It's been over half a century since the San Francisco Giants moved to the Bay Area from New York's vaunted Polo Grounds and while they've managed to get to the World Series occasionally, the closest they've come to winning it was losing a Game 7 to the Anaheim Angels in 2002. Since then, they've spent most of the following years wallowing under the break-even mark. They broke out in 2009 but still missed the playoffs, and yet even when they won the National League West title, surely they would fold under the weight of presumably more talented clubs, yes? Well no, hell no, and this Shout! Release shows us the Giants' 2010 trophy-winning season from beginning to end.
Narrated by Rob Schneider (Grown Ups), the makings of the Giants' roster during the regular season is recalled, including some of the key components in it. Baseball castoffs like outfielders Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell were brought in to provide veteran experience, with the latter being signed to a minor league contract midway through the season. On that same day, the Giants promoted their catching prospect Buster Posey, who went on to win the National League Rookie of the Year. Pitchers Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez came into their own and complemented ace Tim Lincecum for a solid rotation.
The film does a good job of helping provide investment into those players and more, particularly colorful relief pitcher Brian Wilson, whose large black beard became yet another rally cry for the team. Many of the players are interviewed for the film, along with manager Bruce Bochy and some of the Giants broadcasters, including Duane Kuiper, who described the Giants' low-scoring play (and polished pitching efforts that resulted in even fewer runs) as "torture." The key moments of the season are covered, but in rapid transpiration so as to get to the jewel of this, the series between the Giants and the Texas Rangers, who were appearing in the series for the first time. There is surprisingly decent time given to the losing Rangers, both in highlight and interview footage, designed to help show the viewer that it was a hard-fought series between two teams that respect one another. The celebration with the San Franciscans is given time to shine too because to paraphrase from Schneider's narration, it's their city, and the Giants are their team.
With the message being so fresh and laid out for people as it is, the World Series film does a good job in generating excitement, anticipation and done with players who are relatable. Schneider's narration turns out to be good and it's a complement to any Giants fan's collection.
The Blu-ray Disc:
The feature is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen using the AVC codec and is displayed in 1080i. The visuals are good and there's a lot of detail in the image (not to mention clarity in the crowd shots and a slight multidimensional look to them), but then you realize that this is how the Series looked if you were watching it on a high-definition television. Blacks aren't too deep and there's some color issues during a few of the interviews, but overall this is a pretty solid looking disc.
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless surround for the film. It sounds fine and the underlying score in it tends to try and make as much use of the soundstage as possible, but in replicating the game action with some interviews tossed in, it's a quiet track otherwise. Additionally Schneider's commentary has small bouts of inconsistency in the center channel and while balanced, lacks strength. It's far from being reference material, to be sure.
There is some additional footage of final pitches, key hits and defensive plays through the playoffs and a segment on Posey (27:41). Additionally an SD copy of the film and extras is available in the case (and used for a screen cap here), presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and two-channel stereo.
The official 2010 World Series film is well worth adding to your collection if you're a fan of the San Francisco Giants. It doesn't mine too much new ground for itself, but you're there for the main journey and not as much for the occasional diversion. There's a little left to be wonting technically and from an extras perspective, but if you're a completist this is a good thing to have.