August 17, 2012

Walking Dead: The Second Season, The (2012)
Anchor Bay Entertainment

578 mins. · Not Rated
16x9 · 1.78:1

Format
Blu-Ray

Audio
English - DD 7.1 TrueHD
French - DS 2.0

Subtitles
English

Extras
Featurettes, Commentary Tracks, Deleted Scenes, Webisodes

Starring
Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus, Jon Bernthal

Review by
Guido Henkel


Rating



(2012)

After the initial season of the amc TV series "The Walking Dead" made such a tremendous impact on viewers across the country, everyone was eager to find out if the creators of the show would be able to keep up with the expectations. Anchor Bay Entertainment has now prepared the second season for release on Blu-Ray and, not having seen it on TV, I was truly eager to find out how it turned out.

The second season of the show picks up exactly where the previous season left off. After the explosion of the CDC building, the group of survivors surrounding former police officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) are on the run once again, trying to escape the zombie apocalypse. As they try to deal with the loss of some of the group's members, as well as the overwhelming sense of hopelessness as the hordes of the undead around them seem to mount, things go from bad to worse when the group is stranded on a blocked freeway and one of the group's members goes missing.

Naturally, I don't want to tell you too much about the storyline itself, as I do not want to spoil the viewing for you. Suffice it to say that the series features plenty of the cliffhangers and twists that you just don't see coming.

What I liked about the first season was the fact that the zombie apocalypse served as a kind of backdrop to the overall story. Unlike a zombie movie, they did not appear front and center, but acted as the outside threat that set events into motion. I was very happy to see that in this second season this formula has been retained. Many of the episodes focus on the dynamics and the friction between the group, especially as some of the characters begin to turn into renegades. As if it weren't hard enough to survive in this post apocalyptic world infested by zombies, the group suddenly has to deal with dangers from within until they are on the brink of breaking apart. Men, women and children alike are put to the test in each episode as the world around them collapses.

Just in case you have not watched "The Walking Dead" before, I think it is important to point out that this series is incredibly violent and gory. It is, as a matter of fact, still flabbergasting to me that a show like this actually found its way onto television. The level of graphic violence is on par with any R-rated zombie movie you may have seen, as heads are smashed in in extreme close-ups, as people's skin is torn away and as they are disemboweled under a macro lens. To add to the impact are the remarkable make-up effects, which really do give you the impression that you are watching the real deal at times. Clearly, this series is not for the squeamish and it is most definitely not suited for children!

The transfer of "The Walking Dead" on this Blu-Ray release is perfectly clean and without blemishes. There is a hint of grain evident throughout the show, a deliberate device to enhance the grittiness of the world we are looking at. Colors are solid and never shifting and the image holds a very good level of detail. The deep black levels give the image visual depth and help bring the world to life.

The same goes for the audio presentation of the show. Arriving as a Dolby 7.1 TrueHD audio track, the audio is filled with spatial information and surround effects that will throw you right in the middle of things.

"The Walking Dead: Season 2" arrives as a 4-disc set, featuring all the second season episodes, along with a number of bonus materials to supplement the release. There are featurettes on a variety of subjects, including the gory special effects, the music of the show, the sound effects, the characters, the writing of the show and many more.

The release also include cast & crew commentaries for select episodes and a selection of deleted scenes. The release is rounded out by six webisodes.

"The Walking Dead: Season 2" is every bit as marvelous as the first season. The top notch presentation on this Blu-Ray disc make it even more enjoyable to watch. You will fever with the characters, you will want to yell at them for their stupidity or thickheadedness, you will bite your nails at the danger they put themselves into. Clearly, it is a must-see for all zombie fans.


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