Minnesota is the heartland of US hockey, creating more skaters—on the local rinks and in the NHL—than any other state. Here, the senior boys of rival towns—one an emerging dynasty, the other with a fabled past— face down uncertain futures as they skate for a last chance to etch their names into local lore. Where Texas football has Friday Night Lights, Minnesota high school hockey has Hockeyland.
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Hockeyland comes to Blu-Ray from Greenwich Entertainment with a really pleasant high definition master that delivers in every way possible. This feature is primarily made up of footage shot over the last decade which means you do not have to worry about anything looking too worse for wear. The talking head interview segments appear incredibly sleek and clear with natural skin tones and some detailed facial features. Material shot in the course of the action is likewise crisp even with the varied environments. The beauty of the snowy landscapes look really nice in high definition. The colors featured in the footage have a lovely sense of vibrancy to them. The transfer does not fall victim to any compression artifacts or digital nuisances of the sort. Good Deed Entertainment has offered up a top tier presentation for this one. .
This Blu-Ray disc comes with a DTS-HD 5.1 and 2.0 Master Audio track that captures this material effortlessly. There is a good ratio of talking heads to candid footage with each maintaining stability. Dialogue is a focus right up front in the center channel as you get these emotionally-charged moments filmed with precision. The music in the film comes through with great fidelity as it fills the room in a wonderful way. The surround sound presentation makes the environment come alive such as the chatter during a school assembly or roar of the crowd at a game. There were no digital anomalies or other issues spotted. You really could not ask for better from this presentation. There are optional English SDH subtitles provided.
- Trailers: The two-minute trailer for Hockeyland is provided here. There are also trailers provided for My Donkey, My Lover & I; Accepted; Hello, Bookstore and Stay Prayed Up.
Hockeyland is a mostly rewarding sports documentary which lets you into this world through getting somewhat emotionally invested in the lives of these young athletes. While the film is effective in establishing a baseline of investment, the stakes never seem as palpable as they do in the best documentaries of this sort. The film is entertaining in the moment, but there is something lacking in how it portrays the subjects that makes it more of a fleeting experience. Greenwich Entertainment and Kino Lorber have released a Blu-Ray featuring a great A/V presentation but almost nothing in the way of special features. If you enjoy sports documentaries, this one is still worth a watch even if it is not among the best. Recommended
Hockeyland is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray and Digital.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: Greenwich Entertainment & Kino Lorber have supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.