With a wink and a nod toward the Rock Hudson/Doris Day romantic romps of the 1960s, Down with Love centers on author Barbara Novak (Renée Zellweger), whose feminist tome tells women all over New York to forego love in order to get ahead in their lives. But when Novak is wooed unsuspectingly by ladies' man and magazine writer Catcher Block (Ewan McGregor), her detailed plan is derailed.
Faithfully adhering to the mod mood, the DVD offers a saturated, sumptuously hued 2.35:1 anamorphic picture with well-defined edges and a pleasing amount of contrast. Luckily for home theater aficionados, the film's '60s theme doesn't continue into the disc's audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is glorious '00s style, with soaring music and pitch-perfect dialogue.
In addition to fabulous motion menus, extras on the disc include a detail-packed commentary track from director Peyton Reed, a music video with the film's stars, hair and makeup test footage, a hilarious blooper reel, and an HBO special. However, the highlights of the extras package are the three separate making-of documentaries and the collection of deleted scenes, which are punctuated by director commentary, always a welcome and critical inclusion on DVDs.—Christy Grosz
DVD: 28 Days Later—20th Century Fox
I judge a good horror movie by the number of times I'm forced to cover my eyes and watch scenes through split fingers. Based on that, Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later is a superb horror movie. A hospital patient, Jim, comes out of his coma and finds that all of London has been infected with a disease, Rage, which causes murderous aggression in its victims. A handful of non-infected people spend their time running from the infected and trying to figure out what to do.
Although the movie is glorious in its storytelling, I can't say the same for the video. The 1.85:1 anamorphic picture is at times muddy, with plenty of glitches in the background and artifacting during the darker scenes. Like any good horror movie, a good portion of the movie is deliberately quiet, which works well to build intensity and suspense but didn't do much to rattle my speakers. Although presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, I sometimes felt this was wasted, since the action is few and far between. The audio during the action scenes is engulfing, however—particularly near the end when torrential rain feels like it's coming in from all sides.
The extras package is full of goodies: the theatrical trailer, director and writer commentary, deleted scenes, and more. The featurette "Pure Rage: The Making of 28 Days Later" discusses the possibility of a killer pandemic infecting the world. The movie's alternate endings have both a hopeful and a desperate view of what eventually happens to these people.—Amy Carter