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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Walking Dead: Season 9 (Blu-ray review)

                                  Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira

                      Directed by: Greg Nicotero, Michael Cudlitz, Millicent Shelton, (many more)


       Look, we've all got that one thing that we're hooked on, whether it be good or bad for our souls or our physical and mental beings. Some can be beneficial to an extent, while others drag our entities down into the muck until they've completely run their damaging road mapped course. For me, it's "The Walking Dead" - I've been a fan since the comics back in 2003, and when AMC Network announced the series inclusion in 2011, I went through the roof like a 5-year-old who just found Mountain Dew.  Now over the course of its 9 seasons has it stretched itself unbelievably thin at times and cost some of its initial fans to jump ship? Yes it has, but there's been something to be proud of here, and that's what's called STAYING POWER, and I for one intend to be THAT idiot that sits his ass in front of the TV at 9pm EST every Sunday night and follow this thing through until its ultimate completion, whenever that day may come.

  So here we are - a couple weeks removed from the DVD/Blu-ray release of Season 9 (which I hastily snagged from my local Best Buy), and after giving the first few discs the initial once-over, my primary response was that of "damn, this show looks grainy as hell!" Quite the testament however for a show that has long-standing praise for its presentation, and considering the stark comparison between the DVD and Blu copies, to pay that little bit extra of your hard-earned dough is worth the money drop. In the ninth season, the movement in times appears to take a step back (although the characters do appear more and more weathered), and we've got almost an old-west look and feel to the atmosphere. Major characters have undergone some serious changes as well, with the main antagonist, Negan locked away prison-style to serve sentence for his "crimes" all the while acting like an uncle of sorts to young Judith Grimes, who is turning into quite the little bad-ass herself. All of the communities have aligned themselves in order to create a more productive society...although there appears to be a new threat on the horizon (shhh).

 This new menace in question comes in the form of "The Whisperers" - a rag-tag assembly of survivors whose best disguise is utilized by others' faces (pretty gruesome, but it works). The leader of the pack is "Alpha" - a woman who has been no stranger to tough times and even tougher love. Her way of leading is with a soft voice and an even heavier fist, and it's one that she's used to keeping her daughter in check as well. All of the aforementioned leads up to a group that's going to cause some serious trouble for the good guys if you will over the course of the upcoming season. Season 9 was certainly a turning point for a number of storylines, and as formative as they might have been, in some instances it took a lunar moon to get things ramped up, especially if you came to this show looking for some solid action.

 I could sit here even longer droning on about technical specs, and audio ratio, yadda, yadda, yadda...but you can just as easily judge for yourself if you're willing to drop the $30 on this set. There are a few commentary tracks and a slew of featurettes on disc 5 if you're so inclined, and what I can say now is if you're a fan of this show like I am, you'll more than likely want to snag Season 9 on Blu (or DVD if the mood strikes ya). If you happen to be a completist, then it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that you'd want to have this on your shelf, however I can't help but think that there will be a plan put in place to have an entire series collection cranked out fairly I just need to think about how I'm going to be able to afford it.

    BLU-RAY RATING: 3.5 out of 5


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