Visual Entertainment Group/Visual Entertainment Group .
R4 . COLOR . 100 mins .
E . PAL
At the midway point of St. Kilda's 2004 AFL season they are more than likely planning for the finals (although they won’t admit it and thereby jinx themselves) while other teams ponder a season that is effectively over. St. Kilda are sitting pretty at the top of the AFL ladder with ten wins from 12 games (the first ten as it happens followed by two losses) and are certain for a top four finish. Even if the rest of their seasons goes a bit pear-shaped and they lose a few more games here and there, they are still going to be the team to beat.
You'll believe a man can fly.
The AFL in their financial wisdom has quickly assembled a collection of footage of St Kilda, especially now when the game is experiencing record viewing figures and supporter interest and, in St. Kilda's case, record membership numbers. When you consider that some punters will buy anything on DVD, and fanatical football supporters would buy any old dross as long as it has the club’s logo on it, well it’s a given that a St. Kilda DVD release will find its way into more than a few shopping trolleys. However, if dollars are hard to come buy, then this is probably not the St. Kilda DVD of choice, and fans are advised to check out the review for AFL St. Kilda – Heaven and Hellhere for a far more comprehensive and logical presentation of the St. Kilda Football Club.
When men were men, and shorts were very, very tight.
The DVD itself is 100 minutes of footage lifted straight from television broadcasts with no input from players, officials or commentators (other then the accompanying calling of the game for each piece of footage). Like the other DVDs in this Wall to Wall series, this is not chronological, not narrated, not sequential and it hasn't been assembled with any real thought. It is broken into chapters covering highlights, past and present legendary players, great marks and goals plus their only grand final win, but each is just a hodge podge of footage that has been thrown together without apparent reasoning.
What you do get is some fantastic memories of greats such as Darrel Baldock, Danny Frawley, Carl Ditterich, Tony Lockett, Robert Harvey, Nathan Burke, Stuart Loewe, Nicky Winmar, Trevor Barker, Ian Stewart and current golden boy Nick Reiwoldt, along with some great marks, goals and exceptional skills on display, but all are lacking context and therefore make the whole presentation feel extremely loose and shabby. With a little more thought and some basic narration, plus maybe some interviews, this could have been a worthwhile release. As it is, this is just a collection of footage that your neighbour might have recorded from telly and lent you for the weekend, assuming your neighbour is as mad keen on St. Kilda as you are.
All of the footage is from free to air television, full frame and, apart from some of the early games, is generally clear and perfect. The older footage is a mix of poor quality black and white, with the older coloured stuff looking a little oversaturated, soft and fuzzy, but anything from the last ten years is pretty much as you will see it today; clean, clear and bright. On the whole, the varying qualities of image are more than acceptable and quite expected to be honest, given the age of some of this material.
The audio is mostly a combination of television broadcast and is therefore commentary and really does little to prove that this is in fact a Dolby Digital stereo track and therefore makes no use of the surround or centre channels. Each segment is preceded by a quick flash screen of what you are about to see, and is accompanied by a quick piece of dramatic music that does show the audio quality is good, but when most of this is the game call, well analysis is irrelevant. It is loud, clear and is exactly as it was when the footage was first recorded and broadcast and that is both a good and a bad thing depending on who is doing the calling.
Extras have been dropped from the side.
It is a tough ask to recommend this DVD to footy fans, even diehard St. Kilda fans who have had little to celebrate on the whole. Check out the aforementioned alternative for a much better package.