Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2011 World Series Highlight Film Review

You know, I had this crazy feeling that if we won the World Series that Mad Men star Jon Hamm, a Cardinals fan, would narrate the DVD film. He was not as well known in 2006 when we won seeing as Mad Men would not air until 2007. In any event, his voices provides a nice feeling while watching the highlight film.

The set comes with 2 DVDs. The second one featuring the complete instant classic that we call Game 5 of the NLDS--the winner-take-all duel between Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay. It's interesting that that game is included as it's the only game that I didn't record due to Yom Kippur and now I have the chance to watch it in it's entirety thanks to this set. Now, if you are so inclined to get the bluray, it's all on the same disc and that comes out on December 6, 2011.

The first 15 minutes takes us from Spring Training's new hope up until the start of the World Series. It's Jon Hamm's narration that truly does serve as a bridge between the highlights. I really credit the writer (senior writer Jeff Scott) in this instance because they did a damn fine job.

Throughout the film, there are numerous interviews from the players, coaching staff, and those that cover baseball such as Bryan Burwell, Tom Verducci, and Ken Rosenthal. I didn't mind the media interviews as I felt it added to the narrative.

After Game 1, Jason Motte gets his own film crew prior to Game 2. No telling how much he actually paid for his meal.

I love how it shows a press clip just before the Game 5 coverage where Tony La Russa gets asked about the phones 6 days before Game 5. Talk about great editing!

Game 6 alone gets comments from several players describing the whole weirdness of the first several innings with each team capitalizing on the other team's mistakes. Even the final few innings, we hear the calls from all of the broadcast crews especially during the David Freese triple in the bottom of the 9th, the 10th inning when Jon Jay helps take the lead for the Cards, and finally the walk off by David Freese to save the series in the 11th inning.

Following Game 7 and the celebration footage, we're treated to footage from the parade and rally. As a sidenote, the editing and interviews were finished after Tony retired.

While I'm watching this, the premiere is going on at the Peaboxy in St. Louis. From what I am reading on twitter, and I have to echo the thoughts of some of my fellow Cardinal bloggers in the fact that MLB Productions will did outdo themselves this time around. This comes from someone who owns the 2006 highlight film. I'm not sure if it's the writing, editing, or both. Plus, it has Jon Hamm narrating and right now, that's the actor you want to narrate a film about the Cardinals.

The exclusive interviews included in the film really take it to a different level. I might add more to this post as I watch the bonus features but the film alone is worth the purchase.

Every game really does get it's justice so if you have a tight budget and cannot afford the 8 disc collector's set, I can say that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this 2 DVD set without reservation.

PICTURE: I'm watching on a bluray player that upconverts standard DVDs to 1080pi and it is just as if I were watching the HD broadcast on TBS or FOX of the actual games.

AUDIO: President in Dolby 5.1

*This Week in Baseball - Dave Duncan
*This Week in Baseball - Lance Berkman
*Prime 9 - La Russa segment
*NLDS Game 5 Last Out and Celebration
*NLCS Game 6 Last Out and Celebration
*World Series Game 3 - Pujols 3 Home Runs
*World Series Game 6 - Freese triple to tie
*World Series Game 6 - Berkman single to tie again
*World Series Game 6 - Freese Walk Off Home Run
*World Series Game 6 - Freese and Berkman Presser
*World Series Game 7 - Freese double to tie
*World Series Game 7 - Last out and celebration

The running time is 4 hours total, most of which is Game 5. The highlight film itself is closer to 90 minutes.

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