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STUDIO: Warner Bros.
RUNNING TIME: 196 min.
• "’66 Championship Game" featurette
• "First Super Bowl Telecast" featurette
• Mini-documentaries on Brett Favre, Mike Holmgren, Bart Starr
"Mugs, pennants, shoes, pants, tea trays, pens, lampshades, gerbils… what to brand next?"
Most notably, the memories of Bart Starr, Mike Holmgren, and Brett Favre.
A disembodied voice says how neat it is that some guys get the ball, then some other guys get the ball; and some cranky reviewer gets his panties in a bunch because the "ball" is an oblong.
A small horde of features is spread across two discs, none of them really taking the spotlight. On the first disc are highlights from the first two Superbowl games. Both selections are only an hour long, with roughly half that time being devoted to the season run-up to the championship game, and the other half featuring some of the more memorable plays and a melodramatic voice-over of the teams’ strategies.
Also on the first disc are two microscopic features cleverly labeled to make a viewer think he is getting to watch the complete "’66 NFL Championship Game" and "The First Superbowl Telecast". These tiny little snippets are actually quick interviews with participants of the game and telecast, and are useless as limbo to a Catholic. There’s a third featurette on the disc, a brief bio of
The truth comes out: there is no physical Super Bowl. It’s all done with bluescreen technology.
Consequently, there are no fans, either.
The second disc covers the more recent history of the team, with a feature on Superbowl XXXI between the Packers and the Patriots. It follows the same formula as those on the first disc, which can be summed up roughly as: forced nostalgia – boring bits ~ DVD sales.
Also on this disc are featurettes on Mike Holmgren and Brett Favre. Both of these sequences go into more depth than that on Bart Starr, but they don’t contain anything that fans of the team don’t already know.
I can’t retreat behind dull monologues on cinematic merit for this set. Instead, I have to discuss them for what it is: a marketing effort and a branding technique. This isn’t a set intended to archive an era or to record accurately a period in athletic history; it’s all marketing propaganda, obviously designed to get the fire going in existing fans and no one else.
The historical portions of the set would be interesting if they weren’t so blatantly run through the polishing machines. A smarmy voice-over tries to inject the emotion of exertion into every damn line, and it’s just not there. Highlights reels do not make for good viewing when they drag on for thirty or forty minutes. It’s the athletic equivalent of a clip show.
My, how things have changed.
There’s no reason to buy this set if you’re not a fan of the Packers. Even if you are a fan, the value is questionable, thanks to the cursory nature of the features and the exceedingly brief supplemental featurettes.
4 out of 10