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Title: 2016 World Series Champions: Chicago Cubs

Movie: :4stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :2stars:

HTS Overall Score:76

They say that a broken clock is right twice a day. I’m not going to say that the Chicago Cubs are a broken clock, but that most native Chicago residents had almost given up on their baseball team ever winning a World Series championship ever again. It’s about as much a joke being a Cubs fan as being a Red Sox fan. People are fiercely loyal to the underdogs, but no one has expected them to win a World Series for quite some time. In fact, the last time venerable Cubs had won was back in 1908. Over 108 years ago. That is until October 2016 when they finally were able to scrape together a team that could defy the long standing “Cubs curse” that had plagued them for generations.

This documentary isn't a recap of the games themselves like the Collector's Edition that Shout released (and I reviewed a few days ago), but rather a doc describing the joy and ecstatic elation of fans, sports stars and announcers as they watched one of the most seminal World Series in history. the Chicago Cubs were already preordained from the beginning to win the games, at least on paper, but most people were really worried that they would actually pull it off. I mean, it's not like they hadn't tried in the past, but after 108 years of not winning most people had become jaded or figured that it would never happen in our lifetime. Instead of just giving us an overview of the games with some highlights of the fans reactions like years past has done for winners of the series, Vince Vaughn narrates as we get to see some fantastic behind the scenes interviews with people that go into more detail about the Cubs progression from zero to hero. These highlights include Kyle Schwarber's early season injury and how his return to the games helped push them over the top, as well as bits and pieces from the player's training regimen and the little good luck charms they attributed to their success.

I know it sounds cheesy, but this is really a story about winning. A story of life for the Chicago Cubs fans. intertwined throughout the recaps of the game are shots of fans rejoicing and weeping with absolute joy as they watch their team finally make it. If you've ever been a sports fan I'm sure you know that feeling of elation when you watch your colors make that final base, or that final touchdown. It's part of the group mentality of watching a representative of your city make it big (and yes, sports members are representatives of their specific geographic location to many people). Vaughn is luckily not overacting or trying to be comedic as the voice over, and actually spends much of the time silent as we listen to Cubs players talk about their win, their trials and pre game struggles, then shift over to fans as they recount their many stories and life events that led them to to these stadiums today.

The individual games (as before mentioned) are not really touched on very much here. We get a few brief highlights here and there, but the big massive 8 set boxset by Shout will actually take care of that issue by allowing us to watch all 6 games (plus the clincher game that got them there on a bonus disc) with every second of game play available to watch and re watch at your leisure. This 97 minute set is a commemorate memorial to not only the Cubs, but the Cubs fans who never gave up on them no matter how far away they were from the Wold Series over the last century.


Not Rated by the MPAA

Video :4stars:
The 1.78:1 AVC encoded Blu-ray is taken from a 1080i master and rendered that way on disc, and while some people may grumble at not being 1080p, the image is a superb representation of the source material. Fine detail is excellent throughout, boasting great color saturation and excellent smooth looking digital photography. Facial details and slow motion shots look exceptionally nice, and the wide angle shots of the game itself look excellent (although there is a little waver in some shots, usually a sign of the cameras more than the transfer or encode, but those moments are fleeting and fairly inconsequential. There is a crisp clarity to the digital image and there are very few digital anomalies to mar the encode. Digital noise is minimal and I don’t think I saw any banding to speak of.

Audio :4stars:
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is more than a bit front heavy, but it certainly can hold its own with the surround channels when necessary. Dialog is first and foremost the most important aspect of the track, and it is done with pinpoint precision. Fans voices spoken in the wind sound accurate and clean, while the interviews inside with the Cubs players is just as precise and sonically accurate. The surrounds get to come out and play mainly with the outdoor interviews where you can hear people screaming in the background or the crack of a ball whistling over the shoulder in some of the game highlights. LFE is clean and consistent, but fairly restrained except when getting down with the crowd’s roar or the music needing some low end support.

Extras :2stars:

• Regular Season Highlights
• Clinching Moments
• World Series Highlights
• World Series Parade
• Cubs on David Ross

Overall: :4stars:

The Chicago Cubs look like they may actually become multi time champions as history unfolds. They’ve broken more records in the last few years than the last few decades combined and they have a brilliant manger and competent owner for the first time in years. On paper they were predicted to win this year’s World Series and on paper they are predicted to rise to even greater heights. I have no idea what the future holds for one of America’s greatest and oldest baseball teams, but this documentary is certainly a great tribute to their unprecedented rise to power once more. Full of great facts, and fantastic enthusiasm, it acts as a great compliment to the 8 disc game boxset that was released on DVD and Blu-ray a week after this title hit. Great watch for Sports Fan.

Additional Information:

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Joe Madden, Kris Bryant
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Studio: Shout Factory
Rated: NR
Runtime: 97 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 6th, 2016

Buy 2016 World Series Champions: Chicago Cubs On Blu-ray at Amazon

Recommendation: Good Watch for Sports Fans

More about Mike

4,557 Posts
Mike, great review. And with all due respect to the Cubs and Cub fans around the nation (many congratulations, by the way ;) )... this movie would be waaaaay better with a different ending involving none of the actors involved. :innocent:
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