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The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


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:

Zombies 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:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:




Video: 84


  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:
'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.




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




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...













Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews




Reference Review System:



Panasonic TC-P65VT25

Marantz SR5005 Receiver

Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Artison Portrait Fronts and Artison LRS Surround Speakers

Martin Logan Dynamo 500 Subwoofer
 

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ditto .. and yes, even women like it ..
 

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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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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikehold /forum/post/20111493


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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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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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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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikehold /forum/post/20111493


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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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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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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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit /forum/post/20114701


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.


SNSGUY
 

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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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I never got around to watching this show. Guess I'll have to give it a go.
 

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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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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 /forum/post/20152814


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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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit /forum/post/20152857


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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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit /forum/post/20152857


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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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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