Sprinting zombies look even more ridiculous in HD
My copy of the remake of Dawn of the Dead on HD DVD arrived from DVD Pacific this morning.
The DVD always stood out to me as being one of the better standard definition releases, so my hopes were high for its high definition debut. Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed, as this is a very nice-looking transfer. Not perfect, but towards the higher end of the quality spectrum all the same. It has a very contrasty look, with the highlights often ending up being blown out and shadow detail rather limited, but this replicates the look of the film when I saw it at the cinema, not to mention the DVD, which seems to have come from the same master, as evinced by the slight increase in ringing and print damage during scenes that have been spliced in for the director’s cut.
Rewatching the film for (if my memory serves me correctly) the third time also allowed me to warm to it a little more. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still in the shadow of the original, but it’s enjoyable enough and has some genuinely funny moments. It is inconsistent, though, seeming quite well-made in places and then somewhat shoddy in others, while the characters, with the exception of the asshole mall cop CJ, are all incredibly one-dimensional, and the writer’s attempts to give them pathos fall incredibly short. Some moments are so ridiculous that I can’t help wondering if the filmmakers were being tongue-in-cheek - I’m thinking particularly of the sacrifice made by Michael who, knowing that he has been infected, stands heroically on the pier watching his friends sail off into the sunset - cue swelling music and Ving Rhames with the Stars and Stripes emblazoned behind him. I’m just amazed he didn’t salute.