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.

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

Life of Ryan (2014)

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.

The company had released Class of ’92 in Nov-2013. David Moyes was abruptly fired the following April, not even finishing ManU’s dire 2013-2014 season. Ryan Giggs was promoted to interim player-manager for the last 4 games. Life Of Ryan appears to have leveraged some of the interviews from the prior movie, and it picks up from there.

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

The Class of '92

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.

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‘Believe’ (2013) is best for adults

Believe

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.

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