( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: AMC - 2011/ 2012
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 578 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50 (4 Disc Set)
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French Dolby Surround 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Jon Bernthal, Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn
Directed by: Ernest R. Dickerson, Guy Ferland, Bill Gierhart, Greg Nicotero
Music by: Bear McCreary
Written by: Charlie Adlard, Frank Darabont, Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 28, 2012
When the world is ravaged by a zombie apocalypse, police officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and a small group of others struggle to stay alive as 'the dead' stalk them at every turn. Can Rick and the others hold onto their humanity as they fight to live in this terrifying new world? And, amidst dire conditions and personal rivalries, will they ultimately survive one another? Based on Robert Kirkman's hugely successful and popular comic book series, AMC's original series "The Walking Dead" is an epic, edge-of-your-seat drama where personal struggles are magnified against a backdrop of moment-to-moment crisis. A survivalist story at its core, the series explores how the living are changed by the overwhelming realization that those who survive can be far more dangerous than the mindless walkers roaming the earth. They themselves have become the walking dead...
I was a big fan of AMC's walking dead, which I reviewed (here) last year, and I was eagerly anticipating season 2. When the news came out the the shows creator, Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, The Mist) was leaving before season 2 began filming, I was worried. My concern was his amazing grasp of the human condition, the element that made The Walking Dead such a success would be lost, or that it could easily just become a apocalyptic soap opera with zombies. Thankfully The Walking Dead Season 2 did not disappoint. I was sucked in from frame one and watched the season through in 2 days. I was hooked with its well fleshed out characters, convincing story-arch and awesome effects courtesy of effects guru Gregory Nicotero's KNB EFX group.
Season 2 finds our group lost and hopeless after finding out there is no cure to the zombie disease after their visit to the Center for Disease Control (also known as the CDC) in Atlanta. They are roaming, looking for a place to be, belong and to find a reason to carry on. Led by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), the group end up at a secluded farm where they not only need to fight the zombies but they find the toughest struggle is fighting themselves.
What got me was Rick Grimes' storyline in this season. Stripped down to basics it was about Rick finding himself after quietly succumbing to doubt. He goes from strong to passive and back, finally securing his role and becoming the leader he was supposed to be. I read some complaints about the lack of Zombie in this season and I found that to be ludicrous. There were Zombies-a-plenty, and they were all awesome. The effects were great, and the location of the secluded farm gave the series a chance to get a bit deeper into the characters heads without an over-kill of zombies, which I found to be much more effective. If you have yet to see season 2 (or season 1 for that matter) it's time to get watching as this Blu-ray set is great.
Violence and language
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
The Walking Dead: Season 2 comes to Blu-ray disc from Anchor Bay/Starz featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24.2 mbps Dolby TrueHD MA 7.1 lossless surround sound that has a average bitrate of 3.3 mbps.
There is very little, if any deviation in the aesthetic of the show, the sound design as well as the quality of the transfer Anchor Bay delivers on Blu-ray. My Thoughts are the same as the the Season 1 release which I am quoting below.
"Anchor Bay delivers a faithful transfer of AMC's 'The Walking Dead'. You better love film grain as this was shot on 16mm film stock, and the grain is pretty heavy here...you can almost sink your teeth into it. Grain can be a double edged sword, sometimes it can get overbearing but sometimes it is beautiful, adding to the look and feel of a film. Here it added to the gritty despair and depression of the situation. It was not the most detailed or crisp HD broadcast I have seen, but was passable. This translates directly to its Blu-ray release, showing that Anchor Bay was true to the source. Colors seem spot on from what I have on MY DVR, with flesh-tones taking on a natural but slightly pale tone. Black levels sure do shine as do the shadow details. There really is nothing to fault here, as it looks as it should and was filmed to look. The audio track was a step above, with a rich and dynamic sound-scape, having no issues with dialogue and a very nice surround presentation. Most impressive was the palpable concussion of gunshots and other dynamic sound effects as well as LFE that dug room shaking deep, adding another level to this superb lossless Dolby TrueHD."
The Walking Dead: Season 2 is a must see, well a must see once you see Season 1! I was skeptical when the show lost Frank Darabont, however, things did not miss a beat as the scares, isolation and character development are all still here. Anchor Bay delivers a great release, with plenty of brains...I mean extras to sink your teeth into. This is highly recommended!
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS45 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Theater Grand 7201 Amplifier
Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
M&K S-150MKII LCR
M&K S-150T Surrounds
M&K MX-350MKII Subwoofer