Visual Entertainment Group/Visual Entertainment Group .
R4 . COLOR . 99 mins .
G . PAL
Part of being an AFL supporter means a blind sense of optimism. Whatever team you may support, year after year they promise to deliver and although occasionally they may, most of the time they fall short. There is a saying used by most supporters that goes “there is always next year”. After losing the Grand Final in consecutive years, Collingwood supporters are drawing on this quote more than ever. Put simply, there are two types of AFL football supporters, those who support Collingwood and those that want to! For some strange reason, the supporters of other AFL clubs seem to have an inbred hatred of the mighty Magpies; I have no idea why, but would assume it is simply a case of pure jealousy. Now that I have managed to annoy my editor and many other readers, I shall conitnue. (Editor's note: Lucky you've got a day gig, Mr Turvey... ;)
You would perhaps think that in a competition that only consists of 16 teams one or two clubs would dominate over long periods, but that is the beauty of the AFL. Apart from a few clubs like Hawthorn in the ‘80s, Essendon in the ‘90s and Brisbane in recent times, this lack of dominance by one club for many years is testament to the evenness of the AFL competition.
Recent times have seen Collingwood Football Club have reasonable success, although they have failed to win a Premiership since 1990. Not so long ago, even making the finals was a dream and competing in the last two Grand Finals has shown how far the club has come in just a few years, even if there is still some way to go. Many say this is down to the superb coaching of head coach Mick Malthouse, others say it is down to current president and media personality Eddie McGuire. To be fair, you would have to say that these two men have played a major role in the turnaround of the club, but let us not forget the players and staff behind the scenes.
The late and great Darren Milane.
Collingwood Wall to Wall is basically a compilation of highlights from a selection of black and white stars. This is terrific for fans of the club who want easily accessible highlights from recent years to relive. A better release, perhaps, would have seen some sort of order, the only thread here being footage that is split into sections focusing on The Heroes, The Rivalry, The Screamers, The Sharpshooters, The Hard Men and The Headliners. This all sounds good, but to be honest the only consistency is in The Headliners section which looks at particular games, in this case the 2002 Qualifying Final against Port Adelaide, the 1990 Grand Final against Essendon, the 1993 game against Geelong and the first Anzac Day game against Essendon. The rest of the footage is split into categories but seems very random. This is not to say this release is not worth owning for Collingwood fans, it’s just that a more structured documentary may have been a better release. The only commentary here is from match commentators; quite often the viewer is unsure what year the footage is from. It would be impossible to include all highlights of every great player that has played for the club, but this release does seem a bit thrown together and barely touches the surface.
Back to back Copeland Trophy winner Paul Licuria.
The Heroes sections focus on particular players and does offer some form of consistency. Players included here are Des Tuddenham, John Greening, Phil Carmen, Ricky Barham, Paul Licuria, Chris Tarrant, Wayne Richardson, Max Richardson, Len Thompson and Peter McKenna. A lot of other players are featured in other areas, but there are so many that have been overlooked. With the death of Collingwood stalwart Bob Rose this year, perhaps a section dedicated to him should have been included?
The club has produced many star players over the years and owning some of their highlights on DVD is a must for members of the black and white army. There is no footage from the 2003 season or anything later than the Qualifying Final of 2002, but there are still many highlights. A chance to relive that wonder goal from Mick Miguane, the skills of Darren Milane and the goal shooting talents of Peter Daicos are all up there. So, all in all this is a must have for fans, even though it seems to be a little lacking in the order department. The best part is there are plenty of highlights against Carlton, so should you actually have any Carlton supporting friends, you can show them yet again their club's inabilities. This is of course a completely unbiased opinion of the football club, so please don’t send any hate mail. After all, Collingwood supporters are used to being hated by their jealous counterparts...
Made up of footage in both colour and black and white, this collection is obviously varied in quality, but is overall very good. The more recent footage is of excellent quality, better than that shown on its original television broadcast. The black and white footage is not bad either, offering a very clear image. All footage appears to be from television broadcasts so is not that old and punters will be so engrossed that it is doubtful they will care about any little annoyances such as grain. It is of course all supplied in full frame, so crack a tinny and enjoy!
Tha Magic Man - Peter Daicos.
Audio is basically a standard television quality mix in Dolby Digital stereo. There is no need for directional effect as sound is primarily crowd noise and commentator dialogue. These both come through loud and clear and offer few problems. Even the older audio is good, apart from some distortion during loud crowd noise, but this is to be expected due to the source material.
Overall, there are not a lot of titles currently available for Collingwood fans so this is a good start. There is a definite need for a more comprehensive history of the club, but this would possibly constitute a six-disc set to satisfy everyone. For this release, the footage included is enjoyable and the picture and sound quality are sufficient, but sadly there are no extras. This should keep fans happy in the offseason at least.