Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Battery Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
In a world ravaged by the undead, two men must not only survive a zombie apocalyptic mayhem, but also learn to survive each other. Or will they? On September 16, 2014, Scream Factory will release writer-director Jeremy Gardner’s enthralling zombie-horror drama The Battery on Blu-ray and DVD. Featuring a general dose of suspense, character tension and wit, this critically acclaimed movie follows two former baseball players as they traverse the rural back roads of a post-plague New England teeming with the undead, psychological strain and their stark personality differences.

Film (2 out of 5 stars)
Ben and Mickey seem to be the last two uninfected people in New England. While playing baseball in Pennsylvania, something happened and people began dying and turning into zombies. In order to survive, Ben and Mickey pack up their gear, and begin walking. Ben and Mickey scavenge to find food and supplies, also fishing for extra food. They find a walkie talkie and start radioing anyone who might be out there. When they get a response, Mickey tries contacting the group asking if they can join them. They are told in no uncertain terms that they are not welcome, and the leader of the group orders this people not to communicate with Ben and Mickey.

Eventually, they come across a car in the field, they clean it out and start driving to their unknown destination. They turn the car into their mobile home, setting up blankets, lanterns and living out of it. As they drive, the still find abandoned homes, and Mickey wants to have a “normal” night by sleeping in the home – in a real bed. Ben, however, doesn’t feel safe, and proves his point to Mickey by trapping him in the house.

As Ben and Mickey travel through the country, they find another car. As they siphon the gas from it, Mickey realizes the car engine is warm, and as he’s trying to tell Ben, a man grabs him and threatens him, telling Ben to toss the keys. Ben tells him where the keys are, and tricks him. After killing the man, in order to survive, Ben and Mickey return to siphoning the gas from the other car. They look up and see another car has arrived. It’s the people from the other end of the walkie talkie. Mickey once again asks to join their community and once again is told no. When the car keys are lost, Mickey and Ben are trapped in the car… unsure if they will survive the night.

I thought the actors did a good job in the film. They were believable and were good in each of their roles, even though I found them annoying and unlikable.. I liked the setting and the feeling of total abandonment. The zombies were not very impressive, but admittedly, I’m partial to the zombies on The Walking Dead. The Battery showed what life might be like if the zombie apocalypse ever happened… and you were two boring people.
Video (3 out of 5 stars)
The 1080p High-Definition wide-screen presentation of The Battery was good. It was mute and gritty, as it should have been. There were parts that were bright – the greens of the trees and in the water. The picture was sharp and the look and feel of the film was authentic.
Audio (3 out of 5 stars)
The Battery’s 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio was also good. The dialogue flowed and was intelligible, and background sounds were not overwhelming. The volume was good and I didn’t have to adjust it at all. Subtitles in English are available. Commentary with Writer/Director/Actor Jeremy Gardner, Producer/Actor Adam Cronheim, and Director of Photography Christian Stella is included under the audio tab.
Extras (2 out of 5 stars)
The special features for The Battery were long and uninteresting.
  • Tools of Ignorance: The Making of The Battery – A behind-the-scenes look at the film. This feature ran for 90 minutes. This was way too long for a special feature. It covered everything from its inception, to the filming of different scenes, to its entrance into various film festivals. After about 10 minutes, I was so extremely bored. I didn’t like the movie enough to want to pretty much watch it all over again with behind-the-scenes footage.
  • Trailer – The official trailer for the film. The trailer makes it seem like it’s a comedy/drama.
  • Outtakes – Twelve minutes of not funny outtakes from the filming of the movie. It was like sitting in a fraternity house and watching the fraternity boys have a conversation.
  • Rock Plaza Central at the Parlor – Honestly, I’m not quite sure what this was. I’m assuming a behind-the-scenes look at the music form the film. It looked like home video of a jam session with someone making some weird breakfast sandwiches, and video of a few of the locations.
  • More from Scream Factory – Previews of other Scream Factory releases.
Summary (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Battery is not a good zombie movie. There were hardly any zombies until the end, and even then, you hardly saw them. The majority of the film was of the characters walking (or driving) and interacting with each other. I was bored and didn’t enjoy this film. After watching the movie, and reading the reviews, I wondered if the reviewers even watched the same movie I did. I found The Battery boring and I found myself watching the clock until it ended.

Order your copy today!

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