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Reviewing the Eagles’ Super Bowl DVD from NFL Films

A guide to the new documentary

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If you’re reading a Philadelphia Eagles blog on a Thursday morning, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of — or own — the very thing I am discussing today:

The NFL Films “Super Bowl LII Champions: Philadelphia Eagles” DVD.

The special documentary hit stores and homes this week, and even all the way out in distant Minnesota (or maybe because I’m all the way out in Minnesota), Cinedigm was kind enough to offer an advance copy of the Blu-Ray combo edition. By now, most of you who already knew about the DVD have likely seen it or have yet to turn it off, but I’ve still got some thoughts on the production, especially for those still curious about purchasing:

  • The title menu, as shown above, is the first thing we see on the DVD, and it’s cinematic foreshadowing for what’s to come. What pops right away is the NFL’s theme song from the Lombardi Trophy presentation, which was also used extensively at Super Bowl Opening Night. (And for anyone who actually made it to Opening Night, the music is a nostalgic callback to the days leading up to the big game.)
  • As is the case throughout the production, the menu is also rich with high-quality footage. Not a surprise for an NFL Films project, maybe, but this is the kind of thing that makes you realize there’s a difference between game-day highlights on YouTube and slow-motion shots on Blu-Ray.
  • Speaking of slow-motion and high-quality shots, that’s mostly what you get throughout the documentary’s roughly 1-hour, 20-minute run time. Sometimes it’s nice to relive the action through regular-speed, broadcast-view video, but the combo pack’s “How They Got Here” special feature, a compilation of the Eagles’ top highlights from every game except the Super Bowl, does the trick there.
  • That slow-mo footage is combined with an A-plus prologue, which throws us back to the Eagles’ 1960 championship, gives us a 2004 Donovan McNabb cameo and details the roots of the Doug Pederson regime; mic’d-up scenes that should be familiar to anyone who’s already plugged into NFL Films; and a few minutes worth of coverage for every game on the Eagles’ 2017 schedule — from Week One to Super Bowl LII.
  • The move from game to game in the documentary’s lead-up to the Super Bowl is pretty well timed. Some games and moments probably deserve a little more coverage than they get, such as the abrupt transition from Carson Wentz to Nick Foles at quarterback, but all in all, you’re getting a consolidated and beautiful-looking, not to mention crisply narrated, look at the entire season. An observation: By halfway through the year, the game-day highlight reel starts to feel like a Wentz highlight reel — a reminder of just how lethal the Eagles were even before their postseason race.
  • As far as the special features go, nothing tops the actual movie itself, but the Blu-Ray combo doesn’t shortchange you as far as NFL Films material goes. There are brief NFL Network segments on Foles, Malcolm Jenkins’ work with area police for community work and Chris Long’s transition from one Super Bowl team to another, among others. There’s a hefty list of NFL Films staples like “Follies” and “Sounds of the Year.” You also get the post-Super Bowl ceremonies broadcast, in full, as well as NFL Network interviews of various Eagles players from Opening Night.

As a package, this thing is exactly what you’d expect. What it lacks in extensive highlights for certain games, it more than makes up for with cinematic production value, from the music to the picture. You’re not getting the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII victory in its entirety, but you’re getting a Grade-A video yearbook of the team’s entire Super Bowl season.

But what do I know? You’re probably re-watching it already.

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