Thanks to the wonders of DVD, sports fans have been able to get pristine copies of some of the favorite moments of their teams. A & E have put together mostly terrific sets of complete World Series games (they have a set currently available that offers this complete 2007 series), while Shout Factory has consistently offered highlight programs for the games.
This title offers a look at the World Series in 2007, which saw the Colorado Rockies face off against the Red Sox. The Red Sox had won it all in 2004 and had crafted team with a series of old and new talent, and the new talent included such hitters as Dustin Pedroia, who scooped up the Rookie of the Year award. Hideki Okajima and Josh Beckett were also newcomers that contributed to the team's success over the season.
However, while the Red Sox team remained a force to be reckoned with, the Rockies weren't a slouch, either: the Rockies had won 21 of their last 22 games and had one seven straight in the post-season. However, despite the success of the Rockies going into the Series, they ran into a brick wall (or, maybe more fittingly, the Green Monster - and no offense Colorado readers) when facing off with the Red Sox, who showed the Rockies the door after four straight wins.
Starting with a rainy look into 2006 Boston, the program discusses the disappointment in Boston when the Red Sox didn't make the postseason for the first time in four years. From there, the program talks briefly about the reorganization of the team and the new energy that saw the Sox come through a remrakable season. Pushing towards the eventual meeting with the Rockies, the Angels found themselves no match for Boston. While Cleveland put up more of a fight, Boston still came away the victors. Colorado, meanwhile, was able to beat the San Diego Padres in the NCLS wild card tiebreaker and then sweeps of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS and the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS managed to earn their place in the fight against Boston in the World Series.
This production manages to do an exceptional job at squeezing in both highlights from the Playoff and World Series games, as well as offering interviews from both players and management, who give both an idea of strategies going in, as well as an idea of what it's like to be swept up in an ultra-successful season. The program is narrated by Matt Damon.
Again, it must be noted that this is a highlight reel. For those looking for the complete series, it is available separately in a multi-disc set from A & E.
VIDEO: The presentation is offered up by Shout Factory in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and, aside from the ever-present MLB logo, looks terrific (for the material.) Sharpness and detail were generally pleasing, although some wide shots looked a mite softer by comparison. Although a few little instances of artifacting appeared, the majority of the presentation looked smooth and clean. Colors remained natural and bold, with no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: Crisp, clear stereo soundtrack. The crack of the bat and the crowds are clearly audible, as are the announcers. Hopefully more sports presentations on DVD in the future will offer up Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks, as they would likely provide a more immersive environment and, in the case of something like baseball, make the viewer feel as if they're behind home plate.
EXTRAS: As with the full series sets provided by A & E, Shout Factory's title provides a nice helping of bonus footage, starting with the World Series Trophy presentation and World Series MVP Trophy video. We also get an assortment of game footage, including: the final three outs of the World Series and ensuing celebration, Dustin Pedroia's game 1 leadoff HR, AL East clincher, ALDS final out, JD Drew's Game 6 grand slam, Red Sox win ALCS and finally, Josh Beckett striking out the side in World Series game 1. To end things off, there's a music video from the Dropkick Murphys.
Final Thoughts: Overall, this World Series highlight program provides a good look at the games themselves, as well as some of the best moments from the playoffs leading up to them. Edited superbly and offering good narration from Matt Damon, this is a fine choice for those seeking to relive some of the best moments from the games. For those looking for the entire series, that's also available from A & E.