While it's easy to understand how viewers can either love or hate "DONNIE DARKO," it's also easy to dislike it while being captivated at the same time! Blending sci-fi, dark comedy and drama, the overly complicated plot, revolves around Donnie, a troubled teen, from a likeable family, seeing a shrink, for reasons never really explained, and set upon by bizarre, also never fully explained phenomena. Whether it's all in his head, or a shocking culmination of a paranormal world co-existing within our own, is also never fully explained, but this problem is also part of the film's attraction. A disturbing motivational speaker(Patrick Swayze)also fits into the strange goings-ons of the narrative, also not satisfactorily explained, but the strong performances from everyone involved, beautiful, often haunting imagery and a great soundtrack, make "DONNIE DARKO" one of the most compelling, disturbing viewing experiences of recent years.
While the director's cut(offered here along with the original theatrical cut)tries to explain much of the confusing questions raised in the original film, the theatrical cut, even with its many unanswered themes, is arguably a better film. Thankfully, FOX allows for fans and newbies the option to explore both versions for themselves.
FOX has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for both films with the 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray transfer. Although the blu-ray offers notably better detail than the previous dvd, the film's low-budget won't allow higher resolution to make anemic colors appear vibrant. The film still has an obvious low-budget look to it, although it's a cleaner effort than what was available in standard resolution. Depth is better now, but only slightly so. It's as good as the film could possibly look and appears to be an accurate replication of its late-night theatrical presentation. Fans of the film should be impressed. Those expecting a rich, slick transfer, will be disappointed.
FOX has provided a DTS-HD master Audio 5.1 mix for both versions. The mix stands out here! Blending a variety of discrete and panning effects, the immersive environment offers a bevy of LFE and tour-de-force moments, as well as some creative mixing of the great songs featured from both versions of the film. Music is quite different, and arguably better in the original version. Dialogue is always intelligible and perfectly balanced.
Three fine commentaries, a storyboard featurette, and theatrical trailer are included.