Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Zombieland: The "Nut Up or Shut Up" Edition Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 36.4 GB
Film Size: 22.6 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: ABC

The Video
Zombieland comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The movie looks very good in high-definition, with a dark and rich presentation that will please any viewer. The movie features a significant upgrade in quality from DVD, although detail is not always as spectacular as I would have hoped.

The opening sequence is particularly impressive, but is also shot differently from the rest of the film. Using the Phantom Camera, Ruben Fleischer was able to shoot 1000 frames per second and capturing every small slow-motion movement with perfect clarity and detail.

The transfer itself appears to be true to the source, with no signs of tampering to be found. The movie features some great depth and black levels remain very solid throughout. This is the type of film that really leaps off your screen and rarely feels anywhere close to flat.

The majority of the film does not make for demo material, but there is enough upgrade from DVD to easily recommend the high-def version. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has provided a top notch video presentation and all things considered, I can’t imagine it looking much better than it does now. 8/10.

The Audio
A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included and is on par with the video presentation. The quality is very strong but at the same time is not among the best audio mixes on Blu-ray. The film is clear and crisp for the majority of the film, but I found surround use and effect placements to be slightly underwhelming at times.

Dialogue is always crisp and easy to understand. The film’s effects do make use of the surround speakers, although not as aggressive as I would have hoped. The quality of the track itself is very high with the majority of sounds being clear as can be.

The issue I have is with the mix itself, which is not anywhere near as exciting as I expected it to be. Regardless the track is very strong and features plenty to love. There certainly are no technical issues with the track itself. I think any viewer will be satisfied by this mix, but not necessarily dazzled. 8/10.

The Extras

Disc 1:

MovieIQ (BD-Live)
Connect to real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie. You must have a BD-Live connected Blu-ray player to use MovieIQ.

Beyond The Graveyard (Picture-in-Picture track)
A Picture-in-Picture track is included and while I did not view the entire thing quite yet, I did watch a good half hour or so of this additional feature. This feature plays while you view the film, constantly popping up and featuring some very strong behind-the-scenes material and interviews. There are also moments where you see them film a scene directly with the actual scene in the film. This is a very cool feature that I’m sure most viewers will enjoy.

Audio Commentary
With Actors Woody Harrelson & Jesse Eisenberg, Director Ruben Fleischer, Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

In Search Of Zombieland (15:58) (HD)
The crew talks about original production and discuss how it was originally intended to be a television show. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes footage included as well.

Zombieland Is Your Land (11:59) (HD)
Go behind-the-scenes of production. This is a very informative and fun feature, which takes you around the many sets of the film. The grocery store set is very cool and you get to see that the food in the freezer sections are just paper.

Deleted Scenes (5:28) (HD)
Seven deleted scenes are included and are presented in high-definition.

Visual Effects Progression Scenes (2:08) (HD)
Seat Belts
Banjo Zombie
Falling Zombie

Theatrical Promo Trailers (6:04) (HD)
Bounty Towels
Bowling Ball
Buddy System
Swiss Army

Previews (HD)

BD-Live Portal
Download the latest trailers for upcoming Sony Pictures theatrical and Blu-ray releases.

PS3 Theme
PS3 users can access an exclusive Zombieland theme via their Playstation 3 system. The theme looks very neat, but is not dynamic for those curious. The theme transitions between two different pictures like most themes and features custom icons.

Disc 2:

Digital Copy of the film
Compatible with iTunes, Windows Media & PSP.

Disc 3 (Shut Up or Not Up Best Buy Exclusive):

Shootin’ Zombies with Ruben Fleischer (20:04) (SD)
Director Ruben Fleischer talks about creating the slow-motion, zombie-attacking main title sequence by using the Phantom Camera, a special camera that shoots 1000 frames per second. He also shares never-before-seen footage of other zombie attacks. The main title sequence is very cool and hilarious so it’s great to see all this new footage and how they did everything.

Behind the Scenes (7:26) (SD)
Additional behind-the-scenes footage and interviews are included, which cannot be found on the typical release. This feature is probably the most ‘promotional’ and features a lot of footage from just the film itself. But they do manage to mix it with some very cool behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.

The features on this release are quite enjoyable, although feel a bit lacking at times. This version includes an additional disc which features almost thirty more minutes of bonus features; I particularly enjoyed the exclusive feature about shooting the main title sequence and seeing the never-before-seen attacks that were filmed.

The “Nut Up or Shut Up” Edition is available in much more limited quantities and can be found at most Best Buy stores across the United States and Canada. How long this version will be available is to be determined, but a few readers have had issues finding a copy even on release date. 8/10.

The Movie
I remember being turned off to Zombieland when I saw the original theatrical trailer, I’ve always loved zombie movies, but the theatrical trailer just made it look very mediocre and goofy. It was the type of film I would normally just wait for the Blu-ray release rather than see theatrically
That didn’t happen with this film though, I ended up going with a few friends to see the film and found myself very surprised. Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin star as the four lead characters, survivors of the zombie plague.

Let’s start with Tinkie-loving Tallahassee (Harrelson), he is a highlight of the film and brings the majority of the humor. He’s wacky but you just have to love the guy. He travels alone until he runs into college student Columbus (Eisenberg).

Columbus is the nerdy college student, a boy who would typically spend his weekend playing World of Warcraft, eating pizza and drinking Code Red Mountain Dew. He begins his adventure in his dorm when the hottest girl on his floor bangs on his door screaming for help. He allows her to rest at his place, waking up to find her as a Zombie.

Now let’s get to the girls, two sisters named Wichita (Stone) and Little Rock (Breslin). These two girls always travel together and take advantage of every situation they can to get by. They come across Tallahassee and Columbus in the grocery store, but end up joining them after a few run-in situations.

Zombieland is not as easy as any of them expected and they soon began to rely on each other to make it out of situations alive. The film is a very funny zombie comedy, one which has become one of my favorite films of 2009. The movie bleeds awesome and features a cameo appearance to remember.

The movie is nowhere as mediocre as the trailer made me feel and I loved Zombieland, I really did. The movie may not be a classic to all, but it will certainly have some of the highest replay value for me this year and many years to come.

All four lead actors bring something unique to the table and make this a movie that can appeal to just about anyone. If you are not interested in the film, I definitely would recommend you give the movie a chance as you may find yourself very surprised like I was.

Zombieland is one of the most fun experiences you will have on Blu-ray. The movie made me want to go to go on a roller coaster and shoot some zombies, which is the same reaction many other viewers have had. I highly recommend Zombieland, a film which provides a perfect blend of Zombies, comedy and action. 9/10.

Blu-news Summary
The Blu-ray release is great, featuring strong video and audio presentations, a solid amount of extras. The “Nut Up or Shut Up” Edition can be found at Best Buy exclusively and is totally worth the investment, featuring the same price as the standalone release. ‘Highly Recommended.

Additional Screenshots:

To Buy The "Nut Up or Shut Up" Edition Blu-ray, Visit A Local Best Buy Store. If This Edition Interests You, Buy Soon As Quantities Are Limited.

No comments: