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The Walking Dead Complete First Season - Blu-ray Review

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The Walking Dead Season 1 - blu-ray Review

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4 stars

Positioning itself in a believable world where the apocalypse is brought about by soulless zombies, AMC’s The Walking Dead took cable television by storm last year.  The show juggled itself between moments of hard-hitting violence and touching situations as humans dealt with the loss of their loved ones.  Every week brought something new for its audience to devour – even if the gas was running a bit low in the zombie vehicle toward the final two episodes (note: though it’s being clarified now, the entire writing staff was fired as a result).  Even still, the series remained cinematic and true to its Season One arc of humans vs. zombies.

Waking up confused and wounded in an abandoned hospital, Police Officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) stumbles outside only to discover the world is not what it once was.  Mostly alive.  It’s a sunny day, but don’t let the daylight fool you.  Once outside the hospital doors, Grimes discovers half-eaten bodies – still functioning zombies mind you – scattered everywhere and that’s only part of his problem.  His wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and son are missing.  He must find them.  Certainly, he has to.

Teaming up briefly with a downtrodden father (Lennie James) and his son, Grimes is filled in on the desperate situation that has engulfed the United States.  However, Grimes refuses to succumb to the hopelessness surrounding him.  He has to put faith in the fact that his family is out there.  Somewhere – even if that faith will be tested by the survivors he encounters – they are hiding, just waiting to be reunited.

Don’t let the zombie-themed show fool you.  While the violence is certainly R-rated caliber, there’s more to it then solely some good ol’ blood and guts.  This show is more about human entanglements and life-and-death matters other than being anything about the flesh-eating crazed that lurk about.  That’s the appeal of the show; we get some pretty good character-driven episodes that have true heart, but still have sense enough to creep us out.

For example, the resulting consequences of the audience discovering the truth behind what Grimes’ best friend, Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal), has done while protecting Grimes’ family is certainly one of the best parts of the series.  Sure, there are zombies galore, but the true horror comes from the situations these characters get themselves into.  Co-starring Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Noah Emmerich, Norman Reedus, and Michael Rooker, The Walking Dead is populated with not only zombies, but a strong cast as well.

The Walking Dead is consistently engaging – even if the latter part wavers a bit – and its drama will keep you glued to all six episodes of the first season.  Produced by Frank Darabont and Gale Anne Hurd, there’s a level of gritty professionalism that marks this series as something unique, energetic, and worth investing another season in.  Scoop up your copy on Blu-ray today.

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{2jtab: Film Info}

The Walking Dead Season 1 - blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: This title not rated by the MPAA
Creator
: Frank Darabont
Writer
: Charlie Adlard; Frank Darabont; Robert Kirkman; Tony Moore
Cast:
Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal and Sarah Wayne Callies
Genre
: Horror | Horror | TV
Tagline:
The Walking Dead
Memorable Movie Quote: "I woke up in the hospital. That's all I know."
Distributor:
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 31, 2010
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 8, 2011

Synopsis: Police officer Rick Grimes leads a group of survivors in a world overrun by zombies.

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{2jtab: Blu-ray Details}

The Walking Dead Season 1 - blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

4 stars



Blu-ray Experience
4 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - March 8, 2011
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (2 BDs)

This 1080p transfer is dead on the money.  Accurate to the look of its original broadcast, Anchor Bay’s handling of the series is perfect. There’s a gritty look throughout the series and that may be as a result of being originally filmed in 16mm - a cinematic look which provides more depth, warmth, and grain; all nice touches. The colors are muted but this was a style choice by the series makers and not a fault in the transfer. The sound – rendered by means of a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack – is as hard-hitting as the action and handles the highs as well as it does the lows.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Unfortunately, there are no commentaries on the two-disc set.  Those hoping for Darabont’s engaging thoughts on filmmaking and zombies will have to wait.

Special Features:

The supplementals are found on disc two of this set. They are numerous and detailed – rivaling even the best television blu-ray releases – and border just this side of the frivolous category. Still, the best feature might just be Zombie School in which actors are taught how to behave like a zombie.

They are as follows:

  • The Making of The Walking Dead (30 min)
  • Inside The Walking Dead (25 min)
  • A Sneak Peek with Robert Kirkman (5 min)
  • Behind the Scenes Zombie Make-Up Tips (7 min)
  • Convention Panel with Producers (12 min)
  • The Walking Dead Trailer (1 min)
  • Zombie School (3 min)
  • Bicycle Girl (5 min)
  • On Set with Robert Kirkman (3 min)
  • Hanging with Steven Yeun (4 min)
  • Inside Dale's RV (3 min)
  • On Set with Andrew Lincoln (4 min)

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