this afternoon, I watched Donnie Darko. The moment-to-moment experience of watching it was really enjoyable. I'm not sure if all of the pieces add up to a great movie, but it was definitely worth watching -- intense, hyper-real, well acted, and great looking. Being visually interesting and maintaining mood make up for minor flaws.
It's kind of sad to go through the deleted scenes with the director's commentary. On a couple, he'd say things like, "this really hurt, it was one of the most important scenes in the movie, but we had to cut it to keep it under two hours."
I think I'll try to do some reading as a gesture toward "serious student" credibility.