28 Weeks Later appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The transfer seemed unexceptional but good.
Sharpness was usually fine. A little softness affected wider shots at times, but not to a substantial degree. Instead, most of the movie looked reasonably crisp and well-defined. Jagged edges and shimmering weren’t an issue, and edge enhancement was minimal. As for source issues, the film appeared somewhat grainy at times but other problems failed to materialize.
Due to the drab palette chosen for the movie, colors looked fairly bland. Most of the time the film featured tones that intentionally were portrayed as pale and restricted. Within those constraints, the hues seemed fine. Blacks appeared fairly deep and dense, and shadows showed reasonable clarity and delineation, though they could be a little thick at times. This was a perfectly acceptable image but not one that excelled.
I felt the same way about the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of 28 Weeks Later. Not a lot of real pizzazz came from the soundfield. That’s partially because we found little real action through the movie’s first half; not until around the 50-minute mark did it truly start to get into the mayhem. Once that happened, the audio opened up better. The front speakers remained dominant but the surrounds added a moderate amount of unique audio to flesh out the mix.
No issues with audio quality emerged. The lines consistently sounded concise and distinctive, with no edginess or other issues. Music displayed good range and definition, while effects worked well. Those elements demonstrated strong clarity and punch throughout the movie. I didn’t think the track was ambitious enough for a grade above a “B”, but I couldn’t muster any real complaints about it.
When we shift to the DVD’s extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and producer Enrique Lopez-Lavigne. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific chat. They discuss camerawork, script and changes, the movie’s tone and what they wanted to bring to the film, locations and the depiction of London, music and editing, effects and stunts, cast and performances, and a mix of other production subjects.
While I can’t find many reasons to criticize this commentary, I also can’t discover much reason to praise it. The chat remains pretty dry from start to finish. This means it covers the topics in a reasonable manner but never becomes very compelling or involving. It stands as a competent examination of the film that fails to engage.
Two Deleted Scenes last a total of five minutes, 19 seconds. We find “The Canteen” (2:59) and “Andy’s Dream” (2:20). “Canteen” shows more of Don as he takes his kid through their new home, get some food and meet Scarlet. It sets up the concept that the virus may not be gone but does little else. In “Dream”, Andy has a reverie about his mom while he and Tammy flee through London. It adds nothing necessary.
We can watch these with or without commentary from Fresnadillo and Lavigne. They give us a little background about the scenes and tell us why they cut them. Their notes gives us good insights about the segments.
Next comes a program called Code Red: The Making of 28 Weeks Later. This 13-minute and six-second piece mixes movie clips, shots from the set, and interviews. We hear from Fresnadillo, Lavigne, producers Allon Reich and Andrew MacDonald, executive producer Danny Boyle, production designer Mark Tildesley, and actors Robert Carlyle, Jeremy Renner, Idris Elba, Imogen Poots, and Rose Byrne. The show looks at the development of the sequel and its story, the approach to the tale, shooting in London and visual design, casting and performances, Fresnadillo’s impact on the set, and general thoughts about the film.
“Red” proves a little more informative than the average promotional piece, but it doesn’t offer a great deal of substance. I like the parts about possible sequel ideas, and a few other good nuggets emerge. However, there’s not much to the show, so don’t expect a lot of depth.
The Infected lasts six minutes, 57 seconds and features Renner, Byrne, Fresnadillo, Poots, Elba, Carlyle, movement advisor Paul Kasey, costume designer Jane Petrie and actors Catherine McCormack and Mackintosh Muggleton. The program looks at the performances of the actors who played the movie’s monstrous characters and the execution of those roles. We get some decent info about this subject as well as nice behind the scenes footage. It’s a fun look at this unusual side of the acting coin, though there’s a little too much praise involved.
Another featurette titled Getting into the Action fills seven minutes, 13 seconds with remarks from Renner, Byrne, Carlyle, McCormack, Fresnadillo, Poots, MacDonald, and Boyle. As implied by the title, this one looks at the action side of the flick. It discusses requirements for the main actors as well as shooting the various action scenes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t dig into these subjects well, as it stays pretty superficial.
Two pieces under the banner of 28 Days Later: The Aftermath follow. We find “Stage 1: Development” (7:36) and “Stage 3: Decimation” (4:46). An unusual piece, that offers a filmed version of some Days graphic novels along with voice acting for the lines. It’s kind of a fun extra, as we watch alternate stories in the same universe. To some degree, it’s essentially just an ad for the books, but I still like it.
The disc opens with a few ads. We get promos for Day Watch, and Sunshine. The DVD also features trailers for Weeks, 28 Days Later, The Hills Have Eyes 2, Lake Placid 2, Pathfinder, Perfect Creature and Wrong Turn 2.
Though I didn’t think much of 28 Days Later, I held out hopes that its sequel would become an interesting piece. Unfortunately, 28 Weeks Later offered a pretty limp and forgettable action flick. It entertained at times but suffered from too many flaws to succeed. The DVD presents good picture and audio as well as a decent set of extras. I can’t complain about this release, but I can’t find much about the movie that makes it memorable.