As fans wait for the 4th season of The Walking Dead to premiere on October 13, 2013, the studio has released the complete season 3 on Blu-ray to build anticipation for the new season of this phenomenally successful cable TV series. The 3rd season on Blu-ray continues the high standards of video and audio presentation set by the earlier season releases, with enough special features consisting of deleted scenes and episode commentaries to satisfy those fans who have already seen these episodes as they aired on AMC-TV.
Studio: Anchor Bay
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 2.0 DD
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 11 Hrs. 28 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-raykeep case
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Release Date: 08/27/2013
The Walking Dead follows survivors of a zombie apocalypse forced to fight for their lives in the outlying areas of Georgia. Sheriff Rick Grimes(Andrew Lincoln) is expecting a child any day with wife Lori(Sarah Wayne Callies) as season 3 begins. Rick and Lori’s son Carl(Chandler Riggs) is also among the survivors as they leave Herschel’s farm and find sanctuary in an almost abandoned prison. After clearing out the walkers, the prison infirmary seems an ideal place under the circumstances for Lori to give birth. They are accompanied by former pizza deliveryman Glenn(Steven Yeun), Herschel (Scott Wilson), his daughter Maggie(Lauren Cohan), Andrea(Laurie Holden), Carol(Melissa McBride) and Daryl(Norman Reedus), the cross-bow wielding bad-ass brother of Merle(Michael Rooker), who was last seen handcuffed to a utility pipe on the roof of a building.
The Production Rating: 4.5/5
The Walking Dead is based on the Eisner Award-winning comic book series written by Robert Kirkman. The 3rd season continues to loosely follow the storyline of the graphic novel series, as the survivors take occupation of the prison and find themselves in conflict with the Governor(David Morrissey), the leader of another group of survivors that has created a refuge in the nearby town of Woodbury. Also appearing at long-last from the graphic novel series is Michonne(Danai Gurira), a katana-wielding warrior who could give Daryl Dixon a run for his money, saves Andrea, and ultimately proves herself to be a worthy enemy for the governor as well.
The dramatic conflict created by 2 competing groups of survivors makes this season arguably the best season to date. The differences of opinion and style between Rick's group and the Governor's leadership calls into question whether the ends truly justify the means, or whether so doing means that the survivors lose their humanity. These themes elevated the series above the pulpy trappings of what would otherwise be merely another survival horror story. Viewers seemed to agree, as they made this season the highest rated season of the series to date. The Walking Dead was the highest rated cable program during the 2012-2013 season as well as the highest rated scripted program for all networks during the same season.
The Walking Dead appears on Blu-Ray in 1080p in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio as originally filmed. The series has been created on Super 16 mm film and then printed up to 35 mm. This process results in a very film-like grain structure that preserves a relatively high level of contrast. The fine detail is not as intricate as one sees on other HD series, but this grittiness actually lends itself well to the horror subject matter. This third season Blu-ray set continues the high video standards set in the previous season sets. This set showcases an excellent video presentation of the series that exceeds the quality of broadcast presentation, with none of the compression issues apparent on broadcast television.
Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA
The English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio is sublime, making the audio on these discs, like the video presentation, far exceeding the quality of this third season’s original TV broadcasts. Directional audio is used to great effect for the ambient sounds of everything from insects and wildlife to gunfire The sound mix is always balanced well so that dialogue. music, and sound effects are always perceptible.
Audio Rating: 4.5/5
All 16 episodes from the second season are included in this 5-disc set. The first four discs have 4 episodes to each disc with disc 5 having all of the special features, other than the episode commentaries specific to each episode.
Special Features Rating: 4.5/5
The following episodes have audio commentaries:
Killer Within: Director Guy Ferland and actor Irone Singleton.
Say The Word: Executive producer Greg Nicotero and actor Danai Gurira.
Made To Suffer: Creator Robert Kirkman, executive producer Gale Ann Hurd, and actor Danai Gurira.
The Suicide King: Executive producer Gale Ann Hurd, and actor Danai Gurira.
This Sorrowful Life: Executive producer Greg Nicotero and actor Michael Rooker.
Disc 1 also has a brief trailer for the series(0:26) prior to the main menu.
Disc 5 has the following special features:
Deleted Scenes: Walk With Me(1:34), Say The Word(2:40), Hounded(2:53), Home(2:07), I Ain't No Judas(1:40), Clear(2:26).
Featurettes: Rising Son(6:47), Evil Eye(7:54), Gone, But Not Forgotten(8:14), Heart Of A Warrior(8:25), Michonne vs. The Governor(5:13), Safety Behind Bars(9:44), Making The Dead(8:06), and Guts And Glory(7:42).
Season 3 of The Walking Dead is the best season of the series to date, as it restores the impression that "anything can happen next" that seemed to be intermittent in the first half of season 2. The video and audio presentation are so excellent that it is tempting to wait for the next season set rather than watch it on broadcast television. (Most fans will not be able to wait that long.) The special features are comprehensive and interesting, and offer morsels for viewers who have already seen all of the episodes in this set. The Walking Dead Season 3 is recommended as we count down the days until the premiere of the next season.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewed By: Timothy E
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