30 for December 31

My boyfriend has been glued to the television screen a little more than usual this year. Why? Because it’s ESPN’s 30th anniversary, and they’ve commissioned 30 filmmakers from around the world to produce 30 documentaries on major sports events.

The first fifteen films in the series are being released on DVD today, just in time for you to surprise the big sports fanatic in your life with this must-have set. Whether they’ve watched the movies or not, or whether they’re a superfan or an interested intellect, the 30 for 30 films are truly works of cinematic, storytelling, and documentary art. Each one is told in its own unique format, covering legends and would-be’s from today and yesterday with plenty of heartstring-pulling and heart-gripping tension.

If a particular story captures your attention, the films are also available on their own, but at a premium. The half-series box set is truly worth it, with quite literally, something for everyone. The thing I like about this series is the movies are equally interesting from a filmmaking and subject point of view. I’m not a major sports fan but I’ve tuned in for a few of the films and loved them, so I can only imagine what a fan would take away from them. With stories as diverse as the tale of Wayne Gretzky’s arrival on the LA Kings to the simulcast news stories on the day OJ Simpson was arrested, everyone will find something to connect to, stories to learn from, and filmmaking styles to appreciate.

I know I’m getting gushy, so I’ll be quiet, but really this is a fantastic set. It’s so rare to see this quality of filmmaking on the small screen, and packaged for an affordable price beyond that. My spouse informed me that he probably wouldn’t need it because he has seen them once and that was enough, but if the person you’re buying for has missed a few, or better yet, has no idea they existed, this is definitely the set to get! Right now the series is priced for $68 on Amazon.ca, $85 on Future Shop, and (argh) $48.99 on Amazon.com, but do a bit of price searching before you select your retailer.

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