League of Their Own, A: Collector's Edition (1992)

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Released 18-Apr-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer-3
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Featurette-A League Of Their Own
Music Video-This Used To Be My Playground-Madonna
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 122:42
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (72:43) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Penny Marshall
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Tom Hanks
Geena Davis
Madonna
Lori Petty
Jon Lovitz
David Strathairn
Garry Marshall
Bill Pullman
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music Hans Zimmer


Video Audio
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
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
German
French
Dutch
Spanish
Italian
Portuguese
Arabic
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Swedish
Turkish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, at the start of the credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    Mens' baseball has been shut for the duration of World War II, as most of America’s manpower is in the Armed Services. Walter Harvey (Garry Marshall) decides to start up an All American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1943 and puts Ira Lowenstein (David Strathairn) in charge of Public Relations. Scouts are sent all over America to find and bring back the best women baseball players to be a part of the new league. Ernie Capadino (Jon Lovitz, who plays his part superbly) is one of these scouts and he sees Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) playing in a local baseball game. She is clearly good enough to be part of the women's baseball league. Ernie tries to convince Dottie to be a part of the league but she is not interested, she is content being married to Bob (Bill Pullman). Her little sister Kit Keller (Lori Petty) wants to be a part of the women's baseball team, but Ernie Capadine is not initially interested in her. Kit wants to get out on her own and away from the farm, as she is always being compared to Dottie. There is quite a bit of sisterly rivalry between these two, mainly instigated by Kit trying to measure up to Dottie. Ernie makes a deal with Kit - if she can convince Dottie to come to the try-outs, she can come too. Kit convinces Dottie and they are successful in making it into the first All American Girls Professional Baseball League.

    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.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this movie is truly magnificent. I battled for several hours to decide what rating to give it, finally deciding on taking half a star off, but it still pains me to do so.

    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.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This is a flawless audio transfer when you take into consideration the fact that the original theatrical sound track was only Dolby Stereo. I have noticed that pretty much all Dolby Stereo soundtracks tend to sound a little front-heavy and this one is no exception.

    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.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There is a great selection of extras on this DVD and all of these have excellent picture quality with faultless sound.

Menu

    The menu consists of a 16x9 enhanced still picture of Geena Davis with the following selections; Languages/Audio Setup, Subtitles, Scene Selection (28), Extra Features and Play Movie. Each page has a different picture, is very well laid-out and is easy to navigate. Top marks for Columbia Tristar on this effort - simple, but beautifully presented.

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)

    These are presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio, with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtracks.

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.

Talent Profiles

    This section contains Filmographies & Biographies for Penny Marshall (Director), Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell and Lori Petty.

R4 vs R1

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

     The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     WOW, for once we get all the extras and R1 misses out totally, plus we get a Dolby Digital 4.0 soundtrack. There is no question on this one folks, the R4 version is definitely the way to go.

Summary

    A superb movie.

    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.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Sunday, March 19, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

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