When I reviewed the San Francisco Giants' Collector's Edition of Blu-ray discs that commemorated their 2012 World Series win, I bemoaned the fact that the set was as complete as could be, minus the addition of a season in review film, or even one covering the Giants' move through the postseason. Lo and behold, it turns out MLB Video (in coordination with A&E) actually did product a World Series film, and its video release is a standalone joint.
The film runs a tad under 90 minutes and is narrated by Benjamin Bratt of Law and Order fame. I will admit to possessing a bit of cognitive dissonance when it comes to watching the film for the first time because I expected more of an angle where the Giants' entire year was recapped. Coincidentally like my review of the Collector's Edition, the film handles the regular season in broader strokes before the fun of the postseason begins. The regular season coverage is scant, less than ten minutes, but that's what you get when watching a World Series film.
The film spends approximately fifteen to twenty minutes on each of the four Series games, and includes broadcast footage from each. Some of the Giants had microphones on during these games and this audio is mixed into the final cut of the film, along with standalone interviews with the players from those moments, along with others that helped fill in the gaps on the team's Championship. Manager Bruce Bochy, General Manager Brian Sabean and other non-field team personnel even get a chance here and there to talk about a moment or a person that helped make the Giants champions.
From a content perspective, the film does not provide any real illuminating moments to speak of. The interview participants shed little new light, just helping to provide on what it was that made a hit, pitch or fielding moment all building blocks in the house that was the 2012 San Francisco Giants' Championship glory. There are moments of tension the film manages to build if one did not watch the series, but in a four-game sweep, those tension-filled moments are few and far between. We're rapidly coming to the point where MLB Video and A&E should just get it over with and produce a season-long film that covers a World Series winner from March to October and let the chips fall where they may, rather than doing what is done here.
It is not that the 2012 World Series film is horrible, but it IS remarkably average in content and delivery, and does little to reward the fan of a winning team for their loyalty or justify purchasing this when other more exhaustive disc sets are on the market. I guess I am left with the more surrealistic question which is if a disc is released and no one buys it, will the disc exist?
The Blu-ray Disc:
The disc is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and in high-definition using the AVC codec. The presentation is largely similar to those found on the games, though it is a bit more polished than those. With interview footage and separate filmed shots of non-game action, it all looks natural without a hint of noticeable DNR or image haloing. Colors are reproduced accurately and vividly without over saturation and image detail is fairly abundant through the film. It was as I expected it to be.
Two-channel DTS-HD MA for all of the discs, with the end result sounding clear and accurate as it is going to be. The World Series games include a Spanish broadcasting track, along with the Giants' and Tigers' radio broadcast calls (generally the case in recent sets), and the NLDS/NLCS discs include the Giants' radio calls only. Still, any Jon Miller is better than none at all, and you get a bunch of it on this set.
A mix of material, some of which was on the Collector's Edition, serves as the bonus material here. Game 7 of the National League Championship Series with the Cardinals is the big extra of the bunch, and like the other Games that MLB Video/A&E release, they include the pregame and postgame festivities, along with the choice of audio from the television broadcast and radio networks of both teams. It is symbolic of this disc; it misses things that the Collector's Edition could have included as complements and vice versa. The disc also has bonus film (23:03) which includes interviews with players and coaches on the season, memorable moments in the season, including the Series parade.
If there was something about the film that I could complain about, is it the overall concept of excluding it from the Collector's Edition. I honestly see nothing wrong with marking up the latter another five bucks so the former could be included in it. But by having two different releases, one cannot help but think that the consumer, the fan who holds the bragging rights because of his team's sporting supremacy, the one who these discs are pretty much geared toward, is getting a thumb in the eye from this strategy. I hope it is reexamined, but if you are a Giants fan, I would pick one or another and avoid going in on both.