28 Days Later
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A virus is accidentally released from a British research facility. Those infected with the virus develop uncontrollable fits of killing rage. Twenty-eight days later, humanity is on the verge of extinction and a small group of survivors in London battle other survivors while avoiding the deadly virus.
Even though it's only a single disc, the 28 Days Later DVD includes a lot of very interesting features, including the alternate ending that was shown after the end of the film a couple months into its theatrical run. It's much bleaker, as director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland say in their optional commentary. Another alternate ending is almost the same as the theatrical ending but slightly less happy. Most interesting is the "radical" alternate ending that takes an entirely different path midway through the film. It wasn't filmed, however, so Boyle and Garland narrate the action over storyboards, and it's a surprisingly engrossing 11 minutes. Boyle and Garland also did a commentary track for the film, and they talk about how they were able to get the shots of deserted London and why they used the ending they did. There are also six very watchable deleted scenes, and Boyle and Garland's comments range from "great sequence" to "a disgrace." Slightly less relevant is a 24-minute documentary that spends its first 10 minutes on the real-life threat of infectious diseases before recapping the film and discussing such elements as the use of digital video and the boot camp the actors had to attend. If you need any further proof that the DVD was a labor of love, even the stills galleries have commentaries. --David Horiuchi
- Alternative theatrical ending with optional commentary
- Alternative ending with optional commentary
- Radical alternative ending with optional commentary
- Six deleted scenes with optional commentary: London Walk, Abandoned Train, Motorway Carnage, Taxi/Sweden, The Infected in the House, Floorboards
- "Pure Rage: The Making of 28 Days Later"
- Jacknife Lee music video
- Animated storyboards from the original U.K. Website
- Production and Polaroid galleries with director commentary
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As others have mentioned the DVD quality looks poor but it's exactly how it was shot. High contrast, high grain and dark at times, but it does all add to the suspense. There would be no benefit to getting this on blu-ray.
After the outbreak we meet Jim (Cillian Murphy aka Scarecrow from Batman Begins) who wakes up completely naked (why completely naked I don't know) in a hospital room and it seems he's just been through some surgery. After calling for help, Jim comes to realize he's the last person alive on Earth. Ok not really, but it really does seem like it at first. They did a great job of showing deserted cities and roads and making it seem like he is legend (see what I did there?!). After some walking, he comes across a church filled with what seems to be a mass suicide. This was definitely a scene I cant forget mainly due to when he says `Hello?' and two infected look up at him really quickly and just stare. CREEPY. Plus lets not forget the priest. As he runs away he comes across a couple of uninfected who help him out. Together they try to survive and come across a radio signal broadcasting help and safety. Together they try to make it to this so called safety.
Some might consider the movie a little slow, but I enjoyed the pacing because I really did start to connect with Jim and some of the others. Watching it the first I thought there could've been a bit more action scenes, but after my second sitting, I believe I was wrong. I actually enjoyed just about every minute of it. Also the video quality is not great. Not horrible by no means either, but just not great.
The special edition I watched had 3 alternate endings. The first 2 were really dumb and could've been easily just ONE alternate ending. The third though was really good actually. But you have to sit through a story board and not live action scenes, but I promise you it was still good. It basically picks up where the military comes in, but there is no military. Instead they head to a hospital with their little rag tag group and try to save one of their own since the person has been infected. They are told that to cure the person, you have to take out all of his blood and replace it. But this was the problem the director (Danny Boyle) had. How the heck do you clean out all of the blood when one drop could infect you. It was funny to hear how Danny says it though. Nice idea though.
In the end I would say to definitely give this movie a shot, especially if you are a zombie fan (even though they aren't zombies) or an `end of the world movie' fan.
P.S. - Anyone read `The Walking Dead'? Great, great, great read for us zombie lovers. I always wanted to see a movie for this series, but considering how in depth it's become, I'd much rather see a TV series for it. Like on HBO so we could see the gore. Plus I love how the story starts off in my home town back in Georgia. To cool!
Then it came. The second half. Um.
I think it would have been fine if the movie had started this way and you knew what to expect, but the story transition from first half to second is so abrupt and so different, it just makes for non-fun movie watching. And then the ending, which again shifts away from what just preceded it, is enough to make you scratch your zombie-loving head.
I think those that know Romero's work, will see it shine through in this film, homage, copy, you decide.
For those that dabble a bit in zombie movies like myself, the first half was good, the second half--eh, which means overall the movie boils down to just okay.
I am not going to say don't see it, because there are definitely parts that are great, but it is not something that will make you run out and buy the T-shirt.