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FLICKS: Pelé: Birth of a Legend & Money Monster

Posted on 19 May 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

When the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil begin in three months, the country’s greatest sports hero, Pelé, could come out of retirement and be involved. It’s been almost four decades since he kicked his last soccer ball in a Cosmos/Santos exhibition game in New Jersey, yet Pelé’s legendary shadow stands tall. Opening tomorrow in limited release, Pelé: Birth of a Legend provides a taste of Pelé’s acrobatic performances on the soccer field.

The film opens with Pelé entering the World Cup stadium in Sweden, circa 1958 at only 17 years old. The film flashes back to Pelé’s rough and tumble childhood in Brazil, where his friends steal peanuts to buy soccer balls. By playing soccer in the streets, Pelé’s talent is noticed by school coaches. The rags to riches story begins.

Pelé: Birth of a Legend is a simple story. The strength of this film is the visualization on the big screen. Given that his best goals were preserved in grainy photography or kinescope tubes, this film uses contemporary cinematography to convey the athlete’s greatness. Soccer fans and families will appreciate this fine film.

Two of my favorite movie subjects are “monsters” and “money.” Therefore, I was one of the few people to see Money Monster last week. Many of the narrative surprises were revealed in the trailers and television commercials, so it is no big spoiler to reveal that a Wall Street mastermind is the cause of all George Clooney and Julia Roberts’ problems.

Clooney portrays The Money Monster, a hyperactive television financial advisor, like Jim Cramer from MSNBC. After making a bad pick on a stock, a gunman from Queens County enters the studio and holds the Money Monster hostage. Julia Roberts is the director who calls the shots from behind the scenes without even getting her hair messed up.

Despite numerous plot holes and obvious Bernie Sanders political bias, Money Monster contains many humorous moments, mostly at the expense of George Clooney’s character. Actress Jodie Foster directs this satirical flick, which was easily influenced by 1970s political thrillers like Network and The Parallax View. Save your money on Money Monster, this film will probably be in regular rotation on television by October.

There are some good movies on the big screen at the moment, including The Jungle Book and Captain America: Civil War. However, if you are a sports fan, find Pelé: Birth of a Legend.

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