A&E // 2004 // 163 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 5th, 2011
Reverse the curse. And one more time for good measure.
It's baseball playoff time up here in New England and the Red Sox are angling for another run at the promised land. You know it wasn't long ago when those words would have been a) laughable fiction, or b) a harbinger of impending despair and gnashing of teeth. But that was before 2004. Once the Sox scored their first title in 86 years, the languishing vanished and suddenly it's a monster disappointment if there's no championship banner lifted at the start of each season. How success can spoil the previously despondent!
Fall Classic at Fenway Park rolls both MLB presentations of the Sox 2004 and 2007 World Series victories onto high definition Blu-ray. Here's what you get:
2004 World Series Film
This is the larger of the two and understandably so, considering the history, curse-purging, and general epic nature of how the Sox went about their business in the postseason. A solid chunk of time is devoted to the legendary Yankees series where the Sox clawed back from an 0-3 deficit to make history and send the Bombers packing. The downside? After this amazing bit of drama, the actual World Series held very little suspense; the Sox rolled the Cardinals in a sweep.
2007 World Series Film
While not quite as shocking as 2004, the 2007 squad still had to bounce back against the Indians. The most surprising things about these playoffs was JD Drew possibly earning his humongous contract. Same boat as 2004, though. The World Series opponents didn't put up much of a fight.
Substance-wise, these productions are top-shelf. MLB does a great job hitting the highlights and building the drama, even when there's little to work with. Features include interviews with players, journalists, and executives; plus in-game footage (often slowed down for maximum effect) and clubhouse scenes.
What's rickety is the technical offering, specifically the 2004 film. It's a weird matted widescreen, with black bars on all sides, as if the picture was scaled back a few degrees. Worse, the video quality isn't very good; barely to the level of upconverted DVD. The 2007 edition fares better, scoring a higher resolution 1.78:1 transfer which boasts much better HD credentials. Game footage looks crisper and clarity is strong all around. Both features receive 2.0 PCM stereo mixes, which are efficient.
For extras, each series receives footage from pivotal moments. 2004: Terry Francona's hiring press conference, David Ortiz ALCS walk-offs, final outs of the ALCS, NLCS, and World Series and post-game celebrations. 2007: AL East clincher, final outs of the ALDS and World Series, JD Drew's grand slam, Josh Beckett's Ks, Dustin Pedroia's Game 1 lead-off homer, and the World Series trophy presentations.
So, as Red Sox Nation endures its current (four year) title drought, Fall Classic at Fenway Park will keep the memory of the 2004 and 2007 championships burning bright, until the next duck boat parade is scheduled to roll through downtown Boston.
Not Guilty. Can you believe it?
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* PCM 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 163 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Footage
* Fenway Park
* Boston Red Sox