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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Biography > Literature > Nature > Movie Poster > Promotion > Special Interests > Sports > Ba > Alone On The Island Of The Blue Dolphins (2018/First Run DVD)/24 X 36 (2016/MVD/FilmRise DVD)/World Series Champions: The Boston Red Sox (Shout! Factory Blu-ray Box + Blu-ray/DVD Set)

Alone On The Island Of The Blue Dolphins (2018/First Run DVD)/24 X 36 (2016/MVD/FilmRise DVD)/World Series Champions: The Boston Red Sox (Shout! Factory Blu-ray Box + Blu-ray/DVD Set)

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

Here are some new documentary & special interest releases....

Millions of children have read Island of the Blue Dolphins, the story of a 12 year old girl who survived on an island ...alone for 18 years. What they don't know is that it was based off a true story, the story of the Lone Woman. Who was she really and how did she survive? And find out what really happened to her after she was 'rescued'? Paul Goldsmith's Alone On The Island Of The Blue Dolphins (2018) may have some answers.

The Lone Woman was a real person, the inspiration to the book that became a famous children's book, but who was she really? After discovering her on an deserted island she spoken an unknown language and people began to realize how modern civilization was destroying and erasing Indian culture forever. Ironically, even when the modern world welcomed and she was surrounded by people who cared for her, the Lone Woman died 6 weeks later never knowing who her people were or why she was left alone.

This was an insightful documentary on the rare story of what it would be like if a person was to be alone, what would you feel like if you felt like you were the last person in the world? And then suddenly you discover there was a whole world out there... but you were the last of your kind? It is ironic the Lone Woman survived 18 years alone but then only survived 6 weeks in the modern world. Extras include Lone Woman Artifacts found in Santa Barbara, Nicolenos before the Island of the Blue Dolphins, Ernestine De Soto on Religion, more about Scott O'Dell and his book and the Cache ~ the Archeology Story.

Kevin Burke's 24 X 36 (2016) is a new documentary about movie posters, the changes in the industry over the decades and a new semi-retro movement of posters you will not see in theaters. The makers start with the great art posters from the beginning of cinema all the way to the 1970s, with some of the most iconic such posters ever made. Though they could have delved more deeply into this era, it is covered sufficiently and makes its point of how creative and smart they used to be.

Then home video arrives in the 1980s and the posters start moving towards pictures ofd the actors only and even just big fat cutouts of their heads o a poster to in part, combat video competition and the cheap art showing up on far too many VHS and Beta tapes was something the major studios could easily isolate and shoot down versus their more expensive product. Add cable, satellite and now digital access to films and the sometimes complex painted, drawn and otherwise artistic posters as the official one sheet were abandoned, but a new group of fans have made possible as secondary market of new (even officially authorized) posters tied into films old and new, with prices to match.

They are not always that good or creative, but they can impress and you can judge for yourself by seeing what artists (who also tend to be fans) have come up with. It is not necessarily a happy ending to the loss of the great art posters of the past, but shows the return of the repressed and that fans still long for what should never have been totally discounted and discontinued.

Extras include 30 minutes of extra interview footage and a trailer.

And finally, we have maybe the longest running series of annual sports releases on home video (started by A&E many years ago) involving the Major League Baseball Championship. For 2018, we get the World Series Champions: The Boston Red Sox box set (now in Blu-ray form) of the entire series of games that had the Sox beating the formidable Houston Astros to prove they are one of the greatest baseball teams of all time and the documentary Blu-ray/DVD set that gets more specific in how it all happened. This includes beating the legendary New York Yankees to get there.

As has been the case before, we get the story of the team, some of its history, the pride, the fans and a bit about the greatness of the city itself, something the MLB has been able to pull off in these releases from day one. It may start as slightly formulaic, but that becomes a basic schematic soon replaced by the real story of the victory and triumph of a whole year of hard work and dreams coming true. No matter how good an athlete is in a given sport, unless they have at least one championship victory under their belt, the result is a failure that cannot be replaced, spun or otherwise explained. The true victors get there through selflessness, caring, character and leadership that is increasingly lacking in too many sports of late or their franchises.

Boston is one of the all-time great cities, has seen some ups and downs (including that horrid marathon terrorist attack) and if any city had what it could to survive the worst and build up to the spectacular victory shown so well and thoroughly in these releases, it was them. There is a time when fans of other franchises (if they are not overly obsessed goofs with no life) need to put the rivalries aside and both understand and respect what happened for Boston this year. The Red Sox victory is a moral victory for us all and they earned it!

The box set has printed statistics and a bonus disc of the ALDS clinching Game 4 versus the Yankees, while the smaller set has regular season highlights, clinching moments, postseason highlights, "How They Got There" featurette and scenic footage from the duck boats at the World Series parade.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the three DVDs are not bad, but the Boston disc is actually masking some flaws. The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the single Boston Blu-ray disc and the 720p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on the Boston box cannot hide the strange flaws, digititis and even blocking that show up in weird ways throughout. Both Blu-rays have fine, consistent color that helps, but can the HD video masters have these same flaws?

The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the Boston DVD and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the Dolphin DVD are talky, passable and have some music, which I could also say about the 36 DVD's lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, but it tends to be much weaker, so be careful of high volume playback and volume switching.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Boston Blu-ray documentary and several options for the Boston box in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes (TV audio, two radio broadcasts, a third Spanish radio broadcast) tie for best audio here, but don't expect anything extraordinary.

- Ricky Chiang (Dolphin) and Nicholas Sheffo


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