|Index||7 reviews in total|
This documentary, that is on the DVD, spent most of its time talking about
the probability of a super-virus that will wipe out humanity. I *thought*
the documentary was meant to be about how they shot all the really great
scenes in London in the film.
Time spent on how the scenes were shot/created and time spent on make-up effects for the infected was very very minimal. We have been waiting for this DVD since we saw the film in the cinema only to be annoyed and disappointed that a documentary sub-titled "The Making of 28 Days Later" actually spent very little time talking about how it was made. The rest was sensationalist garbage about viruses.
A waste of time watching if you were looking for technical details and secrets of production.
I think that there is a lot to be said about 28 Days Later, as this documentary makes clear. The creation of a deserted London, the military training the actors went through, the camera-work and the special effects, the inspiration for the story- but this documentary just touches on these things without going into any depth. It spends a lot of time on the possibility of a killer pandemic breaking out in a way that is utterly undisturbing. There have been plenty of terrifying disease outbreaks in the world that have been a genuine cause for concern, and this one concentrates on... foot-and-mouth, a disease that is only frightening if you're a farmer. There are lots of very clever people talking about biology pointlessly. The bits dealing with the film itself are equally shallow. We get a few "this movie is great, go see it" bits from the cast and crew (in which Christopher Eccleston ends up looking extremely luvvieish). The bits on the making of the movie tell you very little. What they tell you is enough to make you curious, but is ultimately unsatisfying. Example: we are told the cast playing soldiers went through a military boot camp. But there is very little on the boot camp itself. We learn that the makeup effects were complicated, but we get nothing beyond the standard "gruelling six hours in makeup" anecdotes that all actors tell whether you want them to or not. Then add to that the overuse of clips from the film that are only vaguely relevant to the documentary. Mention of the military intervention in the foot-and-mouth crisis is followed by Major West's "We must be a disappointment to you" speech. Mention of hospitals is followed by Jim awaking from his coma. This is pointless filler if you've seen the film and spoils a lot of the impact if you haven't. Really, this should have been an hour-long documentary on the film itself. As it is, it's rushed and frankly dull. Don't waste your half hour.
To coincide with the UK release of 28 Days Later this documentary looks at
the reality behind the film, using mad cow disease as an example. The
second half of the film looks the writing of the film, the cast and behind
the scenes of making the film.
I taped this hoping that this documentary would be the quality you can find on a good DVD rather than an advert style programme. However this manages to fall between these two stools and be good if not quite as good as you'd hope it would be. The first half is interesting with experts saying how real a rapid viral infection could be, even if it uses BSE as an example. I still found it difficult to envisage the UK decimated by a virus and at times it felt they were talking it up not out of scientific interest but to sell the film.
The second half is a little more interesting because it looks at the cast and the process of making the film. It does tend to err a little on the side of patting each other on the back for a job well done but it is interesting at points. The film looks at how they made London appear deserted as well as the boot camp used to train the soldiers, but not in very much detail. It's a shame because no real good stories come out of it and it never manages to be insightful or any more interesting than the promotional interviews that the cast all have to do anyway.
Overall I was pretty let down by this. It was made by the filmmakers themselves and I hoped more effort would have been put in. For 20 odd minutes it is still worth a watch once but to be honest it is as much a fancy trailer as it is a documentary.
The full first half of this supplemental documentary concentrates on
what almost comes off as a conspiracy theory about the likelihood of a
biological weapon being launched somewhere in the world, causing an
epidemic of disease that wipes out a frightening number of the people
on earth, similar to what happens in the movie. It's up for debate
about how justified that concern is, because people have been talking
about how we're on the verge of nuclear war for decades, and now it
appears that, despite all of the terrorism in the world, the likelihood
of sovereign nations knowingly destroying each other gets less every
Or maybe I'm just not tuned in to the level of hatred that is taking place in the world today. More interesting is the second half, which talks a lot about the production of the movie, how they did the make-up for the infected victims and how they emptied the streets of London for those opening shots, as well as plenty of commentary about what the people involved thought about the subject matter.
For me, the only drawback seems to be that the discussions of past pandemics and the possibility of future pandemics are conducted with such inevitable conviction that it makes them come off as just a little bit hysterical. Yeah, the danger is there, but the danger of something is always there. In modern times, it just seems to me that mankind is more likely to reach a higher level of peace if we all stop trying to predict pandemics and wars and terrorist attacks and start trying to live in peace with our neighbors. I don't see a lot of that effort going on these days
I don't buy DVDs for the extras, I buy them for the movies, but every
now and then I do like to go through and see what else the DVD has to
offer. This little documentary is featured on the special edition DVD
of 28 Days Later... and calls itself a "making of", though it doesn't
really seem to talk much about any actual production, but more about
the thoughts and feelings the cast and crew share about their work and
the effect the movie had on them...
...so it's basically the average special edition making-of documentary that doesn't really do anything.
That said, it does deserve a little bit of credit: the beginning and final lines of it could almost be said to be scarier than the movie itself, because it deals very straightforwardly with the impending doom of a pandemic and what effect that could have with us. While it still contains a lot of guesswork and mainly anxieties about such a situation, our world currently seems one constantly on the lookout for the next virus to arise and drastically reduce our masses. The discussions of the filmmakers and the footage of such things as hundreds of animal carcasses from hoof-and-mouth disease bring a sense of reality to the largely metaphorical movie it accompanies, which does in a sense really help us feel more terrified by the ideas presented in the film.
Too bad it didn't really stick with that vein, or at least go fully into the "making-of" premise it promised, else it might be really worth the price of the disc itself.
I problem I have with this documentary is that it can`t decide to be about viruses or about the making of 28 DAYS LATER so it tries to be both and considering it lasts for 20 minutes it fails on both attempts . The making of 28 DAYS LATER segments are very predictable composed mainly of actors telling us how they got in shape for the part and what it`s like firing a gun , but the segments with the scientists talking about the possible dangers to humanity posed by viruses is very disappointing . It`s patently obvious that none of the scientists interviewed have any knowledge of the film otherwise they`d have mentioned the ridiculously short incubation period of rage . And I also got the feeling the interviews were severly edited in order to sensationalise them . Yes a superbug is very dangerous and some of them are resistant to antibiotics but this is because doctors have been overprescribing antibiotics for years something not mentioned here . Similarly the devastation caused by the foot and mouth outbreak in Britain last year is mentioned but it wasn`t mentioned that the mountains of animal carcasses was caused by laws that require a completely healthy herd of cattle to be slaughtered if only one of them was infected . It wasn`t the foot and mouth virus that devastated British agriculture last year ( How could it when most of the slaughtered livestock weren`t infected ? ) but laws drawn up to stop the disease spreading . Not only is foot and mouth harmless to all humans but it`s also non fatal to most farmyard livestock - it just makes them sick and loose a lot of weight . So " A virus similar to foot and mouth disease sweeping through the human race " doesn`t scare me very much
There's always the problem of "the making of xxxx" in reality being a
long extended trailer for the film - and this is no exception. Anyone
truly interested in the making of this film would be better served my
buying the DVD and listening to the extended commentary of the deleted
scenes, and for what reason they were omitted. Some were cut because
they were below standard. Some because the limited budget meant that
the scenes lacked the scale that the makers felt was appropriate.
Others to keep the film within it's running time.
Bearing in mind this was a medium budget film, the extended discussion on the DVD of the result focus groups had on the ending is a real insight into the pressures that are imposed on artists even of the caliber of Boyle and Garland.
All this apart, the main failing of this documentary is the constant attempt to draw a comparison between the fictional "Rage" of the movie, with the real life "threat" of an actual outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease which actually occurred in the UK and resulted in the premature slaughter of around 5 million farm animals, and their subsequent destruction in huge burning pyres across the country.
Although this makes great media news, it ignores some important scientific facts. The most important of which being that a simple alternative to mass slaughter of herds of animals would have been the slightly more expensive alternative of vaccination. Sadly, this proved to be an impossible solution because of the political pressure placed upon the UK by its "partners" in the EU who insisted on immediate elimination of the problem to maintain farm prices across the rest of Europe.
This apart, I can't understand why the maker didn't focus on the airborne transmission of far more scary problems - BSE and AIDS to name but two, both of which would argue their case much better.
And finally, when you cut and cut again to "Medical Experts" in slightly grainy shots, why not use the true exemplars in the field you could have found, rather than people who some would call maverick doomsayers?
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