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Category:    Home > Reviews > Sports > Football > Games > Documentary > Championships > Drama > Mixed Martial Arts > Greatest Super Bowl Moments (NFL/Vivendi)/Warrior (2011/Lionsgate)/Two Minutes To Glory (NFL/Vivendi/all 2011 DVDs)

Greatest Super Bowl Moments (NFL/Vivendi)/Warrior (2011/Lionsgate)/Two Minutes To Glory (NFL/Vivendi/all 2011 DVDs)


Picture: C+/C/C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+/B-/C+     Main Programs: B/C+/B



Here are some quality sports releases of late, two documentaries and one drama.



With the latest Super Bowl on the horizon, the NFL has issued Greatest Super Bowl Moments and Two Minutes To Glory as singles fans can really enjoy as well as non-fans or non-followers highlighting some of the best plays in the history of the great franchise.  Reminding me of the series of souvenir magazines the NFL did with McDonald’s on Super Bowls (a series they never continued sadly), Moments has 45 featurettes for the first 45 championships from the archives of NFL Films and they are all well done, well edited and may not be the whole games, but do a fine job of capturing the fun and spirit of one of the most watched annual events of all time.


Menu access is a plus and extras include three featurettes showing special moments from three of the games that became classics.


Minutes is more mixed in nature, but is also very watchable.  It shows how fast-moving the game and sport can be and how talent and even luck can change players (et al) fortunes for all of history.  This was also very entertaining and like Moments a must-see for serious fans.  Three featurettes in context to the main show are also included as extras.



Now for a drama.  A few years ago, Gavin O’Connor directed the underrated Miracle about how the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team beat the seemingly unbeatable U.S.S.R. team and I still cannot believe it has not found a larger following.  After a crime drama that did not work, he is back with Warrior (2011), a film about extreme mixed martial arts fighting with Joel Edgerton as a teacher who is decides to get involved in the sport again after telling his wife he would walk away for good.  Not on great terms with his father (the underrated Nick Nolte in another good performance), he also has a brother (Tom Hardy of Star Trek: Nemesis, Bronson and the upcoming Dark Knight Rises) who wants to also fight again and turns to their father to train.


Some of this is predictable and after so many bad Rocky rip-offs, few attempts to imitate Raging Bull and the recent release of the better-than-expected The Fighter, Warrior is fighting an uphill battle.  The resulting film is an ambitious but mixed work that is at its best when the three leads are at it, but falls short when it tries to deal with Pittsburgh (some false notes and inaccuracies do not help) and the scripts inability to do something new or even be more powerful.  Still, O’Connor is a serious filmmaker and he is at least trying, which is more than I can say for most today and in such a bad year for filmmaking, it is no wonder it is being seriously and rightly discussed as an underdog for awards season.  It also brings Nolte back to form and that alone makes it all worth it.


Extras include a terrific feature length audio commentary by O’Connor, Co-Writer Anthony Tambakis, Editor John Gilroy, A.C.E. and Edgerton, Cheap Shots: Outtakes, Deleted Scene: The Diner with optional commentary, Scene Select commentary with Nolte and the Filmmakers and four featurettes: Redemption, Philosophy In Combat, Simply Believe (a tribute to TapOut founder Charles “Mask” Lewis Jr. who passed away after offering huge support to get this film made to his great credit) and Brother Vs. Brother.


The anamorphically enhanced DVDs are good, but I was surprised that despite the two NFL 1.78 X 1 presentations mixed in some older footage, the overall result is actually better than the unusually soft 2.35 X 1 image on Warrior which was shot on film, but is too styled down here.  Maybe the Blu-ray looks better, but we did not see it before this posted.  All three DVDs have Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mixes that are just fine, but Warrior also adds a Dolby Digital 5.1 that is slightly richer, but not as dynamic as I expected, but the low budget is one of the reasons and this is dialogue-based.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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