First Look Pictures // 2008 // 124 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ryan Keefer (Retired) // November 27th, 2008
"There is a point at which every man can be broken, but there are men who become legends by defying that point."
As a young aspiring judge growing up, I liked to watching boxing and pro wrestling. I think I marveled at the physical abilities of boxing and the good vs. evil/mysterious charisma possessed by pro wrestling's characters. And while I've dabbled in watching the fighters of the Mixed Martial Arts genre, I haven't been able to fully get into it for whatever reason. That said though, I can always respect and admire a come-from-behind win, be it from a tattooed guy named "Doink the Clown" or a tattooed guy named Brock, Chuck or Tito. In times when a boxer, wrestler or mixed martial artist faces long odds, it's the once in a lifetime changes in the ebb and flow of combat that can be among the most memorable. And that's what the folks at UFC have attempted to capture, highlighting the best comebacks in a compilation disc which is available on standard and high definition. Spanning over two hours, the fights are as follows:
* Pete Sell vs. Scott Smith
* Alessio Sakara vs. Drew McFedries
* Martin Kampmann vs. Drew McFedries
* Renato Sobral vs. Jason Lambert
* Keith Jardine vs. Houston Alexander
* Jon Fitch vs. Roan Carneiro
* Colin Robinson vs. Eddie Sanchez
* Paul Taylor vs. Marcus Davis
* Chris Leben vs. Terry Martin
* Jon Koppenhaver vs. Jared Rollins
* Roger Huerta vs. Clay Guida
The fights are compelling viewing, and many of them are knockout wins, with only a couple lasting almost to the end of the fight's three five-minute rounds. With that said, the disc appears to only cater to a UFC fan that is more familiar with the fighters. I enjoyed watching the fights, but I'd certainly like to be made aware of any compelling human interest stories behind the fighters. There is voiceover that explains the opponents' careers to the point of a particular fight, but that's about it (it kind of sounds like I've found my excuse for not getting into UFC during this review, go figure.) I'd like to think that there would be some media whoring of sorts to perhaps smooth out the sport's rough edges to a good portion of American sports viewers. Joe Rogan (NewsRadio), yes, THAT Joe Rogan, serves as the color analyst for many of the broadcasts, and he would be a logical jumping off point to serve as the sport's face and ambassador, assuming he's not doing it already. The good news is that these are fledgling productions, so UFC has plenty of room for improvement.
Technically, this 1.78:1 anamorphic Blu-ray disc uses the VC-1 encode and is about what anyone would expect. There's no surprising detail or dimensional looks to marvel at, the disc looks like an accurate replication of a (presumable) high-definition broadcast, so no big deal. The audio is only a two-channel Dolby track, and while the lack of a 5.1 mix with high definition video is disappointing, it's hardly surprising. The fights are the only content on the disc as well; there are no extras.
When it comes to the disc itself, it might look OK, but the only thing you're paying for is to watch old fights in high definition. That might be fine for some who just want the fights but, for me, it's not enough to warrant purchase, especially over a standard disc version that's identical as the Blu-ray disc, save for video.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: First Look Pictures
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p Widescreen)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 124 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated