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NBA Now!
Showmen Of Today

review by Zach B.

Studio: USA

Running Time: 50 minutes


Retail Price: $19.95


Specs: 1.33:1 Full Frame, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby, Chapter Search

I'm a big basketball fan, but I'm always kind of skeptical when it comes to reviewing sports DVDs. I like to play basketball, I like to watch basketball but so many of these types of things in the past end up trying too hard to achieve some kind of fun, documentary style sort of deal. DVDs like "NBA Now" are not for the casual fan, but if you like basketball and sit down to watch this, you'll probably get into it and gain some very good information about the players. However, if you're into the players already and are curious about who they are as well as their history, than this is for you without question.

"NBA Now" focuses on a good amount of noteable NBA players. The little profiles are intercut with interviews, stills a variety of assorted clips, behind the scenes footage and basketball clips. While these can be entertaining and pretty interesting to watch, the way its all set up really makes it like a marketing tool of sorts. The profiles are narrated with an easy going attitude, and again, the way they are you can just sit down and watch, you'll be sucked right into it. Basically, it's mass market appeal. It's not complex, it's well structured and offers some insight onto the players.

What players are featured on "NBA Now"? Good question. Vince Carter, Ray Allen, Allen Iverson, Shaq, Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd just to name some. Players have some sort of nickname, as a chapter focuses on their talent and whatnot. For example, "Showstoppers" focuses on Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant. And what is a showstopper exactly? Someone "who either through exceptional physical talent, ingenious innovations, magnetic personalities or a combination of all three, have changed the game forever"

I guess what's likeable "NBA Now" is that you can watch one segment, stop and get into it another time. It follows a good flow, with good info and can be pretty cool to watch. So basketball fans... check it out.

Presented in 1.33:1 full frame, the quality can vary. Since there are filmed interviews, video clips and old film footage, it can range from decent to good. Sometimes interviews are in widescreen too. I noticed some shimmering and a little deteriation with some of the video, and a nitpick here and there. Not bad at all.

"NBA Now" has been mixed in 5.1, and as far as it goes, its a pretty decent mix that surprised me. The crowd cheers and the music bring a nice punch to the mix, it sort of gives it a more real edge. Dialogue is clear and easy to hear as well, so you get a pretty nice 5.1 track that has good surround use. There's also a 2.0 English track.

"NBA Now" has a few little goodies to boot. Showmen Above The Rim is an eight minute segment that has a few interviews with players and clips. It pretty much showcases more showmen. Showmen Below The Rim is another segment that focuses on a little more natural side, what the segment calls, "playground roots" It focuses on some older players with clips and interviews, but also talks about a style developed from playing on concrete outside. So if you're into some unique, older style of play... knock yourself out. Finally, "The Doctor" Julius Earving, focuses on the amazing Julius Earving. A slew of interviews and old clips bring Earving into perspective. There's a lot to Earving as some of you may know, and some may consider him legendary. This is a good, though short piece that will give you a good knowledge about Dr. J. All of these seem to be a few years old, so I'm wondering if they were from older NBA programs and just stuck here... why not include them in the actual program? They'd fit somewhere if edited. Oh well, there here...

Good sound, good transfer and the extras are more like an extension of the actual of the main program. But the price is right, so if you're into basketball or want to learn about some hot players, look no further than this disc.

(3.5/5 - NOT included in final score)




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