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100 Years of Olympic Films, 30: Salt Lake City 2002/Athens 2004
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • 1.37:1 Standard
  • English PCM Stereo
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • None

100 Years of Olympic Films, 30: Salt Lake City 2002/Athens 2004

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Bud Greenspan
2005 | 215 Minutes | Licensor: International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $399.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release Date: December 5, 2017
Review Date: March 5, 2019

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SYNOPSIS

Spanning fifty-three movies and forty-one editions of the Olympic Games, 100 Years of Olympic Films: 1912Ė2012 is the culmination of a monumental, award-winning archival project encompassing dozens of new restorations by the International Olympic Committee. The documentaries collected here cast a cinematic eye on some of the most iconic moments in the history of modern sports, spotlighting athletes who embody the Olympic motto of ďFaster, Higher, StrongerĒ: Jesse Owens shattering world records on the track in 1936 Berlin, Jean-Claude Killy dominating the Grenoble slopes in 1968, Joan Benoit breaking away to win the Gamesí first womenís marathon in Los Angeles in 1984. In addition to the impressive ten-feature contribution of Bud Greenspan, this stirring collective chronicle of triumph and defeat includes such documentary landmarks as Leni Riefenstahlís Olympia and Kon Ichikawaís Tokyo Olympiad, along with captivating lesser-known works by major directors like Claude Lelouch, Carlos Saura, and Miloö Forman. It also offers a fascinating glimpse of the development of film itself, and of the technological progress that has brought viewers ever closer to the action. Traversing continents and decades, reflecting the social, cultural, and political changes that have shaped our recent history, this remarkable movie marathon showcases a hundred years of human endeavor.


PICTURE

Getting so much closer to the end of Criterion box set 100 Years of Olympic Films, disc 30 presents two more films from Bud Greenspan (who is now putting his name on the titles!) covering the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games and the 2004 Athens Summer Games: Salt Lake City 2002: Bud Greenspanís Stories of Olympic Glory and Bud Greenspanís Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory. The former film is presented in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and the latter in the ratio of 1.37:1. They are both encoded at 1080i/60hz on this dual-layer disc.

Both films appear to have been shot in standard-definition digital and because of that neither really looks better than a good DVD presentation. I was fairly impressed with some of the quality, the image able to deliver a decent amount of detail at times, even in long shots. But this quality does vary, and I suspect it really comes down to the equipment being used. Most of the film appears to use a high-quality digital cameras while other shots look like theyíre using a bargain bin point-and-click Canon camera: the quality of the subpar shots are littered with jagged edges, digital noise, edge halos, and awful shimmering.

The rest of the image is far more stable and cleaner, but since the image is essentially being upscaled to high-definition you still notice a bit of noise, some blockiness, and jagged edges. I was impressed with the colours, which manage to be bright and nicely saturated, reds looking especially good. Black levels are also amazingly strong, night sequences managing to look clear.

Ultimately, both films are limited by their source, and at best theyíre decent standard-definition upscales.

6/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

Screen Capture
Salt Lake City 2002: Bud Greenspanís Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Salt Lake City 2002: Bud Greenspanís Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Salt Lake City 2002: Bud Greenspanís Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Salt Lake City 2002: Bud Greenspanís Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Salt Lake City 2002: Bud Greenspanís Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Salt Lake City 2002: Bud Greenspanís Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Salt Lake City 2002: Bud Greenspanís Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Salt Lake City 2002: Bud Greenspanís Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Salt Lake City 2002: Bud Greenspanís Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Salt Lake City 2002: Bud Greenspanís Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Bud Greenspanís Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Bud Greenspanís Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Bud Greenspanís Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Bud Greenspanís Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Bud Greenspanís Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Bud Greenspanís Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Bud Greenspanís Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Bud Greenspanís Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Bud Greenspanís Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory

Screen Capture
Bud Greenspanís Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory

AUDIO

Both films receive lossless PCM 2.0 stereo surround presentations, and their television roots show here. Audio is spread nicely between the front speakers, with some sneaking to the back, but the mix is pretty bare in the end. Quality is good, though, and there is no distortion or noise.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

As mentioned in the other articles on this set there are no on-disc special features to speak of. The set does come with an incredibly thorough 216-page hardbound book, featuring material on the restorations by Adrian Wood along with essays covering the films, all written by film scholar Peter Cowie. It is also filled with photos from the various events. Each Game/film receives its own essay, but Cowie focuses more on the Games themselves rather than the films, with Cowie obviously having less to say about Greenspan and his style of documentary. (The grade given here refers to the supplements for the set as a whole, which, in this case, is just the included book.)

5/10

CLOSING

Two decent standard-definition upscales in the end.




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