Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (Blu-Ray + Digital HD)

Blu-Ray Reviews | Oct 12th, 2022

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (Blu-Ray + Digital HD)
HBO. Image used with permission for review purposes.

Starring: John C. Reilly, Quincy Isaiah, Jason Clarke, Adrien Brody, Gaby Hoffmann, Tracy Letts, Jason Segel, Julianne Nicholson, Wood Harris, DeVaughn Nixon, Solomon Hughes, Rob Morgan, Sally Field
Created By: Max Borenstein, Jim Hecht
Studio: Warner Bros / HBO
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I heard people talking about Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty on HBO, so I figured I’d give it a shot. No, that wasn’t a reference to basketball. The series ended up being really great despite some issues with what was real and what was not.

Winning Time is a dramatization of the Los Angeles Lakers, the players and staff in the 1980s. The team gets a new owner with Jerry Buss (John C. Reilly) and he wants to start building something special. He butts heads with current coach Jerry West (Jason Clarke) to draft Magic Johnson (Quincy Isaiah) over Larry Bird. That happens but West decides to step away from coaching. Magic enters the NBA with a smile and his attempt to be the best player out there, while trying to please his new teammates, his family and girls. The show covers a lot of ground in 10 episodes so that’s the main plot points.

I didn’t know too much about the show and all the drama that supposedly happened with the Lakers starting their dynasty. I didn’t realize how great the cast was as well. I liked the style of the show with the gritty, grainy filming style and the characters breaking down the 4th wall. I liked when they would put up some “fun facts” about some people when they were introduced or said something outlandish. I liked the mixture of drama and comedy and it blends in seamlessly. The casting was excellent with so many different people in this. Didn’t realize until reading it that DeVaughn Nixon is Norm Nixon’s son, and he was playing his father so that must have been surreal. Was this the show that caused a feud with Adam McKay and Will Ferrell? It’s a shame but John C. Reilly was perfect as Jerry Buss. He carries the show but all the other supporting characters were awesome as well.

Quincy Isaiah was excellent as Magic and sometimes had to do a double-take to see if the footage was Magic or not. Jason Clarke as Jerry West was very comical to me, and Tracy Letts brought a lot of intensity to his role. Jason Segal and Adrien Brody were definitely stand outs. I thought the strongest scene was between Solomon Hughes and Wood Harris as Kareem and Spencer Haywood. All the stuff going on with Spencer, I just didn’t know what went down.

I’m not really a basketball fan per say but do enjoy watching some games from time to time. I definitely knew about the Lakers dynasty growing up but this season I was only 2 or 3 years old. I liked a lot of different storylines involving Magic, Magic vs Larry Bird, Kareem’s, Dr Buss was quite the character on the show plus all the drama that was happening with the coaching staff (Jerry West, Jack McKninney, Paul Westhead, Pat Riley) that season too. I wasn’t expecting to like this show this much but can’t wait to watch the second season now.

The Blu-Ray has a fair share of featurettes to watch after the show is done. Rick Fox hosts a small roundtable discussion with various cast members about each episode. Those were entertaining . Then there’s set visits, a tour of the set with John C Reilly, featurettes on the production design, costume design and other things along those lines.

If you like sports and shows about sports, this is for you. While not everything is accurate, it’s still very entertaining to watch. I had a blast watching this and can’t wait for season 2!

The Forum
Invitation to Set
Changing the Game
Set Tour
Training Time
The Costumes of Winning Time
The Craft: Rodney Barnes
The Craft: Richard Toyon
The Craft: Argya Sadan

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.78:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1

English SDH, French, Dutch

Bottom Line: Very entertaining show about the start of the Lakers dynasty of the 80s.
Running Time: 574 mins
Rating: NR
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating:


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