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My boyfriend loves this film, so it's down to him that I ended up watching it. I wasn't really sure what to expect from the title as it doesn't seem to give much away, though looking it up it would seem the title refers to a principle in chaos theory which states that small differences in any dynamic system can over time lead to large unforeseen circumstances.
The butterfly effect can be found on Amazon for just £2.99 with free super saver delivery! This is a fantastic price in my opinion and one I'd be extremely pleased to pay.
HMV also sell this DVD for £2.99.
It's fairly easy to find for sale in other places at varying prices with a quick google shopping search.
The film is set in 2002 and was first released on DVD in 2004. It comes under the genre of Sci fi (or sometimes places also list it is fantasy or thriller).
The film is R rated because of it's violence, sexual content, language and drug use. This means the film is only intended for those over 18 years of age.
The main character; Evan is played by Ashton Kutcher (who I happen to think is rather good looking, this may have enhanced the film slightly for me haha!) who blacks out frequently in times of stress. He discovers that he can travel back to points in his journal by reading the journal entries and change what happens at that point in time. This then has the knock on effect of changing the future when he comes back to it.
The story heavily revolves around Evan's childhood sweetheart Kayleigh (played by Amy Smart) and also features Kayleigh's brother Tommy (William Lee Scott) and their friend Lenny (Elden Henson). The character's childhood's feature many awful events, including agressive siblings, abusive parents and terrible childhood pranks and Evan tries to go back and change the awful things that happened in the past. This however does not always make the future a better place for Evan and those around him.
Evan's ability to travel back to points in the past is inherited from his father and we see Evan ultimately end up in a mental institution where his father had previously been.
I found the story line very interesting and often things that happened were unexpected. The actors in my opinion all worked well together and were good at their roles, in particular I found Amy Smart to be great.
Our DVD has an ending where Evan manages to end up never being born in the first place. I won't ruin it for you to explain how it happens though! There are however two other endings to the film.
I have seen on TV an ending where Evan and Kayleigh never became friends and as adults they pass in the street and Evan looks at her but then carries on walking.
There is apparently another ending which I haven't seen where Evan and Kayleigh don't become friends, pass in the street as adults and Evan asks Kayleigh out for coffee.
All of the endings and how they come about are interesting to watch. The ending on our DVD is quite sad compared to the others though!
There is a second and third film which I would really not recommend watching, I didn't enjoy them nearly as much as the original. The sequels have revived mixed ratings and involve new characters instead of the ones in the original film.
I very much enjoyed this film and I can see why my boyfriend wanted us to watch it. This film hasn't managed to knock my favorite from it's top spot (Pirates of the Caribbean by the way!) but it was the best film I have watched in a while.
It was interesting to see what was different in Evan's life each time an event had been changed as it wasn't easy at all to predict how things would differ. I did find myself going "What on earth?!" at the TV a few times though because of how many truly awful things the kids in the film do, or have happen to them. I found this film made me think and it always left me wondering what was going to happen next rather than being predictable.
Overall, I would happily recommend this film to others
The Butterfly Effect is a film I had heard a lot about, I read online to find some terrible critic reviews and never really thought to watch it, but today when shopping I picked it up for a pound in a bargain bin and when I watched it today I was honestly surprised at how great this film really was!
Evan (Ashton Krutcher) lives in a neighbourhood with his friends childhood sweetheart Kayleigh (Amy Smart) and Lenny (Elden Henson) Evan suffers from psychological issues (Similar to that of his fathers) and with the bad childhood issues and traumas that happens to him, when he suffers any stress he blacks-out, Years later Evan is in College studying for a psychology degree and when a female friend asks to read the journals he discovers he can go back to the time he has written about. To try and fill in any blanks he visits Kayleigh to try and fill in some blanks, but sparking a bad reaction with her and bringing up her own bad memories it sparks her to go home and commit suicide, Evan now uses the journals to go back in time to change this and to bring Kayleigh back which has different consequences each time and changing the people around him...
The beginning is very important for the films development, this shows the parts of Evans childhood he is going to alter, It displays the importance of the relationship between him and Kayleigh, why Kayleigh and Evan have such a disturbed childhood, Evans father was missing too much for me, the person who passed on the gift/disease of time-travelling and is not present, but through his mothers words we can see he is a mirror and Evans mother knows this all to well.
The struggle begins when Evan changes one thing, his present becomes a whole different scenario, one action changes and can have a huge impact on everything else, with each flash he faces the problem of one of the people he cares about being hurt badly, while he is happy somebody else isn't, each flash means Evan has to try and fix everything around him, he wants to make the world around him perfect for him and the people he cares about and from going to prison, to being an amputee, he swaps and changes until the moment he realizes nothing more can be done...
Four different alternative endings to this film so it is hard to comment, my brother pointed out that he had seen a different ending making me have a look on youtube, one ending is ridiculous, one is a happy ending and two are very heartfelt and sad.. so it really does depend, I guess the four different endings could signify that you can pick and choose your own? maybe.
I thought the idea of this film was really unique and special and I hadn't really seen anything similar!
For a bargain bin film that had been so harshly criticized, I had expected something terrible, but I found a film that I really enjoyed and did make me think, each situation makes you see a different side to the puzzle, from blackouts and missing pieces you kind of fit it all together, It is a film that you do have to keep an eye on or you will feel a bit lost, Its a film that I really did enjoy and will watch again, It's a film that keeps you guessing and thinking and feeling the pain for Evan. Overall a four out of five as at some parts it did drag!
RELEASED: 2004, Cert.15
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 112 mins
DIRECTORS/SCREENPLAY: Eric Bress & J Mackye Gruber
PRODUCERS: Chris Bender, J C Spink, Anthony Rhulen & A J Dix
MUSIC: Michael Suby
Logan Lerman as Evan (at age 7)
John Patrick Amedori as Evan (at age 13)
Ashton Kutcher as Evan (adult)
Sarah Widdows as Kayleigh (at age 7)
Irene Gorovaia as Kayleigh (at age 13)
Amy Smart as Kayleigh (adult)
Jake Kesse as Lenny (at age 7)
Kevin G Schmidt as Lenny (at age 13)
Elden Henson as Lenny (adult)
Cameron Bright as Tommy (at age 7)
Jesse James as Tommy (at age 13)
William Lee Scott as Tommy (adult)_
Melora Walters as Andrea, Evan's Mother
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Whilst he is growing up, Evan has memory blanks and psychological blackouts, where he appears to lose chunks of time.
As Evan grows older, the memory blocks become less frequent, but he finds that if he concentrates hard enough on his diaries which he wrote during his childhood, he can have intense flashbacks to various unpleasant incidents, these flashbacks occurring as total recall of details which had previously been outside of his conscious memory. Not only is Evan able to remember what he'd previously forgotten.....he also finds that if he concentrates hard enough, he can sort of hurl himself backwards in time inside of his mind and change various outcomes of various events.
However, these skills Evan possesses and his use of them come with a huge emotional price tag!
That loosely sets the scene...so watch the film for yourself to find out more.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when deciding to watch The Butterfly Effect, but such is a syndrome I find interesting and I hoped that the film would turn out to be built around the issue of cause and effect. I wasn't in the slightest bit disappointed, but the film's content was quite different to what I'd anticipated.
The acting by each member of the main cast is very good, particularly that of Ashton Kutcher as the adult Evan, and Amy Smart as the adult Kayleigh. Initially I was a bit irritated with Ashton Kutcher's portrayal of Evan, simply because he was persistently clearing his throat which I find highly annoying, but as the film wore on, he seemed to stop doing it. I also loved the way Amy Smart effectively managed to accurately convey the changes which happened in Kayleigh's formative years, turning her into a different sort of person in adulthood.
I can't say that I was acutely aware of the musical score, although I was conscious of something going on in the background that didn't quite penetrate my brain. Consequently, chances are high that the music blended in so well with what was happening on screen, that the two smoothly harmonised into one entity.
This is a film whereby via the flashbacks from his childhood that Evan has, certain things come to light as having happened differently to what people believed at the time. I liked that touch in the storyline, as I'm a sucker for situations that aren't as they initially seem.
Although I enjoyed the whole of The Butterfly Effect, I preferred the earlier part of the film before Evan grew up and went to college. From about the midway point onwards, the storyline for me did come across as a bit too sensationalist in parts, but I consider that to be a minor flaw, because the sensationalism is put across very well. In the normal way, this is the sort of film that I'd find confusing and have to concentrate on very hard, but in this case I was fine with it as Evan's flashbacks linked up well with the 'now' part of his life and it was thus easy for me to distinguish past from present.
I found the whole concept of The Butterfly Effect interesting from the outset, even if it did go a little over the top at times as the film progressed. Quite a few special effects are used, but they didn't break any new technological ground and I honestly feel as though the film could have done without them, replacing them with something more invisible, yet strongly implied.
It is true to say that I was glued to the screen from start to finish, and it is a film I'd consider watching again at some point in the future, even though I now know the outcome. However, there is something I personally believe should be altered, and that is the age certificate issued to this film. There are topics dealt with and a couple of scenes that I believe would be better limited to an audience of over-18, so bearing such in mind, maybe parents would want to vet The Butterfly Effect before granting their under-18s permission to watch.
All in all and in summary, The Butterfly Effect is a very entertaining film which in parts is quite powerful and thought-provoking, but some people who have their feet immovably wedged on terra-firma might find some of the scenes crazily over the top, as what does happen, truly wouldn't in real life. It isn't fantasy in the sense of extra-terrestrials, ghosts, magical faraway lands, elves, goblins, witches etc....it is more the concept of being able to re-write the past and how that is portrayed in the film.
I recommend The Butterfly Effect, because whatever it is or isn't, it's certainly very well-acted, highly entertaining and a good, worthwhile almost two hours of absorbing, if not a little disturbing at times, entertainment.
At the time of writing, The Butterfly Effect can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-
New: from 98p to £7.85
Used: from 1p to £9.75
Collectible: One copy currently available (appears to be used) @ 89p
A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT is a drama starring Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart. It is rated '15', and has a runtime of approximately 113 minutes.
The Butterfly Effect is a movie about a man who, as a child, has black outs. Although he doesn't physically black out, his life continues and he cannot remember what happened in the time that he was 'away'. However, as time goes on and he grows older, suffering less and less black outs, some of the memories that he had repressed with his black outs began to come back to him. Before long, he begins to realise all the memories he had repressed were terrible, dangerous memories, and he begins to find a supernatural way to go back and change elements, using journals that he was advised to keep from such a young age as seven, in a desperate attempt to make things better for him and the people around him, in the same way that his father could before. At what cost, however, does this come?
Characters and Acting
All of the characters in The Butterfly Effect are carefully planned out and brilliantly designed characters. They each have a distinct personality, and the acting of the (frequently used) child actors is so much better than I would have expected. The actors and actresses all did excellent jobs changing their personality, attitude and appearance to suit what was happening at the time, no matter what had been changed in the past.
The characters are not flat or two dimensional: they are very deep and thought out characters. The way that the characters were created and shown in this movie was nothing short of astonishing, especially since a lot of movies have characters that do not portray emotion of any kind, resulting in a rather bland film.
The special effects never make a movie, but they certainly help. The Butterfly Effect is not a Hollywood blockbuster. However, you wouldn't tell. It has a relatively small budget, but again, you wouldn't tell from watching it. The visual effects are actually quite simple to replicate, even from home. However, that doesn't mean that the visual effects are not well done, because they most certainly are.
Everything in this movie appears realistic, and well done. There's no reason to doubt that a lot of care had gone into the special effects, even when the budget was running low.
Compared to similar movies?
Honestly, I think that this was one of my favourite films, no, scratch that, is one of my favourite films ever made. It has a truly engaging storyline that absolutely no movie that I have seen has been able to mirror. Although it is a very dark, grim and depressing movie, it is one that is truly unforgettable. It is also one that I'd highly recommend. One that is totally incomparable to other movies of the type. I can't believe that anyone into dark thrillers or dramas wouldn't like this, so what are you waiting for, go watch it. Do it now.
This movie has a song by Staind. The song is 'It's Been A While', and it is possibly the best song to fit the movie that they could have possibly used. It is also a beautiful song. Although the rest of the soundtrack isn't really that memorable, this was the movie that got me into one of my favourite bands of all time. While soundtrack 'quality' is entirely dependent on taste, and while I loved the soundtrack, that's not to say that you will too. It's all a matter of personal taste, but in my opinion the soundtrack matches up perfectly to the film.
Value for Money
I could watch it again, and again, and again. It is one of my favourite movies. The film is really that good. At least pay the tiny offering price that your local supermarket will likely ask, and watch this film based masterpiece. I guarantee if you like the movie type of dark drama, then you WILL love The Butterfly Effect.
The Butterfly Effect is far from a 'kid-friendly' movie however, and there are several things that you probably should know about the movie before showing it to your children.
The Butterfly Effect does have some themes that aren't great for kids such as
*Paedophilia - There is a scene where a man sets up two children, and encourages them to 'do the things adults do' while filming them. Nothing is seen, and sensitively approached. It is a very important plot point.
*Animal Abuse - There is a scene where a dog is burned inside a bag, this scene can be very upsetting.
*There are themes of murder - A parent and her baby are killed (off screen, inferred).
*Smoking - There are scenes of chain and drug smoking.
*Emotions - There are deeply emotional scenes in this movie, that may upset some.
*Rape - There is a suggestion of prison rape. The viewer doesn't see anything.
*Suicide - There is suicide reference, and an attempted suicide. The attempt is shown with detail. It is reinforced that suicide 'is not the way out'.
There are fist fights throughout.
There is no violence of considerable detail or impact throughout
About 50 uses of 'f*ck', several uses of 'sh*t'. Some religious exclamations that some may take offense to.
There are several sex scenes throughout the movie, none of them are in particular detail.
A woman steps out of the shower; she is seen completely naked for a second. There is nothing sexual about the scene.
While I disagree with the '15' rating that was given by the BBFC, as it is veering towards the '18' category, very little is actually shown on screen, and therefore it is very likely that the a fifteen year old should be mature enough to handle this.
This is possibly one of my favourite movies of the year, and to say that you don't like it would be so completely confusing for me. I'm sure that any fan of dark drama will revel in this movie. It is worth your money, it is worth your time. Go see it.
This movie had a budget of : $13,000,000
This movie is directed by: Eric Bress.
The 'Butterfly Effect' to which the title references is the saying that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing could ultimately change the future
I give The Butterfly Effect four of a possible five starts.
/Copied from my Ciao account of the same name.
This amazing thriller is one of the best films i have ever seen!!
this film tells the story of a young boy with a mental illness which causes him to black out and do things that he would not usually do, he is told to keep a jornal of what he does every day by his physcologist. as the years pass by he has more and more black outs which cause more problems than you could ever imagien. when he grows up he discovers that just by reading his jornals he can go back in time and change the events which in turn change the outcome and leave him in a completely different situation than before.
I dont actually own this dvd yet but i watched it at a friends house and ever since then i have been watching it at least once every two weeks on youtube, as i have not yet found a website which has it availabe. This dark mysterious movie masterpiece keeps you on the edge of your seat and your heart pounding.
It is rated an 18 but i personally dont see why, apart from some violence but i have seen some 15s that are more gory than this.
Saying that it isnt your type of thing is no excuse not to watch this film as i thought the same, i garuntee that no mater what type of film you usually watch you will love this film.
And for the girlies it is worth watching just for the gorgeous Ashton Kutcher :).
At the begining of the film it states that "something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon half way around the world". which in my opinion couldn't be more true as personal experiences have proved.
This film deffinitely gets you thinking and in turn changed the way I think about certain things.
The Butterfly effect is one of my all time favourite films it really makes you think what if?.
The Butterfly Effect is a film written by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber which was released in 2004 and stars Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart as the main charcters of focus for the story. The film running time is just under 2 hours so not to long.
The film is classed a psychological thriller and it is definately different from any other film I have seen before there was no way of guessing what was going to happen next which is one of the reasons I enjoy it I hate when you guess the ending within the first 20 minutes.
The Butterfly Effect "It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterlys wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world." - Chaos Theory. This is the opening part of the film the film follows this theory it shows that if one thing is changed in your life, one small thing then the result of that change can change the rest of your life dramatically.
The film follows Evan played by Ashton Kutcher who suffers from blackouts when he is under emotional stress. As a result of the black outs and memory loss Evan is advised when he is a child to keep journals of his life to help him to remember. For some reason Evan has left it until he is older before reading these diarys back. Anyway when he does the result is he revisits those times of trauma and finds he can actually change things, what happens then though is when he comes out of his past he is in a new situation and he has to adjust to where he would be if that one thing had been changed. It sounds complicated I know but it is really well done and you can follow it without to much confusion. His futures tend to revolve around Kayleigh (Amy Smart) her brother and one of their friends. I do not want to go into what the alternate futures hold because I fell it is more effective if you watch for yourself I do not want to spoil the plot for anyone.
This film does touch on some quite difficult subjects such as child abuse, drug use, prostitution and violence but it is these things which make the film what it is. It was for me a very powerful film which I found shocking in parts the first time I watched it. I works by going back and forward through Evans and the actors that play both the young and old version of each character are well matched to there role.
The dvd costs around £4.99 online and I think it is worth it. Is well written and is put across well and it does leave ou thinking what if I had changed that where would I be now.
Movie Length: 114 minutes
Director: Eric J. Bresse Mackye Gruber
Country: United States
Ashton Kutcher as Evan Treborn
Amy Smart as Kayleigh Miller
Melora Walters as Andrea Treborn
Elden Henson as Lenny Kagan
The story is about Evan Treborn. As a boy he had to endure blackout whenever a traumatic event happened. After the blackout he can't remember anything. His doctor advices him to keep a journal, so he can deal with these events. When he and his mother move to another city, the blackouts suddenly stop. Only years later when he's studying psychology at the university he stars to learn more about this blackouts, but suddenly they are back. One night when he's reading in his journal, he gets a flashback to one of the events where he can't remember anything of. But he soon realises it's not just a flashback, he's really back in time. This means he can change his past, but if that's really wise?
The performances in this movie are good. The main role of this film is played by Ashton Kutcher as Evan Treborn. I know him mostly from MTV Punked, but it is nice to see him in a different kind of role. Before the movie I was a little bit doubtful if he would be any good, but glad I saw the movie. Fortunately he proved that he indeed is a good actor. Because he goes back in time and changes the future, the other people in his life change personality, which means the actors has to change too. I thought they all did a pretty good job and you can really see the difference everytime.
There are some extras on DVD, including commentary from the directors and writers of the film. They give good information about the creation of the film and the problems they had. There is also an additional interviews with the actors and director. Another extra is more on the visual aspect of the film through an interview with the creators who tell how it is done. Another extra takes a look at the chaos theory in the form of a discussion. Furthermore, there are 10 deleted scenes that can be viewed with or without commentary.
I think Butterfly Effect was a good movie to watch. It is not the most amazing film I've seen, but it certainly intrigued me. It is an interesting idea being able to go back into time where you can change your whole life. I particularly liked about the film is the acting of Ashton Kutcher. He proves for him that he's a good actor. I saw him still more from the comedy film. The extras on the DVD are here are certainly worth a look, especially if you want to know more about how the film.
This film follows the life of the main character Evan Treborn (Adult character played by Ashton Kutcher) As a child Evan suffered from quite a few random memory blackouts which the doctors have no explanation for. The doctors tell him to keep a diary of everything that he does, from childhood and well into hid adulthood including when we meet him at college.
At college he is still very fascinated by the whole memory loss that he had as a child and is now doing psychology and researching into the whole idea behind it. But now at 20 he brings a girl back to his room and she finds his collection of diaries under his bed and asks him to read her some.
In doing this he realises that he can return to the spots in his life in which he had memory loss blackouts by reading his diaries, can he improve his and his friends lives or will he just make them worse? I love the quote at the beginning of the movie which is taken from the chaos theory
"If a butterfly flaps its wings on one side of the world, the ripple effect could cause a tempest on the other"
It just explains the whole idea behind the movie and what to expect. I was really impressed by Ashton Kutcher in this film, I have seen many other films with him in and they were terrible, I think he was just placed in them as a pretty boy and that is how the marketed the movie, but in this movie he proves that he can act.
I like the way that there are three different actors for the characters Evan, Tommy, Lenny and Kayleigh. They have worked really hard on matching the children with the adult characters, especially with Evan.
I really enjoyed the adult character of Kayleigh, With Evan going back to the past and changing it if only very slightly the character of Kayleigh changed dramatically every time. I felt that her acting was very believable for each of these different characters and I was really impressed.
Overall I really enjoyed this movie and I felt that it had a very original storyline and it really was the kind of film that made an impact on the viewer. It made an impact on me, and I know that it has also on my friends that have watched the movie as well.
Released in 2004, The Butterfly Effect was written and directed by Eric Bress and F Mackye Gruber. It tells the story of Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher), a child who suffers memory loss and blackouts where upon wakening he is deeply confused. In order to overcome his confusion he keeps a journal of everything that happens. As he gets older the attacks become less frequent but a trip down memory lane brings him right back to his childhood and he starts living the memories he's repressed for years. As Evan tries to change the past, his future starts to spiral out of control.
The Butterfly Effect is explained at the beginning of the film as a chaos theory which states that "If a butterfly flaps its wings on one side of the world, the ripple effect could cause a tempest on the other". Although the film explores this theory it isn't really about it; I think it is more about human psychology and how the mind chooses to repress certain events and memories that are painful.
It is definitely an interesting story; I found it a little confusing at times as the film tends to flick back and forth but now I've seen it a few times it makes more sense. I think repeated viewings actually add to the experience because there are little bits of information given that you don't pick up on the first or second time that make it even better.
I do think there are some holes in the plot though, I found some of the events a bit far fetched and I didn't think the ending was believable because of what happened prior. The film does have a few clichés as well but overall I think it is one of those films you need to accept and enjoy without too much critique.
I did think the first half hour was a little slow but necessary as the characters backgrounds are all plotted out, but once it gets going I totally loose track of time and become engrossed in the story.
I like the music that accompanies the picture, adding romance and tension at all the right moments and the sound is fantastic especially when a letter bomb goes off with tragic consequences. There isn't really any special effects to mention but the film manages to use colours and light to enhance the scenes and it also uses different visuals to portray emotions and mind states.
I didn't find the film too predictable and I think it looked at some important issues such as pedophilia, mental illness, bullying and suicide. Although these issues are looked at the film never appears to be telling you what to think and it doesn't either sensationalise or play down the difficulties faced by the people involved.
There are some disturbing issues dealt with in this film, with scenes of child abuse, drug addiction and of a dog being killed. It has a 15 certificate rating and it isn't one of those films that just has the odd swear word so it is definitely not suitable for anyone younger. This makes the film somewhat depressing and although good to watch it isn't something you should put on if you're in need of cheering up.
I liked the way the film was shot and although the camera goes a bit too shaky when Evan is starting to go back in time, it makes it easier as the viewer can see when the timeline is changing.
I'm not a particular fan of Ashton Kutcher and films such as Dude Where's my car don't float my boat but I felt he did do this role justice, bringing a likable quality to his character and he managed to add a bit of nice humor to what at times was quite a depressing storyline.
The standout performance for me was by Amy Smart who played Evan's girlfriend Kayleigh. She had lots of difficult scenes to overcome and her role consisted of many different emotions and I felt she managed to portray each of them differently, making me empathise with her no matter which life her character was leading.
Flashbacks to Evans childhood were done at 7 and 13 years old. The actors who portrayed the characters all did a great job to bring some tough emotions onto the screen. In the scenes where the kids are seven there's a particularly important role played by Eric Stoltz who makes his character appropriately sinister and threatening.
Overall I really like this movie, it is bewildering at times but that only makes it more interesting and it gets better the more times you see it. There are plot holes and some of the sequences don't quite ring true but I think this keeps you guessing to the end and it is entertaining from start to finish.
The directors' cut is currently available on Amazon for £3.53 which is longer than the original and has alternate endings but I haven't seen this so cannot comment. The film can also be bought in a box set with the sequel for £4.99.
"It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world." - Chaos Theory
These were the opening lines of The Butterfly Effect which was released in 2004 and stars Ashton Kutcher as Evan Treborn and Amy Smart as Kayleigh Miller.
From the age of 7 Evan has had random blackouts when significant events occur in his life, so on medical advice he is advised to keep diaries of everything that he can remember which he continues to do into adulthood. As an adult aged 20 he finds that by reading back over past events in his diaries he can will those past events to change with varying levels of success and failure. He keeps trying to change events so that it works out well for everyone he cares about but why is it that it always goes pear-shaped for 1 or more people (including himself)? How can he get it right? Or will he ever get it right?
I saw this film on terrestrial TV some time back and liked it so much I decided to buy the DVD, not just the regular DVD but the "Director's Cut" version of it as I found the whole concept of the film really intriguing and wanted to know more about what was behind it all. Firstly I have to say I was VERY confused when I got to the end of the film as I couldn't recall the film ending this way and several scenes during the film seemed unfamiliar which was strange as I had watched the film with my full attention originally (I put it down to it having been about 3 years between watching the film for the first time and now). I then remembered I had just watched the "Director's Cut" - in which the ending is quite different from that of the theatrical version. When I recovered from taking in this new ending, I set about watching the DVD extras which I'll discuss further down.
Logan Lerman plays young Evan, he was 10 years old when this was filmed playing the role of a 7 year old and was very sweet and endearing as the innocent young Evan we see in the initial parts of the film and fabulously convincing in later flashbacks as a totally different character, almost possessed, he was fabulous I felt. We see young Evan at the start of the film being taken to school by his mother Andrea, very ably played by Melora Walters, who is running late for work. Evan's teacher stops Andrea from driving away asking her to come inside and see something and shows her a very violent drawing that Evan has drawn of him standing over 2 dead bodies with a knife dripping with blood, something which he seems to have no recollection of even having drawn. Evan is then taken to the Sunnyvale Institution for some sort of brain scan and we learn slowly during these early scenes that his father Jason was institutionalised some years ago with an illness which was never fully diagnosed but initially having had similar symptoms to those Evan experiences. Evan is desperate to meet his father and eventually his mother relents and Evan has a rather traumatic meeting with his dad (during which he has another blackout). We also see Evan going to his friends' house aged 7, the home of Tommy and Kayleigh Miller where their pig of father wants to shoot a home movie "Robin Hood". Evan has a blackout here and you start to realise that his blackouts happen when something sinister or traumatic happens in his life. Traumatic events take place throughout his life but mostly the film focused on Evan at the age of 7, then at age 13, then at age 20.
The character is played by 3 different actors at varying times of Evan's life; Logan Lerman, John Patrick Amedori and Ashton Kutcher respectively. It was amusing to see that the younger actors that were cast had a very similar appearance to Kutcher (similar skin tone and hair colour and facial shape too) which made it seem more realistic. I found both the young actors to be superb in their roles and was rather shocked to see the almost satanic transformation of the 7 year old character in one of the flashbacks - it really was creepy to hear language like that from a character that was supposed to be 7 years old.
I'd never seen Kutcher in a film before this (and not since as far as I know) and I found him quite impressive. Considering all I'd ever heard about him before seeing the film was that he was considered a "pretty boy" and married to Demi Moore; I wasn't expecting much from the film. But I'd definitely say this film is up there in my all time favourites list now. Kutcher had a lot to do with that and my opinion of him changed totally watching him in The Butterfly Effect!
Kayleigh Miller is played by Sarah Widdows, Irene Gorovaia and Amy Smart respectively. I think Amy Smart had the hardest job with her job as an adult to play out such a diverse range of characters in just one film. This is also someone (like Kutcher) that I'd never seen in a film before but although she didn't have as much on screen time as Kutcher I found her to be very credible in all the different "faces" of Kayleigh that she portrayed.
The character of Tommy throughout the childhood scenes is very disturbed. From watching what his sister went through with their even more disturbed father, he becomes over-protective of his sister but not in a good way and this over-protectiveness turns into a terrifying violent streak. Adult Tommy is played by William Lee Scott but it's Tommy aged 13 (played by Jesse James) who is fantastically scary as the horrid teenager with a penchant for setting pets alight!
Although the character of Lenny is present in all stages of childhood and adolescence and adulthood in each of the flashbacks and timeline change scenarios, I personally didn't think his role was as major as Tommy's and definitely not as noteworthy as Evan and Kayleigh, although Elden Hensen did a stellar job of portraying Lenny as an adult even down to gaining 25lbs for part of the film (although it's explained in the DVD extras that the scenes of him being larger were filmed later than when they actually appear in the film).
I have to mention the cinematography and editing of the film. It was very cleverly done - the "happy" scenes are shot in bright colours and almost dream-like with green looking REALLY green and lots of pink and orange and "happy" colours with the darker scenes shot in a morbid fashion (with dark lighting and pale blues and greys) in case you have any doubt that these are dark parts of the film; they seem nightmare-like and you will them to end.
The soundtrack for the film was nothing that particularly stuck in my mind nor was it what I would consider overly intrusive as I have found in other films which go for maximum impact. Where sound effects are used though they are pretty intense and do make you flinch. The sound effects with the special visual effects used throughout the film do have a good overall impact which considering this film was made on a fairly low budget is pretty amazing.
I really did appreciate how much thought went into making this a decent story to follow and how the bits you don't understand quite early on in the film are put there deliberately to build the suspense. The holes are filled and start to make sense as the film progresses and I found myself grinning and thinking "Ah so that's what THAT was all about!" and "That SO makes sense now!"
I won't give you an idea of the ending but both the original theatrical ending and the director's cut ending left me feeling quite hollow inside and just a little bit traumatised. Strange then that I have chosen to put this film in my list of favourites where it's been since the first time I saw it.
Considering the character of Evan was so close to Kayleigh from at least the age of 7 to 13 when his mother Andrea moves them to a different area for a better life for Evan; it was very strange that he's seen to grow up and attend college as a Psych major aged 20 doing very well academically. He's never been back to see Kayleigh - which doesn't explain his writing a note just as he drives off with his mother to move away saying "I'll come back for you". I found that hard to swallow especially as she had been a large part of his life for quite a while and been present when most of the blackouts had taken place. Even though it's a niggle; the story obviously wouldn't have been able to pan out the way it did if this plot flaw wasn't there so I won't hold it against the writers too much!
This is not an easy film to watch nor is it something that will make you feel happy at the end. Some scenes have *really* bad language and were quite vulgar and there were some that were very hard to watch as there was paedophilia/incest inferred (not shown, I'll add) and violence against children (by other children). None of this was gratuitous though so it was slightly easier to stomach.
THE HONOURABLE MENTION
I have to mention Melora Walters who plays Evan's long-suffering mother. Poor woman! Her husband went insane (or so they thought?) over their time together and was institutionalised and then from the age of 7, she's in and out of institutions getting her son checked out for showing signs of the same insanity that had her husband put away. She braves through it though and she's literally a chameleon in this film with all the character changes/looks (e.g. brunette, blonde, chain-smoking nervous wreck) she goes through but she is consistent in her love for her son.
THE DVD EXTRAS
In the Director's Cut of The Butterfly Effect there are quite a few extras included within the "Special Features" section as well as the usual scene index, audio setup and subtitle options (English only).
Special Features available:
* Audio Commentary
* Text Commentary
* The Creative Process
* Behind the Visual Effects
* Chaos Theory
* Time Travel
* Deleted Scenes
I'm not going to discuss all of the extras in detail or there would be no point in you watching them later if you find it appealing.
The audio commentary is by Writers/Directors Eric Bress & J Mackye Gruber - they introduce themselves and tell you they're glad you're watching this version and chuckle saying "Yes. Thank God for DVDs." They also explain how it was a challenge to get the movie made and there were certain thing that the studio didn't want released in the theatrical version which they were able to release in this version (which took 6 years to make).
I did start to find the commentary somewhat annoying after a while as it seemed Bress & Gruber were just patting themselves on the back for what a fabulous job they did with the film and the characters. This niggled a bit; especially as I much preferred the ending in the theatrical release! It was also amusing to see 2 other alternate endings included in the extras and hear the reasons for neither of them having been used.
I found it interesting to hear about the difficulties during shooting such as having to shoot some scenes in one go (and actually how well the young actors managed this for the most part) and then others without the young actors available to film when it was evening due to union rules about children not being permitted to work in the evening, etc. Not something you really think about when watching a film; but there was one particular scene where one of the director's read the part of one of the younger actors and got to shout abuse at Eric Stolz (who played the loathsome Mr Miller) which he really seemed to enjoy being able to get away with.
In the Time Travel section the concept of time travel is discussed - how we've all at one time or another thought something along the lines of "If only I had been there 5 minutes earlier/later, I would have not been involved in that car accident/got that speeding fine/ticket", etc. Experts discuss how it's human nature to want to go back in time and want to change something in our past, making a change to something so things would turn out for the better - basically this is what The Butterfly Effect's story is about - someone who actually has the ability to go back in time and change things in his time line, except it always has a knock on effect on others around and not in a positive manner.
I enjoyed watching the section where the visual effects are discussed and shown on screen in slow motion. It gives one a deeper understanding of how much work goes into getting the fantastic special effects to work well on the screen and seem "seamless".
The Director's Cut version of The Butterfly Effect is 1 hour 55 minutes or so which was cut down from 2 hours 20 minutes. Some of the bits that were cut are in the "deleted scenes" section which you can watch on it own or with commentary with the latter telling you why the scenes were cut which I felt were good reasons.
The theatrical version runs for 7 minutes less than the version I've discussed here.
If I was rating The Butterfly Effect, the original theatrical film, I would have most certainly been happy to give it a top mark of 5 out of 5 without hesitation. Because I wasn't overly keen on the differences in the director's cut, I'm giving this version 4.5 out of 5, which is still a generous score. This is definitely staying in my permanent collection, although I think I'll have to now buy the DVD for the original theatrical release as it's not available on The Director's Cut!
TIP: If you've watched the theatrical version and are going to watch the director's cut, can I recommend that you look out for the scene with the fortune teller which wasn't in the original movie. It's well worth watching out for and taking especial note of.
Film release date: 2004
Director's Cut DVD release date: 2007
UK classification: 15
Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Elden Henson, William Lee Scott, Melora Walters
Written and directed by: Eric Bress & J Mackye Gruber
Cinematography: Matthew F. Leonetti
Production company: New Line Cinema, Time Warner
Filming location: Vancouver
The Butterfly Effect is a 2004 American psychological thriller film directed and written by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber. The film stars Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Eric Stoltz and others. The title is a reference to the butterfly effect, which theorizes that a change in something seemingly innocuous, such as a flap of a butterfly's wings, may have unexpected larger consequences in the future.
As a child Evans has a series of unexplained blackouts his childhood is scarred by series of terrifying events that he can't remember. As a young man he realised that by reading extracts from his old diary it allows him to travel back to the past. Occupying his childhood body, he is able to change history. But every change he makes has unexpected consequences. Every time Evans changes time it effects not only him but his friends Kayleigh (Amy Smart), Lenny (Eldon Henson), and Tommy (William Lee Scott). He soon starts to realise that there is not such thing as a happy ending.
By the end of this movie your brain will feel like it's been through a work out. The concept is is just completely mad (in a good way) and although confusing it does come together in the end. I never took Ashton Kutcher seriously as an actor until I saw this movie but he puts in a brilliantly performance and was perfect for the role. This film is so full of twist and turns you'll be dizzy by the end of it but completely satisfied. I've lost count how many times I've seen it but never get bored with the crazy plot.
This is one of my favourite films of all time. At first, i wasn't so sure about having Ashton Kutcher as one of the main actors, however it turned out to be a pretty damn good film. At first, it can be confusing, but this is what i enjoyed about the film. The storyline to this is quite unusual but unique and you'll find yourself engrossed in a film which can at times be quite gruesome and heart wrenching, but the idea that a movie can make you feel this way is incredible. The movie overall is quite emotional and throughout the film you will find yourself going through various emotions, but this film is a must see film and for a couple of pounds, i don't see why it's not worth buying. If you're willing to experiment with the type of films you watch, then definitely watch this film.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
The Butterfly Effect is one of the few entries into the supernatural thriller genre that actually holds any weight, in that it sets a bunch of parameters and mostly manages to stick to them. It also shows that Ashton Kutcher can actually fare surprisingly well in more serious, dramatic fare.
The film revolves around Evan Treborn (Kutcher), a young man who suffered some sort of unknown trauma as a young boy, causing him to black out at intermittent intervals. He re-reads his journals from when he was younger, and finds that he is able to travel back in time as a result (albeit this conceit is rather absurd), hoping that he can address the events that have caused his blackouts, such as saving his childhood crush Kayleigh (Amy Smart), from her paedophile father (Eric Stoltz) and her psychotic brother (William Lee Scott). However, travelling back in time has its consequences as ever, and Evan will ultimately have to get himself out of quite the bind.
The film has an absurd start, but it is an interesting film nonetheless that is well acted, and manages some emotional resonance despite its high concept. This film cements Ashton Kutcher as a competent actor - say what you will about his previous outings, he shines with this intelligent script even if it is a touch overplayed at times. It pulls no punches, but ultimately much of the meat of this film relates to which ending you see - the theatrical or the director's cut, the latter of which is infinitely more bleak, genius and, most of all, the way the director intended it.
This film is a really clever psychological thriller. The title reveals the plot of the film as a butterfly effect is the theory that something small such as the flap of a butterfly's wings will eventually have an effect in the future such as the course of a hurricane being changed. The film stars Ashton Kutcher who gives a great performance as Evan, a young man who suffers from blackouts at points of high stress. These blackouts cause him to obviously forget what has happened when they occurred. Looking at his traumatic childhood he realises that by looking at gaps in his diary as a result of his blackouts missing out information, he is able to travel back to the point of the blackout and change what took place. However as the title suggests Evan's changing of the past always has a flaw no matter how he changes it. The film's plot is gripping enough and has a sense of 'what if' about it that gets the mind really thinking. Ashton Kutcher's portrayal is convincing, and the plot so deep that you always spot extra important details each time you watch the film. I had heard good things about this film and it did not disappoint!
This film uses the idea of Chaos theory which considers how something like a butterfly flapping it's wings somewhere in the world might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that, ultimately, result in a tornado somewhere far away. This sensitivity is popularly referred to as the butterfly effect. The film itself uses this theory and considers the changes in someone's future when small changes are made in the past. I found it to be a quite fantastic film which was a bit dark and disturbing. The film is classed as a psychological thriller.
The film stars the character of Evan (Ashton kutcher) who grows up in a small town with his single, working mother and his friends. He suffers from memory blackouts where he suddenly finds himself somewhere else, confused. Evan's childhood hasn't exactly been the best. Full of personal tragedies, Evan discovers a way to go back in time and make things right. Since the age of seven he has written a diary of his blackout moments so he can remember what happens. Quite frequently, usually at moments of high stress he finds that when he reads from his adolescent journals, he travels back in time, and is able to essentially "redo" parts of his past.Only every change he makes has a consequence and things just seem to get worse.
The Butterfly Effect is a terrific thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat virtually throughout. It held onto the audience right at the start and it didn't let go until the end. The plot is nothing new but the execution was very good. It has a range of interesting and unpredictable twists so it's hard to see where things are going. It is definately not a feel good film, but rather dark and tragic in every sense of the word. The acting performances were generally good and Kutcher does well in his first real serious role. He is supported well by Amy Smart who plays his romantic interest.The film itself is an emotionally provacative piece of work and may make you feel some negative emotions whilst watching. Overall though it is a fantastic watch if you are in the mood for this type of film.
J. Mackye Gruber
J. Mackye Gruber
William Lee Scott
John Patrick Amedori
Kevin G. Schmidt
Callum Keith Rennie
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s): January 23, 2004
Despite box-office dominance during its opening weekend, The Butterfly Effect is better suited to guilty-pleasure viewing at home. When writer-directors Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber (who penned Final Destination 2) aren't breaking their own haphazard rules of logic, they're filling this sordid thriller with enough unpleasantness to make eternal damnation seem like an attractive alternative. In a role-reversal from his That '70s Show persona, Ashton Kutcher plays a college-age psychology student who discovers, by re-reading his childhood journals, that he can revisit his past and alter traumatic events, hoping to improve their previously unfortunate outcomes. Instead, this foolhardy experiment in chaos theory (the titular butterfly effect, popularized by Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park) results in a variety of nightmarish permutations, each having dire consequences for him and/or his friends. This intriguing premise is explored with a few interesting twists and turns, but with subplots involving child pornography, animal cruelty, and profanely violent children, it's a stretch to call it entertainment.