

Potential Hangovers:

 

     As I stated above, the special effects can appear dated, but that's something you always have to consider as you watch films from past eras. Watching Nosferatu isn't any less enjoyable because of the lack of CGI and black and white film (Hell, it might be better for it), because if you're smart you understand you have to watch with the limitations of the time period in mind. That said, don't let this come off as the effects being bad... they aren't. It's just something that you may notice.

 

     The big potential hangover for this movie is the one that stops anyone who doesn't like the picture from liking the picture. It's INCREDIBLY high brow and that can make it hard to follow. Not to mention there's a lot here that ended up on the cutting room floor and chunks of information that you just aren't privy to and either have to just guess or do some digging in Director's Cut DVDs or the internet to learn about to help flesh out the narrative. It's very likely that first time viewers will end with “What?”, and that's ok. If you loved everything else about the film try to hunt down those missing bits of info so you'll have a better understanding the second and third go around. But if you don't like putting in that much work for your movie nights... it's understandable that you may want to leave this one alone.

 

Here we see the CHUUUURCHH OF THE FUUUUUTUREEE!

 

The Vibe: Date Night, Solo Experience, Casual Gathering

 

     Not a movie for loud boisterous crowds at all, this film really wants to make you think about all you're seeing and hearing. You're unraveling the mysteries of the universe along side the titular character, so you need to be paying attention. Since there is a bit of a quirky romance within and Donnie does end up having to make some sacrifices in the name of said love, I can see it being a nice sit on the couch and cuddle flick with a loved one. Especially for those weird couples like the ones I tend to find myself in. If you have some time to kill and can get your hands on a copy of the Director's Cut go through the special features, there's really a lot of interesting stuff there that adds to the universe of this flick.

 

Plus/Minus:

+ Great casting and acting

+ Smart

- Maybe tries to be a bit too smart

 

Drinking Games:

 

- Any time the camera speeds up things on screen, drink for the duration of the sped up portion.

- Drink every time someone says “Grandma Death” or she's on screen.

- Drink every time you see a clock.

- Whenever Frank appears on screen, drink while covering your right eye.

- Whenever Donnie's little sister is dancing, or the name “Sparkle Motion” is said, the last person to yell “I AM COMMITED TO SPARKLE MOTION!” must finish their drink.

HARDCORE MODE: Every time someone says a number, drink half that number.

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About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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