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.

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‘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. 

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‘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.

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‘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.

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‘Gracie’ (2007) – made by people who love the game

Gracie (2007)

Gracie is one of the few fictional movies where the director and producer work hard to make the soccer look authentic. It’s the story of a soccer-crazed family whose first born son dies in high school, so his younger sister Gracie tries to take his place on the boys’ soccer field. In the 1970s in New Jersey, that required invoking Title 9.

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