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Ain't It Cool News

Sunday, January 21, 2001


Hey folks, Harry here with another pair of reviews from that oil slick superspy, Castor777 (accept no substitutes), and the lucky pool of middle eastern gold has struck just that again, as he got to see DONNIE DARKO, which I'm dying to see. And, tells us that GREEN DRAGON isn't what folks were hoping it was. But it is amazing, he saw a Patrick Swayze double feature with no dancing or southwestern kungfu work!!! Is Swayze fully healed from that horse injury and on the path to full recovery? I certainly hope so. Here ya go...

Hey Harry. I was going to wait till later tonite to post some more reviews but I ended up seeing an extra one yesterday that I didn't plan on. So here's reviews for Green Dragon and Donnie Darko

Green Dragon (2)

Green Dragon takes place back in 1975 in the southern US when the first wave of Vietnamese refugees were housed in camps around out nation. We are given quite a few different stories from this point. First, we have the man in charge of this camp, Patrick Swayze, and the difficulties he must overcome to keep the Vietnamese calm and away from the news of the war. He is helped by the only Vietnamese man on the camp that can speak English, Don Duong, who was left to take care of two children when the mother had left them on the bus and promised she'll come back. The young boy begins to build a friendship with an American cook, Forrest Whitaker, who paints with the little boy and keeps him away from the troubling adults who have become fed up with the war. And at last we have the Vietnamise who are given sponsors to leave the camp but don't want to and want to stay with their people.

This could have been an excellent movie if each of the stories were all interesting. It's a shame too since the subplot between Forrest Whitaker and the boy is easily the best but yet it ends half way into the movie - and we are left with another 45 minutes to dwell through. That's not to say it turns into a bad movie from there on, but you begin to lose interest very quickly. At times you begin to wonder if the filmmakers didn't know where to end the film. The movie also begins to become very patriotic towards the end as if it were Jerry Bruckhiemer without the action - yes, it really does get that dull at parts. For those that are interested in seeing the film, go ahead and take a shot at it. I noticed quite a few people leaving the theatre really enjoying it but I had a different opinion. To each his own I guess.

Donnie Darko (5)

This is a movie that will be talked about for quite some time, and I believe it will eventually be released nationwide. Richard Kelly, the writer/director, was in the audience with us and was such a cool guy. One of those people that's happy to tell you everything you want to know about the film with no bullshit answers. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal (from October Sky), Jena Malone (past work unknown), Drew Barrymoore, and Patrick Swayze. Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) lives a life which most would consider crazy. He's depressed by his family, he sleepwalks and wakes up far from home, and has an imaginary friend named Frank. But Donnie isn't the only one who's crazy, everything in their world happens out of the ordinary. A jet engine falls from the sky, the school floods, the PTA of the school is more than strict, and a public announcer who believes life is completely broken down in love and fear. This is just the begining of what's to come; and to say anymore would be a sin.

How do I describe this movie - Back to the Future meets The Shining, meets American Beauty. Such a fuckin' cool idea and so intriging that you'd like to see everything that was cut from the film (according to the director, around 30 minutes cut that he can't wait to put on the DVD).

How intriging is this film? Well half way through the film the projector fucked up and the 4th reel was backwards and upside down which took over 45 minutes to fix. How many people left? None. You pretty much have no idea where the film will take you or how it will end. Jake Gyllenhaal's performance is so complex it's hard to describe - picture Tobey Maguire on acid and combine him with Wes Bentley's character from American Beauty and that's just a taste. This is a film that I've already bought tickets for later in the week just to see it again. For anyone interested in seeing this film please stay far away from reading into the plot - for I haven't even began to elaborate on anything after the first 20 minutes of the film. I still have at least 2 more films to see in the festival but I don't think anything will come on par with this (well ok ok, maybe Brother). I really hope some of you get to see this film and again, try not to read into it at all and expect to see one of the most distinctive films you'll see in awhile.

Alright. Hopefully I'll be back soon with reviews to Chopper and Brother.