Nicole M. Campbell is a KFI editrix. At a club one time, she hopped behind the bar and pretended she was a bartender for five minutes. This week, the Girl on Film gives us her review of one of her favorite movies of all time, “Donnie Darko,” which is getting re-released in theatres.
The Hollywood hype machine can work a lot of ways. Sometimes a movie seems more enjoyable because it's got that coveted four-letter word - buzz - surrounding it. Think "The Sixth Sense." Sometimes you think a movie sucks because you had high expectations going in.
And sometimes, seeing a movie before the hype hypes up can color your perception, good and bad. I saw "The Usual Suspects" on the day it opened and hated it. I saw "The Silence of the Lambs" early in its run and loved it. (Ended up seeing it 13 times in the theatre but that's another column.)
So it was also with "Donnie Darko." The sci-fi movie that made Jake Gyllenhaal a star ultimately became a cult classic, but, as is the path of such movies, it didn't make much of a splash when it first hit the theatres in 2001.
Now, for its "15th" (I put that in quotes because "Donnie Darko" first premiered at Sundance in Jan. 2001 and got a theatrical release in October of that year; not sure how the folks at Arrow Films biffed it on the movie math) anniversary, restored versions of both the regular film as well as the director's cut are being re-released. If you missed this movie the first time, go see it now.
So many things made me love it. Anything that takes place in the '80s already notches a point on the Girl on Film's celluloid counter. The soundtrack is killer too, with cuts from Echo and the Bunnymen and Duran Duran. Gary Jules' haunting cover of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" was written for the movie. Adam Lambert would make it famous during his time on "American Idol." And incorrectly get credit for the arrangement.
Throw in Patrick Swayze playing a cheesy motivational speaker, a children's dance troupe, an evil version of Harvey, time travel and a cute boy who's a great actor and you've got a recipe for movie magic.
Go see what all the hype is about!