Jordan to the Max" on DVD
by Jim Bray
I'll start off up front by admitting that, other than from commercials
and the incessant hype over the man, I'd never really known that much
about Michael Jordan. When "Michael Jordan to the Max" arrived at our
office, I didn't particularly want to watch it.
I'm glad I did. In its 45 minute running time I learned a lot, not only
about this remarkable American hero, but about life, the pursuit of excellence,
and the value of perseverance.
Jordan is given a loving portrayal here as the film meanders through
his life, set against the backdrop of his final season triumph with the
NBA's then-six time champion Chicago Bulls. We get to meet Jordan on and
off the court, and we come away glad we did.
Jordan's on court actions speak for themselves, but I'd never seen them
before and so was particularly amazed. Granted, the film doesn't dwell
on missed shots or pratfalls, but when they're there it shows them. A
lot of time is spent hearing from his peers and associates, and they all
pretty well say the same thing: this man is special for a variety of reasons.
Through it all, there's the common thread of Jordan's character and ethic,
which are uncommon in those hogging the limelight today. Jordan, it appears,
wasn't there for the glory he could receive but for the glory he could
pass on to others.
The film was originally an Imax release, and it shows. There are times
when the gigantic screen origin works to the detriment of the DVD, for
those watching on anything less than a big screen TV. This is because
there are some picture in picture interview scenes and if your TV's too
small, you'll have to squint to make out what's going on. Most of these
are talking heads, however, so in the end it isn't too bad.
Picture and sound quality are first rate. The film is in anamorphic widescreen
with Dolby 5.1 surround audio; extras abound, including (for some strange
and almost self-serving-appearing reason) a couple of reviews of the Imax
Other extras include a commentary track, a behind the scenes feature
that's about half as long as the main feature itself, four trailers, Jordan's
stats, crew bios, etc.
I'm glad I sat through "Michael Jordan to the Max." I came away feeling
glad to have vicariously met this American hero, and better for the experience.
Michael Jordan to the Max, from 20th Century Fox Home Video
46 minutes, Widescreen (1.85:1), enhanced for 16x9 TV's Dolby Digital
Narrated by Laurence Fishburne,
Produced by Don Kempf, Steve Kempf, James D. Stern
Directed by James D. Stern and Don Kempf
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