The Jacket (IMDB) will be this year’s Donnie Darko. That’s not an evaluation of either film’s quality, but a statement about their relative structural positions within the cinematic universe. Like everyone’s favorite creepy ’80s time traveler, Adrien Brody’s traumatized Gulf War vet will disappear quickly from theaters after failing to earn back the film’s budget.

Then, in about a year, an enterprising marketing executive will repackage The Jacket as an underappreciated art film, complete with mandatory commentary track by a well-known film critic. The college freshmen, whose older brothers wrote critical analyses of water imagery in Donnie Darko, will discuss the metaphoric resonances of snow in The Jacket.

Then, late in 2006 or early 2007 (my crystal ball is a little hazy), with the film’s cult status assured, a director’s cut of The Jacket will have a brief run in art house theaters before the DVD finds its way to the bookshelves of college freshmen and other assorted hipsters all around the country. Again, I’m not saying that The Jacket is a good or bad movie, just describing the future reception this film will undoubtedly receive.

PS: I’ll write a more serious review later. I do have a lot to say about this film, although I don’t particularly recommend it.


  1. Cassie Said,

    March 5, 2005 @ 6:46 pm

    Did you ever review Donnie Darko here? (Though I remember enjoying it when I saw it, I currently associate it mainly with that gorgeous Gary Jules cover. I’m toying idly with the idea of seeing the director’s cut.)

  2. Chuck Said,

    March 5, 2005 @ 6:53 pm

    I haven’t reviewed it here, but did write an entry about it somewhere on my old blog, although I have no idea when. The Gary Jules song is fantastic, one of the major strengths of the film. In fact, that’s the first scene in the film I ever saw (this was at a conference), and I immediately went home and rented the movie.

  3. Cassie Said,

    March 5, 2005 @ 9:54 pm

    I found the review at the URL I put in as “mine” for the purposes of this comment. I still believe you wrote it, no worries. 😉

    Have you seen the director’s cut? A friend of mine recommends it highly, but she’s been nigh obsessed with the movie for quite some time, so I think she might positively review the bunny costume if it became available for purchase.

  4. Chuck Said,

    March 5, 2005 @ 11:48 pm

    Thanks for tracking down the link. It’s odd, though, that I don’t remember having seen the film before attending ICFA, the conference I mention in the blog entry. I’m not sure what this says about my own memory.

    I haven’t seen the director’s cut yet. Every time I’ve been in my video store, it has been checked out. To be honest, I’ve never liked director Richard Kelly’s interpretation of the film, so I think I’ve been avoiding it because I’m worried that his expansion of the film will make it less interesting. If you see it, let me know what you think.

  5. Cassie Said,

    March 6, 2005 @ 1:21 am

    I’ll likely have a look at it at some point.

    I find it sort of funny that you’re asking for my opinion — I don’t watch all that many movies. My last DVD purchase was Chronicles of Riddick, not an amazing or important piece of cinema by any stretch of the imagination (though, IMO, quite entertaining, and hey, in the commentary you learn why that mullet guy’s hair was so very bad). I’ll be glad to provide though!

  6. Chuck Said,

    March 6, 2005 @ 10:59 am

    Cassie, I’m just curious to get the reactions of other film viewers. I always think conversations about films can be productive. Oh, and I did come across another blog entry on Donnie Darko that I wrote in earliest days of this blog.

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