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June 2, 2010
Zombieland Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
3/12/20096/5/2010Sony PicturesRuben Fleischer
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MA15+Jessie Eisenberg

THE MOVIE
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Four companions trying to survive Zombieland.

Ever since I saw the first trailer for Zombieland I was hooked. It just looked like a fun movie. With each subsequent trailer and news story my anticipation could only grow, but then it was shattered when I discovered the Australian release was set for December 3, some two months after the American release. Still, I was there on opening weekend, and loved the film. It was with much excitement that I received this movie on Blu-Ray for review...

Nerdy college student Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has survived the plague that has turned mankind into flesh-devouring zombies because he’s scared of just about everything. Gun-toting, Twinkie-loving Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) has no fears. Together, they are about to stare down their most horrifying challenge yet: each other’s company.

When you think about zombie movies there are two general types. Those that take themselves quite seriously and go for a horror slant, or those that lean towards the comedic slant. Zombieland is certainly in the latter category. There aren't too many "shit your pants" moments in this film, but there are some great scenes there simply for fun, not least of which is one where the four companions just smash up a shop because, well, they can.

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Time to duck under the baseball swing!
In terms of the performances; simply brilliant. Woody Harrelson is a great actor, there are few movies where you could see he was not, at the very least, entertaining to watch but the way he and Jesse work off each other is superb. The two females, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, are up to the task - the scene where they first meet the two boys is fantastic.

There are so many great moments in this movie, not least of which is the witty dialogue which is often very humorous and the tight direction from relative newcomer Ruben Fleischer. A highlight though is a cameo by a certain Hollywood actor. I won't name him but let's just say that I don't think you could have picked a more amusing or appropriate person to cameo in this movie. It's hilarious.

Every time I see this movie there are little parts that I just can't help but smile at. It's so much fun and each of the four main characters have some great, and often amusing, moments. Zombieland is well worth checking out.

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I don't think she wants to make out!?
VIDEO
Zombieland is presented on Blu-Ray in the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and uses the AVC MPEG-4 codec. The video doesn't pop out at you, but then again nor did it in the cinemas, but it really is a great, almost naturally gritty looking film which suits the tone of the film perfectly. Colours have a natural look to them, and the makeup work on the zombies really does stand out as quite superb. There are plenty of darkish scenes but the video encoding is given enough room to ensure detail in the darkest scenes remains visible.

AUDIO
The primary audio track on this disc is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track (24-bit/48Khz) which sounds quite wonderful for the most part with clear dialogue and some exciting enough music from composer David Sardy who has previously worked on the movie 21.

If anything I did feel that some of the audio on this disc was a little lacking, especially in the bass and also seemed front heavy. When shotguns are fired the occasional have a real impact to them, but at other times feel a little flat.

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Woody Harrelson is superb as Tallahassee.
Zombieland comes to Blu-Ray with a couple of additional audio tracks including a decent English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 640kbps track as well as a French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track (24-bit/48Khz) which is pretty much identical in quality to the primary English track. The movie has subtitles in English, English SDH, French, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian and Swedish. These subtitles are accurate to the dialogue on-screen with good pacing. The commentary track is subtitle in English, French, and Dutch.

EXTRAS
Fans of this movie will be pleased to know that there are a few extras here including the Blu-Ray exclusive Picture-in-Picture track.

"Beyond the Graveyard" Behind the Scenes Picture-in-Picture Track (HD): This Blu-Ray exclusive feature sees a picture-in-picture track which shows off raw footage before the CG is added, interviews with cast and crew. This really is the highlight of the extras on this disc, and really is worth a watch.

Commentary with Actors Woody Harrelson & Jesse Eisenberg, Director Ruben Fleischer, Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick: There are five participant in this track but after listening to it we have to honestly say we were left quite disappointed. Sure there are amusing moments, but not as great as we had hoped while there are also some gaps in the track.

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Selecting some weapons.
In Search of Zombieland (15:57/HD): While the longest feature this also feels like an EPK with the cast and crew offering praise to everyone and everything rather then an in-depth insight into the making of this film. Watchable, but don't expect much in the way of groundbreaking detail.

Zombieland is Your Land (11:59/HD): This behind the scenes documentary looks at the various sets and locations in the film, as well as some of the movies themes. It's good, but far too brief.

Deleted Scenes (5:27/HD): Seven deleted scenes are presented here and aren't in the best form with timestamps plastered all over them. They're short, and while entertaining aren't fantastic.

Visual Effects: Progression Scenes (2:08/HD): Four clips including "Washington", "Seat Belts", "Banjo Zombie" and "Falling Zombie" are shown here in various stages of development including raw footage, visual effects, and complete form. Silent, brief, and too short to be of any major value.

Theatrical Promo Trailers (6:04/HD): This is a series of five rather amusing trailers where the two stars, Woody Harrelson and Jessie Eisenberg, answer "viewer questions" about Zombieland including why zombies don't attack each other and what someone should pack to kill a zombie at every baseball park in America.

Trailers (8:45/HD): Trailers for Blu-Ray Disc Is High Definition (2.24), 2012 (1:15), Year One (2:09), Zombieland (1:56), and Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2:01).

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Getting into the car, quickly!
MovieIQ (HD): MovieIQ is a fairly new feature on Sony Blu-Ray discs which, though an internet connection, allows you to get more information (we believe sourced from IMDB) about actors in the film. It's an interesting concept that works quite well (in fact we could see this in future being used to sell 'products' seen in films).

PS3 Theme (HD): Throw this disc into your PS3 and under the game menu you will be able to install a Zombieland (non-dynamic) theme.

OVERALL
Zombieland isn't your typical run-of-the-mill zombie flick, but injects plenty of humour into the storyline. Best movie ever material? Of course not, but it's damn entertaining. A great transfer and decent extras makes this worth a purchase if you're a fan, and certainly a rental if you haven't seen the movie yet.

Review By: Dave Warner

THE MOVIE
8/10
THE VIDEO
9/10
THE AUDIO
8/10
THE EXTRAS
6/10
OVERALL
8/10

Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Sony Pictures. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.