“Donnie Darko” (2001)
16 years ago, “Donnie Darko” failed at the box office. It made back its budget, sure, but director Richard Kelly practically had to beg for it to have even the most limited of theatrical releases.
Now, “Darko” is a cult phenomenon. But what made it that way?
Following the troubled teen of the same name, “Donnie Darko” twists and turns the time travel sub-genre on its head, presenting a compelling character study just as much as an entertaining sci-fi movie. Hailed as the film responsible for kick-starting Jake Gyllenhaal’s career, “Donnie Darko” is both a feast for the eyes and the heart.
“Edge of Tomorrow” (2014)
Based on the novel “All You Need is Kill,” this Tom Cruise-starring blockbuster was something of a sleeper hit; both audiences and critics alike praised the film for its unique spin on the typical “Groundhog Day” scenario. The revenue, though, was not as favorable. Sure, raking in $370 million is not anything to scoff at, but when a star-studded Hollywood epic is set back over $78 million domestically, executives are not pleased.
It even underwent a name change; “Live, Die, Repeat” is the more aptly-titled home video label you will find in most stores nowadays.
Despite studio scrambling in order to salvage the lost revenue, “Edge of Tomorrow” remains an endlessly rewatchable movie that every sci-fi aficionado should try.
“Peppermint Candy” (1999)
“I want to go back again!”
“Peppermint Candy” is told in reverse order, starting with a man’s suicide and ending with him at one of the happiest moments of his life. There are five main acts to the film, all of which relate to his home country’s (South Korea) political status during each year.
The Gwangju Massacre, censorship of basic human rights, the 1997 Asian financial crisis; no topic is left untouched, not a single stone unturned, no matter how obscure it may seem.
The lead performance by Kyung-gu Sol is excellent as well, nicely portraying the intricate details necessary for a role like this. The broken man we see at the beginning is drastically different than the one at the end of the film, with every facial movement fine-tuned for each period in his life.
Sadly, the film is not readily available on home video, but one can only hope a company recognizes the potential and lifts it up for a larger audience. “Peppermint Candy” certainly deserves it.