Categories
Comedy

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

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
Documentary

Could ‘George Best: All by Himself’ (2016) happen today?

Director Daniel Gordon brings different insights to his @ESPN3030 George Best movie, but is the story even relevant today? Players now are too valuable to let fail.

Categories
Documentary

‘Dennis Viollet: A United Man’ (2016) and a Busby Babe survivor

Rachel Viollet’s documentary may have started as a memorial to her father, Dennis Viollet of Manchester United fame. But as she conducted interviews and collected history, her film also became an intriguing record of how the soccer world changed around him and because of him.

Categories
Documentary

‘Life of Ryan’ (2014) might not be so dull if it were more truthful

It’s hard to believe that Life of Ryan: Caretaker Manager is from Fulwell 73, the same company that produced Class of ’92 and other good football films.

Categories
Documentary

The blokes and fans of ‘The Class of ’92’ (2013)

The Class of ’92 started when Gary Neville got his old teammates to agree to make a film about their “Class of ’92”, Alex Ferguson’s young guns who went from youth academy to winning the treble in 1999 (FA Cup, EPL, and Champions League).

Directors and brothers Gabe and Benjamin Turner, owners of production company Fulwell 73, assembled the best integration of soccer player interviews and past game footage that I have seen. They get the players to open up individually and put them together for one day of camaraderie.

Categories
Drama

‘Believe’ (2013) is best for adults

Director David Scheinmann extends Believe beyond the well-worn story of motley kids trying to win a tournament. The film pivots on the parallel story of Coach Matt Busby redeeming his survivor’s guilt.

Many of his young ManU players, known as Busby’s Babes, died in the 1958 airplane disaster in Munich. Sir Matt Busby (Brian Cox acting in his third soccer movie) was severely injured but one of the few survivors. The film United covers this story very well. Believe weaves a purely fictional tale where post-retirement Busby coaches a forlorn neighborhood team whose key talent, Georgie, is a handful.

Categories
Comedy Drama

‘Looking for Eric’ (2009) and finding a wise Cantona

Don’t be put off by the opening scene of Looking for Eric, where Eric the postman tries to kill himself by driving on the wrong side of a roundabout. Stay for the ride, because this movie is a comedy-drama with an outrageous feel-good ending.

Categories
Drama

‘United’ (2011) how ManU continued after Munich

United tells the story of the 1958 Munich air disaster involving ManU’s young team known as Busby’s Babes. Trying to take off in a snowstorm, the plane ran out of runway, hit a house, and was torn apart.