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Donnie Darko - The Director's Cut (2-Disc Special Edition) - horror/sci-fi DVD review
Donnie Darko - The Director's Cut (2-Disc Special Edition) rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 1/2 stars
Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daveigh Chase, Mary McDonnell
Director: Richard Kelly   Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD release: 15 February 2005   Runtime: 133 minutes (2 discs)
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Subtitles (English, Spanish), Audio tracks (English, Dolby Digital 5.1; English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Commentary by Richard Kelly & Kevin Smith, Production diary w/ optional commentary, "They Made Me Do It: The Cult of Donnie Darko," storyboard-to-screen featurette, "#1 Fan: A Darkomentary," Director's cut theatrical trailer

Director Richard Kelly's cut of Donnie Darko is not too different from the original; there are subtle differences in tone, and major changes in soundtrack. For fans of the original, it's worth seeing. Some of the plot clears up a little (as it does with even a second viewing of the original version). Some of the dialog, especially during significant plot points, has been made clearer with the new sound mix. For example, Donnie's line "Deus Ex Machina" is now perfectly clear at the climax of the film.

The extra features are okay. There are no deleted scenes, presumably because the good ones have been peppered throughout the film. There's a production diary, an amusing "super-geekumentary" (my words), and a single commentary track with Richard Kelly and indie film icon Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma) that is really amazingly good. The two discuss the film, and Kelly frequently astonishes Smith with the amount of thought put into his film. Also of note is Smith's analysis of the Mike Yanagita ("Such a super lady") character in Joel and Ethan Coen's Fargo. The commentary in this edition is worth listening to, although the non-director's cut has commentaries by more of the crew, which would have been nice here. It leaves me with the feeling that I should pick that version up, too. Cursed marketing geniuses!

reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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