The Magic of the FA Cup-Man. United: 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 240:03 (Case: 238)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (86:07)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given

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

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

    There is no sport bigger than Football, and I am not referring to the kind with the pointy ends on the ball, either. That's right, I mean what we commonly refer to as Soccer in this country. Just look at the TV ratings for the World Cup alone which is the number 1 show broadcast anywhere on Earth. Even the Olympics with its combined sports of the world and gathering every four years cannot match the drawing power of soccer. The other magical sport (which recently allowed Australia to host the World Cup) is Rugby, which also misses out on this honour but remains within the top 3.

    Many sports have their serious followers but there is none more focused than a Manchester United fan. In every one of these matches you will get to see and hear what sets them apart. No other sport can claim to have the commentators drowned out solely by the crowd's cheers.

    The Newton Heath LYR (Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway) club was formed back in 1878 by a group of workers who wanted to play in competition with other railway yards. Luckily, under the leadership of a new owner, the club's name was changed in 1902 to the Manchester United Football Club which rolls off the tongue a lot easier.

Disc 1

Section 1: The Greatest Games

The matches included on this disc are only highlights rather than the full match and include;

Manchester United v Brighton & H.A. Final Replay 1983 - This match was played after a 2/2 draw 5 days previously at Wembley and this match was on a Thursday night with Manchester eager to show their superiority after the last shock result. Brighton was recently relegated from the first division so they too were keen for a win.

Everton v Manchester United Final 1985 - Everton were well on their way to winning the double after already winning the League championship, but in their way was Manchester United with Brian Robson as the captain. The match was again played at Wembley Stadium. This is the very match which saw Manchester United as the first team ever to field 11 Internationals. Kevin Moran gets a red card, giving him the unfortunate record of being the first man to be sent off in an FA Cup at Wembley.

Newcastle v Manchester United 5th round 1990 - Manchester United heads to St James' Park to meet the then second division Newcastle. The major redevelopment of the stadium did not deter the crowd of over 30,000 cheerful fans. Wallace showed his true worth by either scoring or playing a part in all goals.

Chelsea v Manchester United Final 1994 - Chelsea stood between Manchester United and its chance to be the first to take a League Cup double. This match was a massive TV broadcast being telecast to 65 nations and included 6 foreign stars which helped to capture a viewing audience of 100 million people. Eric Cantonar was the one most came to see and he did not disappoint. The match remained nil all at half time and Cantonar, the first Frenchman to play in the FA Cup, also became the first to score in one.

Manchester United v Liverpool 4th round 1999 - A fourth round tie saw two bitter rivals play against each other on November 24th. Liverpool had won 5 of their previous 6 matches but they had not beaten United in the FA Cup since 1921. Martin Tyler, the voice of football, commentates for this match as well. Michael Owen takes the first goal for Liverpool as Manchester United players were sleeping. This was the wake up they needed to seal Liverpool's fate.

Manchester United v Arsenal Semi Final Replay 1999 - On April 14th United met up with its biggest domestic rival to play the semi at Villa Park in Birmingham. The outcome of the game was impossible to predict and the first game ended in a nil all draw. This replay is already in the archives as a truly great match with a tied score right up to extra time.

Aston Villa v Manchester United 3rd Round 2002 - An all Premiership meeting with United travelling to Birmingham on the 16th of January to meet Aston Villa. United had won their last six games before this match but Aston Villa had managed just one win in their last twelve outings. Both sides had a lot of substitutions due to injuries but United came to the fore.

Manchester United v West Ham 4th Round 2003 - On the 26th of January United welcomes West Ham to its home ground at Old Trafford in Manchester. With West Ham at the bottom of the ladder it was deemed to be a walk over at the time.

Section 2: The Stars

As the name suggests, Manchester United's best players, and some legends, are shown here from the 60s to the present day. It starts out with the king of goal scorers Denis Law (1962-1973) and also includes the 180 goal scoring George Best, Lou Macari, Jimmy Nicholl, Bryan Robson, Denis Irwin, David Beckham, Phil Neville, Teddy Sheringham plus another 43 profiles.

Disc 2

    Contains a collection of Manchester United's best goals shown in no particular order. This section contains a total of 96 goals that go as far back as George Best during the Stoke City 1971/72 Quarter final. Unfortunately, United went out of contention during the replay match and the great Best never got to win a F.A. Cup. This is not the complete list but this should be enough to whet your appetite. The disc finishes on Eric Cantona as he catches a pass on his right foot, bounces it a little higher and then shoots the ball like a rocket to score what is an all time classic kick.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    As a general rule of thumb, the older the archive footage the more quality issues you will see. Some sections are in black and white but these are rare and the majority remains in colour.

    The transfer is presented in its original TV broadcast aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced.

    Game Number 1 is not sharp at all and the ball looks like a comet with its trailing tail, especially on the wide shots. Close up footage thankfully shows the ball with more clarity and detail. There are occasional out of focus sections when the camera misses its target and this occurs within footage on both discs. Quality improves as we progress through the games to more recent times. Shadow detail is not a problem with good lighting always available. There is some low level noise.

    Colour is the biggest problem on both discs with oversaturation right up to the late 80s footage. The early colour footage, especially if taken from archives, is full of colour bleeding especially on the red team shirts. These early shots also contained too much colour which did not help matters either.

    Cross colouration and overmodulation appear throughout with varying degrees of intensity. As a general rule the older the footage the worse the problems, with old archival footage taken before the featured games being the worst. Aliasing is very frequent and is most noticeable on the top goal bar. This problem does appear to a lesser extent on other objects, from the stadium to objects sitting on the sideline, including the lines themselves. Matches played from 1994 onwards do not suffer as badly with this problem. Older footage contains film artefacts with dust and scratches common. Later footage does not have these issues and is more likely sourced from video rather than film stock.

    There are no subtitles on either disc.

    No layer change was detected on either disc.

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


    The English Dolby Digital 2.0 track provided an acceptable level of sound for such a feature. The commentator was always placed directly in the centre channel with some, albeit mild, separation to the front right and left channels for sound.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times.

    Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer. It helps that the players cannot be heard and the commentator cannot be seen.

    There is music on the menus and throughout Section 2: The Stars on Disc One. It provides a nice soft backing which complements the narrator's voice and therefore makes it easier to listen to. The music gets slightly louder during the times when the narrator has a break, although the volume levels do not drown out the narration at any time.

    This soundtrack is not surround-encoded and nor is this missed for this kind of feature anyway.

    The subwoofer is not used by this soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     There are no extras.


    The menu design is themed around Manchester United - surprise, surprise! There is Dolby Digital 2.0 audio underscoring the menus and animated menus are often supported by football/soccer footage.

R4 vs R1

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

    I was unable to find any reference to a Region 1 or even Region 2 version of this DVD. There no doubt is a Region 2 version out there somewhere and I would guess that this is the same in content, but until that can be confirmed, Region 4 is the disc of choice, albeit the only choice.


    This two disc set tells you all there is to know about one of the best teams ever. I have been a Man United fan since I learnt how to kick a ball through the kitchen window. This was a great collection of players, game highlights and goals just as the title promises.

    The video has various issues depending on the age of the source material.

    The audio quality is average but acceptable for the content.

    There are no extras as such, just a lot of main content.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Aconda 9381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersWhatmough Classic Series C31 (Mains); C06 (Centre); M10 (Rears); Magnat Vector Needle Sub25A Active SubWoofer

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