Donnie Darko

I’ve watched this movie about 7 times now and I’m only just understanding it. People don’t like this movie because its confusing and weird. Others love it because its confusing and weird. You do have to watch it more than once to even get a small grasp on the whole thing but in a good way. You WANT to understand it and figure it all out. Well, I did anyways.

This movie is about poor little Donnie Darko who has ‘emotional problems’ and his BFF Frank, the 6ft tall bunny rabbit. Sounds like Harvey but its no where near as comical and we actually see the bunny though we kind of wish we didn’t!

This review probably won’t make any sense because the film makes little sense so blame the film if you read this and you’re going “er… what?”

  • The first shot is of a boy, laying on the ground in the middle of a road on what looks like the side of a mountain, his bike on one side next to him. We have questions from the word go with this film. Forever asking questions. Why is he on the floor? Why is he in his pajamas? Is he Donnie Darko? How did he get there? Why is he so happy? Has he escaped death? WHAT’S HAPPENING?! That last question is pretty much repeated for the whole movie.
  • It is Donnie Darko. And its Jake Gyllenhaal. Its very yummy Jake Gyllenhaal.
  • The soundtrack is a mixture of 80s classics and scary music, completely perfect for this movie. The scary, instrumental music shows us the underlying tone of a scene that we wouldn’t realise was sinister.
  • This whole movie is about time. Everything is about time. Even the fabulous, amazing editing is about time. Fast motion. Slow motion. Interlacing scenes. Its just fantastic. I actually wrote about the editing for film studies A Level. If you’re interested in what I wrote, continue reading. If not, skip this paragraph and move to the next bullet point:
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    Interview with me!

    A brillient site called WhoHub sent me a link to their site via Twitter! It a place where you can do an interview! So, here is my interview:

    Obviously, feel free to ask me any questions you may have!


    Published in: on June 25, 2010 at 6:32 PM  Leave a Comment  
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    Gone With The Wind

    I’ve said this a couple of times and I’ll say it again, dramas should NOT be longer than 3 hours! 2 ½ hours is just about bearable but a film stops feeling like a film after that. I said this about a Dances with Wolves and The Last Mohican, that they’re so long they start to feel like a TV show omnibus. Directors need to stop hogging their footage and think about the audience for once.

    That’s not to say that this movie is bad because it isn’t, just like the other films I mentioned. It’s a good, classic film. Its about this spoilt brat in 1861 and how she’s in love with this guy but hasn’t told him and he’s going to marry his cousin [gross, I know, but it was all the fashion back then] and then the American Civil War happens and then they have to deal with the aftermath of it all [seeing as they were on the loosing side and therefore had to rebuild their lives] and some love stuff. Sounds lame but its not that bad. Its not amazing and I probably won’t watch it again but its not terrible.

  • The opening credits are beautiful, the director really abused the Technicolor as he shows all the different aspect of nature and country life.
  • The dresses are gorgeous but a little over the top but I guess that’s what it was like back then. The poor actresses looked like they couldn’t breath or move in those gigantic things but they managed to!
  • The use of silhouettes against sunrises and sunsets is stunning, so beautiful.
  • The main character, Scarlett, is an annoying little spoilt brat and continues to be for a majority of the film. I found myself really disliking her and therefore enjoying her having to go from rich to rags.
  • I loved that the writers clearly mock the old ways and traditions, like these ladies talking, in disgust, that a woman went for a walk with a man without a chaperone and wasn’t asked to be married! Thank God its not like that anymore.
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    A Clockwork Orange

    I oddly really liked this movie! I feel like I can appreciate the filmmaking and editing that went into it. Obviously the violence and rape are never easy to watch but with the right music, it can become a great scene. Not great as in what’s happening in the scene is great because its far from it but the way its shot makes it a great cinematic scene… I’m not really helping myself here, am I! Its hard to explain unless you watch this film with an open mind.

    Suppose that wasn’t the best opening paragraph either… The film follows Alex and his gang of ‘droogs’ and their little tour of violence and rape. Then Alex gets caught, taken to prison and under goes a ‘rehab’ via psychological conditioning. Then he’s released upon the world, not being able to do bad and karma continues to kick him up the arse. Basically.

  • I knew about Alex’s eye make-up and ‘costume’ before I’d ever seen the film. I remember seeing it in random things but mainly Rupert Grint [Ron Weasley in Harry Potter films] dressing up as him for Halloween. The costume is very iconic and you can see why. You’ve seen costumes like it but at the same time its like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
  • The way the beginning is shot [before Alex is captured], almost shows the violence and rape as happy times thanks to the choice of music. The music is almost a happy tune so we know the gang doing it all is happy and loving it. However, we as human beings know that what they are doing is beyond terrible. The way the film is shot does not change your view on these horrible acts. In fact, I think it heightens them because it shows us how truly horrifying it is. We know its wrong even those there’s happy music. Ooooo there’s a film studies word for this… when the music is the opposite to what the feeling is on screen… oooo what is it!!! Dammit, I wish I’d now kept my film notes from A Levels! OMG no wait! I still have it! Hurrah! Its called contrapuntal sounds! There we go. I’m happy now. Anyways, this is used throughout, and even more so when Alex singing ‘Singing in the Rain’ all joyful and happy, just as he’s preparing to rape someone. It’s a very good technique that never fails to get the hairs on the back of your neck raised.
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    Meh. I jumped a few times and the set is awesome but that’s about it. Its too slow for my liking.

    For those who hadn’t figured out by the name, this movie is about people in space and an alien comes aboard and he’s not a friendly alien.

  • The opening credits are incredibly slow and boring. This turns out to be a recurring theme. The director tries to create tension with large scenes having no music and very little dialogue which is supposed to make us go “OMG didn’t see that coming!” when the alien appears but instead makes us go “finally, something’s happening…” which you really don’t want in a horror/thriller/thing. EDIT: However, after reading & replying to some comments on this post [thank you very much MYMHM, Geeky Fem, moviesandsongs365 and JOnKEnna for taking the time to comment!], I have learnt that the reason I have this view on the suspense scenes is because I was distracted by my brother’s texting [*smacks her brother*] and me and my mum talking to each other, trying to figure out what the characters are saying. So, I recommend you watch this movie in a setting and with people that are least likely to distract you. It will only work if your mind doesn’t wander and you don’t go up for a pee break.
  • The sound quality is terrible! Me and my mum can to explain to each other what we’d heard. We’d heard different things but managed to piece it all together in the end but most of what the actors say is inaudible.
  • You can tell this is a 70s film because a majority of the crew is smoking. No one is supposed to smoke in space! What the hell?! Also, mum pointed out that the black guy is always eating, which feeds to stereotype a little.
  • The cat did some great acting, though! Very good cat acting.
  • We analyzed some of the scenes in this movie in film studies so I kept pointing out to my mum about all the hidden ‘sex’ that was in this movie, like the fact the alien looks like a penis with teeth, the scientist guy gags the woman with a newspaper in a sexual way and its insinuated that the alien rapes one of the girls before killing her. However, this could just be my teacher reading into things too much but the fact the main lady at the end strips to her underwear does kind of prove my teacher’s theory.
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    The Big Lebowski

    Its very good, very funny and totally random. For us young-uns, its kind of like Pineapple Express but with slightly less weed. I’d only just heard about this film recently because the guy from the show Cake Boss mentioned that this was his favourite film ever and that he keeps quoting it [to the point where there is a counter in the corner of the screen of how many times he quotes the movie]. It’s a shame that I hadn’t seen it sooner.

    Dude gets mistaken for another Lebowski and stuff goes on from there. Most of my notes are quotes, which is what this movie is famous for, so I’ll try to get a few little lines in about the film then just leave the rest to quotes because that’s all the fans of this movie care about!

  • This film made me want to go bowling. However, I did laugh at all the people that take bowling seriously. Our main 3 characters do love bowling but they haven’t gone as far as having their own matching outfits and gloves. Those are the people that need to be whacked round the head with a bowling ball. And they’re normally always fat! This is the only ‘sport’ they can play.
  • I love Dude’s hair. Love it. I want my hair to look like that, the way its curly at the ends and stuff.
  • Julianne Moore shocked me with her surprisingly good British accent! And she was a pretty cool character too.
  • I love that Dude and Walter talk like 20-somethings but they look [so badly] like middle-aged men.
  • I kept cracking up at Dude’s high-pitched girly screams and his plastic jelly sandals! I had a pair like that when I was young! They were pink! I lost one in the ocean.
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    Toy Story 3

    It. Is. AWESOME! Please, please, PLEASE, I urge you all to see it. Its not crap like Shrek 3 or any other ‘3’s, its just as fantastic as the previous 2.

    I’ve realized that I’ve kind of grown up with Andy. I was 4 when the first came out, 8 when the second one did and now Andy’s going to college and so am I. I still have my Jessie doll! I have my stuffed toys on my bed still.

    Some of you may feel you’ve outgrown Toy Story but trust me, you haven’t. When I saw it in the cinema about an hour ago, parents were laughing, cheering, going “oooo” just as much as the kids were! Maybe even more than the kids! My cheeks hurt from laughing and smiling so much! And I also nearly cried at one point because it actually gets incredibly emotional! But then its broken with laughter and all is well.

    It’s a shame about the new characters because they’re bigged up so much by the posters and promotional material and yet they hardly say anything except the cuddly bear [smells like strawberries!] and Ken [who is NOT a girl‘s toy]. Like, I was looking forward to Whoopi Goldberg’s character because I love her but she has, like, 3 lines! So don’t expect much from them.

    Its all about those characters that we love and their new environment; daycare. Me and my mum did volunteering at a nursery a couple of months ago and I was pointing at the screen when the young ones where chucking the toys around and licking them and everything, going “that’s exactly what its like!” Then my mum spotted that the car-phone that helps Woody is actually in a toy box at my nana and granddad’s house back in England! And when Ken’s ‘Dream House’ came on screen with the lift/elevator on the side, both my parents poked me saying “you had that!” Except mine was Barbie’s dream house. And I didn’t have a Ken. I had my brother’s Action Man. And I soon replaced Barbie dolls with Spice Girl dolls [one of which I still have *so cool*]. Oh, and me and dad agreed that the scary doll baby is real because I think everyone has seen the baby doll with one dodgy eye that looks like it could easily kill you.


    Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

    This song of the Man and his Wife is of no place and every place; you might hear it anywhere at any time. For wherever the sun rises and sets… in the city’s turmoil or under the open sky on the farm, life is much the same; sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet.

  • I love the name of the ‘other woman’; Woman of the City! Sounds so Sex and the City!!
  • I don’t know whether the darker corners of the film are there because that’s all the camera could film but I just love it! Its so the film is circular and almost fantasy-like.
  • I really felt strong emotional connections to the two main characters [Man and Wife]. The Wife worships the ground her husband walks on and is completely devoted to him but the husband seems to want something more, something different hence the Woman of the City. Poor Wife! She’s so heartbroken. I think its been going on for a while and she knows about it but she loves him too much to leave him. Its so romantic and heartbreaking to watch the poor woman suffer.
  • Great baby acting by the baby/infant. Hugs his ‘mum’ when she’s crying and strokes her head, its so sweet.
  • Awwww, Wife is so happy that her husband wants to go out for a boat trip! She’s acting like its Christmas come early, she’s skipping and laughing and just so damn happy! I’m like “YAY! She deserves to be happy” but then I remember that the Woman of the City told the Man that he should kill his wife so they can run away together! So then I’m like “Awww, poor girl, doesn’t know what’s coming to her.” Anyways, suffice to say, he doesn’t kill her and he feels soooo terrible about it! He feels so incredibly guilty and shameful about even thinking about killing his wife. When they go to the city and watch a wedding, the Priest says “Keep and protect her from all harm” and he just breaks down, its just so heartbreaking! He truly loves her with all his heart, he’d just forgotten. “Forgive me.” Awwwwww.
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    This Is Spinal Tap

    I’d only heard of this movie thanks to another movie, Juno, where the character mentions Spinal Tap and because Juno mentioned it, I though “its got to be good” and it is. It’s a mocumentary [a comedic documentary] about the fictional band Spinal Tap and their American tour.

  • Before the movie even started, when we were on the menu screen on the DVD, dad was already cracking up and it gave me a good idea of what to expect. Very funny and almost realistic dialogue that makes this mocumentary work. The more real it sounds, the funnier it is.
  • The hair is fantastic. They have characters of their own. I half expected one of the hairs to suddenly jump up and attack everyone.
  • I wondered whether this was scripted or improv and, according to Wikipedia, its mainly improv which is the only way to go when you’re doing a mocumentary. I suppose you tell the actors to get from point A to point B of the plot and they just make their own way there.
  • The songs are awesome, I really like them! Its great that the actors and director wrote and performed all the songs. In my notes, I wrote down two specific songs, Big Bottom and Stonehenge. Very funny songs, especially when you link the Stonehenge song to the dwarfs.
  • There is something hilarious about fully grown men acting all diva-ish. Loved it when the brunette guy has a fit about the food and that he can’t fold the bread and there’s nothing in some olive but something in other olives.
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    Valentine’s Day

    This movie is definitely not on Empire’s Top 500 or anyone’s Top 500 but I saw the trailer about a year ago and really wanted to see it because of the super-awesome-mega cast. I didn’t see it at the cinema because I’m not THAT much of a loser that I’ll see a film called ‘Valentine’s Day’ on my own.

    Anyways, it’s a bit long for a romantic comedy but it kind of needs to be because of all the storylines. I’m trying to think of a storyline that they could of cut out but I can see the need for all of them. Yes, its one of those ‘millions of storylines but they all link somehow’ movie. There are a lot of storylines but they all show different aspects of love and relationships which is very challenging to do in a movie but they managed to just about make it work.

  • Like I mentioned before, the cast list was one of the main reasons I wanted to watch this movie. Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Ashton Kutcher [did you know he has a twin brother! Sorry, random fact], Jessica Alba, Patrick Dempsey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, George Lopez, Hector Elizondo… *takes deep breath*… Kathy Bates, Emma Roberts, Cater Jenkins, Bryce Robinson, Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner, Eric Dane, Queen Latifar… *almost done*, Shirley MacLaine and Topher Grace [bad photography guy in Spider Man 3]. Yeah.
  • Oooo its so hard to review this without giving stuff away because I think the reason I loved this movie so much is because of the shock value and me pointing and screaming at the TV going “OMG NO WAY!” Erm… Ok, I’m gonna struggle writing a good review without giving stuff away so… erm… lets give it a go.
  • Ok, we have loads of storylines because this film really wants to show all the different aspects of relationship and love. We have the married guy with his non-wife, the ‘perfect’ couple, the sour guy, the sour girl, the old couple, the ‘maybe’ couple, the new couple but one of them has a little secret and the cutest little boy ever with a cutest ever crush! Oh and then there’s the teenage love and you have the one teenage couple who are all over each other but are, in fact, waiting for ‘the right time’ and then you have the other teenage couple who aren’t all over each other but think they’re ready to do the deed [almost wrote dead then, ha!].
  • The old couple are my favourite because they’ve been together for 51 years and are still so madly in love with one another. “The pretty girl was grandma, right?” “The pretty girl IS grandma.” AWWWWWWW!
  • And yes, I found myself going “AWWWWWWW” more than 10 times.
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