Ghost (1990)

 Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Director: Jerry Zucker
Writer: Bruce Joel Rubin
Staring: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore
Rating: ★★★★
Ghost is a film that shows love can even transcend death. It mixes the two genres of romance and thriller together effectively to create a heart warming story that unfolds before your eyes. It has a outstanding acting, a magical soundtrack all completed by a great storyline.
Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) is a banker who has just recently moved in to a new apartment in New York with his girlfriend Molly Jenson (Demi Moore). After a date to the theatre together they walk back home through a dark alley, a robber jumps out and demands Sam’s wallet at gun point. Refusing to give in they get into a scuffle and Sam gets shot and dies however his spirit stays on earth. He realises his death was no accident or coincidence and that Molly is in danger, through the use of psychic Oda-Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg) Sam has to reveal his death true meaning and protect his love, Molly.
The on-screen romance at the start of the film between Sam and Molly shows such a connection from the way they touch and look at each other. It sets up one of the most famous scenes in film history and one of the best romances. The film focuses on how their love is eternal and can even transcend death. Whilst the characters of Sam and Molly provide a eye watering romance, Oda Mae Brown provides eye watering comedy. Whoopi Goldberg plays a hustler con artist who poses as a medium who just happens to discover her true powers when Sam arrives. She’s from the “ghetto” and is tough cookie, but she changes as she helps Sam protect Molly and uncover his murderer. Ghost also provides thrills and tense scenes that keep you entertained.
For me the acting in Ghost is faultless, the romance between Sam and Molly is so real, Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore were very convincing and made it believable, for me making it one of the best film love stories. This was completed and entwined with magical score and soundtrack including “unchained melody” and the theme song Ghost written by Maurice Jarre. Ghost is a endless classic and one you can watch over and over again, it has everything to entertain you with comedy, romance and thrills all embedded into an amazing unique storyline.

Donnie Darko

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi

Director: Richard Kelly

Writer: Richard Kelly

Staring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonell, Holmes Osbourne

Rating: ★★★★★

Those who have said bad things about this film have just not understood it. Donnie Darko is that  film where you’ll find yourself watching it over and over looking for the explanation, on the way you will then discover just how good this film is and why it’s rated as one of the best films of all time. It has an amazing cast, a young Jake Gyllenhaal plays the character of Donnie, after he will star in award winning films such as Brokeback Mountain and The Day After Tomorrow. Future Batman star Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jake’s actual sister plays Donnie’s sister Elizabeth. We also get to see the well known Patrick Swayze and Drew Barrymore staring alongside the otherwise “young” cast.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Donnie Darko, a teenager who has “issues”, he suffers with hallucinations and gets visited by a demonic six foot rabbit named Frank who manipulates Donnie to commit acts of crime. At the dinner table his sister Elizabeth (Maggie Gyllenhaal) tells his parents (Mary McDonell, Holmes Osbourne) that he hasn’t been taking his medication. However later that night due to these visions Donnie escapes death as a 747 Jet engine crashes and destroys his bedroom whilst he’s on a midnight trip with Frank. The mystery grows as Frank tells him that the world is going to end in “28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds” and that jet engine is unknown by the FBI creating the question of where exactly did it come from? All that is known is that Donnie’s escape from death and Franks appearance are two supernatural events that have crossed and are somehow linked.

Donnie attends the local private high school where he meets Gretchen (Jena Malone), a new student who has troubles of her own. They form a relationship and Donnie gets attached, however Gretchen although curious of Donnie’s behaviour is unaware of his visions and his recently committed crimes. Donnie also forms a bond with his English teacher (Drew Barrymore), they share a similarity in which they both have had trouble with the old gym teacher, she plays an important role in the film as she provides an important clue for Donnie. Another key character is “Grandma Death” or Roberta Sparrow, Donnie and his dad nearly run her down a few days after the jet engine crash and she whispers something into his ear. Later on in the film his professor gives him a book that was written by Grandma Death and that proposes the idea of time travel to Donnie, and after reading her book Donnie believes he has all the answers. The rest of the film then fuels on Donnie putting these clues and answers together before he 28 days left, quickly runs out.

This film provides everything from comedy moments to suspense, thrills and gasps. The soundtrack deserves credit and it is complementary throughout as the score is parallel to the scenes. The acting is at a high standard, Jake Gyllenhaal adapts to role of Donnie amazingly well and creates a real attachment between himself and the audience. For Richard Kelly’s first film it is definitely one to remember and one not to miss out on, Donnie Darko will surely be known for many years to come.