Strange Brouhaha

Sunday, September 11, 2005

"Donnie Darko" and "The Jacket"

A bunch of us went over to my friend Soul Beaver's place to have a freaky time-travel movie night. As the title of this post implies, we watched two movies: the Director's Cut of "Donnie Darko" and "The Jacket".

"Donnie Darko" is a really dense movie. I'd give a little plot summary, but you'd probably be confused by the time I get to the jet engine crashing into the house, which happens pretty early. It's one of those movies where you're wondering what's going on until the last few minutes, when everything comes together in almost perfect clarity--and then you start going back over everything that's gone on and looking at all the little hints, clues and foreshadowings in an entirely different light. It's a movie that you need to watch more than once so you can say "Oh, yeah!"

I do recommend it, but I wasn't highly thrilled with the acting and/or the directing. Jake Gyllenhaal's "schizophrenic face" was just on the wrong side of mugging for the camera, for example. It all seemed too stylized, which of course was probably what the director wanted. If you haven't seen it, just be forewarned that it's weird and worth watching.

"The Jacket" got horrible reviews, I learned after we watched it. I have no idea why--it was pretty good. I read one review that excoriated it for its leaps in logic, but I must say that I didn't really detect any. I guess it all hinges on how willing you are to believe that a man stuffed into a strtaitjacket and shut into a morgue drawer can travel forward in time. I'm predisposed towards time travel by any means, so I bought it.

Maybe it was teh Bevar's sound system, or the widescreen TV, but I was *really* getting claustrophobic the first couple of times they locked Adrien Brody in the drawer. I thought the acting was pretty decent, but it's the only Adrien Brody movie I've ever seen and I hear that a little of him can go a long way.

I just wanted to get these thoughts down. I'll get more detailed after I see the movies a few more times.


  • Looks like you got another spam post.

    Hey, just a note that if anybody enjoyed Donnie Darko / The Jacket type time travel movies (meaning phyche based and not hi-tech hardware based), then Butterfly Effect is a must see. Of the three, I would rank Butterfly Effect #1, Donnie Darko #2 and The Jacket #3.

    By Anonymous Matt, at 8:54 AM  

  • While I have seen none of these films, all of them rank as a pale, pale afterthought to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

    Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, however...

    By Anonymous Josh, at 12:54 PM  

  • I have retconned the spam post out of existence.

    Well, yes, Bill and Ted set the bar for time travel movies: there is none higher. But their time travel was hardware-based, and not at all "freaky," just excellent.

    Leave us not mention the Bogus Journey. The horror...

    By Blogger Robert, at 8:20 AM  

  • Good soundtrack, though.

    By Anonymous Josh, at 9:32 PM  

  • I don't think I could rank The Butterfly Effect in the same category as Donnie Darko. The main reason being that I was actually able to sit through Donnie Darko, whereas after Ashton Kutcher's first nosebleed in The Butterfly Effect, I was ready to walk out of the theatre and leave the mewling masses of tweens to their pretty-boy lovefest. I realise that comes across as harsh, but seriously, the movie opens with a quote attributed to "The Butterfly Effect".

    By Anonymous Sarah, at 8:51 AM  

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