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©1998–2017
Dustin Putman




The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season  (2014-2015)

Reviewed for TheBluFile.com by Dustin Putman

The Show
(Release Date: August 25, 2015) – During the 2014-2015 fifth season of AMC's "The Walking Dead," the long-running horror-drama series skyrocketed to its highest ratings yet, ranging between 17.29 and 12.27 viewers throughout its 16-episode season run. Whereas some shows tend to wane in popularity by the time they reach a fifth season, this one has never been hotter (a spin-off, "Fear the Walking Dead," premiered in August 2015). Total viewership for the season five premiere, in fact, became the most-watched series episode in cable television history. Not too shabby.

In season five, former sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group are being held hostage at Terminus, a presumed safe haven that is actually being run by bloodthirsty cannibals. When Carol (Melissa McBride) comes to their rescue, they manage to narrowly escape. Once again vulnerable, they run into—and are immediately suspicious of—Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam), a man of faith haunted by tragedies from his past. Their trek ultimately leads them on a path toward Washington, D.C., where they believe their best chance lies to find a cure for the walker virus. Following a few seasons that were often criticized for being drawn-out and a bit dramatically stagnant, the fifth season of "The Walking Dead" opens with a riveting, propulsive bang and continues its story with more consistent momentum, deeper character exploration, and an increased heaping of action and carnage. As it turned out, there was plenty of life yet left in this zombie-centric series.

"The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season" consists of sixteen episodes. They are:
    "No Sanctuary"
    "Strangers"
    "Four Walls and a Roof"
    "Slabtown"
    "Self Help"
    "Consumed"
    "Crossed"
    "Coda"
    "What Happened and What's Going On"
    "Them"
    "The Distance"
    "Remember"
    "Forget"
    "Spend"
    "Try"
    "Conquer"

Blu-ray Picture/Sound
 A/A

Filmed predominately in the 16mm film format and boasting Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Master Audio, "The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season" looks and sounds on Blu-ray like a grimy, bloodied, moaning million bucks. There is a texture to the visual scheme and shooting style of the series that lends the proceedings a gritty, sweaty, uncompromising resonance, and this aesthetic continues here. Image detail is top-notch and dimensionality is on point throughout. Audio-wise, there is an ambiance and dynamism to its taut life-or-death showdowns and brutality that makes its lossless aural presentation a distinct, jittery pleasure. What occurs on the screen frequently bleeds over into one's home theater. Fantastic all around.

Blu-ray Features
  • Audio Commentaries on six episodes with select cast and crew, including writer/executive producer Scott M. Gimple, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, executive producer/special make-up artist/director Greg Nicotero, director Julius Ramsay, executive producer Don Luse, and actors Melissa McBride, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Michael Cudlitz, Danai Gurira, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Alanna Masterson, Chad L. Coleman and Sonequa Martin-Green
  • "Inside The Walking Dead" Featurettes:
    • Inside Episode 501 (5:56, HD)
    • Inside Episode 502 (5:24, HD)
    • Inside Episode 503 (4:54, HD)
    • Inside Episode 504 (4:18, HD)
    • Inside Episode 505 (4:43, HD)
    • Inside Episode 506 (5:27, HD)
    • Inside Episode 507 (4:52, HD)
    • Inside Episode 508 (5:45, HD)
    • Inside Episode 509 (3:57, HD)
    • Inside Episode 510 (4:22, HD)
    • Inside Episode 511 (4:30, HD)
    • Inside Episode 512 (4:15, HD)
    • Inside Episode 513 (4:44, HD)
    • Inside Episode 514 (3:08, HD)
    • Inside Episode 515 (5:09, HD)
    • Inside Episode 516 (5:29, HD)
  • "The Making of The Walking Dead" Featurettes:
    • Inside Episode 501 (5:38, HD)
    • Inside Episode 502 (4:39, HD)
    • Inside Episode 503 (5:10, HD)
    • Inside Episode 504 (3:36, HD)
    • Inside Episode 505 (3:52, HD)
    • Inside Episode 506 (4:42, HD)
    • Inside Episode 507 (4:17, HD)
    • Inside Episode 508 (2:54, HD)
    • Inside Episode 509 (4:27, HD)
    • Inside Episode 510 (3:44, HD)
    • Inside Episode 511 (3:30, HD)
    • Inside Episode 512 (3:12, HD)
    • Inside Episode 513 (1:53, HD)
    • Inside Episode 514 (2:56, HD)
    • Inside Episode 515 (2:47, HD)
    • Inside Episode 516 (2:52, HD)
  • "The Making of Alexandria" Featurette (9:45, HD)
  • "Beth's Journey" Featurette (4:20, HD)
  • "Bob's Journey" Featurette (4:54, HD)
  • "Noah's Journey" Featurette (4:26, HD)
  • "Tyrese's Journey" Featurette (6:53, HD)
  • "A Day in the Life of Michael Cudlitz" Featurette (7:58, HD)
  • "A Day in the Life of Josh McDermitt" Featurette (7:56, HD)
  • "Rotters in the Flesh" Featurette (4:53, HD)
  • Deleted Scenes (15:58, HD)
Bottom Line
"The Walking Dead" fans, unite! Anchor Bay's exhaustive Blu-ray release of "The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season" will be a bloody, riveting dream come true for viewers of the series. Special features (including a host of audio commentaries) could take days to completely spin through on top of the sixteen episodes themselves. Meanwhile, the picture and audio are without fault. There is nothing to even nitpick about when it comes to this thoroughly satisfying Blu-ray release. Highly recommended.

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© 2015 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman

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