It can be argued that the 2003 New England Patriots are one of the best teams in NFL history. It can also be argued that Super Bowl XXXVIII was one of the most exciting championships in NFL history. Regardless of whether or not you agree or disagree with these statements, it's hard to argue that the New England Patriots: Super Bowl XXXVIII Champions DVD is anything but a spectacular wrap-up of the team's great season. For Patriots fans looking to carry the thrill of the Super Bowl win into the summer, this DVD is just the ticket.
NFL Films presents a game-by-game look at the 2003 New England Patriots, from their humiliating 31-0 defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Bills, to their humble 2-2 start of the season, all the way through their 15-game winning streak and dazzling Super Bowl victory over the Carolina Panthers. This chronicle clocks in at just over an hour and features all of the key plays of each game. Even as a football fan who doesn't support the Patriots, I was amazed at some of the close calls and nail-biters. After watching this film, it's next to impossible to claim the Patriots didn't deserve to take home the Lombardi Trophy.
This presentation is well-paced and gives equal time to each game, showing the team's progression through the season. Although I like this aspect of the film, I also felt a little cheated in the lack of playoff footage. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of great clips of the Titans/Patriots and Colts/Patriots games, I just wanted to see more of these great, and more important, games. Same goes with the Super Bowl. Only about 12 minutes are devoted to the biggest game of the NFL season, which is a shame considering it was such a doozie. Luckily for us, the bonus features section offers the play-by-play broadcast, but it's not shown in the classic NFL Films style, so it lacks much of the excitement as the main feature.
After viewing this DVD, I found myself hoping the NFL eventually offers similar DVDs for each NFL franchise, regardless of how they did during the season. These DVDs would be a great way to remember the past season and prepare for the next. As it stands now, only die-hard football fans and those fans who love the Patriots will totally get into the post-season excitement.
Warner Bros. and NFL Films present New England Patriots: Super Bowl XXXVIII Champions in glorious full frame, and these football clips have never looked better. The image is sharp throughout with only a few instances of noticeable grain during night games. Colors are always vibrant and rich, so the uniforms really stand out and the helmets really shine. I particularly appreciated the deep green color of the various stadium's turf. It may sound funny, but the color quality really helped me imagine I was there for each game.
This NFL Films disc features only Dolby 2.0 sound, but I was pleasantly surprised at its quality. Sure, it doesn't feature deep, booming bass or any surround sound, but the announcer's voices are crisp and clear, and the interviews come across static free. The music sounds great too, as it is sharp and deep enough to really get the excitement flowing through the speakers. The audio presentation won't win any awards, but it does a fine job for the subject matter.
THE BONUS FEATURES
This disc has a surprising number of good special features. The first of which is the 20-minute EA Sports NFL Matchup Super Bowl wrap-up show. Newscasters Sal Paolantonio, Merryl Hodge, and Ron Jaworski share valuable insight on the big game through analysis, clips, and a few Madden 2004 simulated renditions.
Easily the best bonus feature on this disc is the World Broadcast. If you've ever wondered how much actual football takes place during a game, this all but answers it: approximately one hour and ten minutes. This featurette is basically the television broadcast featuring announcers Dick Stockton and Daryl Johnston without the commercials, time outs, huddles, and all those other time wasters. Although the game goes by super fast without the delays, this play-by-play footage is just what football fans want. There are going to be a lot of happy Patriots fans with this one.
Also on tap is Media Day, a 7-minute look at the media interviews that took place 5 days before the Super Bowl, featuring interview clips of Tom Brady, Rodney Harrison, Willie McGinest, Ty Law, and Bill Belichick. Post-Game Sounds are more interviews, this time those held immediately after the game. Quick Hits is a run-of-the-mill 3-minute look at the international media attention the Super Bowl warrants.
New England Patriots fans are going to eat this thing up. It's the perfect wrap up of a spectacular season. Although hard-core football fans would probably get a kick out of the footage at least once, I can only truly recommend this to Patriots fans.