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With an additional 20 minutes of material added to the original theatrical edition (including scenes not included in the augmented version previously released on DVD),Donnie Darko: The Director's Cuthas a slower, more reflective pace than its first edit, and many more moments of emotional and tonal complexity. The film also has a fuller soundtrack (INXS' "Never Tear Us Apart" is featured prominently in writer-director Richard Kelly's mysterious opening) and new, startling special effects that underscore Donnie's ambiguous experience of time travel and cross-dimensional encounters with Frank, the 6-foot provocateur in a terrifying bunny costume. (Of course, new f/x or not, Donnie could still be a paranoid schizophrenic immersed in violent delusions.) Purists might find some of these changes to Kelly's 2001 cult hit about a troubled teen (Jake Gyllenhaal) trapped in alternative, apocalyptic destinies troubling. But overall the film is an even more haunting experience, impossible to shake.

An audio commentary track features a conversation between Kelly and Kevin Smith (Clerks) outlining the former's reasons for making a director's cut. Kelly says his intention was to amplify a science fiction and comic book element in Donnie Darko, re-design the sound (actually, Kelly claims, there never was a sound design for the original release), and purchase rights to various songs (including Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart") that were lost between the film's premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and the film's theatrical release. Kelly says he also wanted to give something new to the film's fans as thanks for their crucial, early support. Other features in this two-disc set include a highly entertaining production diary (including video of pre-production locations research) as well as a short film about the meaning of "Donnie Darko" as understood by some of the movie's British fans. --Tom Keogh

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CastStuart Stone, David Moreland, Daveigh Chase, Katharine Ross, Norman Parker (II)
DVD Release Date:  February 15, 2005
Runtime:  133 minutes
Studio:  20th Century Fox
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review by . December 24, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Director's Cut DVD slipcase
-This review pertains to the Director's Cut DVD edition of Donnie Darko-       WARNING: This review contains spoilers! DO NOT READ THIS UNTIL YOU'VE SEEN THE FILM!       In Richard Kelly's Director's Cut of his cult classic, Donnie Darko, we are given nearly twenty minutes of additional footage, which pulls us deeper into the tangent universe. In 2001, Donnie Darko was praised by critics and audiences during its exhibitions at film festivals, however …
Donnie Darko - The Director's Cut (Two-Disc
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