PictureTHX marking is not always the seal of quality that one hopes for. With Miracle however you can sit back and relax, as you are getting a modern print which is being displayed with the best technology has to offer. The image is pin sharp at all times and offers a vibrancy and vividness one rarely sees. Primary colours jump off the screen and scorch the retinas, especially in the climatic match between the USA and USSR. Just look at the richness in the red uniforms of the Soviet team against the bright, clean whites of the ice. It's enough to inspire poetry. Skin tones are faultless and detail is crisp and sharp. Shadows retain this detail and highlights hold onto theirs without burnout. Digital artefacts are not apparent. A splendid print.
SoundPresented in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448kbps the THX approved soundtrack is every bit a match for the excellent picture quality. From the opening THX “the audience is listening” chord, to the dramatic, multilayered orchestral score from Mark Isham as the final match reaches its climax, the soundtrack is spellbinding. The Foley work on the ice hockey scenes places you right in the middle of the action as skaters fly past or crunch each other mercilessly into the boards. The surrounds pick up the audience excitement and chatter, and Isham's inspirational score raises the emotional notch a degree or two higher, producing an almost holographic level of detail. It loses a point overall because some of the quiet scenes lack the punch, atmosphere and clarity of the rest of the movie.
ExtrasThis two disc set offers plenty for the viewer to indulge at the end of the movie. A fascinating and informative commentary by director Gavin O'Connor with his editor and DoP allows you to share the struggles of the production with the excitement as solutions were found, it is only let down by the fact that much of what is said is repeated later in the behind the scenes featurettes, a common fault I find. Disc two contains several documentaries about the production process including casting young hockey players and teaching them to act, through to the techniques used to convince a knowledgeable audience that they were viewing the real thing. Of most interest in a movie based on recent history is to see the people who actually lived it. This is done with two featurettes; one is an early meeting with Herb Brookes himself, who talks about his experience as events unfolded, the other a round table discussion with several of the surviving 1980 team. Sadly Herb Brookes was killed in a car accident before the film was completed, adding further poignancy to the movie. The disc is rounded off with five minutes of bloopers and outtakes.
VerdictThis is an excellent two disc set with print and audio production that is a gnat's chuff below the best that DVD can offer. Whether you like the movie will depend largely on you view of sports dramas, but if you are a fan pull up a seat and enjoy.
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