If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Talk about your shameless double dipping, 20th Century Fox keeps releasing and re-releasing this film with nothing extra to offer except different packaging, you'd think it was an Evil Dead film. Sure enough, the new '10th Anniversary Edition' of the only great Richard Kelly film offers nothing new. Nothing. It's got both the theatrical and the (not as good) director's cut on the same blu-ray, which still has the same mediocre HD upgrade, a disc with the DVD version, a disc with the DVD version's bonus features, and a digital copy. It's a shame that they refuse to give this amazing little film a more fitting birthday present than this shabby treatment. For those (probably two of you) who haven't seen this, Jake Gyllenhaal plays the titular character, a messed up teenager in 1988 who suffers from reoccurring hallucinations of someone in a frightening rabbit suit who warns him, with precise timing, of when the world will end. During one of these sleepwalking, dream sessions, the engine from an airplane (that no one seems to be able to track down) crashes through the ceiling of Donnie's bedroom. He's saved by his own nighttime terrors, but the event is just the beginning of his discovery of "The Philosophy of Time Travel", as described by his bunny friend, and in a mysterious book that seems to outline the details of his hallucinations as being part of a cycle that will, depending on his own actions, lead to the end of everything. Or, I think that's what's going on, anyway. There's a lot of possible interpretations of the sci-fi part of this enormously popular cult movie, but even it goes way over your head, Kelly's film tells an entertaining coming-of-age in the 80's story (accompanied by an unforgettable score and soundtrack) with lots of unpredictable humor, great performances, and creepy as hell imagery. But I'd probably just buy the cheaper version.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Donnie Darko (10th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]
EASTBOUND & DOWN - SEASON 1 (Blu-Ray)....Guest Review by LEON
I remember seeing the Danny McBride/ Jody Hill low-budget debut film, 'The Foot Fist Way' and thinking "I love this character and there's a funny movie hidden in here, if only they could have a second chance to aggressively edit all of the crap away from it. Oh well." Little did I suspect that they would do something very similar by tweaking the concept - basing the main character on racist/homophobic/ loudmouth has-been baseball player John Rocker; writing to 30 minute blocks; and developing it as a TV series for HBO: "Eastbound & Down". It feels like Danny McBride was born to play Kenny Powers, a once famous baseball pitcher whose huge ego, use of performance enhancers and, just being a dumb redneck asshole, torpedoes his professional career. Kicked out of the MLB, Kenny Powers has to return home to Georgia and becomes a substitute physical education teacher who can't give up on the dream of returning to Major League Baseball and winning back his high school sweetheart (Katy Mixon). If you think there's going to be a triumph for him or a great humbling...you can forget that. Kenny's bottomless pool of denial won't allow him acknowledge how pathetic he is for even a second, which makes the show an example of schadenfreude at it's best. The guest appearances by Will Ferrell and Craig Robinson don't hurt. Neither does the occasional nudity.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Eastbound & Down: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray]
EASTBOUND & DOWN - SEASON 2 (Blu-Ray)...Guest Review by LEON
Season one ended with Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) riding off into the sunset to Major League glory... Wait, no it didn't. The deal was a bust and he slunk out of his hometown in disgrace. In season two of "Eastbound & Down" we find Kenny living down in one of the poorest parts of Mexico, riding a scooter, sporting cornrows (rather than his signature mullet) and making a living in cockfighting with Deep Roy (the Oompa Loompa from "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory") as new his sidekick. It's such a great opening for the second season that there's plenty of humor in just the premise if you're a fan of Kenny Powers..but even still, after the first episode it becomes painfully obvious that the show needs to get him a better supporting cast. Good thing that by the third episode he's tracked down by his old sidekick, Stevie (Steve Little), and the show kicks back into high gear: indeed, the funniest it's ever been. The stories this season follow Kenny's possible return to professional baseball and a quest to fnd his real father. There are also great guest appearances from Matthew McConaughey and...well, the casting of Kenny's dad is so beyond perfect that I don't dare spoil it.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Eastbound & Down: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray]