Pure Heat: Ultimate MLB
Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Documentary: B-
In film, you hear about franchises all the time, but what
about baseball, a sport that has been around longer than film itself? In recent years, beginning particularly in
the 1980s, some feel the sport has become too commercial and even
semi-Hollywood in presentation.
Watching the pitching retrospective Pure Heat: Ultimate MLB
Flamethrowers (2005), I considered the validity of this claim as the show,
which runs about 65 minutes, does cover as much of all those years as it
can. However, it is so lopsided towards
newer players that it does ring with the sincerity it should have.
Baseball fan or not, this DVD officially licensed by Major
League Baseball to Shout! Factory is still a good show, but not to the extent
it could have been. Too bad this was
not an extended version of the program, because there is no doubt the MLB
archive has tons of footage that would have made this work better. Instead, it becomes too self congratulatory
and as a result, is not as journalistic or more deeply celebratory of the roots
of the game. Despite that, it makes for
a decent if disappointing show.
The 1.33 X 1 image is odd, with moiré fringing on some
parts of some images, such fringing all over other footage, yet all from very
clean video. The film footage fares
better, even when it might be a tad muddy, a problem that is obviously going to
be worse with older NTSC video shown earlier on. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is also fine, but has no surround
information. Extras include five
extended sequences from actual games to show the highlights of pitching at its
best. Fans will find it worth a look
and non-fans a too-brief crash course.
- Nicholas Sheffo