How to choose a movie at the cinema: 28 Weeks Later

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A few words on going to the movies. Reviews are a very useful tool. They get things wrong sometimes, like with the early hype surrounding 300 and Transformers. But if you learn how to speak the language you will be rewarded.

So if a film hits theaters that seems too good to be true, that seems unlikely for a major studio to back, and it tickles your fancy, go see it. I’m thinking specifically here of The Lookout, which left me raving for weeks, a story about a _BOY_ who becomes mentally disabled and then lured into a heist, but there are other categories. If you’re a_WOMAN_ who goes to the movies, make a point of watching films with _FEMALE_leads, a disappearing category (unless of course they’re fascist horrorshows, like the Jodie Foster vehicle last year.  Many of the best films of the last few years have been entirely unjustified box office bombs. I went out to support Grindhouse twice, despite its problematics, as the world would be a better place if major studios took those kinds of risks more often.

 

Grindhouse and 28 Weeks Later were both major box office bombs, the former being one of the most significant and discussed of the year. The triumphant, unapologetic fascism of 300 became the year’s most talked-about runaway hit. I saw all three of these films in theaters, 300 on its opening weekend. 28 Weeks Later was poorly promoted, probably: it ended up taking in far less income than its predecessor and had a fantastically more opulent budget than Boyle’s stripped-down DV-shot production. Grindhouse and 300 both, to my mind, offered terrific cinematic experiences, and on content alone should have been two of the year’s biggest hits. Oh well. I’m no box office analyst, but I want to really encourage all of you to rent 28 Weeks Later.

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