Olympic Series, The-Golden Moments 1920-2002 (2002)

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Released 15-Dec-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports None
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 385:15
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
Cineasta Ent
Twentieth Century Fox
Starring None Given
Case ?
RPI $59.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    I was very keen to take a look at this newly released three disc set covering the Olympics from its inception up until Salt Lake City in 2002. Unfortunately, I came away a little disappointed as this is really a little cobbled together. A 1998 series made for television (which did not include Atlanta) has had new credits grafted onto it (which include images of Cathy Freeman in Sydney) and then two newer programs have been added, being highlights of Sydney 2000 and Salt Lake City. What you end up with then is a Olympics set which doesn't include Atlanta or Athens and a lot of which was made some time ago. Having said that, the material which is included is certainly of good quality and includes many famous moments and personalities.

    The television series is made up of 13 episodes (not including Sydney & Salt Lake), each of just under half an hour. They cover various topics, however the episodes are really virtually interchangeable, consisting of 10 - 12 segments each of 2 or 3 minutes focusing on one athlete or event at a particular Olympics. Within an episode, the topics jump around in terms of either winter or summer games (although three episodes are winter exclusively), which specific Olympic Games is featured and which sports. So in one episode you will get skiing from a few years ago, running from early in the century and dressage. I personally would have preferred a more chronological approach, showing highlights of each games. In addition to lots of historical footage of the actual events, there are late 1990s interviews with many of the featured athletes. The narration is by Robert Powell except for the last three episodes of the original series which are narrated by Tom Baker (Doctor Who). Powell is very serious and newsreader-like in style.

    In detail, the episodes are:

  1. Supreme Achievements - Covers specific athletes who made great achievements including swimming, ice skating, discus, athletics, boxing, gymnastics, Emile Zatopek & Jesse Owens.
  2. Crossing the Line - Covers moments of victory including Shirley Strickland, Jacqui Joyner-Kersee, cycling, skiing & football amongst others.
  3. Closeness of Victory - Features close winning margins including Sergei Bubka, Olga Korbet, athletics, kayaking, bobsled, luge, equestrian, cycling and basketball.
  4. Breaking The Record - Focuses on record breakers including Herb Elliott, Bob Beaman, Mark Spitz, Johann Koss, Nadia Cominici, running, weightlifting.
  5. Personal Achievement - Features athletes who overcame adversity such as racism & injuries including Carl Lewis, Dawn Fraser, Bonnie Blair and others.
  6. Emotional Celebrations - Impressive celebrations from Norwegian runners, Nigerian relay women in 1992, Alberto Tomba, a Korean wrestler (especially his wife), Edwin Moses and others.
  7. Rivalry - This episode covers great Olympic rivalries including Zatopek & Mamoun, Ovett & Coe, Katerina Witt & Debbie Thomas and others in cycling, decathlon and skating.
  8. National Pride - Focuses on athletes who achieved for their countries rather than themselves such as a Cuban boxer, Stephenson, Suleymanoglu and other athletes from minor sporting nations such as Surinam, Greece and Algeria.
  9. Olympic Spirit - Athletes who raised their performance to new heights at the Olympics including Dick Fosberry, Salnikov in 1988, a French runner, a Spanish skier and an American Wrestler.
  10. The Medal Ceremony - Includes Florence Griffith-Joyner, Dan Jansen, Linford Christie plus judo, a Cuban runner and the US basketball in 1992.
  11. Winter Superstars - Torvill & Dean, Austrian skiers, speed skating, cross country & ski jumping. This is the first episode narrated by Tom Baker.
  12. A Winter Tale - Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan, Scott Hamilton, cross country skiing, short track speed skating, figure skating and more.
  13. Winter Heroes - Focuses on people who redefined their sport including biathlon, bobsled, aerials, moguls, downhill and ice hockey.
  14. Sydney 2000 - An international approach to Sydney which features Cathy Freeman, Xiong Ni in diving, Cameroon in the football, the 4x100m men's swimming final, Zijlaard the Dutch cyclist, Alexei Nemov in gymnastics, Alexander Karelin in wrestling, Steve Redgrave, Gebrasalassie and Felix Savon. A very cut down version of the Sydney games.
  15. Salt Lake City 2002 - Covers skiing, skeleton, speed skating, curling, ice hockey, ski jumping, biathlon, freestyle skiing, figure skating and Stephen Bradbury.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is good but nothing special. It is obvious that no great restoration effort has occurred.

    The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is most likely the original aspect ratio for most if not all of this footage.

    The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Obviously the clarity and sharpness varied greatly dependent upon the age of the footage but overall it was fine. Some sections were quite grainy.

    The colour was dull and included quite a bit of colour bleeding which again would be a reflection of the footage's age.

    Artefacts included some minor aliasing during the credits and on lane lines, flecks and splodges on older footage, lines and some quite obvious edge enhancement.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. They were clear and easy to read.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is decent, getting the job done without standing out in any way, positive or negative.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The music was quite old fashioned and sometimes annoying.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

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

Extras

    None.

Menu

    The menu was very simple allowing for choice of episodes and subtitles.

R4 vs R1

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

    This set is available in Region 1 with the same episodes but some minor differences. The Region 4 version misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    On this basis I would go for the local product.

Summary

    A three disc set of Olympic highlights from throughout the history of the Olympics.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is decent.

    The set has no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, February 27, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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