Tag Archives: Jake Gyllenhaal

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Movie Review By Steven Wilkins

 

Spider-Man Far From Home Review

Director: Jon Watts
Writers: Chris McKenna, Stan Lee (based on the Marvel comic book by)
Stars: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal

First of all…go see this movie.

Now that that’s out the way, FFH delivers in so many more ways than just action alone.  The unfolding story is pretty much exactly what you would expect if you’re a fan of comics (or animated series) and know the characters enough.  If you’re just a fan of the film series then you’re still in for a treat.

The onscreen chemistry between Holland and Zendaya is awkwardly perfect and so much fun to watch take shape.  The unnerving of character within Parker is deeply felt from the start of the film and almost never let’s up until the movies end.  As for the action, it’s ever present and amazing as Peter and the new hero on the scene, Mysterio (Gyllenhaal), fight to ward off elemental beings  from a different universe before they destroy earth.

With some twists and turns, FFH is a blast and though gone, Tony Stark/Iron Man is present without ever being present. There are two end credits scene, the first of which is quite the jaw dropping eye opener, the second being a bit comical but also pointing in a certain direction obviously to what may lie ahead.

Whether IMAX, standard or 3D, FFH is absolutely enjoyable and a solid end to Phase 3.  Get out and go see it!

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Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Movie Review By The Movie Couple

Spider-Man Far From Home Review

 

Director: Jon Watts
Writers: Chris McKenna, Stan Lee (based on the Marvel comic book by)
Stars: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal

Moviie Couple here!   We went to see Spider-Man: Far From Home this Holiday weekend!  Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies!  We’re here to tell you if we liked it.  Film experts we are not!  Just a quick reminder of our rating system. Mrs. Moviie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out.  we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system.  1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money!  3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent!  5-6 Bills equal Wow!  Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter!  Please take our money again!

Spider-Man: Far From Home continues the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) adventures of Peter Parker, high school science student, and of course Our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, from his first solo film, Spider-Man: Homecoming.  Now, he’s a bit more famous thanks to his previous adventures and the world apparently knowing his role in both of the last Avenger films (Infinity War and Endgame).  Peter finds himself struggling with his new found responsibility, his attempts to live up to the legacy of his mentor and friend Tony Stark (Iron Man) and his desire to just be a kid.  He knows what he does is important, but the kid in him still longs to hang out and chase the girl he is crushing on.  As the title alludes to, the class is chosen for a tour of Europe!  This seems the perfect time for Peter to slow down and spend some time with the enigmatic MJ, who he so far has only admired from afar. But as fate would have it, a new Earth shattering threat has begun!  Nick Fury and Maria Hill need his help!  And a new costumed figure has entered the field of play, the handsome and charming Quentin Beck AKA Mysterio!  Will poor Spidey save the day!  Will he get the girl?  Can Beck/Mysterio be his new Tony Stark/Iron Man?  Nothing comes easy for  Old Parker, the stakes are high, MJ has a new suitor, and all is not as it seems!  He catches thieves just like flies, but can he save the world and save his love life?

Directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland as Peter/Spider-Man, Samuel L. Jackson (He’s nearly in as many movies this year as Keanu Reeves!) and Cobie Smulders as Fury and Hill, Jake Gyllenhaal as Beck/Mysterio, Zendaya as MJ, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May and yes all the kids and faculty from Homecoming are back as is Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan.  So is this a good sequel to Homecoming?  Is it as advertised, an Epilogue to Avengers:Endgame?   Well, come join Mr. and Mrs Moviie Couple as we give this film a swing and review this latest entry in the MCU saga!

So here we go!

Mr. Moviie Couple:  Let me start by saying I love comics.  If you follow us here at all you already know this, but if you are reading us for the first time you need to know that.  So that being said, I am a huge Spider-Man fan.  I love Tom Holland as Peter Parker.  I think he embodies Peter in the same way Chris Evans does Captain America or RDJ does Iron Man.  He’s just perfect.  I was in love with his first film Homecoming, but I am actually sad to say I don’t feel the same about Far From Home as I did for the first one.  The film starts way too slowly.  It is part John Hughes Wannabe (Homecoming did a far better job of capturing this energy than FFH) and part MCU blockbuster and I feel that is part of the problem.  Not every MCU film needs to be the end of the world type threat to be a success.  Just ask the Antman/Wasp films.  We do not spoil here at Moviie Couple, so we will not explain the villainous plot outright, but if you’ve ever read Spider-Man comics at all or watched a Spidey cartoon like… ever or even really payed attention to the advertising for this film you should be able to guess the bad guy immediately.  So I say that to say this, The villain is not a world threat traditionally and I believe if anyone actually thinks over the plan, at the films conclusion, it really doesn’t hold up.  Shield should have been able to handle this or at the very least if the stakes were set lower it would have made a more credible Spidey level threat, but the filmmakers by this point in the MCU, feel the stakes HAVE to be earth threatening I guess.

 Now don’t get me wrong, they creators try and explain a lot of this away (PLEASE stay for the end credits), but it just doesn’t hold water for me.  The action is ratchet up to Avengers level and as I already stated, I feel it wasn’t needed.  A bit of cinema overkill.  The best action scene comes in the middle where Spidey doesn’t know what’s real or what isn’t!   This fight scene was nearly a comic book battle leaping from the page and almost made the entire movie for me!  But the final fight scene was over done in my opinion.

Gyllenhaal is great as Mysterio and a natural addition to the MCU.  His backstory is tragic and unexpected!  He does a great job!  The stand out actors to me where Holland and Zendaya!  The scenes with Peter and MJ are the best of the film and they seem natural and absolutely believable.  I missed a bit of MJ’s awkwardness in this film, she seemed to go from Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club to the prom Queen everyone is suddenly chasing between movies and it felt unearned, but that’s not her fault it’s the writers. She was great in her role as is Holland.

 It just didn’t balance the Teen Romance and the Superheroics well in my opinion.  The superhero plot was basic,  I do give it points for tying itself into the past MCU films, but it was an underwhelming plot. Great acting and a wonderful soundtrack, nearly save this for me, but there has only been one MCU film I didn’t want to see again after I saw it in theatres, Captain Marvel, now there is two.  Far From Home isn’t terrible, but it isn’t amazing either, and with this cast and this legendary character that is the real shame.

Far From Home is better than MEH and close to Pretty Good, So I’m going with 3.5 Bills.  To be honest, I think Tom Holland can make the perfect Spider-Man movie, unfortunately I’m still waiting for it.

Mrs. Moviie Couple:  Remember, it was your votes on Twitter that even got her to go see this film!  She found Far From Home to capture all the ups and downs of High School life accurately.  It really took her back.
She did say this had all the “typical”attributes of superhero films, Superhero Vs Supervillain, hero chases girl, hero has funny sidekick that knows his secret, Hero forced to decide which path he will take in life, Yada, Yada,  Yada…..she was starting to doze early in this film.

But then she was taken in by Tom Holland’s performance.  She finds him absolutely, adorably lovable as Spider-man!  She found herself really liking MJ with all her quirks and mannerisms.  She started to really like them as a couple.  Their relationship kept her interested.  It was very believable and fun despite all the typical explosions and action scenes. She loved them as a couple and found herself paying attention and rooting for them more than if Spidey saved the day or not.  She also enjoyed seeing Aunt May move forward with her life and start a relationship.  She didn’t expect that and liked that addition a lot.

The villain (No spoilers) was slow to get to his point, but she was surprised by his plans and found him to be a clever and sly villain rather than one that simply overpowers their enemies!  She loved how he used his wits and mind rather than brute force to challenge our hero!  Wow, something different in a superhero movie! Who’d a thunk it?
She liked the various Spider-Man costumes used throughout the film and liked how they all served a purpose rather than just selling different toys or Halloween costumes.

But her favourite part was the End Credit scene!  Especially the first one!  It really pulled her in!  They got me!  She said.  I have to see just what Spider-Man is going to do now!  A huge endorsement from the woman who swore off superhero movies just a few weeks ago.  Now that’s a powerful end credit scene right there!

Overall, despite her positive feelings toward a movie she nearly skipped entirely, she still left saying She should have waited till Netflix to see it.  I had to correct her that it would probably be out on Disney +, Netflix and Disney would soon be parting ways.  I think that’s when she called me a nerd and warned me I could walk home.  She gives Far From Home 3.5 Bills.  Not quite Pretty Good, but not nearly as bad as she expected it to be.

On the way home, We talked about the villains plot, the kids, how great Holland and Zendaya were and how despite a lot of good things, the movie just left us uninspired.  I know people will hate this opinion, but we are just being honest.  It wasn’t bad, but man, with all the talent and money on the screen it really should have been …more.  Not quite an Amazing Spider-Man, not a Spectacular Spider-Man either, more like an Almost Pretty Good Spider-Man hence the 3.5 Bills average!  We both gave it the same 3.5 so its was a unanimous decision.

So until next time, remember we are just Your Friendly Neighborhood Moviie Couple!  Be sure to check out our Twitter or Facebook for a clue to our next movie review.  Mr. & Mrs. Moviie Couple out!

The Sisters Brothers (2018) Movie Review By Justin Aylward

The Sisters Brothers Review, In 1850s Oregon, the infamous duo of assassins, Eli and Charlie Sisters, chase a gold prospector and his unexpected ally.

Director: Jacques Audiard
Writers: Jacques Audiard (screenplay by), Thomas Bidegain (screenplay by)
Stars: John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal

The western genre is largely a relic of a bygone era, but when we do see a new incarnation on our cinema screens there is much to admire. Recent films such as The Assassination of Jesse James…, 3:10 To Yuma, Bone Tomahawk, and Hell or High Water have shown how the dusty landscapes and fatalist attitudes of the Wild West are still ingredients for exceptional films.

The new film by Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Rust and Bone) stars Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly as Charlie and Eli Sisters, a ragtag gun-toting duo in 1850s Oregon. The pair, who are as much chalk and cheese as drunk and sober, are recruited by The Commodore, (Rutger Hauer) a brutish, wealthy landowner, to pursue and kill a gentle prospector named Hermann Kermit Warm (Riz Ahmed). Warm has allegedly stolen a special formula for uncovering gold and is set on keeping the riches for himself. Although Eli is unmoved by The Commodore’s sorry tale, Charlie is willing to take on the job, and the two bickering brothers set out on the trail.
Also on the trail of Hermann is a measured and erudite assassin called John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal). Morris gets a head start over the Sisters Brothers, and keeps a diary along the way, leaving letters at each stop-off point to inform Charlie and Eli of his progress.

French director Audiard, has shown again how sometimes it is with a foreign eye that old American mores are best dissected. From Douglas Sirk with All That Heaven Allows in the 50s and Wim Wenders with his film Paris, Texas in the 80s, European directors have used their outsider prospective to parse out the diverse ways of living in America.

In The Sisters Brothers, four disparate people in conflicting pursuits – the hunter and the hunted, the gold seeker and the taskmaster – are thrown together in a tornado of incompatible desires. Despite the obvious route he takes, Charlie is emotionally adrift. He drinks to get drunk where he then empties bars and picks fights. He sleeps with as many women as he can pay for, and abuses his brother at every turn. Eli, on the other hand, knows exactly what he wants but the ties that bind him to his errant brother grow tighter around him. Charlie relishes the danger in the job, but Eli has had enough and wants to put away his gun and return home to their estranged mother.

John Morris, the dogged assassin, is locked down by his obligations. Despite all his thoughtfulness for the surroundings, he has never asked himself what he is really doing. The working life seems to be the only one he thinks exists. When he finally catches up with Hermann – who basically presents himself to Morris – he finds a young man who is thoughtful, idealistic, and bright. Hermann wants to set up a community in Texas, free from the toxicity of the broader American society. When Morris realises that Hermann is not the craven individual he was told about, he decides to accompany Hermann to San Francisco in search of gold.
Within the unfolding story are many well-crafted, cinematic elements. The cinematography by Benoit Debie captures the celestial skylines and mountainous peaks of the West Coast. Some of the scenes following Eli and Charlie on horseback as they ride through fields of hay and tall grass are exceptionally eye-catching. Audiard directs with a special confidence a foreign director in an alien genre has no right to have, but his command over the material is obvious in the multitoned moods of the film. Also, John C. Reilly stands out as a gifted and thoughtful character actor who can perform through many layers of complexity. Look at the scene where he solicits with a prostitute, although not for sex, but just to play out a harmless but heartfelt fantasy; a husband saying goodbye to a grief-stricken wife. Joaquin Phoenix proves yet again that he is perhaps the best American actor of his generation, or at least the bravest and most unpredictable. He has the great ability of the famous method actors; you never know what he will do next, but it promises to be emotional.

Throughout, the Sisters’ Brothers journey to San Francisco is fraught with turmoil and the travails of the dangerous territory. Between night-scrawling spiders, duplicitous bordello owners, and dying horses, they can’t catch a good break. Charlie is just about ready to puke his guts up once and for all, while Eli seems to be on the verge of a hopelessness he may never outlast. Eventually they cross paths with Morris and Hermann Warm, and the ties of the plot come undone in scenes that are equally tense and sad.

I will not spoil the final act of the film. But I will say that the Homerian journey ends with all the appropriate beats that the film has been orchestrating throughout its running time. In the end we have a Western as charming as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, as melancholy as Unforgiven, and as unforgettable as The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. The Sisters Brothers is the best film of its type in many years and shows much promise for the director Audiard. Let’s hope he continues to make films away from home where it’s dusty, dangerous and the gun blasts ring long into the night.

Southpaw (2015) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

SOUTPAW

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Kurt Sutter
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Oona Laurence

Plot:  A champion boxer fights to get his daughter back from child protective services as well as revive his professional career, after a fatal incident sends him on a rampant path of destruction.

Running Time: 124 minutes

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 60%   Audience 75%

Why I watched it: Gyllenhaal, for my money right now he’s the best actor working.

Thoughts: Maybe Romantic Comedies are more formulaic but sport movies are close, call them cliches or troupes but sport movies have a rhythm all their own and when they work they’re like a warm blanket.

I also want to talk about Jake Gyllenhaal, when I say he’s the best actor working today I don’t say that lightly, for me he becomes the role and he doesn’t have a stock role where you say “oh he’s just playing the same guy again.”  He changes in every movie, which all actors should do.

What I liked: Goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway it’s Gyllenhaal, he’s the best thing in this movie, it’s a very good performance.  He has a huge arc and he also has to change to keep his family and livelihood.  He also has to do something very tricky for actors, well two things, he plays a guy who doesn’t talk a lot and isn’t school smart, I don’t want to say dumb cause he isn’t, but he is use to someone else making the big decisions for him.  Most actors would go broad or over the top but Gyllenhaal grounds his performance, he’s never a cartoon or a cliche. I also what to give props to Forest Whitaker, this role is as old as movies, the trainer/coach.

He also goes about it different, he’s not loud, he’s not preachy, he seems tired, world weary, also a guy who doesn’t talk about his feelings but shows by his actions, this was also a nice performance and the two actors fed off each other well.  Rachel McAdams was good and I wished she was in it more, I would have liked to see this marriage and partnership more. The boxing scenes were fine, not terrible but solid enough, everyone looked like they were in shape and you believed them to be athletes.

What I didn’t like: This was very cookie cutter as far as the formula goes, and also the speed his life goes from great to terrible happens very quick.  To go through courts to have your stuff taken your daughter taken that takes time, this happens as quick as I’ve ever seen from penthouse to outhouse.  Also the handling of the daughter, when he goes to see her, man that doesn’t feel real, I’ve gone through a separation and had to see my kids kind of liked that and by they Hollywooded up big time.

Those moments are two big and really is a discount to the rest of the film, the daughter seems like a plot point more than anything else, here she’s mean, and of course she screams she wished he was dead, really over all these years we still go back to that, and no a child wouldn’t be able to pitch that big of a fit, she would have been brought a side to calm down.  I wished they would have played the father+Daughter scenes better, more real emotions and less melodrama.

The also wasted Naomie Harris, I have no idea why she was in this movie. I also would like to point out that the main plot is someone gets killed, now amazingly, we never deal with that legally, sure their quick to take his home away but shouldn’t there have been an investigation, by just sweeping that whole thing under the rug they made it seem like a plot point and something that made the movie happen.

Final thoughts: For the most part I liked the film, the performances for me is why I would recommend it.  I wish director Antoine Fuqua matched his performance behind the camera to that of Gyllenhaal did in front of it.

Rating: 6/10

Everest (2015) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin

EVEREST

Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Writers: William Nicholson (screenplay),  Simon Beaufoy (screenplay) 
Stars: Jason Clarke,  Ang Phula Sherpa,  Thomas M. Wright, John Hawkes, Michael Kelly, Emily Watson, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Robin Wright

The movie “Everest” is based on the true story of two commercial expeditions starting their final ascent towards the summit of Mount Everest. Both groups endure fierce winds and freezing temperatures in a battle to survive against the odds. The story begins on May 10th, 1996 and follows the story of New Zealand’s Robert “Rob” Edwin Hall (Jason Clarke) together with Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) who team up both expeditions to conquer Mount Everest.

With a strong cast ensemble the performances in this movie were excellent and brilliantly chosen. The main focus is on Clarke’s portrayal of Rob, Brolin’s Beck Weathers and Gyllenhaal’s Scott Fischer. Although the early signs in this movie suggested that Edwin Hall and Fischer are rivals it quickly settles into a survival unit and the characters begin to pull together in reaching their goal safely. “Everest” to me isn’t exactly an action movie and more drama based with stunning visuals. To me this is Jason Clarke’s best performance to date and his scenes with his onscreen wife Jan (Keira Knightley) add emotional pull to the scenario. Not playing second fiddle is Josh Brolin who along with Clarke had the bigger roles and his portrayal of Beck Weathers is something somewhat emotional and tragic by the end of the movie. Brolin gives his usual solid performance in “Everest” and although the portrayal at times is a little arrogant towards Clarke’s Edwin Hall adds to the relationship they have on the mountain.

Surprisingly Knightley, Worthington, Watson have limited screen time but don’t get me wrong all have an important roles in the movie. Keira Knightley as Jan is expecting their first child and is in some crucial and heartbreaking scenes. Worthington (Guy Cotter) in a supporting role along with Watson (Helen Wilton) are the base camp team who are basically what you would call expedition characters who set up the scenarios that lie ahead. Both are involved in key scenes and take the audience on the journey in realising the seriousness of the situation the group find themselves in.

The character of Doug (John Hawkes) and Yasuko (Naoko Mori), with Doug being a amateur climber who strives to make his kids proud of him by reaching the summit only provides emotional baggage for Edwin Hall who feels responsible in making sure his friend reaches his goal. That part of the movie didn’t sit well with me. I know the most experienced climbers cannot predict freak weather conditions but when Doug is barely breathing and can barely walk, was it wise to let your emotions interfere with your knowledge and experience of how dangerous the task of reaching Everest is? Don’t get me wrong i’m not knocking the story at this point but it came off a little to “Hollywoody” for me. One thing it did show I guess was what a good guy with good intentions Edwin Hall was. Yasuko finally completing the seven summits and proudly poked a Japanese flag at the top. Naoko Mori didn’t really have much to do in the movie….well apart from climb a mountain I guess but wasn’t that memorable. Jake Gyllenhaal’s Scott Fischer wasnt explored enough within the movie and like most of the first half of the movie was introduced and came off a little bitter towards Rob. This is probably the least used I have seen Gyllenhaal in anything to date and didn’t really do much to be honest for a main character.

Full credit to Salvatore Totino (Cinematography) From what I have read *Spoiler* the actual peak of Everest was in a sound stage in Pinewood and I must say I was very impressed with the effects in this movie to convince the audience of believing the characters where actually there. The visuals and the choice of direction (Baltasar Kormákur) go hand in hand in this production and some of the views were beautifully shot and the score mix by Peter Fuchs adds a haunting quality to those visuals

Everest doesn’t disappoint. The movie is emotional and dramatic and with a fantastic cast it was always going to be a watchable and enjoyable movie. The Character development was cleverly done within the first half of the movie leading us to care for the characters and concern ourselves with their safety. Admittedly I wasn’t aware of this true story and I’m glad I didn’t research this before I saw the climatic end as this added to the emotion and sadness of those final scenes. If you haven’t watch “Everest” yet I recommend giving it a go.

Donnie Darko (2001) Movie Retro Review by Stephen McLaughlin

DONNIE DARKO

Director: Richard Kelly
Writer: Richard Kelly
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal,  Jena Malone,  Mary McDonnell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Patrick Swayze

Donnie Darko is possibly one of my all time favourite movies and on it’s initial release here in the UK in 2002 I had already got wind of this weird complex film about a troubled sleepwalking teenage boy and his supposed imaginary 6 foot bunny rabbit friend named Frank who warns Donnie the end of the world is nigh.

When I got round to viewing the Richard Kelly film it was on a recommendation from a work colleague who insisted I watch Donnie Darko for one reason only. That reason? it has a killer soundtrack. Now as crazy as that sounds, the soundtrack to this movie is phenomenal and captures the mood of the era that Donnie Darko is set in (mid to late 80’s)

The style of the movie is really what drew me in though. In 2002, I hadn’t heard of Jake or Maggie Gyllenhaal at this point. In fact, the only cast member I recall back then was Patrick Swayze (who I will get back to along with the other cast members. It was the style of the movie that I liked. It had a blend of a classic 80’s teen movie mixed with science fiction and believe it or not a little of the horror aspect was in there too.

The main character Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) who suffers from sleepwalking and is on medication is visited in visions by Frank who actually saves Donnie’s life at the beginning of the movie whilst Donnie is in his bed sleeping, Frank tells him to get up and it’s in his sleepwalking state that Donnie leaves the house only to wake up the next morning on a golf course in his pyjamas.

During the night as Donnie discovers on his way home from the golf course there has been an accident at his house that saw an aeroplane engine land and impact the area of the house where Donnie’s bedroom was (talk about luck eh? or was it fate?)

This incident sets up a chain of events in which as the movie progresses I recall thinking is it Donnie’s medication or state of mind that is taking him down a darker path or is Frank actually real and trying to help Donnie. It appears that Frank is directing Donnie to perform some stunts like flooding the school and there are other actions throughout the movie that really makes you think of what Frank’s agenda is and why he is “making” Donnie do these things.

There are some really stand out and funny moments in the movie and in particular with either motivational nut Kitty Farmer who tries to define life on joy and fear and lump into two categories which Donnie is having none of that and tears strips off her. Jake Gyllenhaal was only 21 at the time and really showed maturity in this role although he was playing a school kid managed to nail the personality of the troubled boy who was seeking guidance on what to do with his life and this scene always stood out to me along with another scene that showed Donnie’s self assurance and how fearless he was against the establishment. The other scene I mention is probably one of the best scenes I have ever viewed in my cinematic history and that is his confrontation with Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze)

Patrick Swayze at this point was a mixed bag to me, I first saw him as Johnny Castle in 1987’s Dirty Dancing that although is now regarded as a classic was not my cup of tea as an eleven year old boy at the time. Although having some credibility in films like Road House (1989) and Point Break (1991) I was never a massive fan of the late actor who sadly passed away at the age of 57 in 2009. When I saw his performance in Donnie Darko I have to admit that he was probably the best thing outside the lead actor and his portrayal of Jim Cunningham a motivational and positive mind speaker really was a highlight of the film and his scene (confrontational scene) with Donnie is in my book one of the greatest, funniest and powerful scenes you will ever see in a film.

There are other snippets of brilliance and comedy throughout the movie with the Darko family with Holmes Osborne playing the Dad, Mary McDonnell portraying the Mum and playing Donnie’s sisters Elizabeth and Samantha are real life sister Maggie Gyllenhaal and Daveigh Chase in a brilliantly written dining scene and also a great “Smurf” outburst from Donnie with his friends Ronald Fisher (Stuart Stone) and Sean Smith (Gary Lundy) that had me in tears of laughter.

Visually the movie is rather dark and mostly set at night giving the movie a real cynical feel to it and some of the sequences in the movie (particularly the directors cut) are very fast images that add a little suspense and may I say a kind of horror value to it. Possibly the most visual scene in the movie is the scene in the house when Donnie and his Dad as some of the other guys are watching a football game and this weird transparent “blob” begins to direct Donnie in his actions. I remember thinking when I saw this for the first time “is this Donnie seeing the future, as the people around Donnie seem to be following the path of this strange Abyss like gloopy thing” and to tell you the truth I still think that what that scene was trying to tell us, that Donnie sees things before they happen.

I have to admit that it was a pretty unique way of showing the audience this and although kinda weird and cool in a way it really does confuse the hell out of you.

The conclusion of the movie although I won’t go to much into that and how it plays out is really sad in a way and when things begin to go wrong in Donnie’s life, he begins to realise there is only one way to fix all of these things from ever happening. One thing I did manage to take away from this movie was I was able to go back to my colleague and say to him that it was an awesome soundtrack but I got more out of it than just that.

Admittedly this movie is confusing the first few time in watching it and reviewing a multi layered and complex film like Donnie Darko is a tough gig. But what keeps me going back and watching this movie every once in a while is for those stand out scenes and with every viewing you manage to pick something else up that you may not have noticed before and that is why I recommend Donnie Darko to anyone out there who hasn’t watched the movie yet.