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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Nothing in this is new on the media scene today. What struck me sufficiently to single this movie out is simply the high quality with which every aspect of the process was performed. It's a case of doing roughly the same job only doing it better.
If your taste runs to this subgenre, you will not want to miss this film. If you want to see what model is being used by such films, this is a good one to try, since there is less visible violence and bloodletting than is to be found in the average of the type. I am not an aficionado, but found this rather simple version quite interesting to watch.
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.
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.