League of Their Own, A: Collector's Edition (1992)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Featurette-A League Of Their Own
Music Video-This Used To Be My Playground-Madonna
Biographies-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||1992|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (72:43)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Penny Marshall|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 4.0 L-C-R-S (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, at the start of the credits|
Enter our drunk, gross, coach Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks). He is not happy, or really interested for that matter, in coaching a girls baseball team, but he is forced to by his financial circumstances. Mr Dugan turns up drunk, or severely hung-over to their first game, and doesn't set up the opening line-up for the team. Dottie speaks up in an effort to calm everyone down and ends up running the team in Mr Dugan's drunken absence. During the road trips we learn about the other members of the team and their backgrounds.
There is a lot of social negativity surrounding women playing baseball, and the game attendances are poor, which puts the league in jeopardy of being closed down as it is not making money for Mr Harvey. Luckily, Ira Lowenstein has become a great fan and pushes hard to keep the league going. He asks Dottie to do something special to raise the profile of the league. Thus Kit finds herself one again in the shadow of her big sister, which starts to cause tension between them.
This film works on many levels for me. It is a truly fabulous film - warm, light-hearted and touching. There are so many highlights, I could not list them all. Well, I could, but it would basically read as the script for the movie.
One of the movie's theme songs This Used To Be My Playground by Madonna is a wonderful, nay, superb piece of music which captures the essence of the movie closing sequence perfectly.
Warning Small Spoiler Ahead: The resemblance between Lynn Cartwright (who plays the older Dottie) and Geena Davis is amazing. The first time I saw this movie I thought it was Geena Davis done up to look older, the voice-over by Geena Davis helping to complete this illusion. The casting crew really deserve a pat on the back, as this allows the movie to flow seamlessly between the past and the present.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.
My first impression was that the picture was just a tad on the dark side, but I soon got used to this and did not give it any further thought after the first four minutes. The picture was always extremely clear and sharp. Shadow detail was also very good. No low level noise or excessive edge enhancement was noticed.
The colours were vibrant and deeply saturated, and were basically perfect.
There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Aliasing was rare and extremely mild when it did occur. Empty stadium seating strikes again - at around the 119:00 minute mark some noticeable aliasing occurs, but again it is pretty mild and well controlled, and it is only slightly distracting.
This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring in Chapter 17, at 72:43. There was only a very slight pause, which was not at all disruptive to the flow of the movie. Very well placed indeed.
There are no less than 20 subtitles available on this disc.
There are five audio tracks on this DVD; English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The default is an English Dolby Digital 4.0, 384 kb/sec soundtrack and this is the one that I listened to.
The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. Even when Mr Dugan is mumbling the dialogue remains clear, such as during the classic bus scene where he orders the girls back onto the bus.
I experienced a very unusual audio sync problem with this DVD. I have a Sony DVP-S725D, and if I did not select the English soundtrack before starting the movie, after 16 minutes the audio was completely out of sync, and out by a lot. I'm talking almost a full second here. But, if I selected the English soundtrack before starting the movie, no audio sync problems were experienced. This happened on more than one occasion, so it was not simply a random event.
The musical score is by Hans Zimmer, and is simply perfect (in my humble opinion). It was always adding to or enhancing the on-screen action.
The surround channels were very aggressively used for ambience, music and for special effects. This is even more impressive when you consider that the original soundtrack is only Dolby Stereo. The sound mix put you in the midst of the action. In particular, the baseball game sequences are extremely enveloping when the crowd is roaring.
(Addendum 2nd April 2000: The surround channels were well used for ambience, music and special effects. On many occasions, the centre channel dialogue dominated which tended to collapse the surround soundfield. I did not find this annoying as I knew it was not a problem with the transfer, rather it was how the film’s audio was originally mixed, and thus I did not take this into consideration in my original review, which was a mistake on my behalf. I also have to agree with Michael that this is probably not a remastered soundtrack. The original Dolby surround soundtrack has probably just been decoded and stored as a Dolby Digital 4.0 soundtrack on this disc. But, overall, the soundtrack is still very good. In high action sequences, like in the baseball games, the sound is enveloping and it puts you in the midst of the action.)
As a Dolby Digital 4.0 soundtrack does not have a .1 channel, my subwoofer automatically turned off. Although, I must say, I never missed the subwoofer, or even thought that the bass was lacking. This type of movie really does not require a subwoofer anyway. If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated Dolby Digital decoder unit that has the capability of re-routing the low bass content from the main speakers to the subwoofer channel, I imagine it would have been used quite a bit to subtly add extra bass throughout the movie.
|Surround Channel Use|
Theatrical Trailer (2:36 minutes)
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
Other Theatrical Trailers (2)
Featurette (6:57 minutes)
This is basically an extended promotional piece for the movie, with some behind-the-scenes details and interviews with the director and some of the cast. Varying aspect ratios are used. The video material is presented in 4:3 and the film footage is presented in a non-16x9 enhanced 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack.
Documentary – ‘A League of Their Own’ (27:22 minutes)
This is touted as the original documentary that inspired this film. This consists in part of interviews with the original players from the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. It is presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio, with a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack.
Music Video Clip by Madonna ‘This Used To Be My Playground’ (5:03 minutes)
This is presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio with a 256Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo soundtrack.
This section contains Filmographies & Biographies for Penny Marshall (Director), Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell and Lori Petty.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
A truly magnificent video transfer.
This is a flawless audio transfer when you take into consideration that the original theatrical sound track is only Dolby Stereo.
There is a great selection of extras on this DVD, of which the R1 version has none. So there.
|DVD||Sony DVP-725, using Component output|
|Display||Sony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Fronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)|