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Friday, 11 June 2010

"England - The World Cup Movie."

Rumors fresh out of South Africa indicate that film director Fabio Capello is remaking the football film 'England - The World Cup Movie' - only eight years after the last one (there was another remake shot four years ago, but it didn't even make it to DVD).

Fans of the original movie, an unexpected smash hit in 1966; are adamant that new directors must stop remaking it every four years as the newer versions have been appalling, and mostly unwatchable. "Every four years somebody tries to remake it again," said football fan James Innes, "but it's always so predictable." This was an opinion echoed by Greg Baker, not because his opinion was similar but because there was an echo in the room when I asked him.

The problem isn't, as many people believe, that they remake the film every four years - it's that they never have any originality and are always the same. "The film's always start off so promising!" screamed Eric Flump, as he battled to be heard over a passing motorbike, "I always go into it with fresh enthusiasm and belief; and literally, the whole of the UK expects the film to be great. What starts off with lots of energy in the opening stages, soon becomes a pitiful mess towards the end."

"You'd think one of the studio execs would have changed things up a little, or made them a little less predictable, but they're always the same" explained Harry The Hooligan, "but you know exactly what's going to happen---- either halfway through or after three-quarters, one of the character's is going to get angry and cause a scene, or one of the stars is going to leave the movie half way through due to a tight hamstring."

The only remake of the world cup movie that was even mildly loved by fans and critics was the 1990 version, although some felt that the choice of ending was an unfair penalty for what otherwise had solid performances. Betsy Betson, former editor of SoccerWeekly, is hopeful for a fresh approach in the 2010 version but is hardly optimistic; "Jesus, it's pointless, isn't it. Absolutely insane, mental. Outrageous," shouted Betsy, in near meltdown, before following it with, "sorry, what was the question?" As I asked her again about the poor state of the remakes, she instantly blamed Hollywood. "Jesus! They're clearly out of ideas! They think by casting Wayne Rooney they stand a chance of succeeding, but it's ridiculous. Pointless. It's written into their contracts that the film has to die pathetically at least ten minutes before the end."

Various drafts of the screenplay for the 2010 reboot have been read across town (and by town, we mean West London) - but various elements are since believed to have been dropped. Carlo Ancellotti, a talented and experienced screenwriter/director, added in elements where footballers sleep with each others wives, and team captains take large payments for stadium tours, but they were deemed too unrealistic by the producers.

In summary - the new version is believed to be in keeping with all the others. Hugely promising, with a large and overpaid cast. There'll be signs of good dialogue, fun action sequences and occasional inspiration-- only to be let down by a sloppy ending.

Care to share?


  1. So, for someone who doesn't understand anything about football, other than it counts up to 90 minutes and you have to kick it in the net, what movie/documentary would be the best place to start learning?

  2. I'm as excited about the next 30 days as much as I used to be as a kid in the run up to christmas!