Dawn of the Dead
I'm not a fan of the genre, but I did my best to ignore the blood and gore in this movie and found it somewhat entertaining. Sure enough, senseless violence permeates almost every frame, but there's a certain enjoyment in watching a zombie get whacked. I haven't seen George Romero's 1978 original, but I've read that this remake lacks the charm of the cult classic. Then again, I'm not sure any movie about flesh-eating zombies can be considered charming.
The 1080p encode is a solid effort from Universal. Grain is prevalent throughout, but that doesn't affect the picture's excellent detail and color saturationespecially red, which is abundant with all the gore. Some scenes are plagued with video noise, especially during the first act when Ana (Sarah Polley) is hiding in the bathroom, but these instances are rare and don't detract from the overall impressive video.
The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack features rich dynamics with outstanding depth and detail as well as crisp dialog and foundation-rocking bass. The surround channels are active with both discrete and ambient effects creating an immersive environment. I did a quick comparison to the HD DVD release, which featured a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack, and I couldn't distinguish between the two.
Unlike the HD DVD, which ported over the DVD supplements, this release has an all-new U-Control PIP feature with cast and crew interviews as well as some behind-the-scenes footage. In addition, there is a commentary with director Zack Snyder and producer Eric Newman, which was also on the HD DVD.
Once I became immune to the gore, I found myself enjoying the story and the characters. Horror fans will eat up the presentation, which is quite good, but the squeamish at heart should take notethere are gallons of blood.
Release Date: September 30, 2008
Movie: 7 out of 10
Picture: 8 out of 10
Sound: 9 out of 10
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)
Onkyo PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 Amplifier
Belkin PF60 power conditioner
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector