Feb 152019
 

Overlord is one hell of a thrill ride that combined World War II drama (with respect if not historic flexibility) and zombie horror and the combination was a lot of fun thanks to creative direction and a charismatic ensemble cast.

 

 

Overlord
(2018)

Genre(s): Horror, Fantasy, War
Paramount | R – 110 min. – $34.99 | February 19, 2019

Date Published: 02/15/2019 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Julius Avery
Writer(s): Billy Ray (story), Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith (screenplay)
Cast: Jovan Adepo, Pilou Asbaek, Iain De Caestecker, John Magaro, Mathilde Ollivier, Wyatt Russell, Bokeem Woodbine
DISC INFO:
Features: Featurettes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio (4K/BD): English (Dolby Atmos), German (Dolby Atmos), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Polish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Russian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.40
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Subtitles: English SDH, Arabic, Bahasa, Czech, Danish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Paramount provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 4.0/5


Overlord is a movie I had seen some trailers for but had little interest in seeing, at least in theaters. This J.J. Abrams’ production was, admittedly, a pleasant surprise where I was hooked from the tense-filled opening sequence which was rather mind-blowing, culminating with a one-shot like sequence as the soldiers jump from a fire-engulfed plane.

The story, which if I was told otherwise, felt like it was based on a graphic novel. The plot unfolds in the midst of World War II and hours before D-Day as a group of soldiers are sent into German occupied France with the mission to blow up a radar jammer sitting on top of a church. Following the dive, the remaining soldiers — including Private First Class Boyce (JOVAN ADEPO), Corporal Ford (WYATT RUSSELL), Private First Class Tibbet (JOHN MAGARO), Private Chase (IAIN DE CAESTECKER) amongst others — hold up in the home of a local village woman named Chloe (MATHILDE OLLIVIER) as they try to regroup and come up with a plan, complicated by the fact the church is surrounded by Nazis and virtually impenetrable. In their way is the ruthless SS officer by the name of Wafner (PILOU ASBAEK).

But there is more going on at this church compound as Boyce soon discovers after he accidentally makes his way inside: the Nazis are experimenting in bringing back the dead and creating an undead and invincible set of super-soldiers. Now it’s become more than helping the men storming the beach at Normandy, but also laying to waste this potentially unstoppable group of Nazi zombies. Like I said, if I didn’t know better, this seemed like it was based on a graphic novel…

The casting was solid with the talented ensemble of young actors led way by Jovan Adepo (Fences), Wyatt Russell (Ingrid Goes West), Mathilde Ollivier, John Magaro (The Big Short) and a personal favorite of mine, Pilou Asbæk (Ghost in the Shell) playing the scary big bad Nazi, who very much seemed ripped from some obscure comic book. Wyatt Russell also is a highlight clearly inheriting the charisma from his parents. I was particularly impressed with both Adepo and Ollivier and can only hope to see more from them (Ollivier has Boss Level coming up).

Overlord was just an all-around fun, if not brutal, war-horror flick that isn’t anything overly original — could’ve sworn I’ve seen Nazi zombies before — but it is directed with great finesse by Australian filmmaker Julius Avery marking only his second feature following Son of a Gun from 2014 (a good crime-thriller if I recall). Avery utilizes some great visuals with one-shots that not only invoke some great suspense but look hella good.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5


This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. This comes with The Horrors of War (51:28; HD), a 6-part making-of featurette delving into various aspects of the production from casting to visual effects and more. Included are interviews with members of the cast and crew including producer J.J. Abrams, director Julius Avery, and others.

 


4K VIDEO – 4.75/5, BD VIDEO – 4.5/5


Overlord arrives on 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray where it is presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and given 2160p and 1080p resolutions respectively. Speaking for the 4K format first, it does look quite good with some nicely sharp detail and, being a dark movie in general; black levels appear stark without appearing crushed. Colors are okay but with the WWII setting, don’t go expecting any brightness thus the HDR has some minor aid. I did not notice any flaws such as banding, aliasing or artifacting on 4K with perhaps some banding on the Blu-ray, albeit nothing I’d consider all that distracting.

AUDIO – 5.0/5


Both the 4K and Blu-ray come with a Dolby Atmos track (along with 8 other languages in DD 5.1) and this is indeed an amazing sounding soundtrack. From the opening sequence on the plane to the very end and its action, this is well rounded with excellent depth while even low levels like the LFE kick on for that extra kick, some of it I could feel to my bones, it was that incredible.

 


OVERALL – 4.5/5


Overall, Overlord is one hell of a thrill ride that combined World War II drama (with respect if not historic flexibility) and zombie horror and the combination was a lot of fun thanks to creative direction and a charismatic ensemble cast led by Jovan Adepo and Wyatt Russell amongst others. This 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack offers up excellent video and audio transfers and a well made making-of documentary, though would’ve been nice to have a commentary or selection of deleted scenes.

 

 

 

The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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