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Comedy

Where did ‘United We Fall’ (2014) go wrong?

United We Fall (2014)

As viewers, we sort of expect that a mockumentary will play out, as Bob Balaban has described, like “spending time with a bunch of really funny and totally harmless mental patients.” Christopher Guest set a very high bar for mockumentary, and I have no doubt that, when Writer-Director Gary Sinyor outlined his plan for United We Fall, he hoped his football comedy would reach similar heights of hilarity.

Categories
Comedy Strong Sexuality

‘The Hooligan Factory’ (2014): Who knew hooligans were so funny?

The Hooligan Factory (2014)

Who knew that soccer hooligan movies are a genre? And that they have been so successful that 2014 was a good time for someone to spoof them? The Hooligan Factory sat in my Amazon Prime watchlist for quite awhile because I assumed it was just another hooligan movie.

Categories
Comedy

‘L’arbitro’ (2013) is absurbly fresh but also confusing

L'arbitro (2013)
The Referee

It’s such a terrible shame that it took 5 years for a movie like this to become widely available to the American audience. Paolo Zucca’s Italian football film L’arbitro is absurdly fresh and funny, while also being odd and confusing.

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Comedy

La Pena máxima is watching ‘Penalty Kick’ (2018)

Penalty Kick (La pena Máxima) (2018)

Mariano, an ardent fan of la Selección, passionately believes that Mexico always wins when he is at the game at Azteca to cheer them on. In a home-and-away series with the USMNT to qualify for the World Cup, Mariano (Adrian Uribe) bets all his savings on Mexico.

But on the morning of the deciding home game, his uncle dies. Mariano and his brother desperately try multiple deceptions to escape the funeral service and get to their seats in Azteca. As the game progresses, they try to at least find out the score.

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Comedy

‘Holy Goalie’ (2017) is one of the best soccer comedies

Holy Goalie (2017)

I am mystified that the Spanish media was mostly critical of Que baje Dios y lo vea (Holy Goalie), faulting it as clichéd and unimaginative, with actors in roles not much different from what they portray on popular TV shows. One writer even complained that there were too many jokes. Does Spain have the best television comedy in the world, so that this film pales in comparison?

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Comedy

‘One Night in Istanbul’ (2014) – another funny film about LFC

One Night in Istanbul (2014)

Many congratulations to Liverpool FC and their fans for making it back to the Champions League Final in 2018. It makes a great time to enjoy football feature films about Liverpool FC: Reds and Blues, Will, Hillsborough, and now, One Night in Istanbul. There are more I haven’t seen!

Categories
Comedy Kids

‘Early Man’ (2018) is a remarkable piece of art and football

Early Man (2018)

What’s not to like about Nick Park and Aardman Animations’ Early Man? Apparently it depends on whether your country favors the round or pointy kind of football. Whereas UK reviews are all positive, American reviews included comments as nasty as “Who cares if cavemen could play soccer?”

Categories
Comedy

Is ‘Flitzer’ (2017) the funniest soccer movie ever?

Flitzer (2017)

A comedy about streaking sounds like a joke that would run out of steam fast. When introducing Flitzer (aka Streaker) at the Berlin & Beyond Film Festival in San Francisco, the announcer acknowledged the Swiss stereotype of being so serious all the time. He then proceeded to tell the one Swiss joke that exists, which I didn’t get. And then he closed by asking us to enjoy the film despite all the nudity. Talk about setting low expectations…

Categories
Comedy

Social media eclipses the score in ‘Funny Soccer’ (2016)

Funny Soccer (2016)

Director Lam Tze Chung, who played the fat monk in Shaolin Soccer, has put together an enjoyable family film that explores what happens on the pitch when social media becomes more important than scoring.

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Comedy

‘Jules and Dolores’ (2016) – a classic dumb criminal movie

Jules and Dolores (2016)

O Roubo da Taça, which literally translates as “Theft of the Cup”, could have been a who-done-it about the heist of Brazil’s Jules Rimet trophy in 1983. Instead, Writer-Director Caito Ortiz made the story into a how-dumb-it comedy. You are constantly asking yourself, how dumb can these two guys be?

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Comedy Kids

Clever story but poor animation in ‘K-9 World Cup’ (2016)

K-9 World Cup (2016)

A movie about dogs and soccer should be a winner—the most popular topics on the internet, right? K-9 World Cup is indeed a very clever story which made me chuckle throughout. A coach has one month to recruit and train the MexiCanine National Team for the Canine World Cup.

Categories
Comedy Short

‘The Nation Holds Its Breath’ (2016) in Ireland’s first World Cup

The Nation Holds Its Breath (2016)

In 1990, a young Irishman’s anticipation of his child’s birth coincides with the breathless anticipation of his nation as it competes in the World Cup for the first time.

Categories
Comedy Cultural Documentary

A buddy trip through Ireland and its ‘Celtic Soul’ (2016)

Celtic Soul (2016)

Jay Baruchel and Eoin O’Callaghan drive across Ireland in search of Jay’s Irish roots and their shared Celtic Soul. It’s a self-described collection of lovely moments tied together within the larger context of what it means to be an immigrant, to be Irish, and to be a fan of Celtic FC.

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Comedy Notes

Soccer Movies When You’re Depressed

Let’s get you through this!

Has life got you so far down, you can’t get off the couch? Your significant other left you? Your best friend lost your phone number? Your child wants someone else to be his/her parent? Your parent wants someone else to be his/her child? You’ve been in 4 years of despair with President #45 and he refuses to leave office?

Categories
Comedy

A Chilean, Peruvian and Argentine meet cute in ‘Lusers’ (2015)

Lusers (2015)

Lusers is a delightful comedy of cultural differences as strangers from 3 countries travel the Amazon basin to the WC 2014 final in Brazil. Each of the trio (a Chilean, a Peruvian and an Argentine) is escaping a personal problem (thus a loser), but the trip presents even more challenges. They wreck their vehicle, are pursued by a hitman, are captured by an indigenous tribe, and discover a stolen relic.