In 10 Words or Less
When are sports bloopers not bloopers? When they are here.
Likes: New York Yankees
Dislikes: How boring baseball is
Hates: Boston Red Sox
What is it about sports bloopers that's so entertaining? Is it the opportunity to laugh at people making obscene money for playing games? Perhaps its the contrast between the screw-ups and the high level of skill and talent these athletes usually display. Whatever it is, sports bloopers have been a popular with fans for decades, and its unlikely that will change anytime soon, as this latest release from Major League Baseball shows.
The thing is, like the goof-ups this disc focuses on, we've seen this before, especially me. After watching this DVD for a while, I got a distinct sense of deja vu. So I looked through my review history, and saw I reviewed MLB Bloopers way back in June of 2006 (a disc promoted at the top of this DVD.) And much of what I saw then, I can reconnect with on this disc, as there's a healthy bit of repetition. Sure, you don't want to leave out memorable bloopers, but I've seen plenty of bootleg discs of bloopers, and there's plenty of good stuff out there not included here. Instead there's a lot of non-blooper material and even repetition from this very disc, along with more recent video throughout.
Last time, the special was built around the the traditional baseball structure of nine innings. For this release, they count down nine classic blunders, and fill out the hour with more errors and oddities. Once again, despite bloopers being in the title, it's more about silliness than screw-ups, including an extended segment on the loose clubhouse atmosphere of the 2009 World Champion Yankees, preceded by pieces on two previous winning clubs, the AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays and World Series-winning Philadelphia Phillies. Not a second of it has anything to do with bloopers, just like the segments that follow on the bigger personalities in the game, including Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Millar and Nick Swisher, the pranks and traditions, like rookie hazing, or what the players do during weather delays. When you stack these up alongside the fantastic bloopers (like Paul O'Neill's punt or the excellent "Bloopers Gone Good") the difference is night and day.
Though the non-blooper material is mostly a disappointment, there's at least one bit that's fun to check out, and that's the local commercials done by the Seattle Mariners and Colorado Rockies. While I would have preferred to see the final ads, the production footage makes it obvious they were a good deal of fun, and more enjoyable than the fluff that made up most of this special.
A one-disc release, this DVD is packaged in a standard keepcase, and features an animated, anamorphic widescreen menu with options to watch the special, select chapters and check out the extras. There are no audio options, no subtitles and no closed captioning.
The video has received a bump up this time around, presented in anamorphic widescreen (with pillar-boxing (and window-boxing) where needed.) The new footage is pretty flawless, while the older clips look pretty dated by comparison, looking like the video it is, complete with the noise and smearing you'd expect. No problems seem to have been added though, as there are no obvious issues with artifacts, dirt or damage.
The audio is offered as a very standard Dolby Digital 2.0 track, without anything impressive about the mix. It does the job though, with no distortion.
Another fix from last time is the inclusion of a play-all option for the nine bonus segments, which run about 26 minutes in length. They cover the creation of a somewhat-embarrassing Orioles song (and the accompanying video, which oddly is a separate segment), mascot highlights, a pair of over-the-top pranks, an old-school experiment with hair in a can, bubble-gum gags, expressive fans and commuting. Again, a lot of this material was found on the previous DVD, and almost none of it would be considered to be a blooper.
The Bottom Line
A better subtitle for this DVD would be "Isn't it Great to be a Professional Baseball Player?" After all, as this disc shows, you get to act like a 5-year-old and get paid handsomely to do so. And occasionally, you have to deal with the embarrassment of screwing up in front of 10s of thousands of people. The DVD looks and sounds fine, and offers an added half-hour of clips, though in a clip-fest, is that a bonus, or stuff that should simply be in the main show? Honestly though, if you're looking for bloopers, it's 30 more minutes of what you don't want.
Francis Rizzo III is a native Long Islander, where he works in academia. In his spare time, he enjoys watching hockey, writing and spending time with his wife, daughter and puppy.Check out 1106 - A Moment in Fictional Time or follow him on Twitter
*The Reviewer's Bias section is an attempt to help readers use the review to its best effect. By knowing where the reviewer's biases lie on the film's subject matter, one can read the review with the right mindset.