Winter is officially here again, and for fans of the National Football League, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. For others though – baseball fans – it means there are still two months until the start of Spring Training for the 2019 season. Thanks to Shout! Factory and Major League Baseball Productions, that wait is a little bit easier (for some at least) with their annual World Series releases, The 2018 World Series documentary and 2018 World Series Collector’s Edition: Boston Red Sox. This is an especially positive combination of releases for the most devoted Boston fans, and for baseball aficionados in general. It might be difficult to watch for those who have a very strong dislike of Boston (this critic included), but for others who might not have such a strong dislike, it will be a welcome overall presentation. That is due in no small part to the set’s overall presentation. This will be discussed shortly. The bonus content provided in the sets adds to their presentations. The sets’ overall average price range rounds out their most important elements. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the collection. All things considered, they make the two presentations collectively yet another home run for the most devoted Boston fans and for baseball aficionados who don’t have a strong dislike of Boston.
Shout! Factory and Major League Baseball Productions have had quite the successful run of things in recent years with their partnership. That partnership has seen the release of the Chicago Cubs’ historic World Series win, full presentations of World Series wins by the San Francisco Giants and the historic first win by the Houston Astros, just to name a few. That partnership continued this year with the release early this month with the presentation of the Boston Red Sox 2018 World Series win. The team’s fourth title win in 15 years, the series is presented in full through The 2018 World Series documentary and 2018 World Series Collector’s Edition: Boston Red Sox. That presentation forms the foundation for the sets’ presentation. The Collector’s Edition presents the entire five-game 2018 World Series from its first pitch to its last right from the original broadcasts on FOX. The documentary presentation adds to that presentation by turning the series into a cinematic experience while also highlighting the key moments from the series and presenting commentary from members of the Dodgers and Red Sox. The doc also presents some interesting “non-game” moments for people to enjoy, such as Kirk Gibson taking a pitch from Dennis Eckersley ahead of Game 4, and Dodgers Manager (and former Red Sox player) Dave Roberts sharing memories with members of his former team, including former teammates from the 2004 season. The doc, narrated by award-winning actress Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black, My Little Pony: The Movie, The Wiz Live) takes audiences deeper into the series, creating even more appreciation for the set’s overall presentation. Aduba’s narration alone does so much to capture the intensity of the series, especially in that 18-inning Game 3. She puts the emphasis on all of the right moments, pulling in audiences that much more. The whole of that depth and the full experience presented by the Collector’s Edition makes this set’s overall presentation such that it creates a solid foundation for the set. That foundation is strengthened even more through the bonus content presented collectively in each presentation.
The bonus content included in the Collector’s Edition is the most important of the bonus material featured in this year’s set. As with past years’ sets, the companion booklet included with the Collector’s Edition is that bonus material. It takes audiences game-by-game, providing specific box scores for each game, as well as gametime temps, game lengths, in terms of time, and even game-specific trivia, such as the revelation that “the 18 combined pitchers used in Game 3 was the most in history for a Postseason game” and that “Cody Bellinger’s sliding catch in Game 2 had only a 14 percent chance of being caught, meaning it was a critical catch. Between this information and everything else presented throughout the course of the booklet, audiences are taken even deeper into each game, than just the presentations on the surface. It makes the experience that much more engaging for audiences, and that much more impressive especially for those noted aficionados who are not defiantly anti-Boston. The addition of the regular and post season highlights in the series’ documentary as bonus content adds yet another layer of engagement and entertainment for audiences. Those highlights include the post season series highlights and even key moments in the regular season that punched the Bosox’ ticket to the post season. There is even a featurette that highlights even more so, how Boston made its way to the postseason. It uses footage of the team’s regular season play to show the road that the team took, leading the league in games won, and the work that went into it all. When one considers the engagement and entertainment offered through that featurette, the value of the box scores and trivia featured in the Collector’s Edition companion booklet and regular season highlights in the doc, one will see that the bonus content featured in this overall set is its own important material.
As if the actual content presented across the set is not enough, it once again offers four different audio options. Audiences can take in the game via the Dodgers’ home radio, that of the Red Sox, the actual game telecast from it’s broadcast on FOX and also on Spanish radio. Simply put, audiences are given plenty of options through which they can take in each game. This applies to all five games, adding even more for audiences to appreciate. This is yet another tradition that MLB Productions and Shout! Factory have carried through its past World Series collections, and for which the companies should again be complimented. When this is all considered along with the primary content presented across both presentations, the whole of all of the noted content makes the whole even more engaging and entertaining. The result is a presentation that is well worth the money paid for the sets.
The overall average price point of the 2018 World Series documentary and World Series Collector’s Edition: Boston Red Sox barely tops the $80 mark. That price is reached by averaging prices from Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Shout! Factory. Additionally, it is obtained by collectively averaging the prices for the Collector’s Edition and 2018 World Series documentary from each noted site. Considering that the average price for the Collector’s Edition totals a little more than $60 and the doc alone averages a little more than $20, that total average is actually quite affordable. Add in the breadth and depth of the primary and secondary content featured throughout the two presentations, and that pricing proves even more affordable. It might not be overly inexpensive, but that collective average price for the two presentations also does not break the bank. Keeping this in mind, it makes the two sets together well worth the purchase by and for any Boston devotee and baseball aficionado who does not completely despise the Red Sox.
Shout! Factory and MLB Productions’ latest World Series presentation, which once again features the World Series in its entirety and companion documentary, is another win for both companies. As noted through this discussion, that is due in no small part to the collective primary content displayed across each presentation. By themselves, the content entertains and engages audiences easily. Collectively, that primary content forms a rock solid foundation for the set. The bonus content featured in each set comes together to once again pull in audiences even more, continuing a long-running tradition for the companies that is just as welcome now as it was with the organizations’ first release. The set’s overall average price range is relatively affordable, coming in at just under $100 for the two presentations. Considering the breadth and depth of the noted content, that average price of a little more than $80 for the pair is not a bank-breaking price, and one that true Major League Baseball aficionados and Boston Red Sox fans will agree is money well-spent. When this is considered along with the noted content, the whole of these two sets proves to be a grand slam for Major League Baseball and Shout! Factory. Both sets are available now on DVD and Blu-ray. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:
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