Weekend Viewing Roundup & 28 Days (2000) mini review

Happy Sunday everyone! It finally felt like Spring is actually around the corner here in my neck of the woods. The good news is we can forgo the long johns and parka, but we now have to put up with dirty cars as the roads and slushy roads from melting mountains of snow.

Well, no cinema trip this weekend but it’s been a great week as a film fan as I got to see Divergent two weeks early and also got to interview author Veronica Roth and cast member Ansel Elgort (who’d be starring with Shailene Woodley again in the upcoming drama The Fault in our Stars). I’m still transcribing the Q&A so stay tuned for it next week!

Here’s what I saw this weekend:

28 Days (2000)

A big-city newspaper columnist is forced to enter a drug and alcohol rehab center after ruining her sister’s wedding and crashing a stolen limousine.

I’m not exactly sure why we rented this movie but if you haven’t seen this yet and was curious to see Viggo Mortensen here a year before he became Aragorn, note that the actor’s billing on IMDb is misleading as his character’s screen time is so small it’s more of a cameo! Dominic West had more screen time than him as the obnoxious & drunk boyfriend of Sandra Bullock‘s character. Now I like Sandy and that’s one of the reasons I saw this, but even she couldn’t save the movie.

28DaysStills

I felt like the story could’ve been told so much better and have more depth to make it memorable. I’d say you’d like to see a movie about characters in a mental institution, I think you’d be better off renting Girl, Interrupted. I think making this subject matter and make it a comedy seems ill-advised. It’s not THAT funny to begin with and the serious moments just didn’t make any real impact. I think the one saving grace is perhaps Alan Tudyk as a gay German rehab patient. I wish he had more screen time as he’s hilarious and the movie seems to pick up every time he appears. Oh, there’s also Steve Buscemi who’s always watchable, but it’s a bit odd to see him playing it completely straight as the former-alcoholic-turned-counselor, it kind of seems like a missed opportunity, ahah. Oh, as for Mortensen, well he is practically wasted as a supposedly famous baseball player who has a knack for watching soap operas. Yes it sounds funny but it’s really not that hilarious as it’s being played in the movie as his character didn’t even appear in the soap re-enactment scene towards the end.

I can’t say I recommend this one unless you’re a die hard Sandra Bullock fan. But I wish I had rewatched While You’re Sleeping instead.

tworeels
2 out of 5 reels


I also re-watched a couple of old favorites this weekend …

AWalkIntheCloudsPoster

I LOVE this romance drama by Mexican director Alfonso Arau. Yes Keanu Reeves seemed an unlikely romantic lead but I think he’s lovely in this movie and has a nice chemistry with Italian/Spanish actress Aitana Sánchez Gijón. I’ve always admired the gorgeous cinematography, it turns out it was the work of recent Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki! I still love this movie, it’s one of my fave unconventionally-romantic movies!

CasinoRoyalePoster

Daniel Craig‘s fantastic intro to the Bond franchise has become one of my all time favorites. It’s still the one to beat out of the three he’s done so far IMO. The action, the scenery and the music are all superb, plus it features my fave Bond girl Vesper Lynd. I’d rather see Eva Green here than in the 300 sequel, and based on Ted’s review, good thing I skipped the movie.

… and a new-to-me Wes Anderson movie released seven years ago:

DarjeelingLimitedPoster

I’ve been curious to see this one for some time, but after seeing Keith’s review on Friday I thought I’d rent it this weekend. As I was writing my review of Grand Budapest Hotel, it gives more perspective into Wes Anderson’s filmography. Stay tuned for my review of both of his movies later this week!


So what did you watch this weekend? Thoughts on the movies I mentioned above?

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65 thoughts on “Weekend Viewing Roundup & 28 Days (2000) mini review

  1. I’m not a Sandy fan, Ruth, but I do like Viggo. That being said, I think I’ll still avoid 28 Days.

    Like yourself, though, I actually really liked A Walk In The Clouds. It’s not normally the type of film I’d go with but I thought “Chuck” himself very competently. 😉

    1. Hi there Mark, thanks for being the first to comment, hope you had a nice weekend! I LOVE Viggo but really he’s so wasted in 28 Days so it’s not worth renting for you.

      Yeah, A Walk in the Clouds is still as sweet as the first time I saw it. Yes, Chuck carried himself very well indeed, even against cinema greats like Anthony Quinn and Giancarlo Giannini. Glad you love it too!

      1. Hey Ruth, my whole week has been very nice (but also busy, hence the lack of activity on the blog) 😉

        Yeah, it was great to see Chuck play alongside greats like Quinn and Giannini. I honesty couldn’t say that he was left astray despite his limited talents. It’s a very romantic movie that actually made a (very rare) impact with me.

        1. Yeah, seems like you’ve been busy but glad you’re back reviewing things!

          It’s rare to see an unabashedly romantic movie as Hollywood seems to prefer rom-coms. But yeah, the story is lovely and quite poignant, I really like Chuck’s character who loves without question and is also a principled & honorable man, that alone is even more rare in today’s movies.

  2. I thought 28 Days was OK though I really did like A Walk in the Clouds. Notably for Chivo’s cinematography. I saw Erin Brockovich yesterday and earlier this morning, The Wind Rises by Hayao Miyazaki in its English-dubbed version which was pretty good though I’m sure the original Japanese-language version is better.

    1. Glad you’ve seen A Walk in the Clouds, seems like it’s overlooked by a lot of people but it’s really a lovely movie. Curious to read your review of The Wind Rises!

  3. Hey, Ruth. You’ve had a far busier viewing weekend than me (I haven’t watched a single film). I like Darjeeling quite a bit, though perhaps not as much as Anderson’s other work. And I agree Casino Royale is quite good.

    I haven’t seen the others.

    1. Hi Josh! Sorry to hear you’re too busy this weekend to watch movies, hope it was a good one though. Yeah I don’t think Darjeeling would rate as highly as other Anderson’s work for me either. Casino Royale however is still awesome!

  4. Great weekend, Ruth. Haven’t seen 28 Days but a friend loves it! It’s one of her guilty pleasures. A Walk in the Clouds wasn’t my cup of tea, but I love Casino Royale and The Darjeeling Limited.

    This weekend I watched Blackfish (stunning) and 300: Rise of an Empire, which was pretty fun!

    1. Hi Fernando! Ahah well she must feel very guilty watching it then 😉 I really didn’t think it was any good. So you did see A Walk in the Clouds? I love the cultural conflict between the *gringo* Keanu and the girl’s family, esp. Giancarlo Giannini as the dad.

      Are you gonna review both of the movies you saw? I don’t know if I want to see Blackfish after seeing how gruesome The Cove was.

      1. Yes, I did. It’s one of my cousin’s favorite movies and she lent it to me, but I didn’t really like it, except for the visuals. Also, not a fan of Keanu.

        And yes, I’ll write something about both. I don’t know about The Cove but I wouldn’t say Blackfish is gruesome. Still, it packs a strong punch.

        1. Ahah, well you’re not a Keanu fan, so that explains it 😉 I like him despite his lack of range in his acting, he has a certain sweetness & charm about him here that I love. The visuals is definitely gorgeous, no wonder right it’s Lubezki’s (er I mean Chivo’s) work.

          The Cove showed some really terrifying scenes about the dolphins that is quite traumatizing. I think it’s terrible what they’re doing to these animals.

          1. Oh, and Blackfish is not as terrifying in terms of animals being hurt. This one shows the terrible conditions the orcas are in by showing us how they lash out at the trainers. That’s the traumatizing part. Seeing the trainers pulled into the water and not coming out.

            1. Ouch! Yeah that’s what I’ve been reading about the trainers being killed as a result of the orca’s frustration. It’s so tragic and naturally people want to blame the animals but really they’re the ones that are kept in captivity against their will.

              Wow so they actually show the scenes of the trainers being killed/drowned in the film??

              1. Yep. They show really unsettling footage. Not very graphic but very intense nonetheless. And when they don’t show video, the retelling is so detailed that you can almost see it happening. It’s a difficult experience

                1. Yikes! I don’t know if I could watch it, I was quite traumatized by The Cove but it’s good to hear about this as I never even thought of stuff like this before. Now I can’t imagine going to Sea World again!

              2. California and NY are trying to pass laws banning the use of Orcas for entertainment purposes. From wiki:”In response to the film, senator Greg Ball proposed legislation in New York that ban keeping orca in captivity. In March 2014, assemblyman Richard Bloom introduced the Orca Welfare and Safety Act, a bill in California that would ban entertainment-driven killer whale captivity and retire all current whales.” This would greatly affect Sea World in San Diego who currently has 10 whales in captivity.. While Blackfish wasn’t as gruesome as The Cove it really showed the psychological trauma these intelligent animals are put through in the name of entertainment. Blackfish hit closer to home for as I went to Sea World Ohio as a kid growing up in nearby Pittsburgh. Thankfully it closed in 2004. Not to be missed Ruth.

                On the lighter side I don’t think I’ll be seeing 28 Days anytime soon. Not unless there’s alcoholic zombies in that one.

                I didn’t care for Darjeeling. The humor was dryer than a 3 olive martini but I’m looking forward to Wes’s Budapest. Finnes is a hoot in the trailers!

                1. Hi Dave! I heard about that news, that’s good that they’re finally doing something about it. I might give Blackfish a try at some point.

                  Ahah, no, no alcoholic zombies in 28 Days, besides better off seeing 28 Days Later, and this coming from a girl who doesn’t like horror movies!! 🙂

                  Stay tuned for my review of both Wes movies later this week Dave. Fiennes is indeed a hoot in it, watch out for the unknown actor Tony Revolori who’s made quite an impression here as well.

  5. Hey Ruth! Glad it’s starting to warm up there. We had some nice spring temps here. No theater trip here either but I did catch three movies this weekend – a classic, one from the 90s, and a catch up film from last year.

    Really anxious to read your Darjeeling review!

    1. You saw Rear Window right? Which one movie from the 90s did you see Keith?

      Well I didn’t love Darjeeling as much as you did, but still glad I saw it. You’ll see my review mid-week ahead of Grand Budapest Hotel which I like a lot more 🙂

      1. I saw Rear Window last Wednesday. Glad to hear you at least enjoyed seeing Darjeeling. It really worked for me both on a comedic and dramatic level. I really liked the metaphors throughout the film (especially the everpresent luggage).

        1. I think you might’ve gotten more from it than you. I didn’t even realize the significance of those luggage until you mentioned it, ahah. It was funny in parts so I did have fun w/ it, but overall I wasn’t as engaging as I had hoped.

          1. I took it as the luggage represented baggage. All three brothers Just carrying this baggage. The physical baggage was wearing them down physically. The emotional baggage was taking its toll on them emotionally. It wasn’t until the last scene where he let go with the luggage that he was able to get on board the train. And did you notice that every piece of luggage had their father’s initials on them? Kinda cool, huh? 🙂

            1. Yes that’s exactly it. I thought about that as they’re running to board the train, but it seems like the relationship transformation had already taken place even before they let go of the luggage? Yeah I notice their dad’s initials on all of them, and that all of them were Louis Vuittons!! Their dad must be loaded but we barely got a clue as to who he really was.

  6. Hi Ruth–you were busy! I watched 12 Years a Slave (finally) and it took an hour for the film’s heavy scenes to fade away and I could continue with the weekend. Heavy! Otherwise, I can’t believe it’s been seven years since the release of Darjeeling Limited. I thought it was wonderful. Can’t wait for Grand Budapest Hotel 🙂

    1. Hi Cindy! Oh I know, 12 Years a Slave is quite emotionally draining. I made the mistake of seeing the AM screening and I had to go to work afterwards. Suffice to say it was tough to get any work done!

      Well, you’ll see my review of both Wes Anderson’s movies later this week 😀

  7. One can never go wrong, with While You’re Sleeping. 28 Days (not Later) is one of Sandra’s I haven’t seen. I’m sure I’ll see it one day, being a completist, but not too soon. Want to see a worthwhile lesser known Bullock film, with our friend Liam Neeson, see GUN SHY.

  8. Ted S.

    I’ve lived in MN for over 20 years now and I have never so excited for spring and summer than this year. This past winter’s just brutal, I need to leave this state, I sold my house over the weekend and got a couple of job interviews in Las Vegas and Santa Fe. I hope to land one of those jobs and leave this frigid and snowy state, I’m so sick of the winter season here.

    As for movie viewing, I didn’t watch anything this weekend because I took down my home theater and I don’t like watching movies on my regular TV. Last weekend was the last time I watched a movie on my home theater, a friend of mine who’s a home theater installer lend me a new Sony projector, a very expensive one, and I watched Gravity on it. He was hoping I’d write up a review of the projector and post it online. Apparently they’re having a hard time selling it to their customers, the machine cost around $15,000!!!

    You know I totally forgot about 28 Days, it came out when Bullock was in the slump at the box office and she starred in quite a few stinkers. After Speed 2, her career took a dive for a couple of years and not until Miss Congeniality that she became a box office darling again.

    1. Hi Ted, yeah I’ve never been more excited for Spring myself. It’s pathetic how happy we are when temps hit 40 degrees! 😀 Oh wow, you sold your house?? So are you staying w/ your parents now. Yeah this Winter is brutal indeed. I hope you get one of those jobs though I’d miss you when you leave MN!

      WOW, the SONY projector your friend lent you cost $15 grand?? That’s as expensive as a car!!

      Yeah, 28 Days is pretty bad, even the charismatic Bullock couldn’t save that movie.

      1. Ted S.

        I know, I was outside earlier this morning and felt so good that I didn’t have to wear my thick winter jacket. I’m sure most people in the warm state would consider our current temp very cold but it’s so nice out today! Yeah I think I’ll move back to my parents’ for a bit, hopefully if I get an offer from either of those jobs, I can just move out there quick and not have to worry about selling my house. It sold quicker than I thought but that’s a good thing.

        Ha ha yeah, that’s the reason why they’re having trouble selling that projector, even though most of their clients have money, they’re still not going to spend that kind of cash on a projector. Besides most projectors in the $2000-3000 range are good enough, the only reason this new one cost so much is that it’s a true 4K projector, there aren’t many of them out there currently.

  9. Have not seen 28 Days as far as I remember. My weekend wasn’t filled with movies. Only saw Turbo (had received a review copy so had to), but wasn’t too impressed with it. Besides that I watched a couple of House of Cards and Orange is the New Black episodes.

    1. Hi Nostra! I haven’t seen Turbo yet but for some reason I didn’t care to. I’ve only seen a few eps of season 1 of House of Cards, so did you like both of those shows?

  10. I think I’ll give 28 Days a miss, although I do admire Sandra. Looking at her career she’s a very smart lady and an underrated performer, long may she prosper.
    Over the weekend I caught up with the True Grit remake, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation and The Gumball Rally (1976). I enjoyed all three, and the beautiful sunny weather here in the UK. Happy Monday Ruth!

    1. Hi Paul! Yes, I love Sandy too, long may she prosper indeed! 😀 Oh I like the True Grit remake though I’m usually not a Western fan. Hey, nice to see you’ve got great sunny weather there in the UK, it’s finally warming up over here too 😀

  11. Hope you had a good weekend Ruth! I’ve always got time to fit in a bit of Casino Royale, it’s become one of my favourites as well. I saw The Grand Budapest Hotel which I thoroughly enjoyed. Review of that coming in the next couple of days!

    1. Hi there Chris! Oh I’ve got my review of Grand Budapest Hotel done as well, I just can’t post it until Friday (embargo per studio until its release date), but yeah I really like that one too, could be my fave so far from Wes.

  12. I never saw 28 Days but I always thought Mortensen had big role in that one, gonna stay away from this then. This weekend I saw Ghosts of Girlfriends Past which was pretty silly but at least Matt looked good and Emma Stone surprisingly appeared out of nowhere, literally.

    1. Hi Sati! I LOVE Viggo and he was one of the reasons I saw it but really he’s only in the movie for like 10 minutes! So you’re on a McConaughey Marathon it seems like, how many more of his older movies are you gonna see? I might check out Ghosts of Girlfriends Past if it’s on Netflix.

      1. Oh I still have Amistad and Time to Kill – I saw them like a decade ago so I barely remember those, also some flicks he did in the 90’s and I still need to finish Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie he did with Renee Zellweger 🙂

        It’s fun seeing him and Jennifer Garner in this one, since he was also flirting with her in Dallas Buyers Club.

        1. WOW, Matthew is in Amistad as well? I believe Chiwetel was in it too, right? Nice to see these talented actors coming a long way since that time where they were unknown. Well Matthew’s been famous for a while, but not as well-respected as he is now. I’ve only remembered bits and pieces of A Time to Kill but would definitely see that again.

          I forgot he’s been in a movie w/ Jennifer Garner! I like both of them a lot so I will definitely rent Ghost of Girlfriend’s Past. Did you see SAHARA btw? I saw that on the big screen but not a big fan of that one.

          1. I think he plays the lead in Amistad 🙂 I don’t know about Chiwetel, I’m not very familiar with his career. I haven’t seen Sahara but it looks pretty bad 🙂

            1. I remember not liking Sahara but not because of Matthew, I’m not a big fan of Penelope Cruz. Steve Zahn is pretty funny though, I’d think it’s still worth a rental if you like Matthew that much. Sounds like you do 😉

                1. Aiyaaah!! That’s the one w/ the Queen of Awful Rom-Com Kate Hudson right? WOW you truly are a fan, Sati! 😉 Good thing he hasn’t done a rom-com w/ Katherine Heigl (at least based on my recollections), as she is the WORST. I can’t be a fan of Gerry Butler anymore after he did that awful romcom w/ her called aptly enough The Ugly Truth, it is truly ugly!

  13. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    Sometimes you come across a completely miscast film. And ’28 Days’ sounds like that film. Which is a shame, because I’m a fan of Dominic West. And Alan Tudyk is an under appreciated comic gem. Never been much of a Sandra Bullock fan. And never got the hang and appeal of Viggo Mortensen.

    Out of curiosity, I did catch ‘Gangster Squad’. And boy, did that computer game brought to life stink on ice!!!

    A prime example of miscasting and misdirection. While answering the question, “How bad can a film be?”

    Remember to rinse off all the salt spray and gunk from your car with clear water before you decide to wash it by hand or drive through. Your rocker panels and undercarriage will love you for it!

    1. Hi Kevin! I don’t know if Sandy was miscast here necessarily, I think she’s fine in the role despite some over-the-top scenes, but I think it’s the script that I have my main beef with. It’s just not a very compelling movie.

      You’re not a fan of Viggo eh? I really like him mostly from his role in Lord of the Rings.

      Oh I loathed Gangster Squad. I reviewed it a while back and gave it a 2/5 I think. It’s just horrible on all fronts, you should’ve included that in your latest article ‘Superlative cast squandered in mediocre movies,’ though that one is horrible, not just mediocre.

      Hey thanks for the Winter car tip there! 😀

      1. jackdeth72

        Hi, Ruth:

        The reason I didn’t include ‘Gangster Squad’ in “Superlative Casts…” is that the film doesn’t have a “superlative cast”. Nor is it “mediocre”.

        ‘Gangster Squad’ is more of the arena of, “Why was this film ever made?”.

        Which opens up an entirely new category of films to critique and opine upon.

    1. I don’t usually watch this many movies Mark, it’s pretty unusual 🙂 I like Sandra but this is NOT one of my fave movies of hers.

  14. Hahaha when I saw the tittle I immediately though ‘Ah 28 days later!!’ but I was wrong 😉
    Even I who happens to be Sandy’s dies hard fan is reluctance to watch 28 days…I have been reading its review and none satisfy me.

    Whoaaaa….you make me want to watch A walk Again…one of my fav romantic movies.

    1. Ahah yeah, it’s not the one w/ Cillian though 28 Days Later is eons better Nov, might as well rewatch that one again to be honest. This one is pretty bad.

      A Walk in the Clouds however, is still lovely. Oh look at the super young and hunky Keanu!! 😉

      1. Hahaha…I sort of wish Sandy and Cilli can be in one movie now 😉

        I know!!! he is sooooo darn cute and the romance is not tooo over the top, I think.

        1. Oooh wouldn’t that be nice!!

          I really like the tentative romance in ‘Clouds’, he comes across like a very sincere and sweet man, very believable too!

  15. Oh, Casino Royale is brilliant! LOVE that film. 🙂

    I watched a slew of 1933 titles last weekend, which I really enjoyed, like 42nd Street, Design for Living, The Invisible Man and Lady for a Day.

    1. It is isn’t it? It’s one of my all time fave Bond films!

      Why 1933 Josh? Is it for your Ballot thing you’re doing? I hope you’ll review some of ’em, which one would you recommend most?

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