The Magic of the FA Cup-Liverpool: Greatest Games, Stars, Ultimate Goals (2003)

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Released 1-Sep-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 233:21 (Case: 231)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By none

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring none
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $49.95 Music none

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Easily the most successful English football team of the past century, Liverpool FC had rather an indifferent early history in the oldest knock-out competition in football. Even though it held many domestic titles from its early history, it wasn't until 1966 vs Leeds Utd that it won its first F.A. Cup. Since then though, along with other clubs such as Tottenham Hotspurs, Manchester United, Arsenal and their own crosstown rivals, Everton, they have become a serious force within the competition. 6 cup titles, a dozen final appearances and over 25 semi-final appearances are evidence of this fact.

    While definitely not the best performed of teams in the cup, they have had their share of magical moments and memorable games. This 2 disc DVD collection is a sample of 4 of those wins, notable semi-finals plus 100 of the best goals. Taken exclusively from television coverage it isn't the most visually stunning of collections but television broadcast quality, being what it is, doesn't auger well for any sports series at the best of times. Still, if you are a rabid fan (as I am) then it doesn't matter what it looks like, so long as the Reds are showing off their wares.

Disc 1:
Part 1: Highlights of 8 games, running time 83:03 including:
Liverpool vs Newcastle United - 1974 Final, 3-0
Liverpool vs Everton - 1977 S/F, 1989, 3-1
Everton vs Liverpool - 1986 Final, 3-1
Manchester City vs Liverpool - 6th Round, 1988, 4-0
Liverpool vs Nottingham Forest, S/F, 1989, 3-1
Liverpool vs Everton, Final, 1989, 3-2
Liverpool vs Aston Villa, S/F, 1996, 3-0
Arsenal vs Liverpool, Final, 2001, 2-1

Part 2: Player Selection. With a running time of 75:26, this includes 50 past and present players plus a short highlight on each. All of them vary in time from 30 seconds to about a minute and half.

Disc 2:

The Ultimate Goals - 74:52 with 100 classic goals from Liverpool's cup games. The menu allows you to choose which goal to watch but then when it is finished it simply moves onto the next goal in the list and doesn't return to the menu. It simply continues on from there without any real separation. There are multiple camera angles of most goals and the scrolling menu is a nice touch.

    Overall, this is something that only fans of the game or the team will appreciate but it is one of those series that makes for a very nice Christmas gift.

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Transfer Quality


    As I mentioned above, this is strictly Television broadcast quality only and the highlights package certainly shows it. The fact that the footage has been taken from different eras also doesn't help. Some of the footage is in black and white, but the majority is in colour.

    The original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 is maintained.

    Sharpness varies not only in direct proportion to the age of the source material but also in where it was taken from. Some of the footage is obviously archival footage, possibly older film stock showing all the natural deterioration you'd expect, but some of the more recent broadcast tapes are quite decent. Overall, though it's mostly quite decent given what it is. Shadow detail is irrelevant for the most part. Grain was steady and persistent throughout but it wasn't a major problem. Low level noise, again, isn't that relevant and there are too many other problems for it to become an issue.

    The colour is mostly good but there is copious amounts of colour bleed throughout the various sections. Playing in red, bleed can be seen off the players' shirts in so many instances. This isn't surprising though, since live broadcasts today offer up the same sort of problem. Overall, the colour is decent and doesn't offer too many problems.

    Scratches, dirt marks, lines down the screen, missing flecks and sprays are pretty constant where film stock was used. Microphony is visible in many places (18:11 of 1977 Semi Final, Liverpool vs Everton). Video tape dropout (31:52) and plenty of low signal strength footage is on offer throughout. No major MPEG artefacts were really noticeable and any other film or video artefacts are mostly lost in the clutter and quality of the source material.

    There are no subtitles on this disc.

    No layer change was detected on either disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    For sports coverage, anything more than a mono soundtrack probably isn't that important. Having crowd noises coming out of stereo speakers, or even more uselessly, in surround sound, doesn't add that much to the overall package (in my humble opinion of course). Followers of sport that want true surround sound need to get their raggedy backsides down to the game, otherwise the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at 224 kilobits per second is all that you should ever want or need. There is nothing spectacular to write home about here. The commentator is well placed in the centre speaker and the rest of the noise is split across the front, although there is little or no noticeable separation.

    No dialogue or syncing errors were noted on either disc (but then there were no talking heads, either).

    The music is confined to the menu and opening titles, otherwise this is a disc devoid of more than the most rudimentary of musical interludes.

    There was no surround or subwoofer channel use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu Introduction

    Wow, what can I say but wow... Sorry, I am a firm believer that an intro is an intro, not an extra.

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    A static picture with the right hand side having an underlay of action from the various games being played on the right. It loops approximately every 20 seconds.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This is probably something you'll find in a Region 2 release but I doubt Region 1 will get it anytime soon. No reference to this series could be found in any other region at this time, but any Region 2 release will probably bear a striking resemblance to this one, no doubt. Therefore the Region 4 is the best choice.


    If you love the game and the club then you'll love the collection. Another one for the library, but with probably very limited appeal. Overall, this is well presented (as was the one for Manchester Utd/etc) with nearly 4 hours of footage. The video isn't stellar but then neither is any television presentation of sport unless it's in digital. The audio is okay but nothing spectacular and the extras aren't.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Carl Berry (read my bio)
Friday, November 14, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSony NS-305, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-976. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationRotel RB 985 MkII
SpeakersJBL TLX16s Front Speakers, Polk Audio LS fx di/bipole Rear Speakers, Polk Audio CS350-LS Centre Speaker, M&KV-75 Subwoofer

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