hopscotchee: alan tudyk score: 68.5 rating: pg-13 time: 164 minutes
starting off this review is rather difficult right now because, not to be rude, but the clearly photoshopped lens flare effect on the movie poster is incredibly distracting and borderline disturbing. disturbing?? whoa!! we know that seems a little extreme, and most times we don't mention these things, but for some reason, this is the poster that rips the duck tape off. to our defense, if you stare at it long enough the little things (shout out one direction) can make you kinda crazy. not in a critical or mean way tho but in a curiosity way. like a 'what did the artist think that the lens flare would add to the image that a lack of one didn't' kinda way. and who knows?? maybe it was just to cover up something in the background, or to draw more attention to sandra, or even a symbol for the 'high life'. that said, we've pointed it out for you. now, you'll always see it. you're welcome.
but, speaking about bringing attention to sandra, may we be probably not the first to say that ms. bullock is an american treasure. seriously, agree or disagree, but, at least for us, there hasn't been a single movie she's starred in that we've seen where she hasn't been bad a$$ in a role - especially in her role as gwen in 28 days. manipulating and cunning, her charisma, complexity, and punch of sarcasm makes her character so gosh darn juicy to indulge in. expressing all the layers of addiction from denial, desperation, pain, and persistence, she marvelously unfolds all of them throughout the film one by one as gwen grows and learns from the past. lifted even higher with an incredibly supportive cast, each and every secondary character also contributes, adding charm and personality to the grim atmosphere of rehab that gwen is surrounded in. altogether, every actor makes this an engaging and respectable film even during their lows in recovery.
however, just as noticeable as sandra in this film, the combo between the shot comp and editing was a key spotlight. we really need a name for that combo tbh. let's go with comp-editing for now. eh, kinda works. anyway, typically, when we'd say that the comp-editing was noticeable, it'd usually follow with a point to why we didn't rate it so highly, but, to our surprise, the quirks, effects, and jump cuts actually served a greater purpose in this movie, giving it a higher score. starting out the film strong with 'camcorder' shaky footage, it immediately submerged the audience into gwen's party lifestyle and irresponsible character traits while simultaneously letting you grow attached to her since she's the first thing we see on screen. ttthhhheeennn sometime later, the artsy effects come back into play when our character, gwen, is struggling with withdrawals. shuttering and blurring, this adds to gwen's POV which now makes us not only emotionally attached to her, but physically as well since 'our sight' and perspective of the film is being altered to gwen's. just as much, we can additionally understand the highs and lows of addiction although passively experiencing it because of the contrast of cinematography between the fiery, red tint of the beginning 'camcorder' 'high life' footage to the cold, isolated blue tint of the rehab bathroom. so, lots of great combo moments for sure - though we do want to clarify that fades are not included in this combo. they are sold separately (lol). and yes, although fades aren't bad - cross dissolves, bro. you gotta be so careful with them, because they can just take you out of the film so fast in point-something-odd-seconds which isn't fair to your film. (and yes, 28 days did have some cross dissolves, hence the score sticking to 7 and not 8, 9, or 10).
ending on a positive note tho, we both very much enjoyed this movie. major props need to go to the fact that it has held up 20 years, which, we know, may not seem like a long time ago, but in retrospect is like comparing a movie from the 80s to a movie from the 60s, so we want to give it some credit. and honestly, 28 days will probably hold up another 20 years, who knows, because the best part about this film is how it really stays true to compelling storytelling. which now thinking about it is really ironic because 28 days is a very heartfelt and fun story even though it's about drug addiction.
-- thanks, alan xo