Anchor Bay // 2011 // 550 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Steve Power // September 24th, 2011
Another year, another couple of million dollars...
After another record-breaking, world spanning year of UFC action, along comes the obligatory collection of what most hard core fans would consider the essential, most memorable, or otherwise just plain entertaining fights of the year.
Originally aired as a prime time special on Spike TV, UFC: Best of 2010 is not what one might consider an essential offering for those who follow the UFC the same way others follow football or hockey (if you live in the frozen wastes of Canada's winter land). What it is, however, is a fine highlight reel of the year's best moments, or a mighty fine introduction to the world's most popular one on one deathmatch-slash-spectator sport. Those who didn't witness much from the land of pay-per-view in the 2010 season are in for some real gems here, as 2010 saw further evolution of the sport, from a knock down, drag out fist fight to a more technical game of submission and takedowns, and the further evolution of the sport's combatants, from meat hammers to conditioned warriors. The evolution of UFC from its humble beginnings as a "no holds barred" sideshow to a truly worthy spectator sport with none of the theatrics of pro wrestling, or the egos and smack talk of pro-boxing has never been more evident than here.
To the uninitiated, the 25 fights included here are a fine snapshot of what UFC is all about, and it's a refreshing change. It's doubtful you've ever seen a WWE match where one fighter stands up from the floor and hugs his opponent. Here it's Croation kickboxer, MMA veteran, and scary, scary man, Mirko Cro Cop giving young fighter Pat Barry an affectionate hug (after Barry lands a solid blow that sends Mirko to the canvas). Other highlights include UFC legend Randy Couture (The Expendables) laying pro-boxer James Toney flat in under two minutes, the upset that was Chuck Liddell versus Rich Frankiln, or some more inhuman craziness from the freakishly huge likes of Brock Lesnar (and his amazing beard!), and finely honed killing machines like Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva.
The fights in UFC: Best of 2010 are all presented in a fine 1080i HD transfer that more or less copies the presentation you'd see on a nice HD broadcast. The image doesn't pop with vibrancy or anything, but there's a ton of fine detail, and it does as good a job as one might expect. The sound is a rather lackluster 2.0 Dolby digital mix that, again, hearkens back to the pay-per-view presentation, but doesn't quite give you the "you are there" experience that you might hope for from a Blu-ray release.
Outside of the "bonus fights," which I really count as a part of the main feature, there's not much in the way of extras. A 15-minute behind-the-scenes featurette gives a glimpse at what fighters do when they ain't pummeling one another, but that's it.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080i)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 550 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Fights