Franchise Weekend – Goal! The Dream Begins (2005)

Director: Danny Cannon

Writer: Mike Jefferies, Adrian Butchart, Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais (Screenplay)

Starring: Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel, Stephen Dillane, Sean Pertwee


Plot: The extremely talented Santiago Munez is given a chance at professional football, after being spotted by a scout who has ties with Newcastle United.

Tagline – Every Dream Has A Beginning

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Excellent Sporting Drama


Story: Goal! The Dream Begins starts when Mexican immigrates move to LA to start a new life, Santiago (Becker) works for his father’s business, turning to football to relax, where he excels. When former scout Glen Foy (Dillane) sees him play, he believes he could make it professionally, turning to his old boss to give him a trial at Newcastle United.

Santiago makes the trip getting a one-month trial, here he must learn the more difficult side to football, to prove everybody including his father, who never wanted him to follow his dreams, while Newcastle have spent heavy on their new signing Gavin Harris (Nivola) a flashy player whose reputation of a playboy lifestyle follows him around.


Thoughts on Goal! The Dream Begins


Characters – Santiago Munez is an immigrate kid living in LA, grown up to work with his father to keep the family together, he is a brilliant young footballer though, which he plays in his free time. He gets spotted by a former player that wants him to travel to Newcastle for a trial, a moment which could change his life forever, first he must prove his worth, showing determination to go with his skills and learning how to handle the fame which fellow playboy player could show him the darker side. Glen Foy is the former Newcastle player and scout that see Santiago play football believing he could one day be a big star, he pushes Santiago into travelling, though he would make this happen for him. Gavin Harris is the playboy style footballer, a big money signing that is all flash on and off the pitch, he does show Santiago the wrong path, only to learn just as much from him. Roz is the nurse that Santiago falls for, she doesn’t like the celebrity status around footballers, which will see her have to question why she is interested in Santiago, only to see that he is different than most footballers.

PerformancesKuno Becker in the leading role is strong, while some of the footballing stuff isn’t great to watch, the determination his character needs to show through the difficult moment in his life. Alessandro Nivola as the playboy footballer is entertaining to watch through the film, in the supporting roles we see Stephen Dillane and Anna Friel both doing their roles with ease.

StoryWhen we look at the story, we have a cliched, but enjoyable rags to riches story of a young man whose life gets turned upside down when he gets offered a chance to play football for one of the biggest teams in the world. we see how he must learn to adapt to a new country and culture, be put in pressure situations of just new fame, while remaining grounded requiring the approval from his father. One of the key aspects that makes this story enjoyable is the fact we are not watching Santiago join a team about to win something, they are looking to achieve the next level of success. We know how this will end as a story because it does follow the trend of a sports drama without fail.

Romance/SportThe romance in the film comes from Santiago’s relationship with Roz, though it does take a backburner to the sports drama which is front and centre of this film.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the different locations Santiago has come from, be it Mexico, the hot sunny street of LA or the cold muddy Newcastle, this will give him something to adapt too.

Scene of the Movie –
Making the squad.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Why is Gavin Harris taking a penalty with Alan Shearer in the team?

Final ThoughtsThis is a football fans favourite type of sports drama, an unknown comes to save your team in their moment of need become an overnight legend in their eyes.


Overall: Fun football drama.




ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – H – Honour (2014)

Director: Shan Khan

Writer: Shan Khan (Screenplay)

Starring: Aiysha Hart, Paddy Considine, Faraz Ayub, Shubham Saraf, Harvey Virdi, Nikesh Patel


Plot: A story centered on a young woman is targeted by her family for an “honour killing” and the bounty hunter who takes the job.

Tagline – Bound by tradition. Betrayed by blood.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Tense Look at Shocking Culture


Story: Honour starts as a young Indian woman Mona (Hart) is looking to breakout of the family traditions of arranged marriage and certain religious expectations from her mother (Virdi). She meets Tanvir (Patel) a man who also is due to marry his family’s choice of bride as the two start an affair.

Mona looks to run away with the support of Adel (Saraf), but her brother Kasim (Ayub) and mother have other ideas, they hire a bounty hunter (Considine) to locate her, bringing her home, only the hunter is starting to question why he is gone down this road for his career.


Thoughts on Honour


Characters – Mona is a young woman, being forced into a marriage, following family traditions and religious beliefs. She meets a man that she wants to run away with, which only sees her have her family turn on her, meaning she will need to fight for her own life. The nameless bounty hunter is known for helping the Muslim community stop the breaks on the family traditions, he has gone too far in the past, which is why he isn’t happy for the work he is going through now. Kasim is the police officer brother of Mona, he is willing to break the law to make sure the family traditions are followed. Adel is the closest brother to Mona, he is the one she would turn to most for help even if he gets pushed into helping Kasim follow the family traditions.

PerformancesAiysha Hart in the leading role is strong, we get to see just how far her character must go to get away from the life, she makes us believe her desperation. Paddy Considine is one of the best performers here because he is torn between both sides of what he is doing. Faraz Ayub brings to light the horrific side of the culture that will see him make us hate him for his action.

StoryThe story follows the idea that we have the Indian Muslim culture turning on their family if they believe their traditions honour has been put in question. We see the extreme which sees a hit being put out on a daughter that goes against the family traditions and how she must look to escape. The story shows the clash of cultures because the bounty hunter isn’t willing to follow through as he learns she hasn’t done anything wrong. It shows how we need to start letting people make choices and not just expecting them to follow the old fashion culture. The bounty hunter’s storyline is interesting too because he learns that he hasn’t always been doing the right thing. The weakness with the story comes from the time between different times in the story, it doesn’t help make this as easy to follow.

ThrillerThe film uses the thriller side of the film to try to make us see just how dangerous the escape for Mona would be, how she must elude her own family for safety.

SettingsThe film is set in London, which shows the clash of culture in the city, we see how every corner could be dangerous too.

Scene of the Movie –
The rooftop.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The way the story is told.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong thriller showing the culture problems the world is still experiencing and just how much will be risked escaping this type of life.


Overall: Thriller that is gripping throughout.




World’s Most Dangerous Paper Route (2019)

Director: Matthew Hausle

Writer: Paul Freedman (Screenplay)


Plot: The story of the unsung heroes who deliver the ‘Stars And Stripes’ military newspaper to soldiers in Afghanistan. Part of the film shows the paper delivery to Camp Lightning after 90 minutes on a Chinook helicopter, two miles up a mountain, and further travel on Humvees.


Runtime: 58 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Important to See How the Stories are Told


Story: World’s Most Dangerous Paper Route starts by telling us what the Stars and Stripes newspaper is and why it was created, to give the American soldiers in the military a chance to read about the stories of conflict they are fighting and has been running for years now, still being used today. We get to see how the journalists and photographers were able to capture some of the most shocking, important and special moments in conflicts.


Thoughts on World’s Most Dangerous Paper Route


Final ThoughtsWhen you look at this documentary you get to see just a newspaper can help tell the truth about war, be it for the real world or more importantly for the soldiers that want to know what they are fighting for. The insight these journalists have in beyond brilliant, we get to see how they can have intimate stories that show how united the soldiers are. We get to see how journalists have worked from the early 1950’s right up to the current affairs issues that have been able to show the conflict, we get to see how the paper has evolved to deal with the change in technology. We get to see the good the paper has created to survivors of the wars. One of the weaknesses comes from the almost glossed over moment of looking at how difficult to deliver the paper is, which wile learning how important the paper is, it would have been interesting to focus more on how difficult it would be to spread the word this paper does. The documentary does connect the members of military that will always be one of the go to for the many people in the services.


Overall: Headline worthy documentary.