The Boston Red Sox.
The team that once had a perilously long 'losing-streak' and was often referred to as being a team under a curse made it out from under the immense negative chatter and became one of the most successful baseball teams of the last several years. There was ultimately three wins by the team for the ultimate prize from the World Series championship, something that stands as a brilliant, tactile, and stunning achievement in sports. It all culminated once more with the win in 2013, which showcased just how stunning a team the Boston Red Sox could be -- it was a team of many players who knew how to work well together to accomplish what was necessary with regards to the games -- fulfilling their dreams in the sport of Baseball and brining joy to the enormous fan base that cherishes their athletic skills and talent.
Narrated by acclaimed director (and actor) Ben Affleck, himself a huge fan of the Boston Red Sox, this 96 minute long documentary features interviews with all of the members of the team discussing their journeys together during the season and celebrates their success along the way. There are also some heartfelt discussions about the tragedy within Boston surrounding the '13 world series and it makes the documentary surprisingly moving in unexpected ways that will hopefully serve as a reminder of the power of the human spirit to overcome -- it's one of the many ways in which this documentary serves to showcase both the immense physical skills demonstrated by the Red Sox team as well as other qualities that make them stand out in a fascinating way.
Fans of the 2013 World Series games and of the Boston Red Sox (most especially - perhaps unsurprisingly - given who won the series) will find a lot worth enjoying in this documentary exploring the season and the team. It's not an in-depth profile of everything that happened, but it's surprisingly effective in breaking down the big highlights into easily digested components that will please fans and even entice relative newcomers.
There's a lot to appreciate about this beautifully realized documentary and I sincerely feel that massive fans of the Boston Red Sox would love the experience it offers. So I hope that it does manage to become a staple title for those diehard Sox fans so that this quality show can be seen for many years down the road. Regardless of future games played and potential wins this is the perfect celebratory film of a wonderful year in the history of the Red Sox team and of the World Series in Major League Baseball.
The presentation of the film is notable for a documentary production. I was quite impressed by the overall quality of what was presented. Despite being a transfer of a 720p source, this is the kind of slickly-produced documentary work that beautifully represents the success of the team. This is an MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer preserved in the widescreen ratio 1.78:1 widescreen. The imagery is often clean and with good color reproduction and decent depth. While there are some moments of occasional compression hiccups that one might notice on a larger HDTV, the bulk of the presentation is smooth, fluid, and successful. Fans of the Boston Red Sox should be impressed to see such a nice presentation given to this documentary film.
Technically, the specifications of the release indicate a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack but this is mainly inaccurate as there is almost nothing at all coming from the surrounds during the film (not even during the clips of the Red Sox winning the game and celebrating their huge victory). In other words, this is essentially a 2.0 sound-mix opened up for 5.1 but without much done to increase the acoustical splendor. It's a reasonable sounding presentation that is great at reproducing dialogue and carrying the narrative of the documentary, but it's certainly not that amazing a sound design and it should not be anticipated as such by anyone. It just gets the job done efficiently for a documentary and the boost to lossless audio serves it well in the clarity of vocals presented.
There are a number of short supplemental features included on this release. Each additional bonus feature has been encoded in AVC and when the footage was genuine HD there is an appreciable boost in quality: though some of the material transferred seems to be from less impressive source material. I found this commendable as I still encounter many Blu-rays containing standard definition material (even occasionally on more recent releases and productions).
Below you can find a breakdown of what has been included on MLB's 2013 World Series Champions Blu-ray release:
Clinching Celebrations (1.32) is a brief
World Series Highlights (10:38) focuses in on some of the biggest highlights of the games in the 2013 World Series.
World Series Parade (3:23) has some additional footage of the Boston Red Sox participation in the parade in Boston.
Mission October: Red Sox (2:32) showcases some behind-the-scenes moments with players from the Red Sox as they prepare for their day -- by either lifting weights, getting into a massage chair, or trying to set-up a viewing of another team's big game that they are soon going up against. It's a nice little extra.
MLB Player Poll Pedroia/Ortiz (3:51) is a highlight featurette about Pedroia and Ortiz as players.
Hall of Fame - 2013 World Series (1:22) is a brief clip-show style video in celebration of the Hall of Fame for the '13 World Series games.
This Beard Came Here to Party (3:42) is a music video by Tim Montana and the Shrednecks and featuring Billy F Gibbons . It includes footage of them performing the song mixed in with footage from the Boston Red Sox's bearded season.
President Obama Calls John Farrell (:58) is a brief congratulatory phone-call made by the President to the Boston Red Sox manager.
There is also a section entitled "More Official MLB DVD's" which contains ads for additional home media releases made possible by Major League Baseball.
Fans of the Boston Red Sox should be delighted by this official 2013 World Series film newly available on Blu-ray. It's an enjoyable and celebratory documentary for fans of the team about the season and the players who make up the team. It's aimed directly at big fans of the Red Sox team and for that audience this will be a wonderful experience. This is an easy recommendation for those who wish to re-visit highlights from the 2013 games or for those who may have missed out on some of it the first go around. This is a quality Blu-ray release with good PQ/AQ, some nice extras, and a superb documentary film that is a perfect delight for a diehard Red Sox fan.