The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 24 Old 03-07-2011, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=203047&d=1298554978
The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373697

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373697

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

88






Studio and Year: AMC - 2010
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 292 minutes
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller, TV


Disc Format: BD-50 (2 Disc set)
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78 : 1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jon Bernthal, Laurie Holden, Emma Bell, Jeffrey DeMunn, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Lennie James
Directed by: Frank Darabont, Ernest R. Dickerson, Guy Ferland, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, Michelle Maxwell MacLaren, Johan Renck
Music by: Bear McCreary
Written by: Charlie Adlard, Frank Darabont, Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 8, 2011







"In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living."



Film Synopsis:

After waking from a coma in an abandoned hospital, police officer Rick Grimes finds the world he knew gone - ravaged by a zombie epidemic of apocalyptic proportions. Nearby, on the outskirts of Atlanta, a small encampment struggles to survive 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?




My Take:

attachment.php?attachmentid=203049&d=1298555767Zombies are the new Vampire. Wait...is it vice-versa? Either way, both genres are all the rage these days, but thankfully some filmmakers have dared to break the mold, and some have been very successful. I was lucky enough to write up "Let Me In", which it and its Swedish made counterpart "Let The Right One In", were convention defying vampire films. I feel the same about 'The Walking Dead', I really enjoyed how it was about the people and the effects an almost Armageddon situation has on their inter-personal relationships, and what they will do to each other, good or bad, to survive. I hope Season 2, which I am eagerly awaiting, will keep addressing the drama of the situation over the horror of The Walking Dead that surround the remaining humans.

Don't get me wrong, 'The Walking Dead' has plenty of horror, blood and guts, courtesy of the amazing effects of Greg Nicotero (The Green Mile, Vanilla Sky, Sin City). The Zombies are the Romero Zombies, slow walking, one shot to the head dead, human eating machines. That is combined with a 28 Days Later-esque plot device of a global epidemic/virus that creates these Walking Dead. Using these familiar devices works quite well here, and somehow feels fresh.

We witness this situation through the eyes of police officer Rick Grimes. As he learns what is happening, we do as well. We feel his confusion, loss and sadness, feeling for him as awakens from a coma to see what has happened to the world...and his family. One of the series best moments is when he puts his police uniform back on, in a desperate attempt to gain any semblance of normalcy in this insane new reality he now lives. This gives him a purpose and a goal to carry on....and to find, protect and cherish any humanity that is still left on the planet.

Writer/Director Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, The Mist) and Producer Gale Anne Hurd (Aliens, The Terminator) did an amazing job converting (yet another) a comic-book to the screen. The very well regarded comic series was created by Robert Kirkman, who served as a writer on the show, and commended Darabont's understanding of the human element of the material, being very happy that it was less about the horror and more about the people. This was the key ingredient to the shows success, and what drew me into the story, separating it from the typical Zombie film. Yes if they bite you, you will turn into one, and usually I look forward the terrible characters getting bit or eaten alive ...here I wanted them to survive and I actually cared.






Parental Guide:

Not Rated - mature thematic issues, graphic 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)

Audio: 92



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373694

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373698

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373697

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373697

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373697


Video: 84



  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373697

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373698

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373698

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=121037369
'The Walking Dead: Season 1' rises on Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22.9 mbps and DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Sound that has an average bitrate of 3.7 mbps.

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 and LFE dug room shaking deep, adding another level to this superb lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Sound track.attachment.php?attachmentid=203050&d=1298555767



Bonus Features:




  • (HD) The Making of "The Walking Dead"

  • (HD) Inside "The Walking Dead"

  • (HD) Behind the Scenes Zombie Make-Up Tips

  • (HD) Convention Panel with Producers

  • (HD) "The Walking Dead" Promo, Extra Footage

  • (HD) Featurettes: Zombie School,Bicycle Girl, On Set with Robert Kirkman, Hanging with Steven Yeun, Inside Dale's RV, On Set with Andrew Lincoln

  • (HD) Previews: Breaking Bad, Dead Space: Aftermath, I Spit on Your Grave 2010, Frozen
attachment.php?attachmentid=203048&d=1298555767


Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed 'The Walking Dead: Season 1', and am eagerly awaiting season 2s arrival this fall. It built a great set of characters that I care about, it's storyline feels and has the makings of something epic, and its production values are top notch. Anchor Bay's release looks and sounds great, with a set of enjoyable special features. I highly recommended this set. PS Even my wife loved the show...






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post #2 of 24 Old 03-07-2011, 09:06 AM
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ditto .. and yes, even women like it ..

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post #3 of 24 Old 03-07-2011, 10:31 AM
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Definitely a great show. My wife also enjoyed the show. However, she thought it was a mini series and was pretty annoyed when the storyline didn't wrap up at the end. Silly women.
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post #4 of 24 Old 03-07-2011, 10:55 AM
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Sounds like a rehash of 28 Days Later?
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post #5 of 24 Old 03-07-2011, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikehold View Post

Sounds like a rehash of 28 Days Later?

It's really more of a character driven show with zombies as a side line, IMO

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post #6 of 24 Old 03-07-2011, 04:26 PM
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My kids and i loved the show. I wish it had been 10 episodes instead of only 6. We are looking forward to next season. The only thing i did not like was seeing the toyota corolla commercial over and over again.

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post #7 of 24 Old 03-07-2011, 06:01 PM
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Just watched the entire season in one take on AMC and was impressed on their take of the post apocalyptic world and it was kinda neat... I live in Metro-Atlanta and drive through there at least once a week... defiantly adds a bit of depth to a series when you have are familiar with the location.

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post #8 of 24 Old 03-07-2011, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikehold View Post

Sounds like a rehash of 28 Days Later?

Technically speaking... the Walking Dead comics pre-date the 28 Days Later movie...

and both efforts share similar inspiration from the George Romero Night of the Living Dead + another movie that is escaping me (the opening scene waking in the empty hospital for both show/movie are inspired by another movie both creators liked).

Meanwhile.. I know a lot of people freak over film grain... I don't. On top of that, I think 16mm works for this kind of show. If it were pristine video-clear, I think it would be distracting.

16mm adds to the mood of the show, helping to bring the audience into it as if we are watching through the eyes of someone actually there OR as if through a home video camera filming the end of days.

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post #9 of 24 Old 03-07-2011, 09:18 PM
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Thanks for the review. This was an excellent series, and AMC should be proud of this and Breaking Bad.
I agree with the comments that a lot of m y 20-something female friends and my wife loved the show. We watched episode one on one night, and the rest of the series on another night; they couldn't wait to come back the second time.
The opening hospital sequence i this series and 28 Days Later is reminiscent of the 1980s BBC series interpretation of the Day of the Triffids . I dare say that was creepier because the protagonist had his eyes bound/was blind when he woke up all alone.
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post #10 of 24 Old 03-08-2011, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikehold View Post

Sounds like a rehash of 28 Days Later?

Its actually BBC's 'Survivors' with zombies which is in no way a bad thing.
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post #11 of 24 Old 03-08-2011, 06:37 AM
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This is based off the comic book of the same name by Robert Kirkman. The adaption seems faithful with a few changes. But yeah, it's not really about ZOMBIES. You can replace zombies with vampires or something and it will still be about the things humanity are tempted to do when faced with an extreme situation. Zombies are just convienent and the flavor of the century.
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post #12 of 24 Old 03-09-2011, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

Thanks for the review. This was an excellent series, and AMC should be proud of this and Breaking Bad.
I agree with the comments that a lot of my 20-something female friends and my wife loved the show. We watched episode one on one night, and the rest of the series on another night; they couldn't wait to come back the second time.
The opening hospital sequence i this series and 28 Days Later is reminiscent of the 1980s BBC series interpretation of the Day of the Triffids . I dare say that was creepier because the protagonist had his eyes bound/was blind when he woke up all alone.

My wife also loved the show. I was shocked! She hates anything to do with zombies but The Walking Dead is much more then just zombies. The zombies are an additive to the story. It's much more about the people which I think is why so many women go for it as well.

Great review Lee! I just received it from Amazon today. I plan on watching it again real soon.

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post #13 of 24 Old 03-12-2011, 07:14 AM
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I watched the first two episodes on TV around Halloween and quickly lost interest after that, but maybe I'll have to give it a second chance when I see it come on the listings again.
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post #14 of 24 Old 03-12-2011, 12:07 PM
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I never got around to watching this show. Guess I'll have to give it a go.

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post #15 of 24 Old 03-13-2011, 08:58 AM
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Started watching a rental copy of disc one and will be buying the set instead of renting disc 2. Great writing all around. I could do without some of the gratuitous gore, but I also think it's somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Too short of a "season", obviously.
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post #16 of 24 Old 03-15-2011, 09:53 AM
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I did not think I would enjoy walking dead, but after the first episode I was hooked! Cant wait for the next set. One question that I seemed to miss in the movie "what exactly caused the world to die?" and why did some survive?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruceabar View Post

I did not think I would enjoy walking dead, but after the first episode I was hooked! Cant wait for the next set. One question that I seemed to miss in the movie "what exactly caused the world to die?" and why did some survive?

The world did not die. There was an outbreak of a pathogen that causes death and then a minimal resurrection, resulting in the Zombies. The ones that survived were not infected. The infection propogates via bites or scratches through the bloodstream. The survivors either had minimal contact with Zombies, or were able to defend themselves successfully... or just got plain lucky.
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post #18 of 24 Old 03-15-2011, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

The world did not die. There was an outbreak of a pathogen that causes death and then a minimal resurrection, resulting in the Zombies. The ones that survived were not infected. The infection propogates via bites or scratches through the bloodstream. The survivors either had minimal contact with Zombies, or were able to defend themselves successfully... or just got plain lucky.

There's also some question about the main character. They've left room to give him some special immunity, since he apparently laid in the infected hospital for days and *should* have been exposed. It's possible he was laying there for much longer (reference the dead flowers on the table). Lots of open questions about that.
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post #19 of 24 Old 03-15-2011, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

The world did not die. There was an outbreak of a pathogen that causes death and then a minimal resurrection, resulting in the Zombies. The ones that survived were not infected. The infection propogates via bites or scratches through the bloodstream. The survivors either had minimal contact with Zombies, or were able to defend themselves successfully... or just got plain lucky.

Thank you and exactly what I thought happen. In only one episode the clue I heard was the word "virus" , otherwise what happen was never mention and I never once read any of the comics, so you can say I was clueless about any of the story.

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post #20 of 24 Old 03-15-2011, 11:37 PM
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For those who havent seen the series, go buy it. This is one of the few purchases I can recommend without hesitation. This is an amazing series and you truly feel for the characters and their plight. Ohh and it has some zombies too!
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post #21 of 24 Old 03-19-2011, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by brianbat420 View Post

For those who havent seen the series, go buy it. This is one of the few purchases I can recommend without hesitation. This is an amazing series and you truly feel for the characters and their plight. Ohh and it has some zombies too!

I agree!!!....even if walking dead people sounds, well dead beat.

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post #22 of 24 Old 03-21-2011, 05:19 AM
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Problem now is it isn't quite the bargain pricewise as it was so I'll recommend those missing out to wait on it.
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post #23 of 24 Old 08-30-2012, 10:09 AM
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This series is awesome. I watched it last night - the entire season in one night. A friend brought the set over and we watched the first two. I was hooked. After he left I watched the remaing four in season one back to back.

I NEVER do that. I usually tire of stuff like this after an hour or two --- ESPECIALLY TV serials.

I'm not even a zombie or horror flick fan.

This series was fantastic with character buildup that truly does make you root for the characters. The sets are incredible, special effects are grade A, and acting is among the best I've seen in any TV series (or big budget movie for that matter).

A+

Strongly Recommended!

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post #24 of 24 Old 09-24-2012, 01:57 AM
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When will the next season come out? Have I missed somethin' ?
2nd part has been finished for so long, eek.gif I almost forget how it processes, yet I love it!
It's more than just about zombie, it's about love, friendship, trust among people, and even humanity.
How would the little boy become? He's beyong bold, I suppose.
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