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I saw the trailer for it yesterday while watching The Reaping.

(BTW, here's the only thread I found here at A&F for the original movie).

They seem to be borrowing just a little bit from Children of Men in that trailer with the idea that the 12 year old boy is the youngest person in England, and the urgent need to keep him alive, and faceless soldiers killing everyone in sight in a dystopian England of the near-future.

Now I'm sure the actual plot isn't going to be about some urgent globally-important need to keep that 12 year old boy alive. But this is how they're packaging the trailer.

Edited by Plot Device

INT. HOLY TRINITY CHURCH - SANCTUARY - NIGHT

FATHER LORENZO

So now that you've told me all of this: why do you hold such a deep aversion to discussing angels?

PASTOR DAVID

Because I don't wanna get it WRONG! To stand up in front of my congregation--AND in front of God-- and screw it up! Do you hold much stock in that passage from James that says "We who teach will be judged more strictly"??

FATHER LORENZO

Yes... in fact .... I consider that one scripture to be an occupational hazard.

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I can't say that I was all that impressed by the trailer. For me, it just proved that having a bigger budget and using it on grander special FX, doesn't necessarily make the story better or scarier than the low budget approach that Boyle's original movie employed. In fact, the larger budget is probably going to hinder more than help the story. As George Lucas said back in the 1985 PBS documentary From 'Star Wars' to 'Jedi': The Making of a Saga... "Special effects are just a tool, a means of telling a story. People have a tendency to confuse them as an end to themselves. A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing." (reference the prequel trilogy) :lol:

Still, I'm not going to completely write this sequel off, as I really liked director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's first film Intacto. Much like the Coen Brother's debut Blood Simple, Intacto took a threadbare story and made it exciting to watch on a relatively small budget. He does have a good eye for some very interesting camera work, and hopefully 28 weeks later... will have that going for it.


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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It's amazing that a movie like this can be made these days. Relentlessly downbeat, rife with political and sociological meaning, and difficult to summarize.

It's NOT what you might expect from a summer popcorn movie.

A couple of implausibilities, mentioned in some of the comments to Jeff Wells' post (but don't read them, as they're full of spoilers), but this one is worth chewing on (unintentional bad pun).

[This post has been edited to weed out some strong descriptive terms that leaned too much toward an advance review.]

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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We are part of the generation in which the image has triumphed over the word, when the visual is dominant over the verbal and where entertainment drowns out exposition. We may go so far as to claim that we live in an age of the image which is also the age of anti-word and potentially is the age of the lie. ~ Os Guiness

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)

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In one of our other threads, someone said the film seemed to have Iraq War resonances, but I don't see 'em, myself. The closest you get is the almost-opening title which tells us that a US-led NATO team comes into Britain "11 weeks later", and then declares Britain free of the virus "17 weeks later" -- all of which might have some parallel to the prematurely optimistic "mission accomplished" thing several weeks into the Iraq War. But apart from that? I don't see any particular connections. (And isn't people declaring a place "secure" before it actually IS secure a common thing in these sorts of movies?)


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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In one of our other threads, someone said the film seemed to have Iraq War resonances, but I don't see 'em, myself.

Agreed on this, Peter. I said the film is "rife" with political meaning, but that may be an overstatement. Iraq echoes are there, early, and there's a "safe zone," just as there's a "Green Zone." But I don't think the film goes deeply into this material. It's more of a suggestion than a dissertation.

EDIT: Come to think of it, though, those mass killings, in the heat of battle, DO tap into some of the widely reported atrocities from the Iraq battlefield. There are also some scenes that made me think of other wars, not Iraq.

From Kermode's article:

Danny Boyle agrees that Children of Men exists within the same tradition as 28 Weeks Later, and points out that both films are significantly directed and photographed by non-British film-makers who are able to observe the strangeness of this land and its culture with the intelligent empathy of an outsider's eye.

Yeah, I had to rewatch "COM" this morning because I couldn't stop thinking about it during "28 Weeks Later." I think I might like "Weeks" better than "COM," but dang if these aren't two of the more visually arresting films I've seen in the past year.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Christian wrote:

: Come to think of it, though, those mass killings, in the heat of battle, DO tap into some of the

: widely reported atrocities from the Iraq battlefield.

I haven't heard anything specific, with regards to Iraq, but I'm sure every war has its battles where the blood runs a little higher than it should.

And FWIW, it's hard to say that the mass killings in this film were necessarily unjustified. I mean, okay, the situation leading up to the mass killings is the result of gross incompetence on the part of the leadership (as soon as

all the non-zombies were crammed into that narrow, dark, confined, and not-entirely-secured space, I thought, "Oh, of course, now the zombies will get to have their own private meat locker"

). But we ARE talking about a highly contagious plague, here -- a plague that has already completely wiped out the British isles, except for this tiny corner of London that NATO has tried to repopulate.

To put this another way, everyone in the crowd is either a zombie already or about to become a zombie (or, worse, is about to be killed by a zombie outright). And there doesn't seem to be any way that the military can rescue people in time. I wouldn't advocate shooting people one-by-one, but I am not at all surprised

that the air strike was called in. And there is, so far as I know, NOTHING in the Iraq War that compares to those air strikes. Even "shock and awe" targetted specific strategic targets, and not the populated city as a whole

.

In a way, this kind of ties back to that early scene where Robert Carlyle

abandons his wife. He assumes that she is a goner. And in a sense, she was. It turns out he was absolutely right to assume that she would be bitten by the zombies, and was thus beyond rescue. The only thing he didn't foresee was that she would be personally immune to the zombie virus

. But we can't exactly blame him for

giving up on her

. Likewise, we can't exactly blame the military authorities for

giving up on the populace, after a certain point

. Especially when we take into account that ambiguous

closing sequence

.

If we want Iraq War parallels, there ought to be, I dunno, Abu Ghraib allusions or something. But there aren't. And we certainly can't expect any parallels on the level of "we need to find ways to appeal to moderate zombies if we are ever to win the war against extremist zombies". Although, hmmm, perhaps

the extremely few individuals who are personally immune to the virus's effects

could be enlisted as stand-ins for "moderates". Then again, they would still be

carriers of the virus, spreading it to those who are NOT immune

.

Oh, and FWIW, Children of Men came to mind a few times as I was watching this film, too. Were there any "immigrant" Brits in this film, apart from that one guy near the beginning? I wasn't looking for them at the time, but it occurs to me now that, if there aren't any in the main part of the film, then that may or may not say something about the KIND of Britain that the NATO team is trying to "reconstruct".


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Peter, you used the word "resonances" earlier, and I'd say there ARE resonances of the Iraq War in the film. But in your most recent post, you get exercised over alleged "parallels" between the film and Iraq War.

I'm not sure if those other reviewers are using the word "parallels," but if so, that's much too strong a term.

As for the

air strike

, yeah, that made me think of

Dresden

, and

nuclear war imagery

from other films, but not of Iraq. That was an amazing scene in any case.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Oh, and FWIW, Children of Men came to mind a few times as I was watching this film, too. Were there any "immigrant" Brits in this film, apart from that one guy near the beginning? I wasn't looking for them at the time, but it occurs to me now that, if there aren't any in the main part of the film, then that may or may not say something about the KIND of Britain that the NATO team is trying to "reconstruct".

Sorry to disappoint, but I just checked my notes and don't see anything about that. And having just watched "COM" this morning, I fear I might mix the two films as I try to recall.

The only thing I remember is the train arriving, and the introduction of

children

to the mainland. I don't think adults from other countries were on board, but I can't say for certain.

As for the final

escape sequence in the helicopter

, the sound in our print completely cut out! At first I thought that was deliberate -- a fascinating contrast to the heavy-metal overkill of the opening scenes. But I'm almost certain that was a glitch with our print. As for your comment about an

ambiguous closing sequence

, I'm not sure what you mean. Wasn't the shot of

the Eiffel Tower

a clear indication that

the virus had crossed over to the Continent

?

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Christian wrote:

: Peter, you used the word "resonances" earlier, and I'd say there ARE resonances of the Iraq War

: in the film.

FWIW, I see just the one that I mentioned earlier. And it's a pretty thin one, I think. (Think of Aliens, which came out 21 years ago, and also featured an American military officer saying "This place is secure" even though it really isn't. That sort of thing is an old movie cliche, and I hesitate to say that this film does anything so new with it that references to the Iraq War or to Bush's "mission accomplished" speech would be all that justified.)

: I'm not sure if those other reviewers are using the word "parallels," but if so, that's much too

: strong a term.

I didn't have specific reviews or reviewers in mind; I was actually thinking most imediately of The Invisible Man's comment in the thread on The Host, where he said:

If you think that "The Host" has it in for the USA, you are going to love "28 Weeks Later"
;)
(I haven't seen it yet, I hasten to add, but the word "Iraq" keeps popping up in the early reviews).

I don't know which early reviews he was referring to, but I'd be interested in seeing them. At this point, though, having seen the film myself, I can only surmise that certain critics are determined to look for Iraq War references even if they don't really fit.

Christian wrote:

: As for your comment about an

ambiguous closing sequence

, I'm not sure what you mean.

: Wasn't the shot of

the Eiffel Tower

a clear indication that

the virus had crossed over

:

to the Continent

?

Oh, absolutely. But what about the shots that preceded it, of

the empty helicopter

? What happened

to the American and the British children once they made it across the channel? Presumably it was the boy who brought the virus over -- but what about the boy himself? Is he still alive? Did anyone ever figure out that he was personally immune, and thus the key to a possible cure? What happened to the helicopter pilot? What happened to the girl

? That sort of thing.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Ah, gotcha. I didn't have all those questions running through my mind, maybe because I was distracted by the audio issue, but yeah,

"ambiguous"

does seem apt. I dread

another sequel

. These guys should all

quit while they're ahead

.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I didn't have specific reviews or reviewers in mind; I was actually thinking most imediately of The Invisible Man's comment in the thread on The Host, where he said:

If you think that "The Host" has it in for the USA, you are going to love "28 Weeks Later"
;)
(I haven't seen it yet, I hasten to add, but the word "Iraq" keeps popping up in the early reviews).

I don't know which early reviews he was referring to, but I'd be interested in seeing them. At this point, though, having seen the film myself, I can only surmise that certain critics are determined to look for Iraq War references even if they don't really fit.

Including the Mark Kermode piece which I linked to above, I have seen three reviews/previews that mention Iraq and "28 Weeks Later" in the same breath (I would reiterate that I haven't actually seen the film myself).

Channel 4's website appears to be down at the moment, but I cached it and they said:

"What's intriguing about the sequel is that this flaw has been turned into a virtue. As was intimated in the original, the rage outbreak was confined to the British Isles, thus saving the rest of the planet but wiping out all but 7,000 of the UK's 60 million inhabitants. We see the country's reconstruction (yes, it's a heavy-handed allegory for Iraq, complete with colour-coordinated zones and unscrupulous Yankee building firms) through the eyes of a British family who sat the disaster out in New York..."

And this from the Times.

Edited by The Invisible Man

We are part of the generation in which the image has triumphed over the word, when the visual is dominant over the verbal and where entertainment drowns out exposition. We may go so far as to claim that we live in an age of the image which is also the age of anti-word and potentially is the age of the lie. ~ Os Guiness

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)

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[This post has been edited to weed out some strong descriptive terms that leaned too much toward an advance review.]

I don't know why I bother, when the cat's out of the bag.

This movie is tremendous. Started with deafening music and hyper editing, but settled down and became the scariest, most interesting horror movie I've seen in ages.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Mark Kermode really milked the point about Iraq on his radio spot today (this is available online as a podcast thingy). But more important than that, he astutely observed that "28 Weeks Later" isn't a zombie movie! His argument is that zombies are reanimated corpses, but the monsters here aren't actually dead. From how he describes it, the film sounds far closer to Cronenberg's "Rabid" than Romero's "Dawn of the Dead".

Edited by The Invisible Man

We are part of the generation in which the image has triumphed over the word, when the visual is dominant over the verbal and where entertainment drowns out exposition. We may go so far as to claim that we live in an age of the image which is also the age of anti-word and potentially is the age of the lie. ~ Os Guiness

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)

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I finally read this, and while I do see a few of the connections that he makes between this film and Iraq, I don't think they are particularly strong. Like I say, people declaring a place "secure" when it isn't is pretty standard for this genre, so I'd need something a little more PARTICULAR before I could say, e.g., that the film's repopulated Isle of Dogs matches the Green Zone in Baghdad, etc. And I think it's rather telling that he compares one scene in the film to Apocalypse Now and the Vietnam War -- it doesn't really match anything we've seen in the Iraq War yet.

Boyle makes a fascinating comment about London's plague pits, though. Freaky.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Libertas:

Too curious to follow my own rule about not peaking at other reviews before writing my own, I had to look. And much to my utter lack of surprise liberal critics again prove themselves to be predictably predictable. Of course they see
28 Weeks Later
as an allegory of the Iraq War. What simple-minded leftist desperate for validation from any source wouldn't? But like the original that had animal rights terrorists unleash the disease, the sequel's not quite that simple. But it is better. . . .

If there's an Iraq allusion it's that we had to do something, what we did is messy, and maybe the solution's to clear out and let a mushroom cloud solve the problem. What choice did the film's unseen government and their military have but to carefully rebuild and just as carefully bring its citizens home? There isn't chaos breeding chaos in
28 Weeks Later
. There's a military not acting lethally or quickly enough breeding chaos. The film's message can't possibly be don't rebuild people's lives, can it? The message I got was if you promise to protect a people you better be willing to go all the way. . . .

FWIW, while I'm not sure I agree with that "mushroom cloud" remark, I do agree with his statement (not quoted here) about the film's final shot pointing away from a simple anti-neocon message.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I liked this movie. But I have two complaints.

First, I found the scene where they

fire-bombed London

truly disturbing. It went beyond SFX and had a deeply cutting 9/11 feel to it that got under my skin. The sounds of the windows being smashed by the heat really got to me.

Second, the one scene where

the woman strapped to the table was being attacked

was unnecessarily prolonged. It went on and on and just wouldn't stop. I actually had to look away from the screen, which annoyed me since I was then being taken out of the film.

Edited by Plot Device

INT. HOLY TRINITY CHURCH - SANCTUARY - NIGHT

FATHER LORENZO

So now that you've told me all of this: why do you hold such a deep aversion to discussing angels?

PASTOR DAVID

Because I don't wanna get it WRONG! To stand up in front of my congregation--AND in front of God-- and screw it up! Do you hold much stock in that passage from James that says "We who teach will be judged more strictly"??

FATHER LORENZO

Yes... in fact .... I consider that one scripture to be an occupational hazard.

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I have two complaints.

First, I found the scene where they

fire-bombed London

truly disturbing. It went beyond SFX and had a deeply cutting 9/11 feel to it that got under my skin. The sounds of the windows being smashed by the heat really got to me.

Second, the one scene where

the woman strapped to the table was being attacked

was unnecessarily prolonged. It went on and on and just wouldn't stop. I actually had to look away from the screen, which annoyed me since I was then being taken out of the film.

Those are interesting critiques, Plot -- two scenes that did exactly what they're supposed to do: horrify.

Right?

I don't feel strongly about the second scene you mention -- I do think some horror scenes revel in the grotesque, although I don't know that I'd single out the scene you mention -- but as for the first scene, shouldn't such scenes be "truly disturbing," and isn't your complaint a way of saying that other movies that depict these actions fail in those depictions specifically *because* they don't get under your skin in the way that they should?

You'd agree, wouldn't you, that we shouldn't feel "entertained" by such scenes, right?


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Sonny Bunch. (Peter: This one's for you!)

You


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I think John Podhoretz liked it (and


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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If I find the following promotional event disturbing, does that mean I'm truly an "old man"? I know there's plenty of evidence already to support that notion, but really, who comes up with stuff like this?

--------------------------------------------

RAGE VIRUS OUTBREAK alert!


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Yes, I'm a "johnny-come-lately" to this film. Just got around to seeing it tonight, and found it a worthy sequel to the original. Reading through the thread, I do agree that there are tinges of the Iraq war peppered throughout, but it's not nearly the allegory that some critics said it was.

Aside from the original, the film that 28 Weeks Later actually brought to mind was Kubrick's The Shining. Mainly because the dynamic between the Robert Carlyle character and his son really reminded me of Jack Nicholson's growing obssesiveness with his son, as both fathers spiral down their respective roads to hell.

Mark Kermode really milked the point about Iraq on his radio spot today (this is available online as a podcast thingy). But more important than that, he astutely observed that "28 Weeks Later" isn't a zombie movie! His argument is that zombies are reanimated corpses, but the monsters here aren't actually dead. From how he describes it, the film sounds far closer to Cronenberg's "Rabid" than Romero's "Dawn of the Dead".

There is one scene in 28 Weeks Later where I questioned whether director Fresnadillo perhaps gave the infected too much ability to continue their pursuit of non-infected, and perhaps slipped over into zombie territory.

The sequence in Regents Park, when Harold Perrineau's character pitches his helicopter forward and takes out a mass of infected with the helicopter blades -- there are a few infected that seem to be much too mangled to continue their pursuit. One in particular has had the right side of his chest completely slashed through, and yet continues a full out run towards his targets. Maybe it's nit-picking, but the original film didn't make the infected that indestructable.

edit - out of curiousity, is there a time limit for how long the "spoiler" tags last in a thread? I've noticed in this thread and others that have not been active for awhile, that the spoilers seem to turn off.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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