Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Goal 1

Directed by Danny Cannon; written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, based on a story by Adrian Butchart; director of photography, Michael Barrett; edited by Chris Dickens; music by Graeme Revell; production designer, Laurence Dorman; produced by Mike Jefferies, Matt Barrelle and Mark Huffam; released by Touchstone Pictures.

Running time: 135 minutes.

WITH: Kuno Becker (Santiago Munez), Stephen Dillane (Glen Foy), Anna Friel (Roz Harmison), Marcel Iures (Erik Dornhelm), Tony Plana (Hernan Munez), Alessandro Nivola (Gavin Harris) and Alan Shearer (Himself).

Attempting an unfortunate blend of Newcastle grit and Hollywood uplift, "Goal! The Dream Begins" is the improbable story of Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker), a young Mexican immigrant and amateur soccer star living in Los Angeles. Against the wishes of his conservative father (Tony Plana), who urges a secure future in the lawn-care business, Santiago follows the advice of a talent scout (Stephen Dillane) and heads to England for a tryout with Newcastle United.
Battling asthma attacks, hostile players and the ghastly Tyneside weather, Santiago gains a one-month trial; and before you can yell "Foul!" he's playing alongside the captain, Alan Shearer, and teaching his teammates the importance of clean living and hard work. One can only imagine their gratitude.
"Goal! The Dream Begins" is the kickoff to a trilogy of movies hoping to do for soccer what Kevin Costner has done for baseball. But though Mr. Becker's depressingly bland performance is countered by excellent work from both Alessandro Nivola as the team's resident playboy and the Romanian actor Marcel Iures as its paternalistic manager, the movie continually strains credulity.
As the clich├ęs mount, Danny Cannon directs as if he's the one on trial, teasing tension out of every pass and dribble. Most irritating of all is his determination to paint British soccer as a gentleman's game, a notion United's real fans would no doubt treat with the scorn it deserves.

Goal II


Continuiing the story of Santiago Munez (Becker), who after his time with Newcastle United, gets the break of a lifetime with an offer to play for Real Madrid. But the pressure to perform on the world stage brings a whole new set of problems.
Despite the fact that roughly four people saw the first instalment, the second in this football trilogy arrives with boots polished and hair extravagantly highlighted, ready for a comeback. Last we saw Santiago (Kuno Becker), he was scoring the winning goal to put Newcastle through to the Champions League.
Now he’s, yes, living the dream, absconding to play for Real Madrid and coping with vast sums of money, buxom hangers-on and an inevitably strained relationship with his homely girlfriend (Anna Friel). The outcome is more predictable than that of an England-Brazil clash, but the story’s told and played with warmth.

Filmically it's more of a pleasantly diverting kick about in the park than a 90th minute back-of-the-net at the world cup final


Goal 1

Goal II

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