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Drama Kids

‘Cool Kids Don’t Cry’ (2012) is a better Eighth Grade

Cool Kids Don’t Cry (2012)

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.

Categories
Drama

‘Soccer Mom Madam’ (2021) is not a soccer movie

Soccer Mom Madam (2021)
Soccer Mom Madam (2021)

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. 🙂

Categories
Drama Suspense

‘Champion’ (2019) – the 2nd best Indian soccer drama

Champion (2019)

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.

Categories
Drama

‘Baggio: The Divine Ponytail’ (2021) – GOAT or goat?

Baggio: The Divine Ponytail (2021)
aka Il Divin Codino
Baggio: The Divine Ponytail (2021)

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.

Categories
Drama

Koreans nurtured ‘A Barefoot Dream’ (2010) in East Timor

A Barefoot Dream (2010) 맨발의 꿈

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.

Categories
Drama Suspense

‘Sikandar’ (2009) shows the omnipresent terrorism in Kashmir

Sikandar (2009)
Sikandar (2009)

Sikandar opens with the activities of a small Muslim village in a beautiful mountainous setting. As school lets out, children stream downhill to the market plaza. A child spies a loose soccer ball, kicks it, and it explodes, blowing apart everything and everyone in the plaza. Welcome to routine life in Kashmir.

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Drama Kids

I’m no fan of ‘Fan of Amoory’ (2018)

Fan of Amoory (2018) 
 عاشق عموري
Fan of Amoory (2018) عاشق عموري

The most charitable description of Fan of Amoory is that it is well-meaning propaganda meant to exhort young boys to follow their dreams and work for them. In the glory of the UAE.

Categories
Drama

‘Penalty’ (2019) a well-meaning film that stereotypes

Penalty (2019)
Penalty (2019)

Penalty is a well-meaning but mostly flaccid first feature film from Director Shubham Singh. Singh uses football as a vehicle to weave a narrative about discrimination in northern India.

Categories
Drama

‘Adidas vs Puma’ (2016) – How the feud began

Adidas vs Puma (2016) 
aka 
Duell der Brüder

Duell der Brüder is a welcome entry in my list of football films. Titled Adidas vs Puma for Amazon, it covers a small but significant piece of sports history along with the drama of two brothers turned personal and business enemies amid the effects of World War 2.

Categories
Drama Suspense

Football frames ’90 Minutos’ (2020) of life in Honduras

90 Minutos (2020)
90 Minutos (2020)

90 Minutos is an excellent first feature from Pulsar, a young Honduran filmmaking company. Director Aeden O’Connor Agurcia and Writer Daniel Frañó fused 4 disparate stories from Honduran life, each with a connection to football. But soccer is mainly a vehicle to capture movie-goers’ attention in a futbol-crazy country.

Categories
Drama Kids

‘The Goal’ is social justice + football in 1999

The Goal (1999) aka द गोल
The Goal (1999)
द गोल

Gulbahar Singh is a director who wants to make feature films on humanity, and The Goal (द गोल) is an unusual football drama in that its coach decides that overcoming prejudice is more important than winning.

Categories
Drama

Daisy Shah a reason to watch ‘Gujarat 11’ (2019)

Gujarat 11 (2019)

Gujarat 11 is promoted as the first Gujarati sports film and stars popular and handsome Gujarati actors Daisy Shah and Pratik Gandhi. The story mixes in a number of themes, but while each theme has good points, they are not enough to forgive 2 hours and 20 minutes of banality.

Categories
Cultural Drama

‘Cold Sweat’ (2018) – a man bans his national athlete wife from travelling

Cold Sweat (2018)

Many have compared Cold Sweat with the 2006 feature Offside, which is perhaps the most famous soccer movie out of Iran. But to do so is a crime, even though both dramas are about women trying to exercise simple human rights that are denied to them in Iran.

Categories
Comedy Drama

‘The Naked Man on the Sports Field’ (1974)

Der nackte Mann auf dem Sportplatz is not really a soccer movie. This 1974 film from the East German director Konrad Wolf is about a sculptor (Kurt Böwe) in a small town, who gets a commission to create a monument for the local football stadium. Since the artist is fairly well known, the local authorities hope such a public artwork will help increase game attendance.

Categories
Drama Romance

‘The Keeper’ (2018) – when good play heals divides

The Keeper (2018)

The Keeper is based on the young life of ManCity goalkeeper Bert Trautmann, whose worldwide fame is due to having weathered the last 20 minutes of the 1956 FA Cup Final with a broken neck.

But fittingly, that incident is a smaller part of the movie, because the real story is how a Nazi soldier and POW became a First Division GK in English football in just a few years after the end of World War 2.