Saturday, January 2, 2010

Of John Cleese And Futbol

Just recently I picked up a 2006 production titled "The Art Of Soccer," as hosted by one John Cleese of Monty Python fame. Well, that's what it's titled for the market in the USA and Canada. As soon as I started the DVD Mr Cleese calls the sport by it's proper name of football, and before too long he goes onto a bit of a rant on the differences between soccer/football, and american/gridiron football:

Now, the film, if film it can be called, isn't just Cleese, but has a series on clips of various moments in football's history, and several interview segments from football players, male and female, as well as famous fans such as Henry Kissinger (former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State under former USA President Nixon,) David A. Stewart (founder of the rock/pop band the Eurythmics,) Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and American actor Dennis Hooper.

The premise is to present the game in an A-Z format, with each letter leading into a segment (A = Attack, followed by a series of clips of attacking plays, and clips of interviews taking about that aspect of the game.) This leads to my one complaint about this DVD, and that is it's length.

Clocking in at 114 minutes, just under 2 hours, wouldn't be such a bad thing, but by the time it reaches the last 20-30 minutes gets a bit uneven, as all the best bits are found in the early letters. I mean, really, what can one expect from the U-Z portion of the alphabet? Even T isn't quite what it could be, as I would have gone with "Teamwork," rather than "Trainer," by which Mr Cleese means Coach, Manager, or Technical Director, depending on where your from. Yes, the coach is a big part of the game, but, after all the highlights and bloopers that the other letters have provided, this segment feels a bit flat.

All in all, as a fan of John Cleese's comedy style and Futbol, "The Art Of Soccer" is enjoyable enough that I am happy to have it in my DVD collection. Would I recommend it to anyone else? Not unless I knew they were as big a fan of these two things as I am.

No comments: