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Blu-ray Review: The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season

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the walking dead the complete third seasonWith the next season of “The Walking Dead” getting ready to shamble in front of us very soon–a little less than two months now–it’s not surprising that the third season should make its way to video. Our friends out at Anchor Bay sent over a copy of “The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season” for us to review, and there’s plenty going on here, as is commonplace with this increasingly complex series. This one won’t hit stores until August 27, so clear your schedule–Labor Day’s just around the corner!–because this one’s plain old fantastic.

“The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season” gets us off the farm and on the road, at least for a little while. With the world still a disaster thanks to the horrors of the zombie plague, the group is getting increasingly worn down and desperate for a place to stay, a place to live, a place to perhaps even thrive. Such places are getting increasingly difficult to find, at least until the group believes it’s found its greatest shelter yet in an abandoned prison. But the prison, built like a fortress and sublimely well-stocked, comes with a few issues of its own. But the world is shaping up to be a much darker place than anyone may have expected, and the zombies may not be the worst thing in the world any more.

Now, as is generally the case with a complete season of anything, there will be high points and there will be low points. But thankfully, “The Walking Dead” didn’t get to be one of television’s biggest and most popular series by being lackadaisical about its presentation. There will be, of course, deviations from the source material and sometimes by a pretty wide margin. But still, what is here is terrific. Sure, there are some issues. Frankly, I’m still smarting over their choice for the Governor–I maintain that Tom Savini would have made the perfect choice rather than David Morrissey, though he was certainly good enough in the role–but still, another terrific season in this already great series’ favor.

Special features here include a variety of featurettes about the series and its characters, including one for the pivotal scenes featuring Michonne taking on the Governor. There are five separate audio commentary tracks for episodes four and five, eight and nine, and fifteen. There are also a set of deleted scenes, as well as trailers for the return of “The Walking Dead” in October, “The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct” video game, “Breaking Bad,” and an ad for AMC.com. Finally, you’ll have your choice of English or French language options, as well as English or Spanish subtitles.

The end result here is that “The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season” is a wild ride full of twists and surprises, and those who have read the comics will likely be surprised by quite a bit of it. But that’s not going to detract from the overall proceedings, and fans both old and new should be well satisfied here.

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