ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – N – Next Goal Wins (2014) Movie Review

Director: Mike Brett, Steve Jamison

Plot: The power of hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, and an object lesson in what it really means to be a winner in life.

Tagline – S

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Next Goal Wins starts as we meet the American Samoa football team, filled with pride, but getting embarrassed on the football pitch. The team is looking to rebuild their pride in the South Pacific games, which they hold their own, despite losing every game.

Returning home, they find the island devastated by a tsunami, destroying the training pitch, bringing the community together to rebuild what they lost. We see how they get a new coach who will look to prepare the team for the World Cup qualifiers.

Thoughts on Next Goal Wins

Thoughts Next Goal Win shows us how a football team would need to improve so they don’t get embarrassed again, after a shocking 31 – 0 defeat. The reality it they are all amateur players, they all work full-time, they have all the heart you would need from their culture, with the arms open approach to having a transgender player involved too. We see how the team gets transformed going into the World Cup qualifiers, which will see them make international news with their first win in 17 years, just years after they got demolished. This will show that no matter what level you are playing at, you can try to make history, as long as you give it everything, you will get that moment or memories that will stick with you forever, add in the mix of culture that isn’t anything we have seen before in football, and what it means.

ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – W – Won’t You Be My Neighbour? (2018) Movie Review

Director: Morgan Neville

Plot: An exploration of the life, lessons, and legacy of iconic children’s television host, Fred Rogers.

Tagline – You Loved a Lot of Films This Year, But Only One Film Loved You Back.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Inspiring

Story: Won’t You Be My Neighbour? Starts as we learn the early career of Fred Rogers, how he stepped into TV after feeling like the children aren’t learning or being loved from what is being produced on television, he started with a smaller show before bringing ‘Fred Roger’s Neighbourhood’ where he would bring social issues to children, from death, racial topics and political ones, he would always speak to the children with love.

His career which spanned decades, would always evolve to help the children of America deal with the latest issues, despite the many parodies he received, the rumours about his past that spiralled out of control, he would always remain calm, loving and honest with his methods and theories.

Thoughts on Won’t You Be My Neighbour?

Final Thoughts When it comes to documentaries it is always important to show an unaware audience about the subject, in England we barely know anything about Mr Rogers, his theories, show and differences he made to the childhood development. What we discover from this documentary is just how he had changed television in a world that was looking to become faster than anything else. We see how he was able to handle things so simply instead of making anything complicated like many people have in the past. We might only see the full positive effects he had on people’s lives, we don’t dive deep enough into the negatives, which are only touched on, which could have been a bigger talking point. Learning about an icon is brilliant to see, which always makes me think, who would be the English version of this? Would we ever be able to have somebody like this again?

Overall: Wonderful Documentary.

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A (2018) Movie Review

Director: Steve Loveridge

Plot: Drawn from a never-before-seen cache of personal footage spanning decades, this is an intimate portrait of the Sri Lankan artist and musician who continues to shatter conventions.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Important Documentary

Story: Matangi/Maya/M.I.A starts as we get to learn about the childhood of Maya, a Sri Lankan woman that was taken away from her homeland to be raised in England in the 80’s, she had to learn to deal with the racism she was facing daily, with her escape being in music, where she got to find inspiration on what would drive her going forward.

Growing up she got close to artists that would help her reach a new audience, which she wants to use as a platform to help campaign for the troubles in her homeland.

Thoughts on Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.

Final Thoughts This is a documentary that puts the spotlight on the first Sri Lankan hip-hop artists that became a sensation in the western world. She found barriers in the music industry, but broke them down, she didn’t just wait for music to make a change, she took her new found fame to a new level by using her position to campaign to improve the awareness of the troubles in her homeland. We get to see how the media and the government would try to censor the campaigns, trying to turn people against her, even if she refused to back down on her campaign for awareness in Sri Lanka. This is important, this is great to watch to see just how people can use their position of power for change.

Overall: Documentary about making a change.

Journey to Royal: A WWII Rescue Mission (2021) Movie Review

Director: Christopher Johnson

Plot: WWII hero with the 4th Emergency Rescue Squadron, Lt. Royal Stratton, leads a deadly mission to save the lives of nine downed airmen adrift in enemy waters of a war-torn South Pacific. Immersive cinematography and gripping action, mixed with firsthand accounts and historical images, showcase the valor of this squadron who faced overwhelming odds to bring their brothers home.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Journey to Royal: A WWII Rescue Mission starts as we learn about the 4th Emergency Rescue Squadron that during World War II, helped search the open waters for down aircrafts, risking their lives in the rescues in the open water, which could be filled with enemies.

We learn about the different rescues from the survivors, who recount their experiences and from the relatives that have heard the stories from their loved ones, showing how important these rescues were to the soldiers & pilots.

Thoughts on Journey to Royal: A WWII Rescue Mission

ThoughtsJourney to Royal: A WWII Rescue Mission is a documentary that highlights the amazing efforts these brave men did rescuing the pilots from World War II missions, with daring open water rescues. We get a mix of the recounting the stories from the survivors to the recreations of those events, that do hold back on the horrors, but show us the situations that the rescue crews found themselves in. in a time when history is so important to remember, this will go down as one of the more unknown stories, which shows us just how important it was to get the heroic events out there for the world to see. Each personal story adds a new layer to what we are learning, showing they generations after will stand proud of the efforts shown by their ancestors. 

Final Thoughts Journey to Royal: A WWII Rescue Mission highlights to true heroics soldiers, pilots and many others showed during World War II.

Whitney (2018) Movie Review

Director: Kevin Macdonald

Plot: An in-depth look at the life and music of Whitney Houston.

Tagline – Her story: intimate, unguarded, in her own words

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Proof We Lost Talent Too Early

Story: Whitney starts as we learn about the early life of Whitney Houston, daughter of a world famous backup singer, surrounded by music from a young age, groomed into the industry before making her big break, stealing the headlines becoming one of the most famous artists in the world.

With fame comes the press, the stories, the decision being made to keep Whitney on the rise of fame to keep things on track, not let certain taboos for the time ruin her career, all before her marriage to Bobby Brown, which saw her fall into the vices of drugs, never knowing who she could trust.

Thoughts on Whitney

Final Thoughts Whitney looks at one of the most successfully singers of all time, she broke barriers on her way to the top, while on the top and with deals she achieved. We get to see interviews with Whitney’s family that helped her get to the top, helped her with her drug problems, treating it like something they could do as a family, while her husband’s controlling her life, never addressing her own problems. We get to see how the celebrity status ruined her career, took her life and how she was never given the support she needed to get out of her problems to continue to bring the music they enjoyed bringing the world. While this documentary looks at the tragedy of her life over getting to put the spotlight on some of her amazing musical moments, which should be remembered by everyone.

Overall: Eye-Opening Drama