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Donnie Darko (Director's Cut) (2001)

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NOTE: This commentary is only on the Director's Cut DVD. Two different commentaries are on the theatrical cut DVD release.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Screenwriter/director Richard Kelly and filmmaker Kevin Smith Rating:7.9/10 (25 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by The Cubist on October 6th, 2005:Find all reviews by The Cubist
Kelly talks about the changes in this new cut and how they are intended to enhance the comic book/science fiction elements. Smith grounds the track by bringing a good dose of humour and keeps things going by asking Kelly a lot of questions. Itís great to hear these two filmmakers talk about their craft and this results in a strong track.
Reviewed by stuartbannerman on October 11th, 2006:Find all reviews by stuartbannerman
Enjoyed this chat track a lot. I havent listened to the Theatrical commentary so cant compare it with this one.
Nice touch to have Kevin Smith along for the commentary as they seem to get on well and take us through the whys and whats of the Directors Cuts. its an easy track to listen to and as always Kevin Smith is well worth a listen for his humour.
Reviewed by colinr on March 7th, 2007:Find all reviews by colinr
A very good track that complements the two commentaries on the previous theatrical edition of Donnie Darko. It seems that Richard Kelly is more relaxed now that a lot of the information is available before and so is able to concentrate on the changes made for the director's cut. I actually far prefer the theatrical cut of the film to this director's cut, but this is one instance where the commentary is the best part of the release, and worth getting if you are a fan of the film. The addition of Kevin Smith (whose films I haven't seen yet) was very good as he is able to prompt Kelly and get more into influences and themes hat occured on the more formal, production oriented tracks on the theatrical version of the film.

I'm beginning to enjoy more commentaries where someone from outside the production of the film can sit in with the filmmaker and prompt them. I'm thinking of tracks such as the William Goldman and David Koepp writers track on Panic Room for example. It also helps if they are friends, so that the awkward questions get the chance to be asked without embarassment or over politeness in skirting sensitive subjects!
Reviewed by Glenn Hopp on June 30th, 2007:Find all reviews by Glenn Hopp
The conversation between Kelly and Smith is lively and smart. It clarifies some aspects of the ideas and plot of the film that even in the director's cut are a bit elusive. One really good by-product of the commentary is whether a very cryptic movie like this is that way because it is artistic and esoteric or because it is in spots a bit unclear and clumsy. In other words, is it good-obscure or bad-obscure? No answer comes from this other than the director was following his vision and hoping for the best, but the back-and-forth between Smith and Kelly makes the question a natural one. Smith rejects some of Kelly's more elaborate explanations of parallel-universe happenings (such as that other characters besides Donnie sense subconsciously what's going on). All the theories are interesting, though. What the conversation could maybe benefit from is more on the nitty-gritty aspects of the film. Kelly mentions, for example, that Mary McDonnell came up with the idea of having Donnie's mother always sipping wine (as a coping mechanism). Taking the conversation more into that direction would have balanced the theorizing about parallel worlds and time travel and saving the universe with some welcome background on the creativity behind the film. He never explains how he came across Graham Greene's short story "The Destructors," which I was hoping he might. The story works so well in the movie.
Reviewed by Robanhood on May 2nd, 2009:Find all reviews by Robanhood
Good discussion between the director and Kevin Smith, who seems to be making another career as a "guest commentator" :) Smith fuels the conversation many times into places that it would surely never go without him. What also helps is that Smith is a director himself, so we get a lot of talk about the different views of directing etc. Watching the commentary I actually realized that this version really is inferior to the theatrical version, but that's another story and review...
Reviewed by grimjack on January 5th, 2015:Find all reviews by grimjack
I'm surprised by the high ratings others have given it. I use this as an example of one of the worst commentary tracks I've ever heard. Many times Kevin Smith and the director start talking about something unrelated and then suddenly remember they should be talking about the film. And I think this commentary track actually made me appreciate the movie a lot less.

The director explains what his movie was trying to do and be, and from what I could tell, he failed. And how much more interesting many of the fan theories are than what the director wrote it to be.

A few touches of insight into the film, but overall, I think it is a commentary best skipped if you like the film.