Blu-ray Review: 2016 World Series Collector's Edition: Chicago Cubs (8-Disc Set)

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An amazing set from Shout! Factory, 2016 World Series Collector's Edition: Chicago Cubs is the ultimate Christmas gift for baseball fans (especially, obviously, Cubs fans). The entire World Series, all seven games (plus one; more on that later). Yes, Shout! has also issued a recommended single-disc 2016 World Series Champions: Chicago Cubs which presents a neat feature-length documentary narrated by Vince Vaughn. But if you really want to splurge, the eight-disc 2016 World Series Collector's Edition affords fans the opportunity to relive every single inning of the nail-biter that saw the Cubs make history. Of course, it was a heartbreaker for the Cleveland Indians and their fans, who haven't seen a World Series victory since 1948. But the Cubs drought began over 100 years ago after their 1908 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

The complete seven-game series is contained on the first seven discs, one full game per disc. These are the Fox broadcasts, presented more or less as they aired (minus, of course, commercials) and tagged with brief postgame recap segments. Some additional tightening edits were made, not to the play-by-play action but to the return points from where there once were commercial breaks. This shouldn't be too off-putting to the vast majority of fans. And no surprises in terms of visual quality—if you've seen a Fox game broadcast, you know what to expect from these. That's not a negative, as the image remains crisp and clear throughout.

It's the audio component of the Collector's Edition that truly shines. We're given three different English options (there's also a Spanish track). Experience the games with Fox's commentators, as originally broadcast. Or, for a different angle, watch the series accompanied by either the Cubs Radio Network personnel or the Indians Radio Network team. These options are all offered in excellent, unflashy DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo. It's the alternate broadcast options that give this one lots of extra value.

In terms of bonus features, the eighth disc essentially serves that purpose. Disc eight features the complete Game Six of the National League Championship Series, in which the Cubs clobbered the Dodgers 5-0 to clinch the NL pennant. It's a nice addition that helps fill out an already comprehensive package. The Blu-ray booklet includes a notes and box score for each game.

About the aforementioned 2016 World Series Champions: Chicago Cubs documentary feature, just to add one tiny caveat to balance out the overall praise for this set. Considering the Collector's Edition is a premium-priced item, fans may feel a twinge of disappointment in having to shell out further in order to get the feature-length documentary. The Collector's Edition does not offer any featurettes that give context to the historic series—all of that can be found in the separate documentary. They're really a matched pair, but because the titles are similar be sure you're getting the one you want. Cubs fans will almost certainly want both.


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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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