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NFL Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers(2008-2010)
No synopsis for NFL Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers.
For more about NFL Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers and the NFL Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers Blu-ray release, see NFL Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on March 19, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
NFL Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers Blu-ray Review
"I want y'all to think about one thing. One heartbeat. One purpose. One goal. One more game. One."
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, March 19, 2011
The tradition, the history of the Packers is a very proud one. It's a glorious one, really. There's a great deal of pride in being a part of the Packers. I think championships are there to be won, and the fact that you win one or you win two or you win three doesn't mean to say that you should be filled up now. I think you should win as many as you can. Every time you go out there you should try to win.
By all accounts, the Green Bay Packers shouldn't have won Super Bowl XLV. By all accounts, the Packers shouldn't even have made it to the Super Bowl. Brett Favre, the team's life force for fifteen prosperous years, had turned in his green and golds two seasons earlier. Aaron Rodgers, his talented young replacement, had never led the Packers deeper into the playoffs than a 2009 Wild Card round (a game he personally handed to the Cardinals with a fumble in overtime). And 2010 brought with it stiffer competition, tougher losses and tighter wins. By the time the Packers limped into the 2010 post-season -- bruised, battered and saddled with a 10-6 record -- they were the sixth-seeded underdog of the playoffs and the NFC's dark horse. But defying "all accounts" is exactly what makes football the nail-biting, expectation-shattering thrill-ride it is. Rodgers and his do-or-die Packers hurtled toward the game of their lives like an intercontinental ballistic missile, became the NFC's first sixth-seed team to reach the Super Bowl, and beat the 14-4 Pittsburgh Steelers, 31 to 25, in one of the more tense and intense Super Bowls in recent memory.
Champions is more than an account of Super Bowl XLV (a game that attracted more viewers than any television program in American history). It charts the Packers' entire 2010 season, from their promising two-game start to their early-season struggles, narrow wins and heartbreaking losses, post-season playoff run and eventual Super Bowl victory at Arlington. And there are plenty of stories to be told; the history of America's only surviving small-town team and the organization's first three Vince Lombardi Trophy wins, the rise of Favre, the hiring of current head coach Mike McCarthy, the Packers' first-round acquisition of Rodgers, his patient wait in the backup wings, Favre's 2007 retirement, and Rodgers' 2008 and 2009 seasons just to name a handful. But with just 74-minutes on the play clock, Champions makes short work of it all, honing in on the team's record-breaking 2010 season; a season that began with Rodgers' dominance of the Eagles and the Bills, but soon unraveled with a loss to NFC North division rival, the Bears, a too-close-for-comfort win over the Lions, and back-to-back overtime losses to the Redskins and the Dolphins. The Packers weren't satisfied though and fought back with four consecutive wins against the Jets, Cowboys and Vikings (much to Vikings quarterback Brett Favre's chagrin). From there, a 3-3 season-ending stretch earned the Packers a place at the playoff table, but just barely.
It was a season marked by dig-deep know-how, harrowing collisions and devastating injuries (even Rodgers came close to sitting the bench after a heavy blow left him pacing on the sidelines). It was also a season marked by spectacular performances on both sides of the ball, despite the number of losses the team accumulated. Super Bowl MVP Rodgers (third in passing yards and touchdowns in the NFC), wide receiver Greg Jennings (fourth in receiving yards in the NFL), linebacker Clay Matthews (second in sacks in the NFC), defensive back Tramon Williams (second in interceptions in the NFC) and other make-or-break play-makers rose to meet every challenge placed in their paths, tearing into the playoffs with the hungry tenacity of born-and-bred underdogs. They blew past the Eagles in the Wild Card match-up, left the Falcons reeling in the Divisional round and exacted their revenge on the Bears at the NFC Championship. By the time they set foot on hallowed Super Bowl soil, the Packers had evolved from long-shot underdogs into fierce and fearsome competitors. With the AFC champion Steelers swearing they weren't about to underestimate McCarthy's ragged sixth-seeders, Super Bowl XLV quickly became the must-see event of TV history.
Champions affords more time to Super Bowl XLV than any game of the season, and for good reason. Far from a blowout, the Packers pulled ahead of the Steelers 21-10 in the first half, only to squander their lead after failing to score a single point in the third quarter (a mistake the Steelers didn't make). Before McCarthy and Rodgers knew what hit them, the reigning Super Bowl ring-holders closed the gap to 31-25. Opposing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (who led the Steelers to two previous Super Bowl wins) not only had the ball in his dangerous hands, he had two minutes to score a game-winning touchdown to end all game-winning touchdowns. A captive audience of hundreds of millions shuffled to the proverbial edge of their seats. Twenty yards and three incomplete passes later, that all changed. Pittsburgh denizens sat in stunned silence. Wisconsin cheese-heads could be heard round the world. And football fans of all stripes, even those with little stake in the outcome, roared as Super Bowl XLV reached its dramatic conclusion, some cheering the Packers' win, others shaking their heads in dismay at the Steelers' loss. It was a surge of joy, relief and disappointment; a surge Champions builds toward and embraces with ease over the course of its final twenty minutes.
Like most every NFL Films production, Champions weaves its concise but captivating narrative with true cinematic flair. Jaw-dropping slow-motion camerawork captures every emotion, instinct, reaction and crippling hit that graces the field, often revealing just how much skill and sacrifice football demands of its finest. Amazing closeups drop viewers in the thick of the action while nearby microphones catch every crunch, crack and groan that ensues. Scott Graham narrates the proceedings with the firm certainty and grandfatherly cadence of a prominent historian, one determined to preserve the greatest stories in sports for the benefit of future generations. Access to the sidelines and locker rooms provide a rare glimpse into the personalities and camaraderie of the players and coaches, pulling back the carefully guarded curtain of the NFL, if only a bit. David Robidoux's orchestral music tops off the already gripping experience, transforming Rodgers and his teammates into broken and bloodied arena warriors, every routine end-zone drive into a heroic march toward destiny, every game into an epic battle for the ages. (Robidoux takes far too many cues from Hans Zimmer -- liberally borrowing from Zimmer's Gladiator score, among others -- but it hardly matters in the grand scheme of things.)
If I have any complaint it's that 74-minutes simply isn't enough time to cover the Packers' history, the nuances of their 2010 season and their push toward the Super Bowl. I would have preferred a much longer overview of the Packers season or a two-pronged, parallel look at both the Packers and Steelers as they prepared for their monumental clash at Super Bowl XLV. That being said, Champions is still an excellent release, even if you're a fan of another team. NFL Films has a reputation for drawing viewers into the plights of individual teams with their productions, and this one is no different. Take me, for example. I have no allegiance to the Packers. If anything, I was rooting for the Steelers, my late grandfather's lifelong team of choice and, as he put it, his "first wife." (He was filling a seat in Pittsburgh as early as 1935, when the Steelers were the Pirates.) But Champions is a film, pure and simple. It isn't a bread-n-butter highlight reel, and it isn't only accessible to those willing to wear a block of styrofoam cheese on their heads. The story itself is engrossing, the Packers' against-all-odds tale is powerful, their Super Bowl win is as climactic as it comes and, while Pittsburgh diehards will surely disagree, Warner's latest Champions release is well worth owning.
NFL Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Blu-ray release of Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers doesn't disappoint by any means. Its 1080i/AVC-encoded presentation is simply an assemblage of a variety of sources, some primed for high definition scrutiny, others less so. Inherent inconsistencies aside though, there isn't much to gripe about. Some faint and fleeting artifacts appear on occasion, slow-motion shots are prone to minor aliasing, noise spikes at times, and overall clarity takes a dive whenever standard definition footage briefly enters the fray. Otherwise, Champions looks exactly as it should: fit, filmic and faithful. Colors are strong and stable, primaries establish their authority, skintones are lifelike, contrast is nice and vibrant, and black levels are deep and satisfying (at least on the whole). Detail is just as noteworthy. Again, the nature of the production -- as well as the speed of the game -- leads to many a softer shot, but the film's grain is perfectly preserved, edge definition is crisp and clean, textures are revealing, and closeups are impressive. In motion, it's difficult to tell the film sports a 1080i encode, much less spot the blink-and-you'll-miss-em issues that arise. It isn't the pristine spectacle some might expect, but NFL Films productions never are. For my money, Champions delivered.
NFL Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Unlike its predecessors, the Blu-ray edition of Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers features a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, a most welcome addition to the series. Graham's narration is perfectly grounded in the mix, sideline voices are bright and clear, groans and grunts are suitably heavy, and every catch and tackle sounds terrific. LFE output puts its shoulder down as well, hitting hard where it counts and leaving little open to debate. The rear speakers put listeners on the field, in the seats, on the sidelines... wherever the camera goes, the already immersive and engaging experience goes too. Dynamics and directionality are effective as well, and pans send players careening across the soundfield. Robidoux's score isn't far behind, earning the attention and commitment of every channel. Its prioritization isn't impeccable, mind you, but I'd take slightly subdued music over a cluttered, heavy-handed soundscape any day of the week. All in all, Champions makes the most of its foray into lossless audio.
Note: I encountered a negligible, half-second audio glitch at the 9:15 mark. Whether this issue affects every disc or is only present on the disc I used for my review remains to be seen.
NFL Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Nothing too spectacular here, other than an hour of the same high quality, high intesity NFL Films extras football fans have come to expect from Warner's individual Champions releases. As an added bonus, the supplemental content is presented in high definition with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track.
NFL Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
You don't have to be a Packers diehard to thoroughly enjoy Warner's Super Bowl XLV Champions release. The feature itself is mesmerizing enough to entertain any football fan, its video encode is excellent, its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track sounds fantastic and its supplemental package, though easily exhausted, includes enough material to sweeten the pot. The only people who won't be pleased with the results are Pittsburgh fans, but it won't be the disc that earns their ire.
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NFL Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers Blu-ray, News and Updates
• NFL Super Bowl XLV Blu-ray Detailed - March 3, 2011
Warner Home Video, in conjunction with NFL Films, has revealed the full details for NFL Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers, which will hit store shelves next Tuesday, March 8. This BD will feature the highlights of the Packers' championship season, culminating ...
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