28 Days: Collector's Edition (2000)

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Released 13-Dec-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Isolated Musical Score
Audio Commentary-B Thomas (Dir),R Gibbs (Mus),P Teschner (Ed) et al
Featurette-Santa Cruz-The Soap Within 28 Days (24:30)
Notes-How To Make A Gum Wrapper Chain
Featurette-HBO Making Of-28 Days Moment By Moment (15:01)
Deleted Scenes-3 (5:01)
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer-1.85:1, non-16x9, Dolby Digital 5.1 448Kb/s (1:32)
Music Video-2 (3:49)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 99:44
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (69:35) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Betty Thomas
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Sandra Bullock
Viggo Mortensen
Dominic West
Diane Ladd
Elizabeth Perkins
Steve Buscemi
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $36.95 Music Richard Gibbs


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Isolated Music Score Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
German
Dutch
Arabic
Bulgarian
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Swedish
Turkish
German Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Gwen Cummings (Sandra Bullock) is a party girl who loves her drink. Gwen is sentenced to 28 Days of either rehab or jail time after she ruins her sister's wedding by turning up drunk, acting inappropriately, falling on the wedding cake and crashing the limousine into a house. Gwen, of course, chooses rehab.

    At first, rehab seems like a bit of nightmare and a bad joke, as Gwen doesn't believes there is anything wrong with getting drunk and having a good time, but as the withdrawal symptoms kick in and the flashbacks of her mother drinking herself to death start, she realizes that maybe there is.

    There is some great comedy mixed in with the serious content of this movie. There are no in-your-face judgements on alcoholism or drugs, which is a nice change. The story is more about Gwen finding a way to deal with life.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture detail and sharpness is excellent. There are, however, quite a few intentionally blurry scenes in this movie. By far the most noticeable of these is at 30:35 - 30:51. Some edge ringing was noticed in several scenes, such as at 15:16 - 15:20, 21:18 and 31:20. There also appears to have been some minor edge enhancement applied to the transfer, but for most of the movie it is not noticeable. Detail in the shadows looked natural and visually pleasing. No low-level noise was noticed.

    The colour is always rich and vibrant, with good skin tones throughout. The exception to this is during Gwen's flashbacks, which are deliberately colour skewed, pixelated and of a lower resolution. Of course, none of these are transfer-induced faults as these effects were intended.

    Most of the indoor scenes suffer from some minor grain. The two most noticeable examples occur at 1:41 and 37:37 - 37:59. All of the outdoor scenes were grain free as far as I could tell. Even at its worst, this grain does not disrupt the foreground picture, so overall it is trivial and I suspect that only projector owners will be aware of its presence.

    No MPEG artefacts were noticed. No aliasing or moiré effects were noticed, which is pretty impressive considering the sharpness of the picture.

    Film artefacts are extremely rare and minor. I actually only saw three for the entire movie, but I guess there might be one or two more in there that I missed.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring at 69:35 in Chapter 22 on a scene change. There is a audible and visible pause, but it is well placed, so it doesn't really disrupt the flow of the movie.




Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are four audio tracks on this DVD; an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack (448Kb/s), a German Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack (448Kb/s), a Dolby Digital 5.1 Isolated Music Score (448Kb/s) and an English Audio Commentary track which is Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192Kb/s). I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and then to the commentary soundtrack.

    It is fantastic to see that the main soundtracks use 448Kb/s bitstreams, which I am all for and I wish that all Distributors would use 448Kb/s streams instead of 384Kb/s streams. But, with the number of audio tracks on this disc I feel that the Isolated Music Score should have been a 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack instead. This would have left another 256Kb/s for the video bitstream, which probably wouldn't have produced any noticeable increase in picture quality, but it just seems to me to be a waste of valuable bitstream space to have an Isolated Music Score at 448Kb/s.

    The dialogue was clear, easy to understand and well integrated into the front soundstage throughout the entire movie. No audio sync problems were noticed.

    Richard Gibbs' musical score suits the movie.

    The surround channels were lightly used for effects and music. There are a couple of enveloping sequences but these are few and far between. The soundstage did not collapse into the centre channel at any time and there is good stereo separation in the front left and right speakers, which creates a nice open soundstage. We must remember that this is a largely dialogue-driven movie and the sound mix reflects this.

    There are not many sequences that require the subwoofer, but when it is needed it is there. Two scenes that are definitely enhanced by its presence are 3:34 - 3:57 and 90:26 - 90:50.




Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There is a very good selection of extras present.

Menu

    The Main Menu is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and has video animation and music (192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0). The Dolby Digital City Trailer plays before the movie. The Main Menu selections are; Languages/Audio Set-Up, Subtitles, Scene Selections (28), Special Features and Play Movie.

Dolby Digital Trailer - City

    The one where the helicopter flies through the city.

Audio Commentary - Betty Thomas (Director), Jenno Topping (Producer), Peter Teschner (Editor) and Richard Gibbs (Music Composer)

    This commentary features Betty Thomas (Director), Jenno Topping (Producer), Peter Teschner (Editor) and Richard Gibbs (Music Composer) in the centre channel speaking over the film's Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. Whilst not being the best audio commentary I have ever heard, it nonetheless is a very worthwhile addition to this disc, as there are some good tidbits of information contained within it. The commentary is very informal and the narrators talk to each other or between themselves on numerous occasions. There are a few short gaps, but nothing that drags on particularly long.

Featurette - "Santa Cruz" The Soap Opera Within 28 Days (24:30 minutes)

    This featurette is of good quality, but there is green colour smearing around people faces and some grain in the opening credits. The acting is very over-the-top and hammy, in a deliberate poke at the real daytime soapies. Presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio with a 192Kb/sec Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Notes - How To Make A Gum Wrapper Chain (5 pages)

    Instructions on how to make a Gum Wrapper Chain.

Featurette - HBO Making Of (15:01 minutes)

    This is basically an extended promotional piece for the movie, with some behind-the-scenes details. It is presented in varying aspect ratios, with the interviews presented 1.33:1 and the film footage presented 1.85:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced, and comes with a 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The picture is slightly soft and there is some minor edge enhancement and edge ringing, but overall its quality is pretty good.

Deleted Scenes - Character Testimonies (3 - 5:01 minutes)

    This section contains three character testimonies that were not used in the final theatrical release. They are presented in a non-16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.85:1, with a 192kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The picture and sound quality is very good.

Talent Profiles (6)

    This section contains Biographies and Selected Filmographies for Betty Thomas (Director), Sandra Bullock, Steve Buscemi, Viggo Mortensen, Elizabeth Perkins and Diane Ladd.

Theatrical Trailer (1:32 minutes)

    The theatrical trailer is of great quality, presented in a non-16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.85:1, with a 448Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

Deleted Scenes - Guitar Guy's Lost Songs (2 - 3:49 minutes)

    This section contains two Guitar Guy songs that were not used in the final theatrical release. They are presented in a non-16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.85:1, with a 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The quality is again very good.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     The R4 disc is an easy choice, due to PAL's innate superiority over NTSC and the fact that we have all the extras present on the R1 disc, minus one trailer.

Summary

    28 Days: Collector's Edition is a good movie, presented on a fine DVD.

    The video transfer of this movie is very good, with only a few trivial problems.

    Overall the audio is very good, with no transfer-induced faults.  The lack of surround use is the only thing that reduces its rating, but this is a dialogue-driven movie, so I personally don't have any complaints with the main soundtrack.

    There is a very good selection of extras present.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Saturday, December 09, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

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