Shout! Factory // 2009 // 115 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 4th, 2010
Yankees suck!...or not.
The adopted New Englander in me wants to hate them, but this lifelong New York resident is conflicted, battling feelings of...nah, @#$% the Yankees! Of course, they're a great baseball team, they won it all last year, and this Blu-ray will allow you to relive the glory of their latest championship.
So the Yankees cracked open the vault and finally scored some big-ticket free agents that would end up helping them, instead of flaming out at inopportune times. With Mark Tiexera, CC Sabathis, and AJ Burnett joining the ranks of Jeter, A-Rod, Matsui, and Rivera, on paper there was certainly no team in Major League Baseball that appeared to be able to handle that firepower.
And no team did. The Yanks blazed through the regular season, the team's high-priced pick-ups earning their paychecks, and met relatively little resistance in the postseason. Eventually -- spoiler warning! -- they won the World Series. The Red Sox? They laid an egg in the Division Series.
The core of this release is an 85-minute retrospective on the playoffs and the Yankees 2009 season in general. Highlights of the games are connected with a variety of interviews, including Yankees players, management, beat writers, and even Phillies players. It's a nicely balanced roster of interviewees, which were obviously filmed specifically for this movie, so the footage doesn't seem low-grade or culled from pre-existing film.
Really, the entire program is impressive, on par with anything NFL Films or the NBA has done. In fact, the number and variety of people they got to sit down and spill their guts about the experience trumps any other championship release I've seen.
Complementing the feature is a solid helping of bonus footage, which includes pivotal plays the playoffs, the final three outs of the World Series, the ensuing celebration, and player reactions. Taken as an entire package, I can't see any self-respecting Yankee fan (if there is such a thing -- oh snap!) coming away from this disc unhappy.
The technical merits are fairly under-performing when compared to other Blu-ray releases. The 1.85:1 transfer looks great, but A/V purists might be disappointed at the fact that it's pushing out a 1080i signal instead of the magic 1080p that all the cool kids love so much. Aficionados of uncompressed audio will in turn be underwhelmed at the standard-issue 5.1 surround audio mix. Still, the finished product does offer a noticeable bump in visual fidelity, so if you have the option and the inclination, go with the Blu-ray.
That victory champagne has never looked clearer. Worth a look for the Yankee fan in your life or maybe a Red Sox fan you know and hate and want to rub it in.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080i)
* DTS HD 5.1 EX (English)
* DTS HD 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 115 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Footage
* Official Site