Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

First Look presents
Day of the Dead (Blu-ray) (2008)

"There's more of these motherf&*%ers?"
- Salazar (Nick Cannon)

Review By: Ross Johnson   
Published: January 07, 2009

Stars: Ving Rhames, Mena Suvari
Other Stars: Michael Welch, Pat Kilbane, Nick Cannon
Director: Steve Miner

MPAA Rating: R for strong pervasive horror violence and gore, and language
Run Time: 01h:27m:00s
Release Date: December 02, 2008
UPC: 687797122568
Genre: horror

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C- DB-A- B-

DVD Review

What do we like in our movies these days? We like remakes, and we like zombies. (Well, OK, the zombie thing may be on the decline, but re-dos are still golden). Zach Snyder's 2004 remake of George A. Romero's all-time classic Dawn of the Dead didn't surprise people with its commercial success, but it also managed to impress as an action movie, even if it couldn't touch the genre-transcending original. Follow-ups also being big, naturally it occurred to someone to craft this quasi-sequel-cum-remake.

Romero's original Day of the Dead, while less beloved than Dawn, has developed no less a reputation over time. Low-budget, lean, and cynical, that film had the survivors of the zombie plague retreating underground, slowly discovering that their fellow man, and the military mindset, are threats far more intractable than the hordes of the undead. It was Romero's darkest statement on humanity, and a classic in its own right. This new film, originally intended for theaters, follows Corporal Sarah Cross (Mena Suvari), whose hometown has been mysteriously quarantined. It doesn't take long for her to uncover the nature of the contagion, and she's soon on the run from hordes of the dead, trying to rescue her brother and his girlfriend while trying to answer the age-old question: where the heck did all these zombies come from, anyway? The film's central, clever, set piece takes place in a hospital where a whole lot of very sick-looking people start dropping off all at once. And to answer the first, most obvious question for any zombie aficionado: these zombies don't amble, and they don't really run. They positively sprint. Up walls, on ceilings, etc., in case you thought that being dead was all bad.

In spite of the proud announcement on the cover of the film's relationship to George Romero's original, the film has almost nothing to do that claustrophobic classic, aside from a climax in a military bunker. There's also a nod to Romero's trained zombie "Bub" in one of this film's most likeable characters, played by Stark Sands, who stands out here as he did in HBO's recent Generation Kill miniseries. Mena Suvari is a mostly believable action heroine, and Ving Rhames is rarely unwelcome, even if what he does here amounts to not much more than an extended cameo, playing the no-nonsense type of character that we've seen him do plenty of times before. Also seen before: Salazar, played by Nick Cannon, is the sassy, wisecracking, cowardly-but-ultimately-heroic, black-people-sure-are-funny, sidekick. It's a character that we've seen too many times before: if it's not entirely offensive, it's at least tiresome (O.K., it's both). Character actor Ian McNeice (Rome) steals some screen time, as well, as a rotund but surprisingly spry radio host (he somehow manages to outrun the superhumanly fast and powerful zombies with a cane, and saves himself by locking a glass door). The actors are generally more than competent, and the action direction from horror-vet Steve Miner is fine, but none of it adds up to much. In this latecomer to the zombie resurgence of the past half-decade or so, it's just not enough to have decent special effects in the service of a bland story. The zombie movie has a great tradition of "relevance," and this new Dawn of the Dead has nothing much to say (aside from a predictable, and bland "the military is bad, sometimes, except when they're the protagonists" message). This new Dawn has decent special effects and performances, and the action is competently directed. It's not so much bad, as utterly forgettable.

Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: D


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The film's generally muted palette is represented adequately in the daytime scenes, where the high-def transfer tends to be crisp and clean. The night scenes, on the other hand, are often unintentionally grainy. On the whole, the transfer is fine, but I'm not certain that the rather bland cinematography really gains much from Blu-ray's added capacity.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby True HD audio mix here is full and energetic: lots of splats, groans, and bangs distributed well across the channels. It's a solid action-movie mix. There's a similarly effective Dolby 5.1 track, included here as an option.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in Spanish with remote access
3 Original Trailer(s)
1 Alternate Endings
2 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Director Steve Miner, actors Stark Sands, Michael Welch, and Christa Campbell, writer Jeffrey Reddick, and editor Nate Easterling.
Packaging: standard Blu-ray packaging
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: First up is an audio commentary by director Steve Miner, actors Stark Sands, Michael Welch, and Christa Campbell, writer Jeffrey Reddick, and editor Nate Easterling. I'm not a big fan of the ubiquitous unnecessary commentary track, and it's a little beyond me why anyone would sit through one for a film whose most ardent admirers will find merely diverting, The gang here mostly chuckles along with the film and talks about the difficulties of filming and the challenges of shooting the movie in Bulgaria. Not really bad, I guess, just kinda pointless.

Next, is a fifteen minute On the Set featurette, covering a few days in the life of filming. It's brisk, and enjoyable enough if you've liked the main feature. Similarly, Interviews also clocks in with around fifteen minutes of on-the-set talking head-type chats with cast and crew members. The Alternate Ending is about five minutes long, but really only provides a few seconds of alternate footage, changing the fate of one of the main characters. Three trailers are also included, as well as a photo gallery.

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

Mildly diverting, at best, there's no real reason for this in-name-only remake to exist. A capable performance or two and some decent action direction can't really rescue a dull story. Likewise, the high-def image quality is good, not great, and the extras are nothing to write home about. Your zombie-movie dollars are best spent elsewhere.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store