The Walking Dead: Season 1 [Blu-ray]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2011
I am a life long horror fan and waited patiently to buy the DVD set for the first season of THE WALKING DEAD, for me it is the only way to watch this kind of TV. And I must say the show was well worth the wait: THE WALKING DEAD is the best new show on TV in years and I commend AMC and Frank Darabont for having the guts to put it on the air; I mean, a TV series built around the zombie apocalypse, there's no way in hell ABC, CBS, NBC, or FOX would ever put something like this on the air, maybe that is why they are bleeding viewers?

I loved the way this series jumped right into the action: Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes, in a coma after being wounded in the line of duty, wakes up in a seemingly deserted hospital, surrounded by rotting corpses, lined up row upon row. He quickly learns from another survivor that while he was out, a plague has ravaged humanity, wiping out civilization and ushering in a new Dark Age more horrific than any worst case scenario: the dead have risen to devour the living and their numbers seem endless.

But this in not a story centered on the zombies, it is very much about the human characters and the price they must pay to survive: how they must try and hold onto their humanity when death is coming for them day and night. After a while, you wonder if the title isn't referring to the zombies, but to the living, now making their way in a world where survival simply may not be worth it.

This sounds pretty damn bleak, but it's terrific storytelling. I am a sucker for a great end of the world tale, and I took notice that in every episode the natural world is presented as lush and green, full of bright sunshine, a perfect contrast to the horror in its midst.

There are some great scenes, especially Rick's arrival in Atlanta and his confrontation with an army of zombies in episode one; same thing for the nocturnal zombie attack at the end of episode four. There are also plenty of quiet moments where characters are allowed to develop, some may think this slows the show down, but they add the depth needed to make the violent moments hit with a harder punch.

Yes there is gore, but it's not over the top, nobody is trying to outdo George A. Romero. We are shown what is necessary to drive home the horror of the situation. And the acting is terrific, especially newcomers Andrew Lincoln as Rick and Jon Bernthal as his partner and best friend, Shane, who shares a guilty secret with Rick's wife. Jeffry DeMunn and Steven Yuen are standouts in the supporting cast, while Michael Rooker and Norman Reedus shine as a pair of redneck brothers.

And all praise to Robert Kirkman, whose comic book, THE WALKING DEAD,is what the series is based on. My biggest complaint, the season is way too short at only six episodes. At least they leave us wanting more; can't wait until season two.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
AMC's The Walking Dead has every element that makes for a great new show. Based loosely on Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead Books, this series takes you on it's own storyline with many different twists and turns. The direction is perfection with Shawshank Redemption's Frank Darabont sitting in the director's chair. Added to this talent is Gale Anne Hurd, who produced Aliens and The Terminator. The cast completes this award winning line up of writing, directing and producing, with Andrew Lincoln playing the main character, law officer Rick Grimes, his partner and best friend Shane Walsh played by Jon Bernthal, his wife Lori Grimes played by Sarah Wayne Callies, along with a great supporting cast.

Great performances by some of the supporting cast includes Morgan Jones played by Lenny James, Glenn played by Steven Yeun- a huge fan of The Walking Dead Books, Sisters Andrea played by Laurie Holden and Amy played by Emma Bell, Brothers Merle Dixon played by Michael Rooker and Daryl Dixon played by Norman Reedus and Dale played by Jeffrey Demunn. The characters make this show believable by contrasting their human flaws, courage and fears against the non emotional zombies.

The story begins with two law officers Rick Grimes and Shane Walsh going through their typical day in a town just outside of Atlanta. While stopping a car of gun toting thugs, Rick, the main character gets shot and after being in the hospital for weeks awakens to a nightmare world of the living dead- zombies. He's totally alone and has no idea where to begin to find out what's happened and where his family is. Following Rick through this challenging new world of zombie gore and the emotional torment he has of the people he may never see again, along with the few non zombie people he meets along the way makes for a great storyline that keeps you watching. I was quite surprised that this main All-American John Wayne type character Rick Grimes is in real life British. Andrew Lincoln does a tremendous job in playing law officer Rick Grimes.

There are only 6 Episodes in this first season of The Walking Dead:
1. Days Gone Bye
2. Guts
3. Tell It to the Frogs
4. Vatos
5. Wildfire
6. TS-19
Included are plenty of bonus materials:
Featurettes: Making Of The Walking Dead, Inside Episodes 1-6, Sneak Peak With Robert Kirkman, Zombie Make-Up Tips, Convention Panel and Trailer.
Extra Footage: Zombie School, Bicycle Girl, On Set With Robert Kirkman, Hanging With Steven Heun, Inside Dale's RV and On the Set With Andrew Lincoln.

Watching this first season of the contrasting zombie gore against the cast's bravery, courage, emotions and fears really makes for a great new series that you won't want to miss. With the complete breakdown of laws and rules, it's a survival of the fittest, and you will begin to wonder what is more dangerous, the zombies or human nature? I can't wait until Season 2 this fall.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2011
I've generally never considered myself to be a fan of horror films, so I didn't pay much attention to the zombie genre. Shaun of the Dead, that hilarious loving tribute to zombie movies and George Romero, got me interested. So did the brilliant 28 Days Later. So, from there, I watched Romero's newer stuff. Then his older stuff. And then I got hooked. Now I'm in to the zombie book genre. I'm a sociologist, so the zombie genre fascinates me because it's as much about the people and the collapse of society as it is about the zombies. You could argue that the zombies are just a backdrop for the human drama. So, I was really excited about The Walking Dead. I love zombie movies, but I was intrigued by the prospect of a TV series, in which the filmmakers have time to explore classic zombie genre issues and ideas more thoroughly.

I wasn't disappointed. It's a solid show. At times it felt a bit clichéd, and some of the subplots felt unnecessary or implausible. But the acting is generally strong, the effects are great, and I'm looking forward to the second season. For folks that want a wall-to-wall gorefest, it might be a bit disappointing. Some episodes are almost zombie-free. This show is really about the people. But that's ultimately a strength, and again providing evidence for my theory that the best zombie stories just use zombies as a backdrop for exploring what it means to be a human living among other humans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2011
I don't do reviews that go episode by episode as I feel there are others that do that so much better then me so I'm instead going to discuss what this series "adds" to the classic horror genre.

If you go into this wanting "horror" made for TV, you will be disappointed as this is not necessarily a "scary" TV show for someone who has seen movies like 28 Days Later, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead etc. (It would be scary for those who possibly don't watch this genre normally or younger children though) This series is honestly a far cry from those types of movies and to me is closer to something like Stephen King's The Stand in feel. The filming is done with the people at the center of the series rather then the zombies and follows them as they decide how to live in and cope with a world where the dead walk. If you are someone who is into films or television with an Apocalyptic type theme, you should really enjoy this series as it does get you thinking of how you would respond and what you would do in these circumstances. The filming is generally gritty and was very well done and does put you into the middle of what the people are going through and that combined with a wonderful cast that really draws you in is what makes this really special. All in all, a great compliment to the genre, intelligent, thought provoking and well written. Can't wait for Season 2! :O)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2011
I read the book, or compendium, if you will (graphic novel, *cough *cough), so I was pretty excited when I found out this was going to be a TV series.

Now, I'm not really sure what the intent is here, but it doesn't look like they set out to mirror the series, because for the most part they don't. I have spoken with other fans of the book, and they all seem to be pretty split 50/50 on whether or not they enjoy that.

That being said, the diversions from the book, and it really diverts, aren't too bad, though they have their moments. I think the episode "Vatos" really should have been left out, but I think they did an awesome job with episodes 2 and 3, and I love the story they added. There are quite a bit of added characters, which I can only assume are in place to be killed off.

The thing I love most about this, is that they did a great job with the casting, and they did the visual effects justice. The zombies look awesome. I was a little scared that this might turn out to be a cheesy TV makeover, but they really did a great job here.

In the end, even with the story diversions (for fans of the comic series), it is definitely worth watching.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2011
I will give Season 1 3.5-4 stars for the following reasons.
Good:
When seeing it was an AMC series, I knew they didn't skimp on their shows but I was hesitant in how well they could do a zomie film with all the special effects and such. The effects here were really well done. My hat comes off to the effects crew on this. It was top notch. There was a behind the scenes showing one actor getting his makeup applied and although they could have shown a much better example, it was a good clip.
Cameos: There are many cameos in this series that go uncreditted. 5 episodes have Norman Reedus (Boondock Saints) who sticks around for some time and has a major part but as stated, is uncreditted at the beginning. This was a surprise that I am willing to put in the GOOD side. Also, Michael Rooker (Mallrats, The Replacement Killers) had a cameo for 2 episodes that was uncreditted in the opening. Again, good to see some big names providing good input.
Acting: Was well done. It didn't seem like a made for TV movie. They really stepped up and made a good show.
PLOT: Is good and bad for the following reason. I have seen movies like Pulp Fiction (for instance) that didn't go in exact chronological order and they were still great. This series jumps a round a little bit and felt like they didn't have to do that and it made it a little less enjoyable. We open with our main character in a cop car with his partner talking about their relationships. In a police chase, the main character gets shot. Cut to, our hero in the hospital, zombies are already taking over, eventually our hero makes his way home to find nothing/no one. When he comes across his partner later, the partner initially acts like he doesn't know him? Also, I believe the partner was now with the hero's wife? This issue was discussed in the show but we never really got a conclusion.
SPOILER
Second example, a guy named Jim gets bit but it's not quite the end of the season, he is left by the road and the survivors move on without him. So, we know he got bit, we do not know if he turns. Season 2 can still have him return but he wasn't a strong character to begin with.
What did the scientist wisper to Officer Grimes? I think it was that he is a "carrier" of the disease. Remember he took blood samples of everyone? Also, his partner said that Grimes had no pulse. He thought he was dead.
BAD:
I have to say, it seemed short for the money you pay. I watched the entire season in one evening. I couldn't do that with True Blood.
I say, even with a few odd plot holes, and some non-chronological annoyances that go unanswered in this season, it is still a good series and worth the watch. 3.5-4 stars is respectable. Lets give credit here to the actors, effects and overall story.
I am rating the regular DVD. It has a behind the scenes for the making of, one for each episode and one for the zombie makup. Bluray might have more special features but the reg. DVD has plenty.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
When Rickk was shot in the line of duty, the worst thing people around him could imagine was the coma he drifted into. When he awoke, however, he found that he was alone in a world gone mad. Instead of a hospital bristling with activbity, he found a scene thatt would send most people over the edge. Luckily he noticed some signs like "The dead are here" and chains seperating reaching hands from the thing they desired, and he found a mentor. Now wondering where his family could be, he finds himself heading out and trying to find whatever sleeps within Atlanta. A lot more happens from there, including emetings and whatnot, but why spoil the surprise? You need to wonder what Rick will find, if friendship can exist, and if love springs eternal.
And the doorknob - ask yourself why that part happens day after day in a land where the dead supposedly don't feel a thing.

When it comes to Kirkland and his work, I have always been a fan. Still, I NEVEr imagined something that was done on this scope. If you are a reader of the comic, you will immediately recall the people you see. The character that trains Rick and the people he finds, the things that happen to him and the humanity that drives the story - it is ALL here and more. I was blown away by this experience and, honestly, I wanted the people to succeed. I felt for Rick and his plight and, for someone who has read a lot of these scenarios and has seen more, that's amazing. The dead walk and yet I feel for the people. go figure.

The zombies in the series are amazing up to this point. As I review this I am currently on the third episode and, really, it doesn't let up. You have six to content with - on of the things the channel does with shows like Breaking Bad to see if they take - and this show took. If numbers mean something, around 11 million tuned in the first week. And I have to say it touched me. rick has a moment in a park where he sees one of the dead crawling and, as he speaks to it, it made me tear up. You rteally wouldn't expect that in a world gone mad but even the dead make you feel pain and sorror for them. THAT says a lot. The cities are overwhelming in the way they are designed as well, pointing to the things that happened there. you don't have to see the army throw down, for example, to see desperation. you simply see what is left behind and you can feel it. The same goes for the people and the things that they have and need. They talk about creeping into places and they talk about their needs. It makes you think how fast things would go downhill.

As far as people go, you also see just how bad they can be. From the way that racism plays a part to the way that people group up, you see boundaries being drawn. You also see the way women are treated and the way men sometimes stand up, also drawing on old conventional attitudes that seriously hurt people's chances in a world where zombies walk and everyone carries a weapon. Feeling tear at people like open wounds, too, and you note how ugly those things can become. That is part of the brillance of the series - it really makes you feel and makes you hate. It also makes you realize that not everyone can be saved - a lesson some characters have to learn harder than others. To me that is a lovely thing, too.

Even if you don't like things like ths, The Walking Dead will amaze you. From the fact that being human can be a weakness to the fact that the dead are not truly the monsters out there all ties together. People have tried to make things like this, too, but never like this. If you watch oe thing that is different, watch this and try it on. Really, you only need six nights of your life and you'll find something beautiful. I recommend it to those who like zombies, those who like end of the world scenarios, and those who like people driven shows alike. It is utterly amazing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 20, 2011
THE WALKING DEAD is an exciting, innovative and very original series. High kudos to AMC. THE WALKING DEAD takes the zombie theme and brings it to a brand new level with intense drama and characters with depth and feeling the viewer can relate to. The show sucks you in from the first second of the pilot. And rest assured, there is blood and guts and gore galore but even with how great those scenes are it is the rest of the show that rules. The story is more about the survivors. It is thru their stories and interpersonal relationships that the heart and also true suspense and drama of the show lives.

The blu ray is amazing. The video presentation is superb. The picture is intentionally a little grainy which adds to its effect while the clarity and sharpness of the picture brings everything to life. Colors are bright and realistic. Close-ups are very crisp and flesh tones very realistic. The scenes with the dead are mezmerizing as the colors of their lifeless walking bodies mesh with the realistic blood and gore in the action sequences. And the audio is also superb. Dialogue is strong and the menacing scenes come to life utilizing all surround speakers. It's a whole other dimension from watching it on tv or dvd. Bottom line, this is a scary zombie series that comes to life due to the heart and soul of the human characters. It is about survival, love, acceptance and trust. Writing and directing are of course superb. Highly recommend this series and the blu ray transcends it to a new level.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2012
I love zombie stories. Unfortunately, this series is just a soap opera with a few languid individuals walking around eating people. The characters NEVER do things real people would do. They do stupid things. They spend most of their time talking about their personal problems instead of focusing on survival and there are too many "gimme a break" moments. There are moments of brilliance and real terror, and some things are shown that are great. But really -- does ANYONE think that in Georgia it would be difficult for people to find an unlimited supply of guns and ammo? There are scenes of abandoned military vehicles and zombie soldiers everywhere yet all of their guns, ammo, grenades and so on somehow have vanished. Not a single survivor seems to have a military weapon. In addition, in a world where there a billions of dead people, the best these morons can do is continue to drive around in an ancient RV that conveniently breaks down at the most inopportune moments? Gimme a break. This goes on and on and on. The survivors struggle more over their pitiful bed-wetting problems than about the seemingly unlimited number of zombies who only seem to show up at the perfect moments to send the little survivor-ants scurrying around. Seriously. The writers do not give the viewer any credit for intelligence or imagination. If you're going to have a zombie series, at least have the characters do what REAL people would do, not what some writer who needs to move the plot has to FORCE them to do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2012
Ok, Im an admitted gore hound zombie classicist. Outside of Romero's film, Dead Snow, and James Gunn's classic remake of Dawn of the Dead, I usually end up panning all zombie fare. The Walking Dead has it all!! Great characters, great action, great zombies and a storyline that just won't quit. The pandemic is and its details are kept in the bag, which is nice for now and the evil characters make the zombies look good which is a nice clever aspect of the series. The acting could be stronger in spots but overall the main characters are very solid. As a reader only a few Z novels make the cut on this level of entertainment: Max Brooks, WORLD WAR Z, MONSTER ISLAND and a great new one i just discovered called BLUE BLOODBATH by Katrina Von Kessel...I hope the producers who did Walking Dead have something to do with Brad Pitts WWZ...they know what they're doing!!!
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