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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 69:35)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, German, Hebrew, Czech, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Arabic, Turkish, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hindi, Bulgarian
  Extras
  • Additional footage - 4 episodes of Santa Cruz, the Soap Opera within 28 Days
  • 3 Deleted scenes - Character testimonials' deleted from the film
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Featurette
  • Isolated music score
  • Animated menus
  • Music video

28 Days

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 99 mins . M . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Being an avid Sandra Bullock fan, 28 Days just couldn’t be left alone. Directed by Betty Thomas, who also had the joy (or disappointment? I’ll leave that up to you) of directing The Brady Bunch Movie, and also Private Parts and Doctor Dolittle. Coming from a comic background, Thomas adds her own unique touch to the film, and Sandra Bullock really tries her best to play the role of Gwen. Bullock, who has mainly been in comedies, really does try very hard to come across as a serious actress in the drama 28 Days, but still her acting does offer some comic relief. However trying to mix comedy with this sort of drama is not the best idea, yet Thomas tackles it and pulls it off with limited success. While giggling one minute, the next may have you grabbing for a tissue, and these transitions between comedy and drama occur frequently and inappropriately. American Beauty tackled the comic drama with great success at the beginning of 2000, but 28 Days aims the comedy at a much lower audience and this detracts from the entire mood of the movie as you don’t know if something is meant to be funny or not. Thomas should stick to her comedies, and leave the dramas up to more serious, and straight-faced directors. Thomas’s artistic effects are wasted in a comic film, and would be much more symbolic and effective if they were done in a straight drama. For example, blurred images symbolising Gwen’s intoxication and blurred edges are apparent, but really are not appropriate for this sort of film.

Anyway, this film follows Gwen (played by Bullock) who is sent to a rehabilitation centre to get over her alcohol problem. It was either rehab or jail. But the next 28 days, as she later realises, could be much harder than initially expected. With a great backup cast including Viggo Mortensen, Elizabeth Perkins and Alan Tudyk, 28 Days may amuse you, and may move you too.

  Video
Contract

Visually there is little wrong with the transfer. Thomas’s artistic effects are superbly rendered on the disc, with very little to complain about.

The transfer is 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. There is some minor grain apparent, however this is not at all disruptive to the flow of the movie. Especially during the Columbia logo at the start of the film, some film artefacts can be seen, but when the movie is underway, these are not as apparent.

The colours are all rich and realistic, and offer a very bright image on the screen, with sharply defined edges. The sharpness of the image is amazing, and apart from Thomas’s purposely blurred effects, the rest of the film is razor sharp.

A layer change does occur on this disc at 69:35, but is not at all disruptive to the flow of the film. There are no MPEG artefacts on the transfer, and from transfers such as these, it is easy to see where Columbia Tristar get their Gold Standard stickers from.

  Audio
Contract

There are two language tracks on this disc – English and German, both in Dolby Digital 5.1 and also a Dolby Digital 2.0 Audio Commentary and a Dolby Digital 5.1 score track. Being a dialogue driven film, there is very little occurring in the rear channels, but when it does occur, it is mainly through the music. Subwoofer action is severely limited, but again given the genre of film, this is to be expected.

The score track is very good to listen to, and the 5.1 effect that is given to it raises the mood of the music. However, there are long gaps inbetween the music, and in these spaces is... you guessed it... nothing!

There are no audio sync problems with the English soundtrack, and the dialogue is always audible and clear.

  Extras
Contract

There is a range of features available on this disc, all earning the Gold Standard sticker once again.


Commentary - this is between Betty Thomas, Richard Gibbs, Peter Teschner and Jeno Topping who all work together in this commentary and bounce ideas off of one another. It is interesting to listen to, and informative for some sequences, but does leave a few small silent gaps, yet nothing that is too annoying.

Santa Cruz: The Soap Opera within 28 Days - all of the people in the rehabilitation centre are hooked on Santa Cruz, which is an imaginary soap opera. There are four episodes as an extra on the disc, and they are quite amusing to watch. This is where Thomas really had some fun.

How To Make A Gum Wrapper Chain - "A gum wrapper chain?" I hear you ask. Yes, a gum wrapper chain. Gwen and her roommate make a chain out of the wrappers from chewing gum. This is a group of still shots that teach you how to make a chain yourself. It is hard though in Australia as we don’t have access to the American gum wrapper format. Oh well...

HBO Making-of Featurette - This is a 15 minute documentary with interviews from cast and crew on the... yep, you guessed it... making of 28 Days. It's nothing overly exciting, but is still an interesting extra to watch, and much easier than reading production notes!

Character Testimonials - These are some of the character testimonials that were excluded from the final cut.


Talent Profiles - These are your stock standard talent profiles of director Betty Davis, Sandra Bullock, Steve Buscemi, Viggo Mortensen, Elizabeth Perkins and Diane Ladd.

Theatrical Trailer - The edited version of the trailer, as a longer version was seen in the cinemas. Nonetheless it is in an aspect of 1.85:1 and runs for about one and a half minutes.

Guitar Guy’s Lost Songs - These are two songs from a character known as Guitar Guy which were edited from the film. I think that if these were left in the film, they would have added a really stupid feel to proceedings.

The menus are superb to navigate through and are animated with music.

  Overall  
Contract

Finally, a moving and touching story presented superbly on DVD with a great host of extras. Not necessarily a must-have, but definitely worth a hire from the video shop. Try before you buy!


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=866
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      And I quote...
    "A comic, yet emotional, story presented nicely by Columbia Tristar on DVD."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Nowa DS-8318
    • TV:
          TEAC 68cm CTV
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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