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100 Years of Olympic Films, 32: Vancouver 2010/London 2012
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.78:1 Widescreen
  • English PCM Stereo
  • English DTS-HD 5.1 Surround
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • None

100 Years of Olympic Films, 32: Vancouver 2010/London 2012

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Bud Greenspan, Caroline Rowland, Nancy Beffa
2012 | 225 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 7, 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

Here it is! The last dual-layer disc, disc 32, of Criterionís box set, 100 Years of Olympic Films. This disc includes Bud Greenspanís and Nancy Beffaís coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, Bud Greenspan Presents Vancouver 2010: Stories of Olympic Glory, and Caroline Rowlandís coverage of the 2012 London Summer Games, First. Both films are presented in the aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The Vancouver film has been encoded at 1080i/60hz while the London film is encoded at 1080p/24hz.

For his Vancouver film Greenspan has graduated from standard-definition to high-definition, but we still only get a rather mediocre image, and its inherent to the source. The footage is mostly interlaced, so there are a lot of trailing effects and ghosting, motion blur being a common nuisance. Details, at best, are middling, and noise, along with jagged edges and halos, are all pretty much there all of the time. Black levels are fine, as are colours, but on the whole itís a mediocre looking high-def image. Standard-definition archival footage has also been used in places.

First, on the other hand, looks stunning. Iím not sure whether it was filmed in high-definition or possibly a higher resolution, but the image is crisp and clear throughout. Details arenít as sharp as I would expect (some close-ups can look a wee-bit waxy) but in comparison to all of the standard-definition stuff that came before, and the mediocre high-def image before this one, itís a sharp standout. There is some crush in a few low-lit scenes, though itís mild, and there is the occasional jagged edge, but this is a crisp, clean high-definition image, with some stunning looking colours. Obviously no restoration work went into this, but itís still a nice way to close out the set.

Bud Greenspan Presents Vancouver 2010: Stories of Olympic Glory: 7/10, First: 9/10

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.

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Bud Greenspan Presents Vancouver 2010: Stories of Olympic Glory

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Bud Greenspan Presents Vancouver 2010: Stories of Olympic Glory

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Bud Greenspan Presents Vancouver 2010: Stories of Olympic Glory

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Bud Greenspan Presents Vancouver 2010: Stories of Olympic Glory

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Bud Greenspan Presents Vancouver 2010: Stories of Olympic Glory

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Bud Greenspan Presents Vancouver 2010: Stories of Olympic Glory

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Bud Greenspan Presents Vancouver 2010: Stories of Olympic Glory

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Bud Greenspan Presents Vancouver 2010: Stories of Olympic Glory

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Bud Greenspan Presents Vancouver 2010: Stories of Olympic Glory

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Bud Greenspan Presents Vancouver 2010: Stories of Olympic Glory

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AUDIO

Greenspanís film was again made for television and it has a stereo surround track (in linear PCM) that suits that, but it still offers a more ambitious mix in comparison to his last few films. The mix is still front heavy, but I noticed more music and activity making its way to the rears. Itís sharp and clear, and doesnít offer any problems of note.

First comes with a DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track and it offers a much more aggressive mix in comparison. Music, effects, and crowds do fill the environment rather nicely, and the sound is crystal clear and distinct, with noticeable direction between the speakers lending it, at times, a rather ethereal quality. Another nice way to close out the set.

8/10

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. Cowie writes a couple of short essays for each film. Greenspan would pass away in 2010, so Cowie does offer him a nice send-off in the essay for this film, while looking at what Rowland brings to the table with her film, and the athletes she chose to follow. (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

Both have been sourced from high-definition files (at the very least), though the Vancouver film, which is primarily an interlaced image, can look mediocre, while First delivers a crisp, clean image. Itís a nice way to close out the set.




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Purchase From:
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