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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » City of Champions - The Best of Boston Sports
City of Champions - The Best of Boston Sports
Warner Bros. // Unrated // November 8, 2005
List Price: $19.95
Review by Robert Spuhler | posted December 31, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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There is a certain forklore behind Boston sports that is almost wholly undeserved. The Celtics is one of the two great franchises in the NBA, sure, and the Bruins has a tremendous history, but the Red Sox are best known for not winning for a very long time and the Patriots have had many more down years than up ones.

City of Champions: The Best of Boston Sports focuses mostly on recent history in order to boost its case for Boston being the quintessential American sports town. But it's mix of C-list celebrities, B-list athletes and homer journalists serve mostly to get in the way of what might as well be an hour-long highlight reel.

Featuring no narration, an incessant soundtrack and loads of highlights, City of Champions showcases the top moments in Boston sports history. The Boston Bruins (NHL), Boston Red Sox (MLB), New England Patriots (NFL) and Boston Celtics (NBA) are prominently featured, along with the odd clip from the Boston Marathon and college sports.

The main adjective that springs to mind here is "lazy." Setting sports clips to "O Fortuna" or "Higher" by Creed? Lazy musical choices. Going back exactly two years for almost every Patriots highlights? Lazy selection. Spending two story segments on the Red Sox in 2004 and none on the Beanpot Tournament or the Boston Marathon? Lazy, lazy, lazy.

Interspersed with the highlights are comments from Boston sports figures, celebrities and journalists. Peter Gammons and his jowls make a special appearance, as does Doug Flutie, Ray Bourque and others. But we never get to hear from any of the really big names – we get M.L. Carr instead of Larry Bird and Mike O'Malley instead of Denis Leary (or even Ben Affleck).

The DVD

Video:

Essentially, City of Champions looks like a VHS copy. The video noise on even the most recent highlights is unacceptable, as if the editor used Sportscenter clips (s)he taped with her home VCR. The only shots that look decent are the blown-up still photographs. Even the interview clips, shot by the production in a controlled atmosphere, look terrible.

Audio:

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is only called into use on the background music, and then it is used even sparingly. Otherwise, the track sounds like a perfectly acceptable 2.0 mix. The interview clips are clear, and everyone can be understood.

Extras:

The lone group of features is additional interview clips with some of the commentators. There are a couple of interesting stories hidden in there (Ray Bourque and Doug Flutie in particular) but otherwise the clips are wholly forgettable.

There is also a photo gallery and a collection of music videos – clips of Boston sports victories backed by "Higher," "Crystal Village" by Pete Yorn, "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC, "Man of the Hour" by Pearl Jam and "Dream On" by Aerosmith.

Final Thoughts:

If this is the first in a series, it is a great idea. City of Champions: The Best of Boston Sports is the type of disc that could, with some work, be a hot seller to the diehard sports fan. But if it is a one-off just to celebrate Boston's recent success, the city deserved better.

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