Sunday’s Academy Awards were kind to sports movies. A true-life football story surprised everyone in my Oscar pool (Okay, it was the wife and I. But I kicked her butt.) to win Best Documentary, and while Moneyball may not have won anything, it did enter the night with six nominations.
Unfortunately, the Academy has been less generous when it comes to honoring soccer movies. We figure it’s just a matter of volume: There are tons of baseball movies made here, tons of football, tons of basketball and boxing and even hockey films, but far fewer that focus on soccer. To remedy that problem, we decided to come up with some of our own pitches. The ideas we came up with transcend mere sports movie, taking some of Hollywood’s favorite genres and give them a soccer twist.
Thunder and Lightning
Reeling from the death of his partner and extra-tense with his wedding date fast approaching, the last thing Orlando PD patrol officer Jake Plissken (Tim Tebow) needs today is another headache. So when his superiors assign him a partner out of a new exchange program with the South Wales Police, Ryan Algar (Gareth Bale), the cultures clash and their relationship gets off to a rocky start.
But when they discover an evil genius’ (Jeremy Lin) plot to destroy Walt Disney World by rolling an explosives-packed Spaceship Earth down the monorail line until it can be detonated, the pair realize they’re the only ones who can run fast enough or scream intensely enough to stop it. Expect action, foot chases, and a funny scene where they argue about the meaning of the word “football.” By the end of this action-adventure, Jake may just find himself a new best man.
The Blues Brothers
After years in exile, Joao Blues (Jose Mourinho) returns home to his brother Ebenezer (Roman Abramovich). Cash-strapped and desperate for a hit, they decide the only way they’re going to put together a winner is to get the band back together again.
What follows is a rollicking road movie as their journey takes them to North London, where their drummer (William Gallas) is nowhere to be found; Munich, where they accidentally break their sax man’s (Arjen Robben) ninth and tenth vertebrae while stuffing him into their car trunk; Madrid, where Joao’s studied knowledge of the sewer system allows them to nab their old bass player (Ricardo Carvalho) right in the middle of a performance; Athens, where apparently they needed their keyboardist (Eiður Guðjohnsen) for something and Paris, where everyone else (Joe Cole, Claude Makelele) washed up. Will they find their old rhythm in time to put on the performance of a lifetime? Or will the law (Pep Guardiola, Michel Platini) catch up with them first?
Top of the Table
When an evil samurai warlord (Zlatan Ibrahimovic) repays his one defeat in battle by killing the old Army buddy (special appearance by Oguchi Onyewu) of Bruce Kojak (Michael Bradley), the former Special Forces lieutenant decides that the only person who can avenge his fellow soldier is: Himself.
But to reach the warlord, he’ll have to fight his way to the top of Big Z’s ancient Swedish pagoda, defeating a different opponent at each level. Will Lt. Kojak be able to achieve the ultimate promotion, or will his next relegation be his last? Featuring: Daniele de Rossi as the Flying Elbow; Ezequiel Lavezzi, Edinson Cavani, and Marek Hamsik as the triple-headed Hydra; Gennaro Gattuso as the nunchuk-wielding Ringhio and Gianluigi Buffon as Big Z’s Final Guardian.
Euro 2012: A True Underdog Story
With their nation collapsing under the chaos of protests and the burden of austerity measures, the ragtag Greek national soccer team decides the best way to lift the spirits of their countrymen is by repeating their miracle run to the European title from eight years before. Moved by their determination, the new prime minister (John Corbett) scrapes together what’s left of his nation’s cash reserves and places a bet on the Galanolefki at 75 to 1 to win.
Will the pressure boil over when the team learns of what’s riding on their performance? Can they overcome the antagonistic German side, led by their cold but charismatic coach, Gunnar Wolfe (Jurgen Klinsmann)? How will the prime minister, and the team, react when the German chancellor (Angela Landsbury) offers to forgive all their debts if they just throw the final? What will they do when they learn that it has been angels helping them all along? Will they claw with their fingernails for that final inch, ’cause they know that when they add up those inches it makes the difference? Can they find that eye of the tiger again? Will Jimmy take the last shot? Should they sell the farm or keep the baseball field on it? The answers to these questions and more… during Euro 2012: A True Underdog Story.
Teamless in Seattle
Successful twenty-something Morgan Alexander (Alex Morgan) thought she had it all: a studio apartment in the hippest part of Rochester, a studly lawyer boyfriend (Ryan Gosling), and a four-year degree in this economy. But when her SO’s big case sucks up all his time and energy, she decides her only option is to cancel the whole relationship. Out of contract with her love life, she wanders the county, reconnecting with old friends and former flames.
With the help of some tough-love of her childhood best friend (Hope Solo) and wisdom from her absent-minded, hippie mother (Pia Sundhage), Morgan realizes that maybe her best chance at happiness will be to take a 2,500 mile leap and follow her own yellow brick road to a new start in the (Rave Green) Emerald City.