Friday 14th October 2005

Those outside the blogging community may find the idea of keeping an online journal, for the whole world to see, rather bizarre. It takes me time to put myself back into that mind set. Sometimes, I feel it is completely pointless. Yet, it takes only a quick browse of the archives and particularly my work log, when I discover that I have put to paper (or is that html) some of my most important experiences. Yet, it is not just the fact that these memories are on the page for one and all to read, but it is the way in which I have written the entries that is so amazing. At times, I take a step back in wonder at the quality of the writing. Did I really write that? This blog continues to grow in popularity and I am developing a modest level of link backs from other blogs, which I can now keep track of, thanks to Technorati.

If I had titles for my entries, this one would be called, ‘Own Goal’. While I am sure, Daniel would be grateful for their introduction, I find titles too difficult and a barrier to letting my blog flow. Yesterday evening, I headed over to Maidenhead to meet up with some work colleagues. Well I say some, they are actually my colleagues on the helpdesk. Chris and Peter. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) my blog does not extend back to my college (or early University) years. Actually I should go back far as school, year 10 (1996-7) I would help run the Youth Centre with a friend every lunchtime. We would play pool and I was depressingly bad. At college, three years later I was worse. I can quite easily confirm that my last attempt of a pool games was late September 2000. Then one Saturday night I found myself in O’Reilly’s with two of my new found University friends. Needless to say, I was pathetic. Fast forward five years, to last night. Personally I would have preferred to meet for a drink and then head over to the cinema. But Peter, had to twist my arm (along with Chris) to come to Racks and have a game (or two). For a while I thought I had put them off, but in the end, I gave in to the pressure and played a game. Absence from the game, had not made me any better. Actually it had most likely made me worse. Yet, as always, some beginners luck would work it’s magic (in a strange way) and I would win the game. Space here for some corny line about how ‘real’ men make their own luck.

Always pre-book your tickets for the cinema. If that is the only message you take away from this web site. For as long as I can remember, I have always pre-booked my tickets for the cinema. Rarely do I bother to type up and pay on the door. Then again, the distances I travel to go to the cinema make it necessary. A walk down to the local Film Works will never do. So you can imagine our surprise as we entered screen 2, expected it to be quiet busy, but to find it completely empty. I had been to the cinema when it was relative quiet. An afternoon showing of the final Lord Of The Rings movie, back in late January 2004. This was the first time I would be at the cinema for a screening with a completely empty auditorium. However, three other guys turned up and took their own seats shortly after that thought went through my mind. Now the movie. I had high expectations. Perhaps too high.

There are so few football movies, that this had to break the mould and do something different. It does for the first forty minutes or so. But everything feels rather “orchestrated” in the favour of our star player, Munez. Will he truly achieve his dream and become a professional football player? There are several obstacles in the way, but surely the ‘salsa’ boy from LA (not Mexico) will have all his dreams come true! As a football fan, I suppose the movie tries to capture the magic moment of the game, an inspiration to so many people in the country (that it is close to a religion for some) Yet I think it tries too hard to capture that spilt second moment, which makes villains and heroes on the football pitch. This is something that can never been captured on film, because football is bigger than real life. The manager was an attempt to create a blend between Arsene Wenger, with a small mix of Sir Bobby Robson. A great tactician, but never the less willing to spend the time to nurture his younger players (and those older heads that have lost the way). It all works together briefly, and all the seeds are sown for the next two films. In conclusion, this could have been a great film, but I think the need to tell the stories off the field, got in the way of trying to get across the passion for the sport. There are plenty of plot holes and continuity errors (just read the message board over on IMBD. Putting these to one side, it is still entertaining and worth watching. Although, better on DVD in your own home, rather than an empty cinema in Berkshire on a Thursday night. Expect two further reviews for the second and third films, to be released over the next two years.

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