Categories
Documentary

‘Argentina Fútbol Club’ (2010) es soporific

Argentina Fútbol Club (2010)

I had trouble understanding the title of Argentina Fútbol Club. This is not the name of an actual club, and the documentary describes itself as a brief chronicle of the rivalry between Argentine clubs Boca and River Plate.

Categories
Documentary

It’s hard to feel sorry for ‘Anelka: Misunderstood’ (2020)

Anelka: Misunderstood (2020)
aka Anelka: L'incompris

Celebrity documentaries and series have been streaming during the pandemic, flooding our devices and probably our psyches too. The problem is that, there are only so many best-in-the-world sport celebrities. After you get through the stories of what made Ronaldo or Messi great, you fall to the coulda-wouldas, the guys who “coulda been a contender” — if only, if only.

Categories
Drama Suspense

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

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
Drama

‘Línea de Cuatro’ (2016) is difficult to digest

Línea de Cuatro (2016)
Back Four (2017)

Línea de Cuatro might be an unpalatable Argentine version of Diner. Four men in their 30s get together to watch the WC 2014 final between Argentina and Germany. They haven’t been together in the 4 years since their 5th comrade Sebastian killed himself.

Categories
Documentary

‘Infinite Football’ (2018) is long and nothing happens

Infinite Football (original title Fotbal Infinit) is still running the festival circuit and has been favorably described by some very big reviewers, who spout flowery and philosophical essays with sentences too complex to understand. When so little happens in the film, you end up filling the unused space in your mind with meditations on what Director Corneliu Porumboiu is really trying to say. 

Categories
Drama Short

‘The Trophy Thief’ (2015) doesn’t ring true

The Trophy Thief (2015)

I’m sorry, but The Trophy Thief did not open my heart. Instead, I feel manipulated, as if the creators are simply playing to sympathies by casting a short-statured soccer player as Ben, the boy who steals an unjustly-awarded MVP trophy.

Categories
Documentary Short

‘I Play Soccer’ (2011) at a Sierra Leone academy

SoccerMovieMom logo in place of a poster specific for this film

I Play Soccer is a 6-minute short film about the Sierra Leone football academy run by the Craig Bellamy Foundation. By Stefan Lovgren, the film is more advertising than documentary. Like many soccer movies, I learned more from researching the subject than watching this film.

Categories
Comedy

‘Sassy Player’ (2009) is a trans-gender soccer romp

Sassy Player (2009)
แต วเตะตีนระเบิด

You can look at Sassy Player in two ways: either it’s a screwball comedy, or it’s an LGBT coming of age in Thailand soccer movie. Director Poj Arnon’s film แต วเตะตีนระเบิด is a weird combination of the two genres. The 16 new boys in a formerly all-girls high school are forced to form a school soccer team, even though 6-7 of them would rather be cheerleaders.

The flamboyant queens scream whenever the ball comes towards them, but they hang together enough to arrive at the league championship.

Categories
Drama

‘Walter’s War’ (2008) leaves much unexplained

Walter's War (2008)

While the facts of Walter Tull’s life are exemplary, the fictional film Walter’s War leaves too much unsaid. Tull’s unique achievements, as one of the first Black British footballers, and then as the first Black British officer in Europe’s trenches, are now heralded.

Categories
Drama

‘The Final Goal’ (1995) is a unique kung fu soccer movie

The Final Goal (1995)

Is this worth watching? When Erik Estrada has top billing, you know it’s going to be cheezy. The best line in The Final Goal is when Estrada’s henchman tells him, “You should have been an actor.”

Estrada is the bad guy bribing 6 players to lose a semi-final game in the Global Cup. The only thing in his way is backup goalkeeper Steven Nijjar, who BTW is also a master of martial arts.

Categories
Kids

‘On Angel’s Wings’ (2014) is too much of a fairytale

On Angel's Wings (2014)

On Angel’s Wings is a faith-based family film meant to provide positive African-American role models on the UPTV network. Unfortunately, Writer-Director Aaron Williams stitches together so many model caricatures, he omits telling a story that makes sense.

Categories
Documentary

‘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.

Categories
Cultural Documentary

‘American Pharaoh’ (2014) too often feels like a home movie

American Pharaoh (2014)

American Pharaoh is Hossam Aboul-Magd’s first shot at directing and is a 60 minute documentary for PBS. Hossam is a one-man film crew, following Bradley and his wife Lindsay during their 2 year residency in Cairo. He became their friend, and perhaps that is why the film is so weak.

Categories
Documentary Short

Tough life of an ambitious referee in ‘Rättskiparen’ (2010)

The Referee (Rättskiparen) (2010)

Rättskiparen is a short Swedish documentary about Martin Hansson, a former firefighter, divorced with 2 sons, who puts football before everything else in hopes of refereeing at WC 2010.

Categories
Romance

Hard to care about this ‘Coach’ (2010)

Coach (2010)

Coach is a straight-to-DVD film by first-time-feature Writer-Director Will Frears. Hugh Dancy is a slacker and soccer bum in New York City. He doesn’t need to work, but he finds romance and purpose when he takes a job coaching middle school kids to the league championship.