NBA-Larry Bird: A Basketball Legend (1991)

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Released 5-Oct-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 60:35
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Larry Bird
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Spanish
German
Italian
Greek
Dutch
French
Hungarian
Hebrew
Arabic
Polish
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Larry Bird is a rarity. He is one of only a handful of white guys who have 'made' it in the NBA over the last 30 years. When I say 'made it' I mean someone who has won Rookie of the Year, been an NBA All-Star, won NBA championships, had video games named after him and been a member of the Olympic Team USA.

    This 60 minute presentation does a fantastic job of giving you an overview of his illustrious career and attempts to give you an insight into who Larry Bird is. From his early years in French Lick, Indiana (no that's not a typo) to his university playing days (I never knew he had initially dropped out) to his amazing NBA career, the documentary style approach is both a benefit and a drawback to the presentation.

    A lot of time is spent showing his university playing days. I never realised that the Indiana State University Sycamores (a previously unknown team) finished the season undefeated to enter the NCAA Final Four where they ultimately lost to Magic Johnson's Michigan State. Five years later Bird would have his revenge when the Celtics defeated the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

    This disc really shines when it shows the finals footage from their Championship seasons in the mid 80s. Considering the film is a short 60 minutes, the quantity of amazing basketball footage present is incredible. Any basketball fan would value this disc in their collection as it shows a lot of great basketball from one of the game's greatest players. The voiceover can get a bit schmaltzy and the interviews with players, coaches and Bird himself are a bit dated (the copyright for the production is 1991) but the faults are minor compared to the great basketball on the disc. It's great to see a player who is quite down to earth, in contrast to many of the egos in the game at the moment.

    If you even remotely like basketball then this disc is highly recommended. If you like sports in general and respect great sportsmen no matter what sport they come from then you will enjoy this disc.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The feature is presented in PAL format at a ratio of 1.29:1.

    The transfer is not 16x9 enhanced, and overall the picture quality is reasonable considering the source material.

    Like many sports shows, the video quality ranges from good to bad. Given that most of the show is taken from live NTSC game footage, there are a lot of washed out colours while other footage has over-saturated colours with some cross colouration and colour bleed.

    There is a fair bit of aliasing, but given the original footage you tend to forgive it. Edge enhancement tends to be an issue too.

    The interviews don't suffer from these issues and tend to look much better than the game reels.

    There were some video tracking errors that affected generally the lower part of the screen. This was not in a lot of reels, but when it did appear it was a little distracting.

    Overall, for a sports show the video quality is good - most of the faults are forgivable considering the age and format of the footage..

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

Audio

    The English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 Kb/s) soundtrack does a pretty good job overall.

    There was a considerable amount of background music which came through sounding fine (admittedly a lot of it wasn't my taste in music) but it nevertheless added to the atmosphere of the show. The interview audio came through clearly in the centre speaker and game footage (players, crowd noise and commentators) came through loud and clear, adding a lot to the feature.

    There were no other audio track options.

    There were no drop out or sync issues.

    There is no subwoofer or surround activity, but it was not expected.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio

    There are no extras on this disc which is disappointing because it is supposed to be a 25th anniversary edition.

R4 vs R1

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

    Hands down the Region 1 disc is better - it comes with a second bonus disc showing three classic Bird games. We only get a single disc release. Region 4 misses out again!

Summary

    The video is reasonable for this kind of presentation.

    The audio is good.

    There are no special features. Very disappointing considering Region 1 gets a whole second disc!

    Overall, great for NBA fans with a lot of enjoyment for the casual fan.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPioneer
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

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