League of Their Own 2-disc DVD review

This is the second time A League of Their Own has been brought out on DVD. The first issue was a bare bones bargain basement disc, abysmal picture and all. This new release fixes every issue of that disc and adds in a second disc of features, but there's still something missing. A League of Their Own tells the true story of the professional womens baseball league of the 1940's. It follows through the entire first season, from the initial idea to the final "World Series" game. It focuses mostly on 2 sisters (Geena Davis and Lori Petty) who are drafted onto the same team, the Rockford Peaches (coached by a drunken Tom Hanks). There is a little bit of everything from drama, player troubles, and a lot of comedy. It's a great movie that well deserved to pass the $100 million dollar mark at the box office. The movie does have some problems. 2 hours is a stretch for any comedy (though the original cut was over 4 hours accoring to the DVD!) and the ending of the final game is not only predictable, but highly cliched as well. Even with these minor issues, these are really the only problems. John Lovitz has a small but hilarious role, Tom Hanks is outstanding as usual, and haveing the actual original players have a few segments is a great touch. Disc 1 of this 2-disc set is a flipper. A 2.35:1 widescreen version of the film lies on side A and a horribly cropped pan & scam version lies on side B. The first few minutes of this movie are disturbing. Scratches, grain, and annoying flicker make it seem like this is the same print used on the original release. Things pick up after this however. The colors are superb and most of the issues from the opening moments have been conquered. A few scratches are noticeable, but it's hardly detracting. The back of the case says the film includes a Dolby 4.0 soundtrack. I didn't find it. There are no other options in the menu and it came up on my receiver as the odd Dolby 3.1. There is absolutely no rear speaker usage to be found at any point during the movie. The stadium annoucer sounds like he may be echoing into the rears, but he's not. Regardless, the sound is clear and crisp, just don't demo this movie to your close friends. A comentary is also available featuring the director Penny Marshall and some cast members. The second disc houses the usual array of special features including a great 50+ minute documentary on the film. It's split into 9 "innings" and goes through just about every aspect of the production. There are interviews with some of the cast and behind the scenes the people, but don't look for either Tom Hanks or Madonna. Guess they were too important for the feature. 15 deleted scenes have also been included. Their quality is just a notch above 14-year old VHS tape, but their inclusion is nice. There is an extra sequence with John Lovitz on a train that is a must see. Each scene also has an introduction with the director (these are selectable). Still, if the original cut was 4 hours, there has to be more. Madonna's "This Used to be My Playground" video is the final feature. Now, I'm not only stunned, but downright appalled there is nothing on this disc featuring the orignal players. There is some mention of them during the documentary, but that is it. I know for a fact that a few of them are still living and there is no excuse NOT to give them some time to speak. A commentary track would've been a special treat. This reminds of the recently released "Radio" DVD that gives nothing to the man who inspired the film. It's a shame that a studio can't give some time to the people who pretty much filled their $100 million pocket books. Regardless, this a worthy disc for fans of the film, but anyone looking for some actual facts will be seriously dissapointed. This is classic early 90's film that should be long remembered but I can't rest peacfully until the women get their due. Columbia/Tri-Star also needs to be a bit more careful about their specs on the back of the case.

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