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The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season - Blu-ray Review

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The Walking Dead: The COmplete Third Season

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4 stars

Heads will roll.  Lots and lots and lots of 'em.

Based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead continues its macabre assault on AMC with a mighty third season that continues the gory drama and the madness.  This is easily the best show on television … with zombies.  Now under the guidance of Glen Mazzara, Season Three picks up where the show left off before the break and lets more action, blood, and much more guts ooze onto the screen.

A small group of survivors, led by a bedraggled Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), take possession of a prison overran by walkers.  They will soon claim possession of the prison as theirs and have an intense battle of might against a neighboring community of survivors – called Woodbury – led by The Governor (David Morrissey) and his gang of blind (and maybe brainwashed) believers.  It is a season of death and family reunions.  Almost soap opera free – unlike the second season – this Grade-A offering of terror is almost at its meatiest, if not its bloodiest.

While still suffering from the presence of Andrea (Laurie Holden), the third season manages a few surprises with the return of Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) and a new character in the sword-wielding Michonne (Danai Gurira).  While the death count is higher than ever, the show – including the writers and producers – continues to take risks and kills off several of its main characters.

The Walking Dead is not without its flaws.  There are some episodes this season – 16 hour-long episodes in total – where nothing much really happens.  There’s an uber-slow start to things (shades of the second season) and, I’m sorry, the final episode of the season is disappointing.  It is also, at times, not unlike watching molasses drip from a spilled container.  Yes, they improved on much of the flaws in the second season (they had to) but that doesn’t mean they’ve fixed everything.  And the haters are going to spot what still doesn’t bode well for our survivors in script form.

The apocalyptic tone of the show is still there.  And so is the drama-rama that marked (or marred) the second season for some.  Much of the show is about watching arguments unfold as the world continues to collapse.  Conflict is everything; watching people debate their next move in a world gone to Hell has its limitations.

I understand some of the complaints and can’t help but applaud a television show that takes its time developing characters and taking risks – like beginnings in which no one speaks for a solid 10 minutes.  Plus, the entirety of season three is a great payoff to the farm-bound second season.

If you can handle the gore, The Walking Dead – especially in its third season - makes for nonstop thrilling television drama.

{2jtab: Film Details}

The Walking Dead: The COmplete Third Season

MPAA Rating: TV-14.
Runtime:
600 mins.
Cast: Lilli Birdsell; Rick Otto; Rex Linn; Danielle Burgio; Madison Leisle
Genre: TV | Horror | Sci-Fi
Tagline:
The Walking Dead
Memorable Movie Quote: "Either come back with Miguel and my bag of guns, or come back locked and loaded, and we'll see which side spills more blood."
Distributor:
AMC
Official Site:
www.amctv.com/shows/the-walking-dead
Release Date: September, 2011
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 27, 2013

Synopsis: When Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes awakens from a coma after being shot, he discovers that his world has been completely turned upside down by a zombie Apocalypse. As the flesh-eating undead walk the streets looking for the living (human or animal) to feed on, Rick and his group must constantly be on guard in order to stay alive.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

The Walking Dead: The COmplete Third Season

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

5 Stars



Blu-ray Experience
4.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - August 27, 2013
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, Spanish
Audio: English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Five-disc set (5 BDs)

This is exactly as sparkling as the previous releases have been.  AMC’s 1080p transfer, presented in the series' original broadcast 1.78:1 aspect ratio, is a treat for fans and HD enthusiasts. Starting with the wash of pale colors that present the bleak world of the zombie take over, this palette is gray and bleak and tirelessly works to present the world as devoid of all hope. The colors stylistically don’t pop but the fine detail is a textured maze of earthy delight.  There’s a fairly heavy presence of grain which reinforces the visual style of the series.  Skin textures and facial stubble are strongly defined, as are clothing fibers, and other surfaces.  The finely tuned Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless soundtrack keeps the excitement level up with a totally immersive listening experience.  Ambient effects are channeled properly and certainly provide enough creep factor to the chilling series.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Providing commentaries behind the scenes into the making of the show on five episodes are the following: Director Guy Ferland and Actor Iron E. Singleton for "Killer Within;" Director/Co-Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Artist Greg Nicotero and Actor Danai Gurira for "Say the Word;" Executive Producer/Writer Robert Kirkman, Executive Producers David Alpert and Gale Anne Hurd, and Actor Danai Gurira for "Made to Suffer;" Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd and Actor Danai Gurira for "The Suicide King;" and Director/Co-Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Artist Greg Nicotero and Actor Michael Rooker for "This Sorrowful Life."

Special Features:

The special features add an enjoyable amount of context to the making of the show’s third outing, and you’ll learn new information about the characters, the shocking plot points, and much more.  The home video market has to compete with iTunes and on demand services, so AMC has stepped up what they offer as far as bonus features go.  Of most interest to fans are a total of 6 scenes that were left on the cutting room floor including an absolutely must-see one depicting Carol threatening Merle.  There are nine additional behind the scene featurettes included on this Blu-ray. Each one profiles either an actor or a department that had a hand in bringing season 3 to life. As a fan of both the comic and the TV series, this Blu-ray is a welcome addition to the collection. If anything, this is the perfect thing to get us to the series return on October 13th, 2013.

  • Rising Son (7 min)
  • Evil Eye (8 min)
  • Gone, But Not Forgotten (8 min)
  • Heart of a Warrior (8 min)
  • Michonne vs. The Governor (5 min)
  • Safety Behind Bars (10 min)
  • Making the Dead (8 min)
  • Guts and Glory (8 min)
  • Deleted Scenes (13 min)

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