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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Houston Astros 2017 World Series Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)
Houston Astros 2017 World Series Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)
Shout Factory // Unrated // December 5, 2017 // Region A
List Price: $79.97 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ryan Keefer | posted December 8, 2017 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

For all the strange injustices in the world, sports have had this uncanny knack on providing some romantic karmic redemption lately, perhaps no more so than baseball. Over the last ten or so years, teams like the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals won their first title in several decades each. Last year the Chicago Cubs managed to snap their World Series drought that spanned two centuries.

Then you have the Houston Astros. The Astros appeared once in the Series before (2005) in their more than half century of existence, and had occasional playoff appearances since their initial one in 1980. Since that initial Series appearance the team hit the skids a bid, with back-to-back 100 loss seasons in 2011 & 2012 followed by a third in 2013, their first in the American League after spending a half century in the National League. They finished above .500 in 2015 for the first time in the AL and then reappeared in 2017. But first, a word:

The team was rolling along in the season and were a couple of dozen games over .500 (80-53 at the end of August) so their postseason berth was virtually assured, then a storm in the gulf, Hurricane Harvey, occurred. The result left large portions of Houston flooded with more than two feet of rain which impacted the city boundaries, where the Astros' stadium is located. Forced to move several games to Florida as a result, the disaster and its impact on the community was something the team certainly felt and the Astros used to try and help the community rally both for them and for something positive in the midst of the recovery. George Springer led the team in home runs, and the diminutive (listed at 5'6") second baseman Jose Altuve led the majors in batting with a .346 average and contributed 24 home runs and 82 runs batted in to secure a MVP award for the AL. Buoyed by solid seasons by Charlie Morton, Dallas Keuchel and Brad Peacock, the Astros acquired star pitcher Justin Verlander to help push them over the final hurdle for a Series berth. With wins in each of his 5 starts with the Astros and allowed 4 runs in 34 innings while striking out 43, he certainly was doing his part.

And the Astros did theirs as well, dispatching the Boston Red Sox 3 games to 1 in a Best of Five AL Division Series, and the New York Yankees were up next. After winning the first two at Minute Maid Park before dropping the following 3 in Yankee Stadium, the Astros routed the Yankees 7-1 in Game 6 and Morton shut out the Yankees for five innings in Game 7 and the bullpen held the lead and continuing the shut out in a 4-0 win, with pitcher Lance McCullers throwing the same pitch (a curveball) for the games final 24 pitches in a stunning display of ability.

Then it brought on the Los Angeles Dodgers, with two top pitchers in baseball (Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish), solid options in the field (Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig) and a lights out closer (Kenley Jansen). Kershaw gave the Dodgers Game 1 and a wild extra innings affair (the Astros taking the lead before the Dodgers tying in the 10th) lead to a 7-6 Astros win in 11. The teams split Games 3 & 4 as well before a 5 hour Game 5 that saw the Astros come back from a three-run deficit and eventually tie the game 7-7 with the Dodgers in the fifth inning. The Astros surged ahead before giving up their lead, and a walk off single game them a 13-12 win in 10 innings. Game 6 saw Verlander outdueled in Houston, and Game 7 had Darvish for LA against Morton in LA. And Darvish was hit, early and often, with the Astros' 5 runs in the first two innings being enough for a 5-1 win and the title.

It's hard to know what baseball's going to be like in the coming years, but the last few have been great for the sake of the narrative. Not only do the Astros have the story about rebuilding in the wake of Harvey, but they have the dramatic closure of their own decades long draught. With their sustained regular season success it's only fair that the Cleveland Indians are next, but the Astros' trophy was a pleasant surprise for 2017.

The Blu-rays:
The Video:

So each game gets its own disc with available pre-and post-season coverages, with an eighth that includes the Astros' win over the Yankees in the ALCS. As usual, Shout! and MLB video will let you know any flaws in the video are inherent to the source, but there wasn't much to complain about when it comes to watching the Series on Blu-ray. Colors and flesh tones are natural and detail is given some attention in tighter shots. Basically I wasn't expecting more than a solid transfer and that's what you get.

The Sound:

You get the TV audio, the radio calls from both teams' broadcast partners and the Spanish-language tracks. They all sound clear as they did when they first aired, as the games do. Crowd noise is gently replicated on the back side and its immersive enough given the source.

Extras:

Nada.

Final Thoughts:

Seeing the Houston Astros' 2017 World Series win was without a doubt a salve for both the franchise and city. That said, the Collector's Edition that this set is touted to be is the usual treatment of an additional disc outside the series and a whole bunch of window dressing to the games. So you'll have to get the Official Series film elsewhere. Technically the discs are fine it's the lack of extras that hamper things. Still nice to see the bad guys lose and reliving the Astros' run was nice to see.

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