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The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season (2014) - Blu-ray Review

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The Walking Dead: Season Four - Blu-ray Review

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4 stars

With more grit and ambition than your average television series, The Walking Dead continues its mad march toward total zombie annihilation with the release of its 4th season on blu-ray.  The season story curiously breaks up our group of survivors after their bloody showdown with The Governor and concentrates on character development as they search for a safe haven by following a different group each episode.  Fortunately for the rabid fanbase (who love to praise and criticize each episode) and AMC, the end for this show (and the comic it is based on) is nowhere in sight. 

When the group dynamics are this tight, things are bound to get personal and that’s exactly what happens as allegiances are tried, tested, and new ones formed in the journey toward Terminus.  Showrunner Scott Gimple poses a guiding question the writers run with: can you learn from your past mistakes?  Would you make the same choices if faced with a do-over?  Is redemption possible? David Morrissey’s character arc and overall performance as The Governor (aka Brian Heriot) echoes far into the second half of the season as the group deals with their own individual past.

A haunting reoccurrence from fan-favorite Daryl Dixon’s (Norman Reedus) past comes into play when he is snagged by a rogue group of survivors.  From the outside, it looks like he could be possibly returning to his violent roots.  Yet, the writers preserve his humanity and offer us a glimpse of hope.  Daryl’s journey is a highlight of the season but the real highlight is what happens with Carol (Melissa McBride) and Tyrese (Chad Coleman) and Lizzie, Mika, and Judith.  Inspired in large part by Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, the episode entitled “The Grove” shows the bravery of the character development in The Walking Dead

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) may have relinquished control of the group and his salvation may be a lost cause but the harrow of his journey will be our harvest as Terminus is revealed at the season’s closer and the glimmer of leadership returns once his group of survivors reunite only to be threatened gain.  His development is an interesting one due to the amount of perceived loss occurring in his world.  The only thing he can cling to is the restoring the faith of his son, Carl (Chandler Riggs).  Love him or hate him, Carl seems to be the key to Rick’s restoration.    

There is no safe place; that’s the bottom line in a show driven by violence.  Just how long The Walking Dead can continue on the air and relevant to lives remains to be seen but with the addition of the new characters in Abraham Ford, Eugene Porter, Rosita Espinosa, Bob Stookey, and Lilly, as well as a modified version of the Chambler family, it certainly feels like the show can continue without worry as long as the writing continues to churn out more than a few unforgettable episodes each season.

The Walking Dead: The Complete Season Four brings new life to televisions around the world.

The Walking Dead: Season Four - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - August 26, 2014
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)
Region Encoding: A

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 that 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:

  • For this release, episodes 1, 5, 9, 12, and 14 feature scene specific commentary tracks from Executive Producer and Showrunner Scott M. Gimple, Executive Producer/Unit Production Manager Tom Luse and Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Supervisor/Director Greg Nicotero and various actors.

Special Features:

Mainly composed of bried featurettes and deleted scenes, the release of the season should please fans of the show.  Things begin with the 80-minute special that highlights the overall development of the fourth season.  There is also a look at the making of each episode in the season to whet appetites.  One interesting featurette highlights the differences between the comic and show and another looks at the possibilities of surviving a zombie apocalypse.  Fans of The Governor will be pleased by a special featurette that looks at his overall character.  The gnarly special effects get showcased in another and Rick Grimes gets his own featurette, too.  Rounding out the collection are deleted scenes from "30 Days Without an Accident," "Live Bait," "Dead Weight," "Too Far Gone," "Still," "The Grove," "Us," and "A."

  • Inside The Walking Dead (80 min)
  • The Making of The Walking Dead (70 min)
  • Drawing Inspiration (6 min)
  • The Governor is Back (9 min)
  • Society, Science & Survival (5 min)
  • Inside KNB Studios (18 min)
  • A Journey Back to Brutality (8 min)
  • Deleted Scenes (9 min)

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