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Ben S (mx) wrote: When a team is described as 'the worst in the world' it's usually an offhand exaggeration by disgruntled fans - not so for the American Samoan football team who sit rooted to the bottom of the FIFA rankings, with the heaviest recorded defeat in an international fixture hanging over their head: a 31-0 crushing by Australia in 2001.The tiny South Pacific island of 60,000 inhabitants has no right even to be able to cobble together a competitive team for the sport, which comes in a distant second to rugby in popularity - but the tightly knit group of rank amateurs are nothing if not enthusiastic. And as Next Goal Wins is frequently keen to demonstrate, what they lack in talent they make up for with big hearts and dogged determination.Mike Brett and Steve Jamison's documentary charts the rise of the amateur team under renegade Dutchman, Thomas Rongen, the only man to apply for the posting advertised by the US Soccer Federation. A fiery, combative character who proudly lists playing against Best and Cruyff, Rongen's strict regimes of training and structure sit in polar opposite to the lives of the carefree islanders. As a little give is allowed in both directions, the spirituality of the islands softens Rongen, while his infectious tenacity lifts the squad, and they finally seem capable of scoring a goal and perhaps obtaining their elusive first victory.While there are balls being kicked and a fantastically engaging tale of underdogs, Next Goal Wins is far more than a sports documentary. It is equally concerned with the deeply spiritual side of American Samoa and the unique atmosphere of acceptance and community it harbours. To visibly see the change in Rongen as he spends time with the team and eases into the Samoan way of life is inspiring stuff. With the training pitches framed by a stunning Samoan landscape of mountains, greenery and sunsets, even through the screen we get a sense of this magical country and the rich culture that underpins it. The story that perhaps typifies this is that of Jaiyah - an example of Samoa's third gender, fa'afafine, feminine men who play a key part in family life and are neither men, women nor simply gay but a separate individual identity. Jaiyah, whose gender is never an issue, is an intrinsic part of the squad. American Samoa is a world away from Keys & Gray's Premier League. The football itself is thrillingly handled, montaged with an uplifting soundtrack of ska and soul that keeps the film's energy bubbling away. But where it succeeds most is in its portrayal of the real characters and location. It doesn't descend into bland sport cliches about 'never giving up' and 'believing in yourself' - well it does, a bit - but Brett and Jamison are most concerned with a rounded representation of the real people in the story, not a sensationalised dramatic retelling of the fixture list. It provides the best of both worlds: an enthralling tale of misfits and underdogs facing adversity, yet awash with the refinement of atmospheric, proper cinema. Sports documentaries are as common as Samoan defeats, but here's one made with enough soul to befit its inspirational subjects.
Kieran R (ca) wrote: The time flew and that ultimately is my most accurate film assessment. It seemed as if there was some 'debate' on how to reach a conclusion but by then I was already satisfied....well worth a watch!
Jennifer T (nl) wrote: Sunlight Jr. was good. Watts and Dillon were outstanding. I liked the whole idea that movie centers around the store.
Gunnar B (us) wrote: Blir fort for mye dukketeater til at den klarer holde spenningen oppe. I tillegg er stemmene veldig vanskelig skille fra hverandre og det er et must nr dukkene ikke har bevegelig munn. God id som ikke helt klarer gjennomfre det den vil.
eric e (es) wrote: a new classic, it could be improved, but it is a seedbed
The P (ca) wrote: Big steaming turd of a film...
shashank b (nl) wrote: Manssor Khan sure does know how to make love stories!
Terri H (us) wrote: No thankyou - Not interested.
Richard D (au) wrote: A movie that seems to steadfastly avoid it's strengths. It has Michael Des Barres and Jack Nance at it's disposal, but it spends most of it's time with its boring lead and his asshole firends. Worst of all, there really isn't a lot of footage of Ghoulies, and what there is is often the same shots reused several times. I suspect the puppets didn't really turn out to be as articulate as they were supposed to be, so they just downplayed them. A pretty fatal flaw for a movie called "Ghoulies".
Med W (mx) wrote: This is the pits of sand and sandle type epics
Matthew L (ca) wrote: Beowulf is pointlessly violent and just downright boring. Don't waste your money.
Daniel M (kr) wrote: Great story and a fantastic movie. Almost as good as the first, but not quite. Seeing Rocky lose all of this money and return to what we fell in love with in the first movie was great to see. 5/5
Alex G (nl) wrote: Despite great performances, the story takes the easy choice almost every step of the way and often verges on the cliche.