GOAL The Dream Begins

Cover Art and Menu: 8/10
Hey, a cover I like. What’s the world coming to? I like the image of the young man in some kind of emotional moment or deep thought holding a football (soccer for Americans). It’s pretty dynamic, interesting, and it intrigued me even though I’m not a soccer fan, or a fan of sports movies. The menus are blah with video playing in the background and some standard cookie graphics they found in a DVD authoring kit.

Extras & Features: 7/10

  • The Beautiful Game Featurette – The people who made this movie know that football is a well respected game all over the world and they did this little extra to let everyone know, that they know, so we know, they know…basically this is them saying to the passionate folks who would otherwise rip them to shreds for being movie makers who care nothing about their sacred sport. It feels like an attempt to make us all believe that this group of Americans really “get” the whole football (soccer) culture. Like they are cool like the rest of the world. Well, they aren’t too cool, but it’s a nice gesture.
  • Behind The Pitch Featurette – Making a film about a sport seems hard enough, but a sport that moves so quickly and is so beloved by billions of people, that’s extra hard. This is a feature that shows how they made the game scenes, used the real New Castle United club to keep things real, and how they combined real life games with some fancy CGI to make that ever popular movie magic to make it all look just right.
  • Audio Commentary – This crew enjoyed making their movie, which is nice. They are just a little too much like manufactured Hollywood producer types for me. The director is British and seems to be more down to earth about things. Where as the American dudes remind me of, well American movie producers, which isn’t bad, it’s just what it is.
  • Happy Mondays Music Video “Playground Superstar” – My husband loves the Happy Mondays, so in his honor I will say I enjoyed the song, as for making any video an extra on a DVD .. IT’S LUDICROUS!
  • Golden Moments Of The FIFA World Cup – Even I, Ms. Anti-Sports, liked seeing these greatest scoring moments of World Cups from days gone by, all the way back to the fifties.

The Movie: 8/10
As we sat down to watch this film I asked what it was and my husband replied, “I’m not telling you.” Which was fine with me. The less I know about a movie before I watch, the better. As the movie opens and we are introduced to a Mexican family crossing the border in the middle of the night, the young son valuing his football so much that he almost doesn’t get to the new life with his family. Ahhh, a movie about a sport. Ok, I can handle it.

As the story unfolds I get involved with the charming young leading man and his humble attitude. He works with his father as a landscaper, but his dream is to play football. He is spotted by a British Ex-football star who encourages Santiago to come to England to see the owner of a professional team.

One thing leads to another and he finds himself in a new country, new culture, and new game rules. The style is a bit overly sentimental at times, but this is a feel good story, so that’s acceptable. There are a lot of predictable elements like the “bad boy” sports star who poses the negative influence. There’s the hardass sports team owner who’s kind of a prick. And then there’s the pretty and smart nurse who becomes the supportive love interest. Despite this moviemaking tools that feel obvious, the overall feel of the movie is compelling and action packed enough to keep things moving.

Being a hybrid American/Brit film, you will noticed a certain subtly here and there with honest dialogue and amazing shots of such a dynamic city as New Castle, representing the Brits of course. That’s combined with the stylized bits and pieces and a couple montages that scream Hollywood. I think they found a good balance that keeps Goal! from being a victim of too much of either.

By the end of this young man’s journey to find his place in a world so far away from his father’s hard working attitude, I was hooked. The games look amazing. The performances are all top quality, and the story is well written, even with the slight predictability factor stuck in there. They say this is the first in a trilogy, so I’m looking forward to more!

Value: 6/10
This is my least favorite part of any review. I just am sick and tired of the entertainment world and it’s prices. That goes for movie tickets, DVD’s, CD’s, video games, and anything else they can over price so they can stuff the cash in the pockets of producers and executives. I love this movie, but come on. They expect people to pay over 20 dollars for a little known movie that’s good but not amazing, and why? Because they thought that making a movie about the most popular sport in the world would be a cash cow. Lower the price boys and let more people see this great film. As for you consumers, rent it at your soonest convenience.

Overall Score 8/10