Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns/PBS DVD Gold, $179.98
This exhaustive exploration of the national pastime is a perfect
candidate for the DVD treatment. The instant-access feature of
DVDs means you don't have to fast-forward or rewind through the
two-hour cassettes of Burns's 25-hour-plus opus to find the
segment you want--just skip to your favorite era. Also included
are bonus materials not in the televised series, such as a short
feature on the making of Baseball.
Michael Jordan to the Max/Twentieth Century Fox, $19.98
This film was shot in the IMAX format, and the DVD version
maintains the original's eye-popping images. Watch it on the
biggest screen you can find--you'll swear that you can count the
beads of sweat on MJ's brow. The Matrix-esque shots of Jordan
dunking are worth the purchase price.
Greatest Moments in Super Bowl History/USA, $19.95
The astute organization of this disc lets you plunge directly
into the gridiron action and gives you heightened control over
the highlights. Skip directly to the Super Bowl of your choice.
Switch camera angles to review close out-of-bounds calls. Listen
to the different audio tracks so that you can compare teams'
hometown broadcasts. Be sure not to skip over "The Men Behind
the Men" segment, an often comical video montage of coaches
contorting and kvetching on the sidelines.
Greatest NBA Finals Moments/USA, $19.95
More than just a highlight reel, this engaging disc is packed
with every bell and whistle that DVD has to offer. Multiangle
shots allow you to watch plays from various perspectives--three,
in the case of Michael Jordan's historic last NBA shot. (That's
triple the torture if you're a Utah Jazz fan.) Pause during any
highlight, call up statistics and historical analyses and then
switch back to the video. Another nifty gimmick: play breakdowns
that guide you through famous game sequences using
computer-animated X's and O's. Hoop dreams indeed.
Rocky: Special Edition/MGM, $19.98
This 25th-anniversary commemorative DVD (available in stores on
April 24) comes with a number of bonus features, including an
informative, often poignant interview with Sylvester Stallone.
(Among other things, Stallone reveals that in his first draft of
the script, Rocky throws the fight. What's more, Ryan O'Neal was
an early choice to star.) Not to mention, you get to go another
round with one of the classic sports movies.
Any Given Sunday/Warner Brothers, $24.98
Superior sound is frequently overlooked when tallying up the
advantages of DVD. It shouldn't be, and this disc reminds you
why. The crystal-clear audio quality--courtesy of Dolby Surround
Sound--during the explosive game sequences transports you to the
turf. Another plus: You can watch a host of scenes that didn't
make director Oliver Stone's theatrical cut.
Love and Basketball/New Line, $24.98
This version of director Gina Prince-Bythewood's charming
roundball romance offers some rich supplemental materials, such
as footage of the stars auditioning for their parts and
storyboards of the basketball sequences. Also included is a
documentary about female athletes, Breaking the Glass
Ceiling--The Rise and Acceptance of Women Competitors.