Archives for category: Time-Travel

Ever watch a movie that you can’t quite put in a box? The successful ones are few and far between.

One of those is kind-of-horror, kind-of-halloweeny mystery, with some added time-travel, fantasy and psychological thriller, “Donnie Darko”. If you really think hard about it, “Donnie Darko” can even be just another superhero movie where the superhero makes the ultimate sacrifice.

What genre do you think it is?

The poster of Donnie Darko where loads of stills from the film make up the silhouette of a bunny

The bunny will come and get you!

What is this film?

“Donnie Darko” (2001) is an original screenplay written and directed by Richard Kelly who managed to pull this off as his first feature film.

The film is scattered with famous faces, both faces that were famous at the time like Drew Barrymore and Patrick Swayze, and also faces that has since become a staple on the silver screen, like siblings Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal (Not-Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain and Dark Knight Batman’s love interest).

The movie follows Donnie Darko, a youth dealing with “mental issues” and a big bunny Frank who tells him to do stuff. Whether the stuff is good or bad is really in the eye of the beholder.

 

Is it any good?

This is a mind-fuck movie.

And I love me a good mind-fuck movie, because there are a lot of great attempts, but only a select few that will actually mess with your brain.

By mind-fuck movie, I mean that by the end of the movie, your brain should be pounding after the excruciating effort it did of trying to makes sense of what just happened.

And even though there are dragged-out sequences in semi- slow motion, that at least now seems like something every graduate from film school coughs up, at least in “Donnie Darko” it’s a thing that permeates the movie on so many degrees that after a while I am kind of fine with it.

Even footage speeded-up or run backwards has some merit here where the topic at hand is time travel.

 

Frank – the bunny

If someone has ever created a bunny that I would not want to meet in a dark alley, it is this one.
And because it has such a comforting outline paired with such a hideous grin, the creepiness doesn’t evaporate when you get a full frontal look. I still find it scary even then.

Bunnies are aparently a recurring theme in the film, if you can bother to look back and find the long list of shots found by die-hard fans. Also the number eight has people counting and over-thinking things.

Funnily enough, all these details that add up in the end and all the background information that links to different scenes are probably the reason why “Donnie Darko” has gone kult. It rewards the adamant viewers who come back and back again with new little nuggets of a-ha moments.

 

The Time Travel Thing

Yes, there is time-travel and yes it feels rather believable. I mean, they did bring in Stephen Hawkins and everything 😉

To really understand the idea of time travel used in this movie, I would recommend checking out the chapter descriptions of the fictional book “The Philosophy of Time Travel” which Donnie Darko is obsessed with in the film.

I would never suggest to anyone to go read this explanation before you watch the movie. Let your mind be rattled and see where you end up. What explanation did you come up with?

Once you have watched the movie and made up your mind though, it can be great to see where Richard Kelly was coming from. It won’t necessarily give you a lot of answers but it might make you a little less of a question mark than you initially were.

 

What mood should you be in?

It fits well in a setting where you kind of want to watch a horror and be a bit freaked out, but you don’t think a good-ol’ slasher is going to do the job.

You also will need some patience. The film is in parts slow-paced, probably due to the inexperience of its first-time director, but fear you not. It is worthwhile to get to the end.

(Although my boyfriend couldn’t handle it and fell asleep).

Be aware that people are prone to lose their thoughts ever so slightly to the vast questions of time and space, fear and love, after watching. But challenge your brain once in a while why don’t yah.

 

Further Watching

Want some more mind-fuckers? Go for the movie told backwards – “Memento” (2000), the movie told in really short cuts – “Requiem for a Dream” (2000), the movie told in disappearing memories – “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004), or the one with the dreams within dreams – “Inception” (2010).

If your mind has been sufficiently fucked, take a look at “Harvey” from 1950. Whether a conscious nod to this film or a total coincidence, it is worth looking at another film that has chosen a giant bunny as the imaginary friend. And how completely different it has been interpreted.

 

If you like what I read, follow my blog and get ideas on what movies are worth spending your time on. I mean, some 3 hour movies will just steal from your life. Let it only be my life 😉

Next week I will look at the next movie on the ImDb top 250 list: #6 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. For now you can read #5: Pulp Fiction.

 

Still from Donnie Darko where someone has written "They made me do it" on the ground

The bunny makes him do it!

 

Who am I?

I’m a freelance writer who likes to watch movies. I watch Netflix a lot and sometimes there is a long way between the really good movies, whether good means entertaining or profound.

To help you avoid watching all the crap I have had to endure, I will give you some hidden gems or best movies of Netflix right here every month.

Want another good Netflix movie? Check out the chilling community in “Winter’s Bone”!

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies that will make these reviews beneficial to you, whether you follow my advice or not 😉

 

Where can you find the film?

All movies in this Netflix-series can be found in the Norwegian Netflix Catalogue, which is the one I have access to.

If you can’t find it on your local Netflix? File a complaint, they really should have it 😉

 

If you like what I write, please give me your favourite movie in the comments so I can put it on my list of reviews or sign-up to read my next blog post 😉

Advertisements

If you trust me, then you stop reading right now and get your cinema ticket to “Edge of Tomorrow”. No questions asked. Then come back later and see if you agree with me.

Need more convincing? Ok, keep reading! Just promise me that the second you know I have won you over, stop reading. If you know as little as possible about the movie up front, the better the experience will be for you!

One wonders if Live.Die.Repeat. is a more appropriate and memorable title than Edge of Tomorrow...

One wonders if Live.Die.Repeat. is a more appropriate and memorable title than Edge of Tomorrow…

 

What is this film?

This is a science fiction/war movie based on the manga and novel “All you need is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Originally set in Japanese surroundings, it has been adapted to encapsulate Europe, mostly London and France.

Doug Liman, the director, is famous for the Bourne trilogy, the action series with Matt Damon. This in itself should be a testament to the quality of the action portrayed in “Edge of Tomorrow”.

The film stars Tom Cruise (the guy who jumped on a sofa), an old timer at sci-fi flicks and Emily Blunt (the bitchy receptionist from “The Devil Wears Prada“), a refreshing new face in the world of robots and aliens. A look she wears well, I might add.

 

Why is it good?

The story is what makes it good. Hands down. Thank you Hiroshi Sakurazaka.

The story unravels like the iconic comedy “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray. Tom Cruise gets caught in a time-loop. Every time he dies he jumps back to the same point in time and has to relive the day before the massive, D-day battle (where he usually dies). You might think that sounds boring, the same thing over and over again, and it so easily could have been.

It is neither repetitive or boring. Therein lies the genius.

The reasons for why and how the time anomaly is achieved is also believably explained, unlike “Groundhog Day” where it is more an assumed act of karma. I will however leave it to the movie to explain.

The gritty war-realism paired with the complex technology is what sells it. There are visual elements in abundance to make you think of D-day and WW2 movies, a brilliant choice that is expertly adapted from Tokyo, which is the city under attack in the book. The movie echoes the realism given by celebrated war movies such as “Band of Brothers” and “Saving Private Ryan”, and it is probably this fact that knocks this movie into believable rather than absurd.

 

Can Tom Cruise still carry a movie?

In his last movie “Oblivion” (2013), Tom Cruise looked a little dragged an tired, old and uncomfortable. In “Edge of Tomorrow” he holds his own much better.

He plays the charming public relations major, Cage, who knows how to talk and convince people to believe what he says. He is however a coward who doesn’t want to go to actually fight the war. This point of view is refreshing and nice as war movies go, because I am wildly guessing that a lot of people would feel the same as Cage faced with the prospect of actual combat. Watching him desperately try to explain his time-loop predicament, basically failing at what he is good at, is hilarious.

For every action-loving female out there, Emily Blunt is the new hard-core woman to adore. She is the elite-soldier of the revolution against the enemy. She is the hero. And she remains the ever professional soldier with one goal and one goal only. To defeat the enemy. Again refreshing.

Don’t think this movie will give you what you presume. It will give you way more than that.

 

Why is this movie worth your cinema ticket?

We were a double couple who went to watch “Edge of Tomorrow” at the Imperial Cinema in Copenhagen, a rather amazing cinema with great sound and screen. All of us loved it. Both boys and girls. Perfect flick for couples.

I normally would say that war movies have too much random/meaningless/storyless violence in them which renders it boring. This movie contains ALOT of war and violence, but given its untraditional story structure, there is always a purpose to the fighting. They are at least always trying to remember to shoot that enemy or to duck next time.

Out of all the movies I have watched so far this year, this is the movie I would go watch again and again in the cinema. It is perfect for the grandness and spectacle.

If you value the original stand-alone movies, the movies that are not part of a franchise or number seven in the line of remakes. If you want Hollywood and other film productions companies to continue looking for original work and taking a chance on producing it, THEN GO WATCH AND SUPPORT THIS MOVIE NOW! You will not regret it! This is one of the good ones. Don’t let X-Men make more money.

 

Is it worth the 3D experience?

We watched it in 3D out of necessity (it was the available screening at the time), and I didn’t particularly notice that it was a great addition. But it didn’t annoy me either.

So choose whatever is more comfortable to you.

Most of the movie has layers of visual effects and thus gets a pretty nice depth and look from the 3D, a look that is not strictly necessary, but which I am not hating either.

 

What mood should you be in?

It is a good, entertaining movie. Any kind of mood will do.

If you don’t want to think, let the visuals wash over you and the funny quips entertain you. If you want to use your brain, try to understand the logic behind the time-travel and everything else that is unearthed from the enemy. Some of it can be quite mind bending.

 

Further Watching

Obviously you will have to watch “Groundhog Day” (1993), a movie that is completely different from this one, but warrants a watch as a cult comedy film.

In this one, Bill Murray is a depressed and sarky journalist who gets caught in the same day (he doesn’t die, he falls asleep and wakes up the same day). “Groundhog Day” also avoids repetitiveness and boredom and is a true gem of cinema history.

For another sci-fi movie that embraces realism, try the South-African “District 9” (2009), which opted for a documentary, found footage/news footage style so seldom utilised to its fullest in mayor blockbusters with expensive visual effects. The funny thing is that the cheap style of filming, with its connotations of authenticity, makes you actually start believing the visual effects that normally function as spectacle.

 

Next week I promise I will stick to the plan and unravel another gem from the Netflix library. I have already made the blog post, I just had to postpone it to let you know about this ripper of a movie that seems to be dying at the box office in the aftermath of the X-men franchise.

If we don’t constantly want endless sequels and prequels, we need to go out and watch the quality movies out there. With “Edge of Tomorrow” you won’t go wrong!

 

Don’t miss out on the next New Release that is actually worth a cinema ticket, subscribe and get an email update whenever my next blog post is published 😀

High-tech equipment vs. WW2 aesthetics and convensions

High-tech equipment vs. WW2 aesthetics and convensions

 

Who am I?

I a freelance writer who likes to go to the movies. But I don’t like it when I waste my money on a bad film. I need to bitch about those movies. If I see a movie that is absolutely worth the trip to town, 130 NOK ticket (£13/$20), popcorn and drink expenditure, then I need to rave about it! And since I want to watch all the movies in the world, you can waste less of your time, check in with me and only watch the good ones.

In these New Release blog posts, I will pick a movie in the theatre in Norway (or while on vacation like this time) at random, and tell you if it was worth a cinema ticket. It might be good, but does it deserve your time and money, and does it benefit from a big screen and a huge crowd?

I actually buy tickets myself (unless I can get my boyfriend to be generous) and don’t have the luxury of being invited to pre-screenings, so my New Releases will be a bit late. Hopefully they will still be in a cinema near you 😉

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great. But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

“Edge of Tomorrow” was released in Scandinavia last Friday (6th of June), and given the big names on the poster, it should be in a local cinema anywhere.

Help this movie overcome the Malificent turkey (which I haven’t watched, but which I have heard is lacking in story structure) and the X-men mediocracy. The movie with the solid story has got to win. It already has 8.2 out of 10 on ImDb.com. That tells you something!

If you like what I write, please give me a shout in the comments or sign-up to read my next blog post which I promise will be a new Netflix gem!

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: