Writer-Director Paolo Sorrentino has credited Diego Maradona for inspiring him, and in his semi-autobiographical The Hand of God, we discover that Sorrentino’s fandom saved his life. But this is not really a soccer movie.
I had resolved not to review another hooligan movie, but Cass is not one of those hit-and-tell stories that glorifies football supporter violence. Instead, this gripping film shows how a young Black man rises above the hatred that surrounds him. In the case of Cass Pennant, hatred comes from many sources: his skin color, which he tries to scrub off as a child, the competition with supporter firms, and a meaningless life of toil, from which violence is an emotional escape.
Pretty Tough sat in my Amazon watchlist for a long time, because it looked like one of those low quality movies that was either exploitative of teen girls or from the Christian network. So I was surprised when I found Pretty Tough to be pretty good, and neither exploitative nor religious.
It isn’t right that how one dies carries more weight than how one lived. Almost 30 years after he was murdered for committing an own goal at WC 1994, the life of Andrès Escobar is portrayed in the Netflix fiction Goles en contra (English title is The Final Score).
I came upon this old BBC TV movie by chance on Amazon Prime. By the description, it didn’t seem like a soccer movie, but it turns out that the first 30 minutes deliver trope after trope of non-league football from the touchline in 1990s Bristol, England.
The biopic La Foquita: El 10 de la Calle concentrates on the inspiring rise of the Peruvian footballer Jefferson Agustín Farfán Guadalupe, whose nickname is “La Foquita”. Farfán emerges from the shanty town of Villa El Salvador, where poverty is so deep, that finding enough food to eat is a daily chore.
I wasn’t planning to review Thirteen Lives, Ron Howard’s dramatization of the 2018 Thai Cave Rescue. After all, I had already reviewed 3 other films covering the story, and this isn’t really a soccer movie. In fact, wikipedia has placed it in the genre of “biographical survival film”. But I noticed that search engines were finding my website because of my review of 13 Lost (2020), so I thought I should give readers a chance to know how I compare this film to the other versions.
Maradona Blessed Dream, the 10-episode series from Amazon, may hook you in its steady outpouring of sex, drugs and fútbol. It will probably be the grandest film/series about Diego Armando Maradona that will ever be made. But if I hadn’t felt compelled to review it, I would have preferred to turn it off. It just feels so distasteful and disrespectful. Do we really want to remember Maradona by the depictions of his nightlife, copulations and orgies?
Right now, Amazon is showing Season 1 of Maradona Sueno Bendito, a 10-episode compilation of “sex, drugs, and historic goals”. While waiting for that serie’s episodes to appear, I supplemented my viewing with this similarly-themed feature film, which was produced in Italy and released in 2007.
The International Player kicks off with a somewhat familiar scene — a celebrity leaves a night club accompanied by 2 women who are ready to party. The man drives fast and recklessly, until he crashes his Porsche convertible into a concrete wall. From his hospital bed, the film looks backward to see how the player Malek (Youssef El Sherif) came to this point of possible suicide right before a World Cup qualifier.
Cool Kids Don’t Cry is a hopeful and touching film about a vibrant eighth grade girl who contracts leukemia, and how she and her classmates respond to her illness as it progresses.
First of all, let’s set the record straight. Soccer Mom Madam is not a soccer movie. But its provocative title is going to occupy any search for the keywords “soccer mom movie”, so I am posting this review as a public service to soccer fans. 🙂
Released just 2 months after Bigil, one might write off Champion as a literal poor man’s version of that big budget production. Champion‘s star (Vishwa K as Jones) is an unknown newcomer, there are no dance scenes or music videos, and there is no CGI. Both films relate to criminal life in the slums, but the 2 films don’t really compare.
When creating a biopic about a footballer, who you claim to be one of the best that ever played, the rule is that the film must have some football in it. At least have enough soccer to show the viewer that the player’s greatness cannot be denied.
In the drama A Barefoot Dream, Kim Won-kang is a former youth national team footballer for South Korea. In adulthood, he has never succeeded in anything, losing his own money and that of family and friends. He heads to the newly independent country of Timor-Leste (East Timor) to get rich quick and redeem his reputation, but the money doesn’t materialize, and his real redemption comes from the change he effects within himself and others.