Monday, October 20, 2014

The Dead 2 Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
Two years ago, filmmakers Howard J. Ford and Jon Ford took international audiences on an unforgettable journey through a zombie-infected African veldt with the critically acclaimed and audience favorite The Dead. The first international zombie film production to be shot in India, The Dead 2 utilizes the spectacular vistas of Rajasthan, Delhi and Mumbai to create yet another unforgettable journey into the heart of darkness baked in sunlight. Unfolding across an epic vista of breathtaking scope, thrilling action, death-defying stunts and spine-chilling fright, yet always keeping the emotional resonance in focus, The Ford Brothers’ The Dead 2 once again melds the terror of the end of the world, with the inspiration of the human drive to survive.

Film (4 out of 5 stars)
Before watching The Dead 2, I assumed I needed to watch the first film.  That, however, is not the case.  It’s not a direct continuation of the first film, so it’s not necessary.  Nicholas Burton is an American engineer who works on wind turbines in the Indian desert.  While working, he notices some strange things and calls his girlfriend Ishani to make sure she is alright.  After finding out she is pregnant, he promises to return to Mumbai as soon as he can.  Before that can happen, he encounters people who have turned into zombies.

He rushes to return to Mumbai to save Ishani and their baby, but along the way encounters many obstacles in addition to all the zombies trying to eat him.  After his truck breaks down, he finds a paraglider, which gets him a little further along, but soon runs out of gas.  He comes across a young boy, Javed, and promises to take him along.  After finding another car, they begin the long drive across the desert.  

But again, when the car is no longer an option, they walk.  When they come across the military transporting people to Mumbai, the Nicholas risks his life to get Javed on the copter.  He promises to find him and continues on foot to Mumbai. Upon arriving in Mumbai, he finally finds Ishani at her home with her parents, who have both been bitten.  He saves Ishani and they go to the camp to find Javed.  Once they find him, they realize they have to get out of there and begin fighting their way out.

The Ford brothers are great storytellers.  They’ve put together a film that not only tells a story through the script, but through the picture.  It was visually a great film and the actors were really good.  A lot of local actors were used and it worked well.  It made for a more authentic film and kept the story real.

Video (4 out of 5 stars)
The Dead 2 is presented in 1080p widescreen and is really, really good.  The colors are bright and the picture is clear.  Skin tones are natural and the background is sharp.  Much of the film takes place in the Indian desert and the browns and oranges of the area really showed through.  There is quite a bit of action in the film and it all came through smoothly.  I didn’t notice any issues with the picture.  It really is a pretty film to watch.
Audio (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Dolby True HD 5.1 audio for The Dead 2 was good, but a little inconsistent.  The dialogue was varied and could be a little too quiet.  Gunshots and louder action scenes tended to be on the too loud side.  That said, the dialogue was good and these slight issues weren’t enough to really affect the film as a whole. Subtitles in Spanish and in English for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Extras (2 out of 5 stars)
The special features are lacking.  There is really only one behind the scenes look that is interesting.  I wanted more and was hoping for more on the location, the make up and other more specific looks at the film.
  • The Making of The Dead 2 – A 20 minute interview with the Ford brothers, supplemented by behind the scenes looks at the film.  This was interesting and the Ford brother did not look like I expected them to.  I enjoyed this feature.
  • Deleted Scenes – Two deleted scenes from the film.  Neither of them were necessary to the film and were good choices to leave out.  I wonder though, why those were the two deleted scenes included in the film.  Surely there were more scenes that could have been included.
Summary (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
In what has become an over done genre, The Dead 2 does not feel like just another zombie movie. It was really well done and interesting and I really enjoyed the story. I am a big fan of zombie movies and tend to be very critical of them. The Dead 2 exceeded my expectations and it is definitely a film that will stay on my shelf for future viewings.

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