Tag Archives: Donnie Darko

Random Rabbit Returns!

Hey, my neighborhood’s home-crashing hare is back!  I call him Random Rabbit because he has no burrow — he just randomly selects backyards to occupy.  He was my guest for a while, but then he ambled across the street and inhabited another backyard.  (I think he was annoyed by my picture-taking.)  I think he just crashes random residences like a big, weird, puffy white houseguest.  (Think Kato Kaelin.)

Roanoke’s ecosystem puzzles me.  This is a slow, truly torpid prey animal who seems to have little healthy apprehension about other animals.  He’s doing just fine, though.  A nearby pit bull usually just gives him a wary stare … maybe dogs and cats are afraid of him because he’s so huge?  This picture doesn’t do him justice — he’s the biggest rabbit I’ve ever seen.  He’s probably about the size of General Woundwort from “Watership Down.”

[Update, 6/5/17:] Okay now all my friends are telling me he is very likely an abandoned pet.  So I might start feeding him.  My pals are recommending “dandelions, lemon balm, and carrot tops.”

I myself am just relieved that other people can see him.  I was harboring a pet hypothesis that he was my equivalent of “Frank” from “Donnie Darko.”  (He’s almost as big.)



Did NBC’s “Hannibal” reference Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” series?!









This could be overeager nerd eisigesis, but something jumped out at me immediately in the second episode of this summer’s “Hannibal.”

When Will Graham greets Abigail Hobbes at the beginning, he wonders about “some other world.”

The doomed young Abigail responds:  “I’m having a hard enough time dealing with this world.  I hope some of the other worlds are easier.”

That’s “worlds,” plural — not “another world” or “the next world.”  It sounds a hell of a lot like the doomed Jake Chambers’ famous line towards the end of “The Gunslinger,” before he falls to his fate:  “Go then.  There are other worlds than these.”

Graham goes on the discuss string theory: “Everything that can happen, happens.”  This dovetails perfectly with the idea of the nearly infinite parallel universes that comprise different levels of “The Tower.”

Then other story parallels occurred to me:

1)  Both Abigail and Jake are children of surrogate fathers who are on a crusade (Graham’s pursuit of Hannibal Lecter, the Gunslinger’s quest for The Tower).

2)  Both are specialized, cold-blooded killers by training (Abigail’s bizarre tutelage by her serial killer biological father, Jake’s training by the Gunslinger).

3)  Both are willingly sacrificed by their surrogate fathers.  (NBC’s show makes it clear that Hannibal is also a father figure to Abigail.)

4)  Both characters were sacrificed by the show’s/book’s title character.

5)  The memories of both haunt the stories’ protagonists as a recurring motif.  Both appear to drive the heroes insane.

6)  Both characters are ostensibly dead at some point, and then are quasi-resurrected by a surprise plot device.  (Abigail has been secreted away by Hannibal; Jake is returned from a parallel universe to which he was consigned.)

7)  The loss of both characters are tied to themes of forgiveness.  (Jake forgives the Gunslinger for letting him fall; Graham explicitly forgives Hannibal for Abigail’s loss as part of the show’s overarching theme.)

It would be fun and perfectly viable to imagine that the show’s events transpire on a “level” of The Tower.  The differing continuities of the original books and feature films could even comprise other levels.  King makes it clear that “twinners” are character analogs living in different universes.

But I am probably just imagining things.  I also thought that Hannibal’s reference to his “person suit” in this season’s first episode was a reference to “Donnie Darko” (2001): “Why do you wear that silly man suit?”  And, in retrospect, that seems like a coincidence.

a80a802b2baea0ead4b2b8ce1e020d82          The_Gunslinger

Dang it, people are talking about “Watership Down” and now I want to go watch it again.


“Come back you fools!!  DOGS AREN’T DANGEROUS!!”

And it’s past midnight!!

I remember the film adaptation’s voiceover saying near the end that “General Woundwort’s body was never found.”  I’m not scared.  I have a certain rapport with the truly most terrifying fictional “rabbit” of all time, Donnie Darko’s “Frank.”  (He appears in my mirror from time to time.)  That tall prognosticating hare would PWN Woundwort and his entire Owsla.


Pictured:  BROMANCE.


Avengers Assemble … Again!!! (SPOILERS!)

[WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR “THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.”]  Fun, fun, fun!  Earth’s Mightiest Heroes roar back onto the screen with nearly all of the action, humor and spectacle of the wonderful original — I would give “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015) a 9 out of 10.

It’s got everything that you could ask for in a superhero movie, including another great villain in the form of James Spader’s “Ultron,” beautifully animated by CGI.  A surprise standout was Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch.  She’s a great young actress whose work I really liked in 2011’s terribly under-appreciated horror-thriller, “Silent House.”  She’s got perfect line delivery.  I’d love to see future Avengers films include her in the lineup, so that she can trade quips with Tony Stark.

There’s some great writing — the backstory for the twins was suitably dark, and was a perfect motive for a hatred of Stark.  The banter might not be as funny as the first film, but was still quite good.  And there’s some nice thematic continuity with Marvel’s planned “Civil War” storyline.

The movie falls short of perfection with the occasional misstep.  For example, the flashbacks/hallucinations that various characters suffer were clumsy, overdone, and sometimes befuddling.  Compare them with similar scenes in movies like “12 Monkeys” (1995) or “Donnie Darko” (2001), or well made television shows like “LOST.”  Captain America’s worst fear is some lame “The war is over” existential bullshit?  No.  Cap is supposed to be the personification of freedom and democracy — his worst nightmare would be a totalitarian state.  Or an undead Bucky.  Or better yet, being a man out of time, it would be the loss of his friends, his family and his true love.

A key conversation between two key characters at the end about mankind’s future is just a little too depressing for an Avengers movie.  Also a little sad?  The suggestion that the team’s lineup would change.  Our existing roster is terrific — the fan’s love ’em and I believe all the actors are under contract.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Postscript: this movie is interesting because it shows the same superhero starring in competing film franchises.  Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s “Quicksilver” is the very same Marvel Comics’ speedster we saw played (and scripted with much more fun) last year by Evan Peters in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”  (There, he’s simply referred to as “a guy” or “Maximoff,” for copyright considerations, I guess.)