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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Overlord (Blu-ray) (2018)

Overlord (Blu-ray) (2018)

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Released 13-Mar-2019

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category War / Horror Featurette-Making Of-The Horrors of War (51:28)
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2018
Running Time 109:47
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Julius Avery

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Jovan Adepo
Wyatt Russell
Mathilde Ollivier
Pilou Asbaek
John Magaro
Iain De Caestecker
Bokeem Woodbine
Dominic Applewhite
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Jed Kurzel

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Atmos 7.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
German Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement Unknown
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     On the eve of D-Day 1944 British and American paratroops dropped into Nazi occupied France before the invasion to secure key areas and to disrupt German communications. The mission of the stick of American paratroops led by Sergeant Rensin (Bokeem Woodbine) was to destroy a German radio communications tower placed on top of a French village church but when their airplane is hit by anti-aircraft fire many are killed and the rest scattered after bailing out. Only a few, now led by Corporal Ford (Wyatt Russell) and including Boyce (Jovan Adepo), Tibbett (John Magaro), Chase (Iain De Caestecker) and later Rosenfeld (Dominic Applewhite), survive to move cross country towards their target. On the way they come across village girl Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) who, with her younger brother Paul and her aunt, are some of the few people still left in the village that is garrisoned by German troops led by Wafner (Pilou Asbaek); for most of the villagers have been taken by the Germans into the tunnels under the church where Nazi experiments are being conducted to try to produce invincible mutant super soldiers, with mixed results due to complications. To complete their mission has just become far more deadly and complicated than the paratroops can ever have imagined.

     Overlord is directed by Julius Avery who previous to this film had only directed one feature and a handful of shorts in almost 20 years; I expect that producer J.J. Abrams, director of a couple of Star Trek and Star Wars films, kept a close eye on proceedings. Overlord starts off as a standard war film, throwing us immediately into the action inside the aircraft carrying the paratroopers into France, with tracers, explosions, death and destruction; the confusion and chaos continues when the survivors reach the ground and then the village. There are hints around the village that things are not “normal”, if such a thing can be said about a war zone, and the weirdness is ramped up from there until the explosive conclusion.

     The extra feature on this Blu-ray shows how the filmmakers tried to make Overlord feel as realistic as possible, utilising authentic WW2 weapons and employing physical effects, prosthetics, puppetry and animatronics whenever practicable. The film also avoids jerky cutting, with long takes actors running through the labyrinth set amid explosions and debris giving it a visceral feel. Of course, the film is not historically accurate, African Americans were not integrated into American army formations during WW2, so including black actors Bokeem Woodbine and Jovan Adepo in the 101st Airborne is not accurate but, as the filmmakers point out, mutant soldiers did not exist either, so Overlord is best thought of as “an alternate history”. In any case, Jovan Adepo is excellent as Boyce, who is the focus of the story, while Kurt Russell’s son Wyatt, as the experienced Corporal Ford who is prepared to do anything it takes to complete their mission, is also very good.

     Overlord is slickly made and moves effortlessly between war movie to horror film and back again. Along the way there are deformed almost invincible mutants, impressive action sequences, jump scares, dark labyrinthine corridors, a gruesome laboratory, a child who needs saving, a pretty woman with a flamethrower and enough blood and gore to fill a supertanker. Great fun!

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Transfer Quality


     Overlord is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The film was shot digitally using Arri Alexa cameras and most scenes have that glossy digital look. However, detail is superb, including Wafner’s half shot away face, the veins and scars of the mutant “mistake”, blood and gore while the shadow detail at night in the woods and inside the dark corridors and tunnels of the laboratory complex is excellent. Colours are dull, with much of the film taking place in darkness or in dimly lit corridors, although the flames and explosions are nicely rendered without colour bleed. Blacks are solid, skin tones good, contrast and brightness consistent. Marks and artefacts were absent.

     Both English and English for the hearing impaired subtitles are available plus a wide range of European languages and Japanese. Subtitles automatically translate the French dialogue and occasionally some of the German, but not always.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Audio is a choice of English Dolby Atmos (which defaults to Dolby TrueHD 7.1), English descriptive audio, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1.

     I do not have a 7.1 set-up but this film in 5.1 still gets a wow! From the first sequence in the plane there is the rumble of engines and then, when the anti-aircraft fire starts, impacts tearing holes in the plane and thudding into bodies, explosions, the roar of the wind and yells and voices all around the sound stage. Once on the ground there are the usual ambient sounds. In action all the weapons sound different and there are impacts on rocks, ricochets, the hand to hand fighting between two genetically enhanced soldiers in the climax is loud and chaotic with shattering glass and the crash of fixtures and fittings. The explosions are thunderous, everything fully supported by the booming subwoofer. Throughout all the mayhem dialogue, except in a couple of occasions, is clear. The music by Jed Kurzel is effective.

     There are no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


The Horrors of War (51:28)

     A comprehensive, if not exactly warts and all, look at the making of Overlord utilising some film clips, but not excessively, behind the scenes and B-camera footage, concept art, drawings, visual effects demos, before and after effects comparisons and comments by a wide range of individuals including producer J.J. Abrams, two other producers, director Julius Avery, screenwriter Mark L Smith, cast Dominic Applewhite, Wyatt Russell, Jovan Adepo, Jacob Anderson, Bokeem Woodbine, John Magaro, Pilou Asbaek, Iain De Caestecker, Mathilde Ollivier, the production designer, art director, stunt coordinator, military trainer, production manager and the prosthetics designer. Things covered include the evolution of the script, casting, J.J. Abrams, making the film feel realistic (as much as possible given the genre), designing and building the sets, including the village and the underground laboratory, filming the drop sequence that starts the film, training the actors to move like WW2 soldiers, designing and applying the prosthetics so that that monsters are physical with only some CGI enhancement, practical effects, the techniques of Julius Avery and J.J. Abrams. The feature is subdivided into these sections, which can be selected individually or there is a “Play All” option:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This Australian release of Overlord is identical to the Region Free US release including the US Anti-piracy warning and US ratings, except the US version also includes a DVD of the film.


     Overlord may not be high art but it is a heap of fun. Nazi experiments, mutants, chaotic action sequences, jump scares, dark labyrinthine corridors, a child in peril, a feisty heroine with a flamethrower, explosions and enough blood and gore to fill a supertanker, what’s not to like.

     The video is very good, the audio outstanding, the extra is interesting and we get what is available elsewhere, so cannot complain.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, March 03, 2020
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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