|The Walking Dead: Season 2|
Features: Limited quantity Zombie Head statue, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, 4-Disc Digibook packaging.
Codec / Resolution: MPEG-4 AVC / 1080p
Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Series Release: 2011-2012
This Release: August 28, 2012
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Running Time: 578 mins
Current Price: Check Price / Purchase
Cons / Disadvantages
- Consistent colors from episode to episode
- A little grainy, gritty, and beautiful
- Audio sounds great
- Get the Zombie Head Edition
- Ok extras, but wanted a little more
- The Walking Dead: Season Two Zombie Head could have been more accurately represented in real life. The outside box shows a much richer painted statue, and when I began to take a closer look at it and compare the version which was in my hands versus the one pictured on the box, somebody at the manufacturing plant must have forgotten to flip the paint switch. And I'm a little surprised McFarlane Toys let this slip by their quality control, because they are the place to go for high-quality replicas, and having their name associated with this would have been a priority for consistency.
Quality control aside, if you're a fan of the series, this is still a really cool piece and somewhat worth the extra price. As for me, I just happened to have some automotive touch-up paint (red) and decided to take liberty with a few areas which needed to be more "bloody". I wouldn't be surprised if we had some much more talented artists out there who go to work on this head and make it look even better than the What You See Is Not What You Get product shots on the box.
- The screwdriver which fits in the left eye socket of the zombie head, needs to be pushed in with a little force. I noticed this after doing the review, observing the screwdriver sticking out more than what I thought it should. A light push on the screwdriver should push it inward about a half-inch or so, which will be much more secure and stable. Some have commented using the screwdriver feels like it was going to break off if the opened and closed the head several times. Well, this should solve the issue, as it feels more sturdy and in-place.
I find it interesting we still have comments on the The Walking Dead series as being "grainy" and not up to High-Def standards. Once again, this is the intention of the series, and I'd stop buying it if it deviated from this presentation. But these grainy comments are becoming less numerous as the Blu-ray disc becomes more regular in consumers' homes and more styles and presentations are occupying the shelves of the common movie collector. 16mm film can be wonderful, if used properly, and cinematographers David Boyd (ASC) and Rohn Schmidt have dialed 16mm's characteristics for the series with precision. Schmidt's work can also be seen in The Shield among many others.
This first episode and right on through to the last episode of The Walking Dead: Season Two clock at around ~22Mbps on average. Due to the type of presentation, this is to be expected. A typical Disney Pixar title, for example, would display a rate much higher. However, I should say, playing this in my Oppo BDP-93, I often saw a Mbps rating of the high 20's and even into the 30's, so I'm pretty sure the average bitrate is brought down by several scenes being in the dark and in darkly-lit areas.
And since we're on the subject of light, do notice how many scenes come across as natural. It's because they mostly are. The light being used is environmental, and very little is staged. If you're involved in photography and/or videography, you've probably already noticed this.
Having the chance to just sit back and relax this Labor Day weekend, I really got into The Walking Dead: Season Two, and I have mixed reactions after watching the entire second season. The initial half of the series is good, but soon after, the analytic thinking of the characters just gets too much, episode...after episode. Sometimes I thought I was bitten by a zombie myself. Normally, I'd be commenting there was too much action and ridiculous gore, but in the second season, I would have liked to have seen more confrontations and a sense of accomplishment.
Another issue I have is the entire plot. I might be spoiling something here, but almost the entire season takes place on a farm. We have a few distractions here and there, such as returning to the city — which is getting annoying — but primarily, we're on a farm, dealing with everyone's drama, beliefs, and emotions. This can be good, but the timeline just doesn't feel right.
For those who actually watched the entire second season as it was released, I'm sure it was somewhat odd that 13 weeks (or more) passed, and yet the entire season was supposed to have taken place over the course of a matter of days. For a television series, such a second-by-second timeline and stretching it out to viewers over several months...is gonna make people anxious, doubtful, and even nauseous.
Now, hopefully this review doesn't come off as negative — because I really did enjoy the second season — but I hope we have a tone set for the third season. We know the characters by now, so we don't need an extended moment-by-moment emotional dialogue of how people feel every few minutes. What viewers need — what I need — is some really good episodes which give a lot of information about the overall CDC infection thatDeputy Grimes referred to in the last episode, and most importantly, a sense that the situation is being figured out, unfolded, and solved.
The extras on The Walking Dead: Season Two are satisfying, but nothing extraordinary. The six webisodes are somewhat interesting, but more of a tease, and don't really offer much. At about a few minutes a piece, could we really expect anything more. If anything, AMC should have just made an extra episode, exclusive to this edition, revealing some new information about the upcoming third season (such as an episode of how the prison became what it was). Now, that would have created a zombie hoard outside any retail store selling the Zombie Head Edition and would have put this series on everyone's To Buy NOW list.
The Walking Dead: Season Two does not fail to excede expectations, but be prepared to sit through much of the series with patience. Don't expect each episode to quickly wrap-up itself like a typical "fast-food" television series, where you can forget and just move on to the next episode. Like other AMC presentations, there's actually some pre-meditation involved on the back end of the dialogue. This is a good thing. Of course, I also believe season two got carried away with analytical thinking — which could be a primer for what's to come in season three.
The Walking Dead: Season Two gets a RECOMMENDED PLUS. After scoring all four aspects, this television series continues to do well, but for the third season, AMC will need to kick the action up a few knotches. I was a little surprised by the last few episodes, waiting for something to get me to anticipate Season Three, but at this point, I'm just fairly satisfied, but not excited. If you have the first season — the second season should be an automatic purchase, but be advised, this second season is more of a character study than anything. Some really good zombie moments, but there could have been many more.
You can opt for the non-Zombie Head Edition for about half the price, but why not get in on all the fun. And hey, paint the head to your own liking. I did.
I'm sure season three is going to be faster-paced, and I can't wait for another Zombie Head Edition to be released, as I'll be knawing on it as soon as it hits the shelves.