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ESPN Films '30 for 30' Gift Set Vol. 1 (DVD Review)

2 Dec, 2010 By: John Latchem

Street 12/7/10
$74.95 six-DVD set
Not rated.

ESPN has never been shy about presenting sports with a historical perspective. The sports network’s “30 for 30” series takes an intimate look at 30 significant events that characterized the so-called “ESPN Era,” which began with the birth of the network 30 years ago.

These documentaries, many of which are presented by notable filmmakers, premiered in October 2009, and this boxed set collects the first 15 segments. Subjects include the birth of fantasy baseball, Reggie Miller’s rivalry with the New York Knicks, the rise and fall of the USFL, the deaths of Len Bias and Hank Gathers, the true story of Invictus and more. This is essential viewing for any sports fan.

Also available separately is the 16th entry in the series, The Two Escobars ($19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray), a feature-length documentary about the intersection of politics and sports in soccer-crazy Colombia in the 1990s. The fascinating narrative parallels the lives of two men: Pablo Escobar, leader of the Medellín cartel whose drug money fueled the sport, and Andres Escobar, the national team captain whose own-goal eliminated the team from the 1994 World Cup and led to his murder 10 days later.

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