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28 Days Later(2002)
A powerful virus is unleashed on the British public following a raid on a primate research facility by animal rights activists. Transmitted in a drop of blood and devastating within seconds, the virus locks those infected into a permanent state of murderous rage. Within 28 days the country is overwhelmed and a handful of survivors begin their attempts to salvage the future, little realizing that the deadly virus is not the only thing that threatens them.
For more about 28 Days Later and the 28 Days Later Blu-ray release, see 28 Days Later Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on October 15, 2007 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns, Christopher Eccleston, Ricci Harnett
Director: Danny Boyle
» See full cast & crew
28 Days Later Blu-ray Review
Fox gives a modern day horror masterpiece a wonderful Blu-ray disc.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, October 15, 2007
28 Days Later, directed by Danny Boyle (1996's Trainspotting) and written by Alex Garland (2007's Sunshine) takes viewers into post-apocalyptic England where life has ceased to exist as we know it in a mere 28 days. Jim (Cillian Murphy) awakens in a London hospital and soon enough realizes he is alone, confused, hungry, and frightened. The film is extremely effective in putting the viewer into Jim's shoes as he wanders deserted city streets searching for signs of life and of what has happened.
The film can be summarized as The Omega Man meets George Romero. Often mislabeled as a zombie picture, 28 Days Later is anything but. It surely has its roots in zombie lore, but the true antagonist of the film is "Rage," a disease transferred by blood that, within 20 seconds of being introduced to the body, reduces the victim to a crazed, sub-human "monster" with one goal: to kill anything it lays eyes on. And unlike the lethargic zombies found in Romero's "Dead" films, these "infected" move quickly. This adds greatly to the sense of urgency and horror felt both by the audience and by the characters in the movie. Several scenes sparked memories from both 1978's Dawn of the Dead and its sequel, Day of the Dead (specifically the "Bub" subplot) and in turn 28 Days Later has infused new life into the genre, influencing the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead which features fast- moving zombies.
By the end of the film, 28 Days Later leaves its audience asking, "are we really any better (or different, for that matter) than the infected?" It is not only a horror film, but also a study in human nature. When society breaks down, so to do people. This is certainly not a new concept and is one that has been seen in film before, but is effectively presented in the film's third act. 28 Days Later is a frightening and gory take on the survival-horror genre and will be remembered as a classic for years to come.
28 Days Later Blu-ray, Video Quality
I am sure my rating here will draw the ire of many. No, this movie does not look good. But let's not knock Fox or the disc for this. The bulk of the film was shot on a Canon DV camcorder. The picture is what it is and this disc represents it as well as you will ever see it. This 1080p Blu-ray is presented in its original 1.85:1 anamorphic aspect ratio. Yes, there is a lot of edge enhancement and grain, the picture appears extremely soft and blurred, and there is very little detail. Again, this is simply a result of the shortcomings of the original video and not of the disc. The film is presented as it was intended and shot. "It's beautiful for urban work. It has a grittiness about it that's magnificent," director Danny Boyle says in the featurette on the disc regarding his decision to shoot on DV over film. The film's final moments were shot in 35mm and looks as wonderful as one would expect form a Blu-ray disc. Colors are vibrant and pop off the screen. The image is detailed and clear, rivaling that of most of the better Blu-ray discs in production. View this movie based on the merit of the strong, engaging story and not for the look of the film, which does add to the sense of dread and hopelessness of the story.
28 Days Later Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Fox, as usual, has included a DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless audio track on this disc. For those without the ability to decode this track, it can be scaled down to a 1.5 MBPs core track. Also included are French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks and English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Korean subtitles. The film's third act is where the DTS track truly shines. Rain envelopes the viewer and gunfire is heard coming form every direction. Dialogue is crisp and natural. Much of the music has a slightly distorted, "old" quality to it that perfectly blends in with the look of the film.
28 Days Later Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
All of the supplements from the original standard definition DVD are carried over here. First is the feature commentary track with Danny Boyle and Alex Garland. The duo discusses creating the look of a deserted London and filming during the aftermath of 9/11, among other things. Despite several pauses, it is a good track and worth a listen to for even casual fans of the film. Next up is a very impressive featurette entitled Pure Rage: The Making of 28 Days Later. This piece discusses not only the technical specs of the making of the film but also the current fear over real- life infectious diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease and the very real possibility of them spreading quickly, much like the "rage" featured in the film. Also included are deleted scenes and alternate endings, a Jacknife Lee music video, a production still gallery with commentary from Danny Boyle, a Polaroid gallery with an introduction by Danny Boyle, animated storyboards, and trailers for this and other Fox movies (28 Weeks Later, Alien vs. Predator, From Hell, and Sunshine). All trailers are presented in 1080p with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.
28 Days Later Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
28 Days Later is a terrifying look at the ravages of an infectious disease spreading quickly throughout society. With nods to classics of the survival-horror pictures, the film creates its own identity and breathes new life into the genre. The film is fast paced, violent and both highly frightening and highly entertaining. Rest assured, the image you see on the screen is the image the director intended you to see. Fox has delivered 28 Days Later exactly as it should be in terms of both the audio and video quality. A nice set of supplements round out a strong disc. Recommended.
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28 Days Later Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Fox Announces and Dates 29 Blu-ray Titles - August 20, 2007
Fox and MGM have revealed 29 upcoming Blu-ray releases. Included are 19 catalog titles from Fox and MGM, and 10 new release titles to be sold day-and-date with their DVD releases. These titles include 'Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer' and 'Live Free or ...
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