|Index||2 reviews in total|
James Erskine brings it all back, the hooliganism, the state of English football and that fateful night in Turin. This documentary is a mixed bag of generally well written narrative spoken by Gary Oldman, real footage of games, unseen footage and English footballs bad name. This all works really well apart from the cut scenes of close up ball control and recreated gang scenes which are obviously and badly re-done somewhere in the arse end of Gateshead. It's a shame because it starts to annoy an detracts from the original footage which is more than enough to keep the viewer entertained. That aside it was a mostly enjoyable 98 minutes and the final game against West Germany was played out excellently. Nice little touches are added like subtitles showing what Bobby Robson said to Gazza to console him after the second yellow card, and there is loads of hotel behind the England camp scenes which make for interesting viewing. I was also quite surprised how gracious Lothar Matthäus was to Chris Waddle after that fateful miss which ultimately ended our world cup dream. A recommended watch for any England fan.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
During the build up to the last World Cup,when the shops were being
filled with cheap plastic merchandise for people to use when
watching,what was to be Englands "goldern age" team,easily getting to
the final,and easily winning the World Cup (although in reality,it
turned out to be a long,painful death,for a team that could not match
up any of the hype that had been put on the team.)Whilst I was looking
at the DVD shelves,that at the time were filled up with "Best Of"
football DVDs,the one that caught my eye was a documentary about
Englands performance in the 1990 World cup.With at first,being unsure
if this was an actually film,and not a cheap-cash in.So,I decided to
read up online about the film,and to my surprise I discovered that it
actually sounded like a pretty well-made film,that was not relaying on
being a cheap cash-grab to get the fans money.
The outline of the documentary:
The films looks at the events that surrounded football in the late 80s/early 90s in England,which seemed to be a long way from being the "beautiful game" of the past,with the sport s name being ruined by small,but very vocal groups of football hooligans,whose actions had caused that much trouble,that the government decided that it was going to try to stop fans from being able to attend over seas matches.With all of this happening around football,it seemed that the national sport,may be about to take its last breath.This was not helped,when the line-up for the 1990 England World Cup team got announced,which was being pushed by the media as a team that was dead on arrival,which was completely filled with "donkeys".The media was also trying to completely destroy the manager: Bobbie Robson,with the story that he was going to stop being the manager for England after the cup,being used to whip him to death.With all of this around him,Robson (who was a huge fan of the playing style of Diego Maradona)decided that he would break the "grand tradition" of how the game was played in England,by having him and his bunch of "donkeys" play in a much more "continental" style,which would make sure that everyone who had talked the team down would be left totally stunned.
View on the film:
For the soundtrack,writer/director James Erskine fills the film with mostly fun,proto-Brit-Pop dance rock,which mostly fits in with the era. (although the use of a Joy Division song,fills a bit out of place in the films time line.)With the narration,the voice of Gary Oldman (famous for starring in THE football hooligan film The Fan) really suits the film,with his strong,gritty voice.The main thing that I found interesting about the film,was how Erskine shows that the press do everything they can to always whip the manager,until his back is bleeding so badly, that he has to give in and quit.The most surprising thing I found about the film,is that the footage and photos used to show matches that were played twenty years ago, (although the footage is separated by some poorly done recently filmed "reinactments",which instead of pulling you more into the drama,actually distracts you,due to them being poorly filmed.) is surprisingly still very gripping,with the film showing how Robson and his team went from being a group that was completely dismissed by everyone,into being unbelievably close to immortality.
Final view on the film:
A very good,surprisingly pretty gripping documentary.
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