May 13th, 2007

Old Friend

28 Weeks Later & The Eurovision Song Contest

28 Weeks Later
Saturday saw imagnoceantaryn_veeand supergothhead off to the cinema to see 28 Weeks Later - the sequel to the fantastic 28 Days Later. I must say I was very uncertain as to how the film would actually be. 28 Days Later was fantastic and one of my favourite films the year it came out. I thought it would be hard to capture both the spirit and freshness of the original film.

The initial plot was very good. Some footage set within the original outbreak of a group of surivivors - including Robert Carlyle's character (Don) - hiding out from the rampaging hordes of the RAGE infected. The fall of their sanctuary and Don's escape (at the loss of his wife).

Then we fast forward to 28 weeks after the outbreak had died out. The US Forces lead the rescue and rehabitation efforts. The remaining survivors from the outbreak - along with those British who were abroad when the outbreak hit (on holiday/business, whatever) are being housed on the Isle of Dogs in London (Canary Wharf, etc) behind armed guards and a major military presence. The Outbreak may have died and no new cases of RAGE recorded for several months but everyone is being overly careful in the face of the unexplained phenomena.

Two of the repatriated are Don's children who were on a school trip when the virus broke out.

I'll stop the plot there and let everyone else watch the film as, through a series of events, the RAGE virus obviously breaks out again and the film follows the events.

I thought the way they handled the catalyst to the new outbreak was fairly silly. You'll see what I mean when you see the film. I also think some of the actions of the military - in general and on soem personal levels - were a bit dubious and possibly not how things would work out if it had been a real life situation. Who knows. It just came across a bit odd.

Anyway, the film, the latter half of which is pretty much an extended chase scene, was overall very enjoyable. There was one scene involving a helicopter and a horde of infected which I thought was really well done and enjoyable (although others did feel it was slightly OTT and very gorey). I also really liked the way the film ended.

This is NOT a horror film. It has lots of GORE in places, so if you don't like gore then it's not one to watch. But the film is not scarey and provides very few jumps. I'd probably put it in a similiar category as Children of Men actually. Although Children of Men is a MUST SEE whereas 28 Weeks Later is merely good entertainment.

School Report: B/B+

We then retired back to ours and played games (Ticket to Ride: Marklin - the German map; and a couple fo games of Tsruro)

After Hamish and Taryn left, Rosie and myself settled down to watch the Eurovision. There were some fairly good acts (my favourite were Bulgaria, Georgia, Finland and Russia - in that order) and many, many dire entries (including the British and Irish entries).

Some people have complained about 'Block Voting' between neighboruing nations. This has gone on FOREVER and is nothing new. The thing that has changed is that now more Eastern European countries are involved they're getting the lions share of the voting and there are more of them than the Western European nations due to the initial break up of the Soviet Union and then several futher splits as countries broke down into smaller parts (mainly Yugoslavia there). Few complained before and I think it's shameful that people are now complaining about Block Voting as it's benefitting the Eastern Europeans.

As it happened the majority of the better songs this year did come from Eastern European entries - and the votes countries like Serbia and the Ukraine were getting were as much from the western nations as the East. Serbia wouldn't have received such a high score if it was just random 'vote for your neighbour' .

I wasn't personally keen on the Serbian entry but well done to them. Both Bulgaria and Russia also finished in the Top 5 I believe which was good. The UK came second from bottom (with two countries voting for them - Ireland gave them 7 and Malta gave them 12 - so we basically benefited from Block Voting or would have ended up with zero points). Ireland finished bottom of the table. France also drew with the UK on 19 points, I think some people must have given them a sympathy vote for the costumes the eprformers were made to wear :p

Anyway, not a great Eurovision night, but it was good to see more alternative and rocky entries involved this year - almost certainly on the back of Lordi's success last year.
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