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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Matthias Hoene
Cast:
Rasmus Hardiker, Harry Treadaway, Michelle Ryan, Jack Doolan, Georgia King, Ashley Thomas
Writing Credits:
Matthias Hoene (original idea), James Moran, Lucas Roche

Tagline:
The undead are brown bread.

Synopsis:
A gang of bank robbers fight their way out of a zombie-infested London.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 88 min.
Price: $24.97
Release Date: 9/3/2013

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Matthias Hoene
• Audio Commentary with Writer James Moran
• Behind the Scenes Featurettes
• Deleted Scenes
• Trailer


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Cockneys Vs Zombies [Blu-Ray] (2012)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 2, 2013)

Given the success of The Walking Dead on TV and World War Z in theaters, it doesn’t look like the zombie craze will fade anytime soon. For a more comedic take on the subject, we head to 2012’s Cockneys Vs. Zombies.

During a job in East London, some construction workers uncover a long-sealed tomb. As they explore the site, the dead come back to life and attack the guys.

In the meantime, brothers Terry (Rasmus Hardiker) and Andy (Harry Treadaway) want to save the retirement home in which their grandfather Ray (Alan Ford) lives. To do this, they plan a bank robbery.

This goes surprisingly smoothly – until they emerge from the bank and find themselves confronted by the police. Loose cannon “Mental” Mickey (Ashley Thomas) starts to shoot at the cops, which obviously escalates matters well beyond a level tolerable to his amateur criminal colleagues.

In the face of a potential battle, the robbers find themselves rescued by an unlikely source: zombies. The walking dead multiply across London and take down the police before the burglars can confront them. From there they need to stay alive and also attempt to rescue their granddad.

Can one watch Cockneys and not have memories of 2004’s Shaun of the Dead spring to mind? Probably not – I immediately made a connection between the two.

Not that Cockneys should be viewed as a knock-off of the better-known film, as it generates its own identity. Is that enough to create an entertaining movie?

To a moderate degree, yes, though no one should expect a consistent ride. Cockneys mixes occasional inspiration with a bit of tedium along the way. One problem stems from the disjointed sense of narrativem as the film splits its time between the robbers and the old folks. It doesn’t balance the two segments particularly well, so we always feel a jolt when we change setting.

Even within the different locations, Cockneys can come across as erratic. At times it seems like a general conglomeration of genre influences and situations without a lot to make it flow smoothly. The editing lacks much coherence and leaves us with a project that doesn’t fit together as well as I’d like.

Still, even with these inconsistencies, Cockneys manages a reasonable amount of entertainment. It throws out just enough wacky humor to amuse, and the sections with the elderly folks can delight. C’mon – who doesn’t want to see nearly-90-year-old Honor Blackman kick some butt? And 75-year-old Alan Ford provides the most dynamic character in the whole flick – I might’ve liked Cockneys more if it focused on his exploits.

Does Cockneys bring anything new to the zombie genre? Probably not, but it still gives us a fairly fun experience. It can be an up and down ride, so don’t anticipate consistency. Nonetheless, it’s a likable little romp.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

Cockneys Vs. Zombies appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This was a decent but unexceptional image.

Sharpness looked adequate. At times the movie could be a bit soft, which I suspect occurred partially due to the digital cameras used. Nonetheless, overall definition seemed pretty good. No concerns with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes were absent. No print flaws appeared in this clean presentation.

Colors were fine. The movie tended toward a somewhat stylized amber/teal palette that worked well within those design parameters. Blacks were fairly dark and tight, and shadows showed good clarity. Sharpness was the main concern here; while not a big issue, the mild lack of definition was enough to make this a “B-“ presentation.

I felt more pleased with the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Cockneys. An action-comedy that didn’t skimp on the “action” side of things, all of the battle shenanigans ensured that the mix offered plenty of involving material. The fights filled out the spectrum in an active, involving manner that created a fair amount of engrossing audio.

Audio quality also was very good. Speech seemed crisp and distinctive, as I noticed no flaws like edginess. Music seemed warm and full, while effects added a real bang to the proceedings. Those elements showed good clarity and accuracy, and they offered tight, deep bass as well. The track seemed vibrant and dynamic as it accentuated the movie in a satisfying manner.

Among the disc’s extras, we find two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from director Matthias Hoene and provides a running, screen-specific look at story/character topics, cast and performances, editing and pacing, effects and visual design, sets and locations, score, and a few other areas.

Hoene gives us a likable, genial chat here. He covers a good array of subjects and does so in an engaging manner that allows the track to move by quickly. I find a lot to like in this informative discussion.

For the second commentary, we hear from writer James Moran. He delivers his own running, screen-specific examination of story/character areas, the project’s development, the script and changes made from page to screen.

While Moran doesn’t cover as much territory as Hoene, he still gives us a nice look at the subject matter. The writer sticks with his area of expertise and covers screenplay issues with a wry wit and a good sense of honesty. We get a fun track with a fair amount of useful material here.

Nine Deleted Scenes fill a total of six minutes, 22 seconds. As one might expect from short snippets, all seem inconsequential, but that doesn’t mean they lack merit. Actually, most seem pretty fun, especially the one in which Ray punches out some local hoods. I’m not sure how well these segments would’ve played in the final cut – especially one that adds a darker edge to one character’s journey – but all are good to see.

The deleted scenes come with two optional commentary possibilities, as we can view them with or without narration from Hoene or Moran. They cover similar topics, of course, but from differing points of view, so both tracks give us some nice notes about the sequences.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we get a collection of behind the scenes featurettes. These run a total of 29 minutes, 13 seconds and include comments from Hoene, Moran, special makeup effects supervisor Paul Hyatt, producers Mark Lane and James Harris, and actors Rasmus Hardiker, Harry Treadaway, Michelle Ryan, Ashley Thomas, Honor Blackman, Alan Ford, Georgina Hale, and Dudley Sutton. The clips cover story/characters, cast and performances, makeup and effects, and some general thoughts.

“General” is a good word for the issues discussed here, as the remarks tend to remain superficial; we don’t learn much that doesn’t already appear in the commentaries. The footage from the set tends to be more useful, though, so that adds some value to the set.

Nothing about Cockneys Vs. Zombies slays, and it can be pretty inconsistent. That said, it delivers enough comedy and goofy action to become a mostly enjoyable adventure. The Blu-ray comes with decent visuals, solid audio and bonus materials led by a pair of informative commentaries. Cockneys turns into an entertaining expansion of its genre.

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