A&E // 2011 // 240 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Josh Rode (Retired) // December 11th, 2011
Back in 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals won an improbable World Series title as a wild card entry. Five years later, they did it again, in even less probable fashion. St. Louis Cardinals: 2011 World Series Champions represents the inevitable Major League Baseball Productions' highlight reel of that series. Everything is here, including the rally squirrel (they should have included one with every disc).
Whoever wrote narrator Jon Hamm's script has little sense for the dramatic. The miraculous 10 1/2 game comeback (along with the Braves' just as momentous collapse) at the end of the season is mentioned, but mostly glossed over. I suppose this is the "Official 2011 World Series Film" and not the Cardinals' season in review, but the full impact of their final victory cannot be felt without the context of the season. The Cardinals were a team that shouldn't have even been in the playoffs, let alone winning the World Series.
The feature does better when the games switch to the playoffs, each game getting the full tension-building treatment, including a TV-drama-like setup and flashback for Game 6.
The "Bonus Features" contain an early-season snippet on Lance Berkman, a short overview of La Russa's career, and several instances of key Cardinal at-bats during the playoffs, including David Freese's Game 6 walk-off home run (shown several times with the backdrop of several different announcers, including one from the BBC and another from a Spanish station). There are also lengthy shots of clubhouse celebrations (which are boring unless you're actually in the room) and a short shot of the victory parade.
The DVD is presented in its original full frame television aspect ratio with a standard definition image that looks pretty sharp. The disc gets a full Dolby 5.1 treatment, apparently so they can play music behind your head. Just be aware that there are occasional glitches where the sound doesn't start up until a second or two has passed on screen.
St. Louis Cardinals: 2011 World Series Champions is an obvious must-have for any Cardinals fan, but would also make a nice addition to the collection of any baseball fan not affiliated with the Braves, Phillies, Brewers, or Rangers simply for the bonus disc that contains the NLDS Game 5, featuring a classic pitchers' duel between St. Louis' Chris Carpenter and Philadelphia's Roy Halladay; in its entirety, sans commercials.
Not guilty. The court will observe a moment of silence for the retiring of
Tony La Russa and the abandonment of Albert Pujols.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 240 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* NLDS Game 5
* Official Site