The New Guard (2004)
Featurette-Ricky's Batting Tips
Featurette-Adam's Batting Tips
Featurette-Adam's Keeping Tips
Featurette-Adam's Top Dismissals
Featurette-A Chat With Adam's Dad
Featurette-10 Things You Didn't Know About Ricky Ponting
Featurette-10 Things You Didn't Know About Adam Gilchrist
Featurette-The Making Of Adam's Castrol Ad
Trailer-Other Great Cricket DVDs
|Year Of Production||2004|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (90:16)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||None Given|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
With the Australian cricket season in full swing and the national team rolling on to yet another convincing series win over a lacklustre opposition causing a test match to finish early, it is a good time to take a look at yet another of the myriad of cricket titles available on DVD.
The New Guard is the latest cricket disc based around either a series of highlights or a retrospective look at memorable moments of the game. These titles are not so much in the documentary vein, but are rather a compilation of moments, tips, or musings from some of the game's past and present players. We have previously reviewed titles such as Steve Waugh - A Perfect Day, Six of The Best - 25 Years of Australian One Day Cricket, Masterclass, Richie Benaud's Greatest XI, and Kings Of Speed. Feel free to take a closer look.
The New Guard contains a program dedicated to two of the current Australian superstars - attacking batsman and wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist and test and one day captain Ricky Ponting.
Both players have made an impact on Australian cricket in recent years. Adam Gilchrist is of course the man who has effectively changed the role of wicketkeeper in world cricket. He has forced the batting skills of that position to become a priority and sets a standard in both tests and one day internationals that few can follow. Commentator Bill Lawry even described him as the best cricketer this country has seen since Bradman - a massive accolade. It is fair to say that Australia's domination of the test and one day arena in the last five years has come about because we have Gilchrist batting at number seven in tests and opening the innings in the ODIs. His rapid run scoring rate and attacking attitude instantly force opponents onto the back foot, a position from which they seldom recover.
Tasmanian Ricky Ponting's rise has taken a little longer. After nearly making a century on debut in Perth in 1995, he was dropped from the team a couple of times and landed himself in a little trouble with his drinking binges at the odd pub before slowly blossoming into the player he is today. When it became obvious that he was the anointed successor to the much respected Steve Waugh as captain, Ponting's game and attitude seemed to move to a new level that certainly culminated with his unforgettable innings of 140 in the World Cup final against India in 2003.
This program follows the career of both players, capturing many of the highlights on the field such as Gilchrist's hand in the dramatic run chase against Pakistan in Hobart in 1999 and his scoring of the highest ever one day innings by an Australian. Ponting's highlights include his two consecutive double hundreds last season and his match-winning 140 runs in the World Cup final. Interspersed with these highlights are musings and thoughts from the two players themselves, plus a few anecdotes and much praise from teammates.
There are a number of extras on the disc, each flowing on from the main program, with comments from Gilchrist and Ponting included.
The video is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and also benefits from being 16x9 enhanced. All up, this is a very pleasing transfer with clean, sharp, and visually appealing detail throughout.
Colours for the new interview footage are superb, benefiting from modern digital video equipment. They are vivid and vibrant with deep solid saturation. The small amount of footage from the mid to late 1990s does not appear to be quite as sharp, but it is nonetheless serviceable for the task.
There are no compression artefacts and no real blemishes of any other sort.
There is a set of subtitles available on this disc, English for the Hearing Impaired, which are available throughout the entire presentation. They are quite good, though not completely accurate. Most of the errors revolve around identifying the correct commentator. Richie Benaud can certainly not be confused with South African Barry Richards and Michael Holding does not really sound like Clive Lloyd - but the subtitles here think they do.
This is a dual layered disc. The layer change occurs at 90:16.
A fairly basic audio selection graces this disc. We get an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack as the only option.
Dialogue is pretty much all this is about, with a little game commentary thrown in for good measure. This is handled well with no obvious problems. There are also no audio sync issues.
There is no surround or subwoofer use at all.
|Surround Channel Use|
Ricky Ponting gives some tips on batting. Choose from three different shots - The Pull Shot (1:46), Straight Drive (2:04) and the Cover Drive (1:55).
More batting tips, but from Adam Gilchrist this time. Choose from The Pull Shot (2:49), Slog Sweep (2:13) and Square Cut (2:48).
Adam Gilchrist offers some advice to budding wicketkeepers. Choose from Keeping to Spinners (3:29) or Keeping to Pace bowlers (2:31) .
Adam Gilchrist runs through his favourite dismissals, including a couple of stumpings, a run out, and some spectacular catches. Runs for 7:50.
Adam Gilchrist's dad Stan Gilchrist discusses his son's rise to the ranks of cricket superstar. There is some really entertaining home video and old news footage here showing Adam as a youngster. Runs for 6:32.
Former Australian one day player Shane Lee runs through several facts and figures about Ricky Ponting which only the most obsessive cricket geek would know about. Runs for 1:38.
Same as above but this time for Adam Gilchrist. Nothing really interesting like what his favourite DVD is or anything. It is all cricket related. Runs for 1:28.
A quick chat with the director of the famous Castrol television commercial Adam Gilchrist made in India. Lots of behind-the-scenes photos make this quite interesting. Runs for 2:13.
Trailers for some of the myriad of cricket titles available. All have been reviewed here if you'd like to see the reviews. The titles include Steve Waugh - A Perfect Day, Six of The Best - 25 Years of Australian One Day Cricket, Masterclass, Richie Benaud's Greatest XI, and Kings Of Speed.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This disc is not available in Region 1.
The New Guard joins the rapidly growing list of cricket DVDs on the market. This one is dedicated to the exploits of test and one day captain Ricky Ponting and wicketkeeper and batting sensation Adam Gilchrist. Lots of match action plus some candid discussion with the two players makes this a better program than many of the mere highlights packages.
The video quality is excellent overall, with the new interviews being pristine and beautifully coloured. Most of the game footage is also quite recent and therefore of excellent quality.
The audio is functional and does the job with no problems.
The extras are a nice addition, especially the ones offering tips for aspiring cricketers.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|