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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Sports > Competition > Jump Rope > Religion > History > British TV > Mini-Series > Doubletime (2012/Discovery DVD)/The Highest Pass (2012/Cinema Libre DVD)/The Story Of England (2012/BBC DVDs)

Doubletime (2012/Discovery DVD)/The Highest Pass (2012/Cinema Libre DVD)/The Story Of England (2012/BBC DVDs)


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



Here are some recent special interest documentary releases you should know about…



Jumping rope has always been a fun pastime and it seems to me one that was always constructive as well, especially popular to the 1970s.  A few decades later, Stephanie Johnes’ Doubletime (2012) shows us how it has become a competitive sport and this in part thanks to a police officer named Ray Frederick, who decided a while ago that this could be a competitive sport.  He was correct.  Now, you have annual shows at the Harlem Theater and this includes all kinds of teams, but especially inner-city youth who deserve opportunities and chances they usually do not get.


This was good and an interesting story to be told, but this is edited in what has become and obvious and formulaic way, so it is a little disappointing in its approach, but there is some energy here and you have likely never seen anyone jump rope as they do here.  That makes it definitely worth a look.  There are no extras.



Jon Fitzgerald’s The Highest Pass (2012) concerns a group of people (mostly men) who decide to find religious peace by going to the Himalayas in the northern part of India to find a guru by motorcycle and this documentary is about that quest.  Yes, the scenery is nice and this has some interesting moments, but I was a little disappointed as we just see the people involved, never really learning much about them, the faith and spirituality they are interested in and when all was said and done, this did not stick with me.


Jon Anderson of yes sings the title song, but I wished he was interviewed on the subject as well.  Those interested in things spiritual and religious might enjoy this more, but I will ‘pass’ on this one otherwise.  Extras include a slide show, deleted scene, Behind The Scenes clip and Outtakes.



Finally we have the BBC TV mini-series The Story Of England (2012) with Scholar Michael Wood tracing the o0rigins of the country and all the influences over a thousand years shaping the country into what it became and still is.  In six episodes, I found this good, but it does go on a bit longer than it needed to (this original, uncut version claims to have two hours extra) and in that time, I wish other avenues had been explored.  If you are a history buff, especially on this subject, than you’ll want this DVD set.  Otherwise, it is worth a look, but be awake when you watch.  There are no extras.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on all three DVDs are a little soft, but Pass is especially soft and with more motion blur, likely because of the limits of the location shooting and video cameras used.  Color is decent in all cases with no serous downstyling.  The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo in all cases are just fine, but all have location audio with some flaws and simple sonics throughout, which is what we usually expect from such releases.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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