why back to the future is better than donnie darko

i finally rewatched donnie darko again the other night. and i still don't quite get it. i can't even begin to try and summarize the plot of the movie, so you'll just have to go see it yourself, although i suspect that most people who would read this kind of blog will have already seen it. anyways, i finally gave up on trying to figure out what was going on and googled it and this url does a pretty good job of explaining it. incidentally, it is part of a website that does a thorough analysis of other popular time travel movies, such as 12 monkeys, and the terminator. the analysis runs in terms of what i suppose is prevailing time travel theory and how well the movies depict the outcomes of time travel. it's actually kinda neat stuff in a super stephen hawking nerdy kind of way.

in any case, rewatching this movie got me to thinking about whether or not i like movies like this. on the one hand, i definitely enjoy being challenged by movies and i most definitely like movies that make me think after i'm done watching the movies. for example, i loved mulholland drive. while i didn't quite get it right after i saw it, after thinking about it for a couple of days, i think i figured out what was going on. and then upon watching it a second time, i completely understood it (or at least i think i do).

however, on the other hand, i'm not sure of the point of making a movie that is so obliquely and abstractly produced that i have to look up explanations of basic plot elements on the internet. i mean, that's like having footnotes for movies, and i certainly don't enjoy having to look at them when i'm reading. why on earth would i want to have to look them up when i'm watching a movie? at a fundamental level we watch movies to be entertained right? we certainly don't watch movies to learn about basic fundamentals of time travel.

in any case, donnie darko is an interesting case, since i actually kinda liked it, but after further review, i've decided that i don't like movies that give me tired-head. and donnie darko still really doesn't make any sense to me.

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