Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, James Duval, Beth Grant & Maggie Gyllenhaal
Directed by: Richard Kelly
Donnie is a traditional high school student: in therapy, prone to sleepwalking and in possession of an imaginary friend, a six-foot rabbit named Frank, who tells him he world is going to end in 28 days 06 hours 42 minutes and 12 seconds. During that time he will navigate teenage life, narrowly avoid death in the form of a falling jet engine, follow Frank’s maladjusted instructions and try to maintain the space-time continuum
“Brand new 4K restorations of both the Theatrical Cut and the Director’s Cut from the original camera negatives produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release, supervised and approved by director Richard Kelly and cinematographer Steven Poster.”
In comparison to the earlier Fox release, Arrow Video’s 4K restoration of Donnie Darko is evidently clear that this film has taken a huge step in the right direction. Both theatrical and director’s cut have their own dual-layered blu-ray disc, which is phenomenal. On prior release, it was clear that certain frames seemed distorted and unstable which stretched horizontally and was marginally cropped in some sequences. Arrow Video slightly shifted the area in which it wasn’t marginally fixed but it was a minor upgrade to Fox’s prior release. In terms of picture quality, Arrow blows it out of the water, which if you have watched Fox’s release of Donnie Darko, there is a huge difference in quality, contrast, clarity and color. Donnie Darko was never visually sharp or vividly saturated, until Arrow’s 4k restoration. In some outdoor scenes, you can tell that the environments are brightly lit in comparison to Fox’s release, which makes the picture much more clear with vivid colors that complement the hallucinatory blue ambience that shades some segments of the film black details. Aside from fair moments of grain that resolves naturally as the film progresses, it makes for an organic viewing experience. All in all, Arrow’s 4k restoration is impressive among all counts and I love this version dearly.
Arrow video chooses to keep it minimal when it comes to audio transfers. Featuring a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, between both versions of the films (Directors Cut & Theatrical), there is no significant difference compared to the early Fox release of the film. Very low frequency, no noticeable clicks and pops, a stable consistent noise level preludes the film into a lustrous audio hearing/viewing experience. Dialogue audio is clear and clean with aggressive range. What I love most is that these versions come with optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing as stated in the back of the slipbox packaging. Overall a pleasurable hearing experience, nothing to rave too much about since it is very comparable to the earlier Fox release.
- Dues ex Machina- The Philosophy of Donnie Darko– a brand-new documentary by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures on the making of Donnie Darko, containing interviews with writer-director Richard Kelly, producer Sean McKittrick, director of photography Steven Poster, editor Sam Bauer, composer Michael Edwards Kelly, costume designer April Ferry, actor James Duval and critic Rob Galluzzo.
- The Goodbye Place– Kelly’s 1996 short film, which anticipates some of the themes and ideas of this feature film.
- The Donnie Darko Production Diary– an archival documentary charting the film’s production with optional commentary by cinematographer Steven Poster
- Twenty deleted and alternative scenes with optional commentary by Kelly
- Archive interviews with Kelly, actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, James Duval, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Noah Wyle and Katharine Ross, producers Sean McKittrick, Nancy Juvonen, Hunt Lowry and Casey La Scala, and cinematographer Steven Poster
- Three archive featurettes: They Made Me Do It, They Made Me Do It Too and #1 Fan: A Darkomentary
- Storyboard comparisons
- B-roll footage
- Cunning Visions infomercials
- Music video: Mad World by Gary Jules
- TV Spots
- Exlusive collector’s book containing new writing by Nathan Rabin, Anton Bitel and Jamie Graham, an in-depth interview with Richard Kelly, introduction by Jake Gylllenhaal and contemporary coverage, illustrated with original stills and promotional materials
- Limited edition packaging featuring new artwork by Candice Tripp
Arrow Video doesn’t disappoint with this release and they always manage to blow each restored version out out of the ball park. For any Donnie Darko fans, this is a must own set. Beautifully crafted with tons of supplements to knock your socks off and keep you up for hours, also you can’t forget the added content this set is jam packed with. I LOVE ARROW FILMS!
Production release: Pandora Cinema
Video release: Arrow Video
Number of discs: 4
Runtime: 133 minutes
Case: Limited Edition Slipbox Packaging
Release date: April 18, 2017
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1, Original aspect: 2.39.1
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1