Donnie Darko DVD Review

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by Phil Hinton Jul 1, 2003 at 12:00 AM

    Donnie Darko DVD Review
    SRP: £19.99


    Sadly it may be a fine movie, but the picture transfer on the 2.35:1 image is far from great. The overall image seems to have a washed out feel with a very soft and hazy look. Apparently this is intentional, but the overall image lacks that bright colourful look of a recent production. However the Movie is set in the late 1980's and in that respect the image certainly looks like it was filmed then. Certain scenes also suffer from edge enhancement here and there, with one dark scene also exhibiting pixilation artefacts. Taking all this into consideration the transfer is far from great, but is watchable and doesn't detract too much from the movie experience.
    Donnie Darko Picture


    Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 the soundtrack is effective and enveloping. The movie is more dialogue driven than an all out surround fest, but voices sound natural and when called upon the soundtrack does get aggressive now and again with effective split surround use. There are some very clever panning effects used to great use during some of Frank's dialogue and Donnie's flashback and trip moments.
    Donnie Darko Sound


    This R2 edition really is feature packed and includes some very good extras. First we have two audio commentaries which include the Director and Star Jake Gyllenhaal on one with the director, Drew Barrymore, Jena Mallone and Katherine Ross on the other. Both offer a great insight to the goings on within the movie and plot and some fun stories about what happened on set, both are certainly worth a listen. Moving on are 20 deleted and extended scenes with optional commentaries with most scenes only lasting a few seconds and not adding a great deal to the movie, but they are of interested. The rest of the extras feature interviews with cast and crew, B roll footage, The Philosophy of Time Travel text book, website and artwork gallery, some very funny Cunning Visions Infomercials, Theatrical Trailers and UK exclusive “They made me do it” art galleries. Overall most of the extras are worthwhile and certainly adds to the overall disc presentation. There are some interesting hidden easter eggs also included but we wont spoil the fun of finding them for you
    Donnie Darko Extras


    The movie is a love it or leave it affair, but do try it. The disc presentation is good with an under par transfer.
    Suggested retail price when reviewed: £19.99

    The Rundown



    Picture Quality


    Sound Quality






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