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Goal! - The Dream Begins

4.5 out of 5 stars 203 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Like the inspiring heroes in MIRACLE, REMEMBER THE TITANS, and THE ROOKIE, the amazingly gifted Santiago Mu

Special Features

"The Beautiful Game" -- Featurette On The Worldwide Soccer Phenomenon|"Behind The Pitch" -- How The Film's Intense Soccer Action Came Together Using Real Premiership Matches And The Actors|Audio Commentary With Filmmakers|Happy Mondays Music Video: "Playground Superstar"|Golden Moments Of The FIFA World Cup(TM) Featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Kuno Becker, Stephen Dillane, Anna Friel, Marcel Iures, Sean Pertwee
  • Directors: Danny Cannon
  • Writers: Screenplay By Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais And Mi, Story By Mike Jefferies And Adrian Butchart
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 12, 2006
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GJ0LLI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,212 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Goal! - The Dream Begins" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Slickly made and featuring a terrifically involving performance from its lead man Kuno Becker, Goal is the epitome of a your rags-to-riches fairy tale, a truly romanticized ode to improbable dreams. Thankfully, the direction and performances are good enough to get us through the progressively hackneyed storyline and a screenplay that seems intent to offer up almost every single cliché in the book.

Illegally crossing into America as a child, Santiago Muñez, grows up in the barrio of East Los Angeles, sure of only one thing - his indelible love of soccer and that one day he wants to do something with his talent. He supports himself by working as a kitchen hand in a Chinese restaurant and as a gardener for his blue-collar dad, Hernan (Tony Plana) who tells him to stop dreaming and focus on supporting his family.

Glen Foy (Stephen Dillane) - a part-time talent scout and a former championship footballer with contacts in U.K. soccer world - spots Santiago playing and manages to persuade Erik Dornhelm (Marcel Iures), the German manager of Newcastle United, to give Santiago a tryout if he comes to the U.K.

With the help of his kindly grandmother (Miriam Colon), who tells him "to follow his dream," Santiago arrives in London, takes the train north and turns up unannounced on Glen's doorstep. Now in the cold and rainy Northeast England, Santiago has a month to prove himself worthy of playing alongside the cocky playboy David Beckham-like star Gavin Harris (Alessandro Nivola).
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I was really impressed by this movie. It's extremely well done, acted and shooted and in less than two hours successfully displays the full range of emotions, dreams, aspirations and problems that we can face throughout our whole lives.

The movie tells us the story of Santiago, a young mexican guy living in L.A. who has a wonderful natural talent for playing soccer.

His life seems to be like that of many unlucky immigrants, despite the efforts of his father to provide a better living thanks to hard work.

Nonetheless the chance of pursuing his own football dreams become true when he is spotted by an English gentleman who was a football talent scout years earlier. This leads to a conflict with his father, who is concerned about the risks of "dreaming" and wasting his "real" chances for obtaining a safe and honourable life, but the love for football is too strong and the young guy succeeds to leave for England and have a trial with the Newcastle United team.

Here many things happen, and a broad set of emotions and different situations are portrayed very effectively: the problems of getting used to a different environment, love, lust, illness, frienship, death, etc. but I don't want to spoil your surprise in watching this movie, so I'd stop here in describing its actual contents, you should just know that, on the brink of being unsuccesful and going back home as a loser, Santiago's inner strenght is, at end, able to turn things around and win all the adversities, making his dream come true.

A beautiful modern story, which all football/soccer fans will love but which surely deserves to be watched by anyone since its contents go far beyond football itself.

Highly recommended.
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Format: DVD
Yes, this is another sports biography that offers a stage on which to play out the drama of the possibilities of dreams of the disenfranchised to become a reality. There are many, many films like this one and will doubtless be more: something there is about the 'team spirit' in the identity crisis of whether or not the poor (financially) new guy will be able to make the physical grade that draws large audiences. It is a formula and it often works despite weak structure and production values.

In the case of GOAL! THE DREAM BEGINS the viewer can put aside the doubts as to whether the film can make it on its own: this little low profile movie is well written (Mike Jefferies's story adapted for the screen by Adrian Butchart), well directed by Danny Cannon who knows well how to integrate live sports scenes into the drama, and consistently well acted by a troop of excellent actors, beginning with the very vibrant, handsome, and charismatic Kuno Becker ('Lucia, Lucia', 'Imagining Argentina', 'Once Upon a Wedding', 'English as a Second Language'), a 28 year old Mexican actor with an assured future in the lead role of Santiago. The supporting roles are classy contributions by the gifted Alessandro Nivola ('The Sisters', 'Junebug', 'The Clearing', 'Laurel Canyon', 'Love's Labour's Lost', 'Mansfield Park' etc), the very beautiful Anna Friel, Stephen Dillane, Marcel Iures, Tony Plana, Miriam Colon to mention only a few.

The story is secondary: as a child devotee of soccer Santiago immigrates illegally into the US with his family, grows up in Los Angeles working as a gardener, a dishwasher and other menial tasks while he consumes his spare time with developing his unique talents for soccer.
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