17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2010
The first season of AMC's The Walking Dead was subject to a great deal of speculation, hype, and varying degrees of opinion. There were some who thought the hype was too much and that, despite the right components being in place, the show would fail to meet every expectation laid out for it. And there were those who felt that The Walking Dead would break onto the scene and immediately launch itself into the stratosphere of history's greatest television shows while simultaneously reconfiguring the public-at-large's opinion of the horror genre. And, in the end, neither side was truly right. But what is clear is this: The Walking Dead is excellent fare that has occasion to be uneven, but it's tempered in such a way that it takes its time with the characters and never becomes dull or wanders aimlessly. While not the greatest show on television, never mind not being the best show on its network, The Walking Dead is wonderful and innovative television that horror buffs and drama fans alike can stand beside proudly.
As someone who has read the entire run of the comic series to current, I can safely say that Frank Darabont, Robert Kirkman, and the production team around them manage to hit on the important aspects of the comics and translate them with great efficiency. What they also manage to do successfully is introduce a number of new locales and characters, and deviate (quite distinctly, more often than not) from the source material without infringing on the tone, rather adding layers to the story and planting seeds for future arcs and many happy (or quite the opposite) returns down the road. The Walking Dead strikes an almost perfect balance for adapting a work, expertly recreating powerful scenes that made the comic the success that it is while using artistic license from the considerable talents involved and tweaking the formula in ways conducive to the television format. When the credits roll on the sixth and final episode, the landscape is one considerably different from where the comic left readers after six issues. And that is a comforting thing, as prolonging events (or even altogether avoiding them) that transpire in that first arc allows tension to metastasize and characters to flourish.
The heart of The Walking Dead is, as it is in the comic, the characters. All of the primaries are dutifully played: Rick Grimes, the central protagonist imbued with a natural leadership, is portrayed with conviction and by Andrew Lincoln. The first episodes focus particularly on him and his struggle to locate his wife, Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), and their son, Carl (Chandler Riggs). Shane is represented wonderfully with an additional air of menace by Shane Bernthal, who never goes over the top in rendering the character as one on a particularly precarious edge while maintaining the believability that he is, more often than not, a good man and a devoted friend. There seems to be more to do with Lori in the early going here when compared with the comic, and Callies is up to the task, portraying Lori as a strong woman focused on survival, and the deeper exploration of the questionable relationship between her and Shane is made even more potent by their performances. Carl's role is a bit suppressed when compared to the comic, but Riggs handles him well and should serve the role well in later episodes.
What The Walking Dead does extremely well is allow the performers to bring these characters to life, and that extends to the large part of the supporting cast. Jeffrey DeMunn's Dale is the calm, sage-like center, often providing the voice of reason in the wake of the show's darkest moments, and DeMunn plays him with passion and power. Laurie Holden is at her best as Andrea, brimming with real, tangible emotion, particularly in the episodes "Vatos" and "Wildfire," bringing a suitable grace to scenes that pack a heavy emotional punch. Few stones are left unturned, and almost every member of the group of survivors is given nuance. There is very little in the way of cannon fodder characters, and even tertiary characters are given careful consideration. Lennie James' turn as Morgan Jones in "Days Gone Bye" is one that nearly steals the episode away from the main players and certainly calls for a return and a more prominent role in later episodes.
But that isn't to say all characters involved are perfect: Ed Peletier (Adam Minarovich) is little more than a stock domestic monster, and has little to do with his screen time aside from repulsing the viewer as a relatively by-the-numbers wife beater cliche. Merle Dixon is played well by the always exceptional Michael Rooker, but the character is relatively hollow, a racist archetype, who is introduced in the midst of something of a breakdown, spewing racial epithets and endangering (and outright assaulting) other survivors. Rooker's acting (and a bit of timely dialogue) saves the character in the cold open to "Tell It to the Frogs," leaving the hope that the character will return with more complexity and allow Rooker to display his talents further.
What is impressive about The Walking Dead is the verisimilitude with which it carries itself. It plays things razor straight and never deviates into needless exhibition of blood and guts. And for all the emphasis on character and acting, enough cannot be said about the work done by Gregory Nicotero and KNB EFX, rendering the living dead and the gory details in as realistic a manner as possible. And, at times, the show moves at such a pace that one may forget that it is just that: a show about the zombie apocalypse. This is why the show succeeds. It never deemphasizes character in favor of the living dead, rather using the latter as a means to punctuate the story. It succeeds as wonderful television because it can go for nearly entire episodes without utilizing that selling point. There is so much intrigue surrounding the survivors and their stories that when the "walkers" show up, it is not to simply punch things up with some zombies. Rather, it is a reminder that these very human problems are capitulated by the threat of the living dead and the crushing reality of the end of humanity. "Vatos" serves as an exceptional example of this, particularly the ending, using misdirection to make the viewer dread people and what they are capable of before the viewer is reminded of the very real danger of the living dead.
Through six episodes, The Walking Dead relies on extremely compelling performances and pretty exceptional writing and directing, though it occasionally lacks punch, particularly in the wake of the strength of the Darabont-directed first episode. The finale does enough to draw toward the second season, which has quite a bit to live up to. But for the occasional unevenness, the first season of The Walking Dead powers along and serves as something of a screen test for a longer second season. A test that it passed with flying colors, audiences and critics alike eating it up. The first season leaves its audience wanting more, and it makes for exciting, fresh TV and one of the brightest new series to spring up in some time. Fans of the horror genre, as well as compelling television drama such as AMC's own Breaking Bad and Mad Men, should be proud, as The Walking Dead bridges the gap between a well-worn sub-genre and expert storytelling.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2011
The zombie infection is more contagious than even the staunches fan might realize. For the past several days, and this week in particular, I've done my part to spread the infection. My friends, coworkers, and casual acquaintances were unable to protect themselves. My anticipation in regards to the AMC premiere of The Walking Dead has rippled through my social circles. This has almost been like a study on seeing how a zombie outbreak might overwhelm society.
Credit AMC for a brilliant promotional campaign complete with screaming crawlers and even the occasional Emergence Alert screen. The way they kept the initial commercials short, showing larger glimpses as the premiere neared, was a lesson on how to pull off an excellent teaser.
Now, I must confess that there has been a layering sense of concern. After all, I was a huge fan of the Terry Goodkind fantasy epic The Sword of Truth. The only thing the televised version of that series got right was the casting. The program itself had no resemblance to the books other than the names of the central characters. In the lead-up to the premiere of the Walking Dead I went into it almost like a jilted lover.
That notwithstanding, I have recently been likened to a kid waiting for Christmas. My non-zombie-loving friends (gasp! Does such a creature exist?) could not help but be caught up in my enthusiasm. Before long they were pulling me up and asking me questions. Truth be told I have never been so grateful that AMC has built a loyal following with Madmen and Breaking Bad. Their reputation for quality has already been established.
A few even warmed up with the IFC showing of Dead Set. That was sort of like giving steak to an infant, but the British mini-series actually converted a few and amped their anticipation for the Walking Dead.
Most of you are familiar with the story and the characters. If not, I recommend picking up the graphic novels. (feel free to peruse the reviews of The Walking Dead 1-12 posted right here at BuyZombie.com.) what I want to talk about is how this adaptation looked...felt...sounded...adhered. Should the fans who've waited commit to this? Should those new to this amazing graphic novel series open their eyes to what will be the newest BIG THING in horror?
The answer is most assuredly yes.
Congratulations (and a huge thank you) goes to Frank Darabont for not only giving us a faithful adaptation--so far--but added a depth to the characters that further put flesh on the bones to a great story. Not only did he do a superb job in adapting Robert Kirkman's story, you can actually see what he reproduced some of Charlie Adlard picture panels to perfection.
Of course a lot has to be said about the cast. Andrew Lincoln sheds his European accent for a very believable Rick Grimes from Georgia. Jon Bernthal is so likeable that I feel sorry that he is cast as Shane Walsh, Rick's friend and partner.
We can't talk about a zombie story without mentioning the visceral factor...the blood and gore. I think that they (the SFX and production team) set the tone right away in the opening scene. All I need to say is: a little nine- or ten-year-old girl with a teddy bear. YIKES!
Kudos to Darabont and AMC. The Walking Dead is going to be a hit. It is going to bring the entire zombie genre to the next level. Set your DVR, or better yet invite your friends over on Sunday night (who cares if it is on at 10:00 pm.) and make this the event that it deserves to be.
The Walking Dead Part 2
Episode 2 of AMC's brand new mega-hit, The Walking Dead, had a lot of pressure riding on it. The first episode was so well received that it had water-coolers buzzing and even a Monday morning mention from Atlanta based CNN. As a zombie fan, I'm sure I wasn't the only one fielding questions last week by those that got a first taste of our passion. (I use that word collectively, why else would you be cruising this site?)
Tonight was the first time we got to see how Frank Darabont would' flesh out' the story a bit. He gave us some familiar faces in strange places. Readers of the series know that Rick was rescued by Glenn and Glenn alone (also there was no tank.) Andria was introduced in Atlanta and is already displaying the badass female character we have come to love. The biggest divergence is Merle Dixon's introduction. I liked it because it made me hate Dixon right away instead of wondering about him. Michael Rooker did a fantastic casting choice.
Rick's rescue is much more of an event--taking up all of episode 2--and as a fan of the graphic novel, I think I'm okay with it. Getting a glimpse of some of the characters at the base camp as well as part of the group encountered in Atlanta gave me a better understanding of the characters and how they will be used in the series. Obviously, if this went exactly by the book, it would burn through the material much too fast.
One of the side effects of the series as it is currently unfolding is my increased dislike in the character of Lori. Sara Wayne Callies is fantastic at making me dislike her for no real reason. Meanwhile, Steven Yeun amps the likeability factor of Glenn exponentially with every scene.
Here my complaint. The zombie climbing the fence? Not so much. Also...are they fast or slow? I can't tell. Granted, they don't sprint a la 28 days later, but they do get moving in a hurry when they see something they like. I half expected the zombie from episode one that got off the bus and later saw Rick on the tank to recognize them during the escape. The series seemed to tread a fine line with its zombie continuity in episode two.
Enough can still not be said about the effects being used in this made-for-tv series. So far it's enjoyable to watch but I will be waiting to see if Darabont blinks when he has to off the first of his cast that people are getting to know and love. Readers of the series are very familiar with the fact that Robert Kirkman has no qualms with taking out a character or two every so often. We all know some of the casualties looming on the horizon.
Overall the episode was satisfying. I did get elbowed in the ribs once or twice and asked by my friends "can you really smear yourself with zombie guts and get away?" In Kirkman's world the answer is yes and I remember how clever it was when I read it in episode one of the graphic novel.
The Walking Dead Part 3
The worst part about writing these reviews for the hit AMC series, The Walking Dead, is that on the first showing I have to take notes and jot down ideas. This keeps me from actually watching the program for the sheer enjoyment factor. I have to save that for one of the replays. But...enough of my meaningless complaints.
So, we start getting a better look at some of the supporting cast in this episode. We've met Glen and Andria, and of course there is the very likeable (?) Shane, and Rick's family: wife Lori and son carl. This is all about getting a taste of Dale, the adorable Amy, and the "charming" Daryl Dixon. That first group of names are people that we the people already know and have our minds made up on. And then there are the "strangers" (i.e. Daryl, T-Dog and some of the bodies running around in the background). Like former fave LOST, these look like potential cannon fodder as well as bodies to fill out the scenery.
With the rescue mission of the eldest Dixon brother being coupled with the original `gun run' from the graphic novel, we get our first glimpse of hero-complex that will come to define Rick Grimes. What must be commented on and complimented on is how well all of this is being dovetailed and layered in the opening episodes.
Each of the actors and actresses being used in this story are proving to mesh wonderfully. There is a lot being done with body language and facial expressions in the scenes and in the background. Despite any of the credits that these people have piled up, the only familiar face for me was Shane (Jon Bernthal).
So now everything is in place. The normally tedious character introductions have been handled masterfully and are basically over as we hit the half way point in this six-episode season. (We can only hope that the success of this series will bring a longer season WHEN it returns.)
Of course, now is when the questions start to build for many of the fans who have read the series. They're sitting right there on the tips of our tongues, and as we sit next to those unfamiliar to the story, we struggle to hold back and reveal nothing. It is now that we must take that leap of faith and trust that Mr Darabont and company will keep to the structure of the story while continuing to add to the depth that makes this feel almost like we're getting bonus material in a re-release of volume one, Days Gone Bye.
As of now, I am left with one raised eyebrow over a single line spoken by Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) "You were the one that told me that he died." And despite what we know about the future story line as originally written, I cant be the only one who truly enjoyed Shane's beat-down of Ed. Doesn't that earn him at least a few Redemption Points?
Episode three of AMC's The Walking Dead earns an Early Release for more and continued character development as well as a cast that does not have a single weak link.
The Walking Dead episode 4
Doubtless, you know by now, that AMC has renewed The Walking Dead for a second season. I urge everyone to email them with praise and words of thanks. Even better news, we'll get thirteen episodes instead of six. Now...on to the show.
Loss. A very common theme in the zombie genre. What didn't we say when we had the chance? Why didn't we appreciate this or that until it was too late? We now get some very real taste of that from many of the characters -both major and supporting--in the Walking Dead's fourth episode. It ads some excellent depth, and ties us as viewers to the story in a way that the splatter fests that past themselves off as zombie fiction often fall short.
However, this episode is the first to really raise some of those Legend of the Seeker flags. The senior citizens...thugs with hearts of gold...brave granny. All nice touches but Kirkman's story already has plenty of depth as well as material. Ever since episode one, this story has edged farther and farther away from the original. And this time, it felt like somebody grabbed the wheel and yanked it. With only 2 episodes left, the Walking Dead seems to be walking a fine line where it risks loosing its core...the fans of the graphic novel.
Of course, as soon as I started getting that sinking feeling...the campsite massacre happens. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the brutal and violent endings of Amy, Ed, and a bunch of faces in the crowd save the day. As those characters bit the big one(forgive the expression) the ship was suddenly righted once more. One hundred and forty seven seconds. That is how long it took to put everything back on track. All is tight in the Walking Dead world.
Now that all of the serious stuff is out of my system, did Glenn have the best line in this episode or what. After laying out a very well designed plan to retrieve the gun bag, Daryl asked "hey, kid, what did you do before this?" Glenn's answer was: "delivered pizza. Why?"
Daryl's insistence in rescuing Glenn, who he'd earlier referred to as a Chinaman when Glenn is in fact a Korean, offers up a subtle but yet deeper glimpse at a person who, up to this point, could easily be dismissed as a typical red neck racist. It will be interesting to see how his role develops within the group. Also, with the loss of Amy, I think it is safe for fans to assume that lives will not be spared in typical Hollywood fashion. (also this event is a major catalyst for Andria -one of my favorite characters in the graphic novel--who begins to unfold as someone far more complex than we've seen so far.
In an episode that began to scare me in a way that had nothing to do with the content, I am thrilled to see that the story line is back on track in the best hour of the series so far.
Walking Dead Episode 5
There have been some grumblings out there about AMC's newest hit, The Walking Dead. Having read a multitude of interviews, I was already prepared for some story stretching and deviations from the original plot. However, this doesn't seem to be the gripe. Apparently if there isn't a disembowelment or a zombie getting its head blown off in every scene, some folks aren't happy. Heaven forbid there be actual character depth and story content. My guess is that these complaints are coming from the same people who mumble, "braaains!" when they think they are imitating a zombie. Those same people completely miss the idea that if the first wave of zombies ate their victims brains, then there wouldn't be any new zombies. Anyways, enough ranting...onto episode 5.
This episode went a long way to leave an impression in regards to the individual characters in the story. I believe that this sort of cinema is exactly what the zombie genre needs to be taken seriously. Great stories can overcome the stereotype, and the walking dead is proof. How many rehash versions of Romero's Dawn of the Dead do we need? In Episode 5, we now have very real people, full of flaws. They're individuals that we can identify with, understand, or dislike. How many of us have fantasized about the zombie apocalypse? What sort of super powers or McGiver like abilities do we bestow upon ourselves during these musing? The beauty of what Darabont did here in pulling Kirkman's characters out of a two-dimensional medium and giving them 3 dimensional depth needs to be applauded in this episode.
With one installment to go, we now have a group of people that aren't merely faces on the screen. How many of you are still fans of Shane now? I for one am absolutely NOT disappointed in season one. (Other than it only being 6 episodes). We now have proof that the zombie can be main-stream. Even better, unlike vampires, there's no need to make things pretty.
Fans of all things zombie should rejoice. We are no longer second rate citizens in the world of horror. And, while some will doggedly resist this movement by cleaning to B grade standards and stereotypes and being more impressed by body count and blood splatter than by character and content we will embrace what can only be called an upgrade.
As a final note, if somebody knows the composer responsible for the soundtrack of this show, I would love to know who it is.
Walking Dead episode 6
It is almost bittersweet. AMC's the Walking Dead has completed its sixth episode run. For the most part, it has won over the hearts of many, while also bringing fresh blood to the ranks of those who are now fan to the zombie genre.
The fact that this episode spun away from the original storyline and embarked on a tangent unique to the television version, certainly had me curious as to the direction this finale would take. There is a certain smug self-satisfaction to be had when watching the program with foreknowledge of what will occur. Sitting next to someone who is commenting on what a `hottie' the character of Amy is while knowing she is destined for an unhappy ending is fun. But like many fans of the graphic novel series, I had no idea what the hell was going to happen tonight.
Loveable Shane is now the ultimate heel. In a span of the first fifteen minutes. But...we know what he saw at the hospital and he is still a tragic hero...until he tries to force himself on his partner and so-called best friend's wife.
Next, we get one of the most in-depth explanations of the question we always ask, but never expect an answer to. Once again we don't actually get a `why', but we do get a bit of a `what'; as in, "what is this?" the demonstration on the giant monitor of Test Subject #19 gives us something. For many (like myself) that whole segment was almost unnecessary. For folks getting their first taste...I'm sure it was fascinating.
As far as the CDC arc of this story, I guess if they weren't certain that the series would be picked up (AMC is still a business after all) there had to be a decision going into production on how to wrap up this series on such a short run. Doing this leaves an opening to return to the original story. It strayed before and as we saw in episode 4, Derabont and company can be back on track in a matter of seconds.
What we got in the final segment was the bonding of Dale and Andria, the death of another `extra' character (Jacqui) and the deepening of the wedge between Rich and Shane. We even got a whispered secret from the doomed doctor Jenner just before Rick and his people depart (my guess is that the blood test results on his pregnant wife). There is a conclusion of sorts, and a pretty explosion, but of course we all know that there is plenty of story to tell.
This series will be a hit for seasons to come. (Which begs the question, how are they going to keep Carl young unless they've hired an actor that carries the Gary Coleman-Webster gene?) It uses the zombies in small doses instead of relying on them as a crutch. This is not a B thriller or a cheap series, it is a STORY. I said it in my series of reviews about the Kirkman graphic novel series, and I will repeat it here: the zombie genre has a new king. All hail the King.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2011
The Walking Dead combines traditional zombie horror genre with traditional soap opera, gives 'em a good shake, and adds a dab of sci-fi for the topping. It's all good -- for those of us who love zombie movies, good old soap opera drama, and sci-fi.
The "high concept" here is the mix of different genres. The zombie genre has evolved to often include some reference into sci-fi -- the question, "Okay, I understand the dead are now walking around eating people -- but, uh, WHY are they doing that, exactly?" (The answer, of course, is always something like "Dr. X mixed the Reanimator serum with the Godzilla Virus, and now it's gone airborne!")
Oh. That explains it.
The weirdo bogus science aside, this series delivers with atmosphere -- the large-scale scenes of deserted streets are more chilling than the scenes of seemingly endless wrecked cars. The gore is not excessive, but it's definitely there -- even if there wasn't a "need" to satisfy gore fans, it's still a realistic part of the plot: dead people walking around, looking to kill living people - something bad WILL happen.
Toss in the tear-jerkers, the messy relationship, and some characters that we can almost but not quite care about, and it's a wrap! It works as a basic thrill flick with some poignant scenes here and there -- it has a bit of trouble (doesn't every movie and TV series?) at times, having an especially bumpy ride due to the lack of any message or central thematic note.
But it gets there. Despite the bumps, the ride gets to its destination, and you wanna be there when it does.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2011
I bought this box set as I loved the T.V. show and wanted to add it to my collection of movies. And as such, this won't be a review of the T.V. show, as I figure most of you interested in the box set have either seen the show or at least some of it.
I'd like to point out that the video quality isn't up to Blu-Ray standards. By that I mean there are camera shots that are crystal clear then the scene switches to another camera and it is as grainy as an eighties T.V. show on an era correct T.V. To me, that is disappointing and points out that the show didn't have the budget for HD camera's, or something of that sort.
The extras were good and I really liked the mini documentary about the make up used and how they created a "Zombie School" to teach the extras playing zombies how to walk and move about.
Interviews with the cast and director and even Kirkman are also interesting. It was a good jumping off point for me to dive into the books (I bought the compendium after watching season one).
To summarize, the Blu-Ray set isn't worth the money in my opinion as the video quality isn't top shelf all the way through. Let's be honest, you get Blu-Ray because the video quality and sound quality matter to you and you wan that little extra. For me, if the DVD set is the same as the Blu-Ray I can't see why you'd pay the extra money and not get the extra you wanted.
I'm still happy with my purchase and would/have recommended it to quite a few friends.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
All it takes for society to fall apart are a couple of zombies who can infect everyone else and that, perhaps, is why Frank Darabont's TV version of the popular graphic novel resonates so clearly; it's about how precarious our existence truly is and the irony in the title for the survivors of this massive catastrophe is clear--THEY are truly "The Walking Dead" of the title--one step away from becoming denizens of zombieville and spelling the end of the line for humanity if they can't survive.
The Blu-ray looks extremely good--"The Walking Dead" was shot on 16mm film and, as a result, is quite grainy but that only adds to the "reality" of the series. The digital transfer keeps the series "look" as it was presented on AMC intact. Colors are nice throughout and although the show looks a bit soft that appears to be intentional.
If amazon is still filing this under DVD as well I can't comment on the DVD picture quality but have been told it looks quite good.
The extras are quite nice for the show--there's nothing on the first disc but disc two of the Blu-ray is packed with goodies. We get a 30 minute documentary that focuses on the creation and development of the series.
"Behind the Scenes Zombie Make-Up Tips" is a clever short that let's us in on what it takes to make a zombie.
We also get half a dozen short pieces that take us behind-the-scenes on specific episodes.
"Zombie School" demonstrates the training it takes to get people act like the undead.
"Bicycle Girl" gives us the background on the creation of one memorable zombie in particular and we get an 11 minute featurette on the Comic Con panel presentation of the show.
We also get "On Set with Andrew Lincoln" letting the actor discuss his character. "Hanging With Steve Yeun", "On Set With Robert Kirkman"(the graphic artist who created the original print version) and "Inside Dale's RV" each run about four minutes and are self explanatory featurettes.
Could this set have been better? Sure--if we had a couple of commentary tracks from the writers/producers/directors that might have given us some additional "meat" to "bite into" and learn about the production of the series. Nevertheless, this is an extremely good set that fans of the series will enjoy. It's a pity the first season was so short and that fans have to wait so long for the new season to start. I'm just hungry for more.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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
3. Tell It to the Frogs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2015
Despite being exceptionally, even excessively, gory, there is enough character development and an interesting enough plot to keep me watching. Not for anyone with a weak stomach, but if you can get past the blood and violence, you might enjoy it. I'm talking about people painting themselves with blood and tissue from a dead person and walking around with that person's intestines around their necks--really, really nasty stuff. And not just violence to people--animals too. Not sure if I will buy any more seasons of this. I believe it could have been done with less focus on the blood and guts scenes. Kind of puts me in mind of The Stand, but Stephen King, who is not exactly a shrinking violet when it comes to horror, told that story without resorting to so much graphic violence.