The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
SRP $79.99 1.78:1 Dolby TrueHD 7.1 STARZ/ANCHOR BAY

STARZ/ANCHOR BAY has released the "THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON" on blu-ray. While the series still took a punch when creator Frank Darabont left, character development has been strong enough to make each season successively improved upon, continuing its habit of killing off major players when least expected. Few series have offer characters with the pathos presented in "WALKING DEAD." While an Armageddon-like world invites introspection and plenty of gloom, it's to the credit of the writers that "THE WALKING DEAD" makes viewers consider deep questions along with the characters on screen.

While most everyone in the world would obviously want to avoid prison, in "THE WALKING DEAD," it has become the most valuable sanctuary for Rick and his companions. They'd rather not leave its security, and in SEASON 4 some pretty awful characters want to take it over from the outside.

Rick's understandable descent into near madness is understandable following the loss of his wife, but it's nevertheless frustrating and, at times, can seem a bit overdone, but that same frustration gives way to deep sadness and empathy for the viewer in some very specific situations involving Rick and his son this season. In one particular episode, Rick's demise seems inevitable and leaves the viewer wanting the strong force that's within him to remain so badly, that we'll take Rick, crazy, depressed, or whatever, so long as he's still on the show!

This season, in particular, introduces the widest range of characters thus far, and all of them transcend simple stereotypes, making the narrative all the more compelling. Whether it's a rough gang with an unusual code of keeping its members in line, or simple folk trying to reach a promised sanctuary, "SEASON 4" only leaves the viewer wishing it wouldn't end!

STARZ/ANCHOR BAY has retained the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio of the series. Colors appear intentionally restrained, but detail is flawless! The 16mm source comes with inherent limitations but detail, as seen here, isn't one of them! Every facial hair, piece of clothing, bead of sweat, is showcased with impeccable quality. Grain is consistently present, but it only enhances the gritty atmosphere helping the show. Contrast is generally terrific, with deep blacks, helping to preserve fine detail in the darkest of scenes.

STARZ/ANCHOR BAY has provided a Dolby TrueHD  7.1 mix. Music plays such a key part to the series, especially in regards to the manner it draws the viewer in within the first few minutes of each episode after the opening sequence jolts the viewer into the credits, that it's impressive to find the score so well defined and balanced. This is quite an immersive sound environment and one of the rare occasions wherein this reviewer appreciated the full potential of a 7.1 setup. Gunfire resonates and reverberates with a powerful impact through designated channels. LFE effects bring an almost epic feel to the action sequences. Still, most impressive is the manner wherein discrete, subtle effects blend perfectly with pristine dialogue and layers of effects and music, culminating in a DEMONSTRATION QUALITY Blu-ray presentation! "THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON" is a no-brainer for fans of the series! GRAB THIS ONE!!!

In addition to various commentaries(the best featuring Andrew Lincoln for the episode: THE GROVE), a collection of featurettes, both short and lengthy, offer fans a diverse perspective on the production process. While all of these extras are 1080i, the deleted scenes run a total of just over 9 minutes and presented in full 1080p.

STARZ/ANCHOR BAY has included a UltraViolet code as well.