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Kids

‘Monkey in the Middle’ (2014) has one redeeming grace

Monkey in the Middle (2014)

This film is a reason to hate Canada—for producing a movie that is such a chore to watch. Monkey in the Middle—or as it’s titled on Netflix, It’s a Zoo in Here—has one redeeming grace. Graham Zusi (known as Saint Zusi to Mexico fans) is the inspiration when the main character takes a free kick.

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Documentary

Already outdated – ‘Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait’ (2006)

Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (2006)

This Zinedine Zidane documentary is not really a soccer movie but is actually a performance piece more suited for an art-house cinema or museum.

Artists and filmmakers Philippe Parreno (French-Algerian) and Douglas Gordon (Scottish) sought to create a cinematic portrait of a working man who was also the best soccer player in the world. They realized that the screen is about the same aspect ratio as a football field, and the length of a feature film is about the same as a match.

Categories
Drama

‘Heleno’ (2011) an art film mostly off the pitch

Heleno (2011)

Information about Brazilian great Heleno De Freitas is scanty when compared to Garrincha or Pelé. He was born in 1920 and predated Brazil’s success on the world stage. Heleno won no trophies for his club Botafogo, he played in no World Cups, and so there is no film of his play.

Categories
Drama Strong Sexuality

‘Peloteros’ (2006) a family-unfriendly macho mess

Peloteros

While the DVD title is Street Soccer, Peloteros means ball players, or in this context, footballers. The movie is a coming of age summer tale of six boys in a poor Peruvian neighborhood who enter a tournament to compete against older and semi-pro players.

Categories
Comedy

‘Sixty Six’ (2006) a miserable tale of Bar Mitzvah woe

Sixty Six (2006)

Sixty Six is director Paul Welland’s autobiographical tale of woe about how his Bar Mitzvah was ruined by the nearby England vs Germany WC 1966 Final. In his own words, “It is a very cruel movie”, and he believes it is humorous. But after the boy pins all his self-worth on having a party to remember, watching him suffer one humiliation after another is nothing but painful.

Categories
Comedy Strong Sexuality

‘Sexy Soccer’ (2004) is soft core

Sexy Soccer (2004) amazon dvd

Billed as an “erotic comedy”, Sexy Soccer is a Hong Kong soft core pornfilm (original title = Sing gum zhook kao). I was surprised that it was rentable on Netflix, but I guess the erotica is about as revealing as the usual fare on HBO.

Categories
Drama

‘The Football Factory’ (2004) makes war without weapons

The Football Factory (2004)

I almost never watch war movies or dramas, but watching the 2004 British movie The Football Factory was like watching a war movie without weapons.

Categories
Drama

‘Kick ‘N Rush’ (2003) egregious coming of age tale

Kick 'N Rush (2003)

I know I’m in for a bad night when a movie starts off with a masturbation scene. Kick ‘N Rush keeps moving very very slowly down that path and doesn’t get any better.

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Kids

‘Just 4 Kicks’ (2002) is deplora-ball times two

Just 4 Kicks (2002)

Just For Kicks is possibly the worst kids soccer movie ever made. The problem is not the classic underdog plot. The story is nonsensical, and the acting by the Sprouse twins is as wooden as a pair of goal posts.

Categories
Kids

‘Home Team’ (1999) is Steve Guttenberg’s Mighty Ducks

Home Team (1999)

Steve Guttenberg is well known for his successful movie franchises, and maybe that’s why he decided to star in his second soccer movie, Home Team. He also has done charity work for foster children, and in this family film, such kids help him find redemption. The story is pretty much Mighty Ducks on a soccer pitch.

Categories
Drama

‘A Major Inconvenience’ (1999) is not a frothy cougar film

A Major Inconvenience (1999)

A Major Inconvenience follows virginal young Frenchman Laurent, who puts all his energy into soccer. He has a chance to join the pros and thereby elevate his family from their welfare-level existence. But his focus is waylaid by an affair with the mother of the opponent who broke his nose.