Categories
Drama Suspense

Just say No to ’The Wrong Student’ (2017)

The actress Vivica A. Fox has had 2 key roles that convey strength or a killer instinct (Independence Day and Kill Bill). She has leveraged these traits to produce a series of 14 “Wrong” movies for Lifetime TV, of which The Wrong Student is the 2nd film.

Categories
Documentary Short

‘Muerte o Gloria: The Rise of the American Soccer Fan’ (2015)

As a soccer fan who rarely watches any other sport these days, I tend to forget that basketball, baseball and pointy football don’t have fans like soccer football does. Following the European and Latin American traditions, soccer is the only pro sport in the USA where, pre-pandemic, supporters groups show up with songs, drums, banners, flags, TIFOs and a s**tload of enthusiasm.

Categories
Documentary

’13 Lost: The Untold Story of the Thai Cave Rescue’ (2020)

13 Lost is a documentary about the unsung diving team that defied life-threatening conditions to lay the line to rescue the Wild Boars soccer team. This gripping film shows the bravery and calmness of these men under duress, and the technical expertise that kept them alive.

Categories
Documentary

‘Soccertown USA’ (2018) is the Jersey Boys of soccer

Soccertown USA is a treasure of painstaking research conducted by Writers Tom McCabe and Kirk Rudell. For years, I had wondered why so many US National Team players and referees came from New Jersey. This documentary explains how the Town of Kearny, a suburb of Newark, NJ, was a working class neighborhood of immigrants who brought their love of the game to their new country. The town became an oasis of excellence that developed American champions.

Categories
Documentary

‘Streetball’ (2010) best Homeless World Cup movie

Streetball is not just another homeless world cup film, it is the best of its genre. Despite being 10 years old, this documentary is fresh, vibrant, and still relevant in its reflection of the world today. Streetball also stands out as one of the few homeless world cup (HWC) films where the soccer is as engaging as the stories of the people.

Categories
Documentary

‘The 99ers’ (2013) a unique insider view of 1999 USWNT

I almost passed up watching The 99ers on my ESPN+ subscription, because I thought I had already ‘seen it all’ about the 1999 USWNT. But what a mistake if you miss watching this episode of the espnW Nine for IX series. IX in this case refers to Title IX, which required that colleges provide equal funding for womens and mens sports. 

Categories
Documentary Short

ESPN falls flat with ‘Mysteries of the Jules Rimet Trophy’ (2014)

It’s hard to believe that Brett Ratner, director of the Rush Hour franchise, put together the worst ESPN 30 for 30 segment that I have seen. Mysteries of the Jules Rimet Trophy covers all the facts, but the production is flat, and the importance of the artifact is blown way out of proportion. It’s almost facetious. It’s not the Holy Grail, it’s a small piece of metal of a woman holding up a cup. It’s not even gold.

Categories
Documentary Short

Review: ‘Barbosa, the Man Who Made Brazil Cry’ (2014)

Barbosa, the Man Who Made Brazil Cry revisits the trauma bestowed upon goalkeeper Barbosa, who is often blamed for Brazil’s loss to Uruguay  in the Final of World Cup 1950 at the Maracana stadium. This match is famously known as the disastrous El Maracanazo.

Categories
Documentary Short

ESPN explores ‘The Myth of Garrincha’ (2014)

The Myth of Garrincha is a 22 minute episode in ESPN’s 30 for 30 Soccer Stories, currently available on ESPN+. Garrincha was Pelé’s peer, and as long as they were on the field together, Brazil never lost a World Cup.

Categories
Documentary

‘Soccer in the City’ (2019) is soccer for good

The message of Soccer in the City is important: that at $1,500 to $5,500 per year, the pay-to-play model excludes low-income children. American soccer doesn’t reach inner city kids, who could be untapped potential to help win World Cups. In his feature-length debut, Director Michael Holstein shows urban efforts bearing fruit in DC, the Bronx, and Atlanta.

Categories
Romance

More romance and less soccer in ‘See You Soon’ (2019)

See You Soon (До скорой встречи) is a beguiling romance that combines fairy tale, travelogue, and a little bit of soccer. Can America have a male soccer star who is a recognizable face worldwide but plays in the USA? To American hearts still aching from the failure to qualify in T&T, it feels like a fantasy.

Categories
Documentary Short

‘Coach’ (2019) is 25 minutes of inspiration

Sport Psychologist Courtney Carroll Levinsohn found out that SFSU coach Tracy Hamm was working on her UEFA A-license. Only 1% of such coaching licenses are held by women. Why not put this story on the screen and thereby normalize it? The result is Coach, 25 minutes of inspiration that tell women and girls, you can do this. 

Categories
Comedy

‘Diamantino’ (2018): A satire or just randomly disturbing?

Great expectations make a heavy burden. After Diamantino’s smashing 2018 premiere at Cannes, I eagerly looked forward to it for over a year. It is now available to rent/purchase on iTunes and Amazon, but the typical football film and soccer movie fan may end up wanting to reverse the last 90 minutes of their lives. 

Categories
Documentary

‘Thai Cave Rescue’ (2018) seals our faith in humanity

This is the first of several films and documentaries about the dramatic Thai Cave Rescue that gripped the world in June-July, 2018. Director Tom Stubberfield presents all the facts of the story for PBS’s Nova TV series, narrated by Eric Meyers.

Categories
Kids

A magical football match in ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ (1971)

Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks is not a soccer movie, but should be watched for its engaging 10-minute animation of a football game. Like all Disney animations, the quality is so good that the 50 year old film remains on par with today’s technology.