Program Length: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 1080p
Languages: English, French 5.1 DTS-HD MA; Audio Description Track Dolby 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French
My mama always told me someday I’d be good at something. Who’d a-guessed that something would be zombie killing?
Zombieland is either the goriest comedy ever made or the funniest zombie movie ever made. Regardless of how you look at it, though, Zombieland is an original take on the zombie genre which serves up equal doss of laughs and chills. In terms of its overall tone, it reminds me of Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks!, except that here the world is imperiled by ravenous zombies instead of hostile Martians.
The premise here is that a mysterious virus has started a plague which has turned humans into flesh-devouring zombies. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a college student in
The squeamish should take note of the fact that this is a very bloody film. Zombies are not exactly dainty diners, if you get my drift. Woody Harrelson is terrific as the mildly deranged, Twinkies-obsessed
Zombieland is properly framed at 2:40:1, and the Blu-ray transfer by Sony is, as one would expect, excellent in every respect. The images are very sharp and highly detailed, with accurate colors and strong contrasts. Black levels are solid and shadow detail is very good. There are some extremely stark and effective shots of desolation on highways and in
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is excellent. The surround channels are effectively used to immerse the viewer in the sounds of gunfire during the battles with zombies. The dialogue is primarily confined to the center channel, and it is clear and intelligible (although there is one exchange between
This Blu-ray disc includes a number of interesting and informative extras, most of which are also on the standard-definition DVD. There is a commentary track which includes comments from Harrelson, Eisenberg, director Fleischer, and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
“In Search of Zombieland” is a 15-minute featurette which examines the way the film was conceived and cast, as well as the production design insofar as it pertains to the look of the zombies. We hear from the four principal actors, as well as Amber Heard (who has a small but significant role in the film’s first act).
“Zombieland is Your Land” goes into greater detail about the film’s production design. One key goal was to create a landscape which makes it appear that very few humans are still alive. It is interesting to note that the film was originally conceived as a one-hour television pilot. This featurette has a running time of twelve minutes.
Several visual effects progression scenes, shown without audio, demonstrate how some of the special effects were created.
Also included are seven deleted scenes. There is no explanation as to why they were cut, but the finished product works fine without them.
Five amusing theatrical promo trailers feature Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg.
Blu-ray exclusives include “Beyond the Graveyard,” a picture-in-picture feature which allows the viewer to see storyboards and behind-the-scenes footage while watching the movie. BD-Live features will be activated on the release date. A digital copy of the film also is included with the Blu-ray disc.
The Blu-ray disc and the digital copy come is a standard-sized Blu-ray keep case.
The Final Analysis
Zombieland was one of the theatrical surprises of 2009, both in terms of its box office performance (approximately $76 million as of December) and its mostly glowing reviews. The film’s unique blend of horror and comedy is very appealing and superbly executed.
Equipment used for this review:
Panasonic DMP-BD50 Blu-ray player
Panasonic Viera TC-P46G15 Plasma display, calibrated to THX specification by Gregg Loewen
Yamaha HTR-5890 THX Surround Receiver
BIC Acoustech speakers
Interconnects: Monster Cable