Good morning ladies and gents of the X-Army on this wonderful Saturday, I hope your week went better than the last. Currently I am at my old stomping ground and a movie came to me to review, The Big Green. I don’t know if it was the goats I passed on the way here, but I got the inspiration to review one of my favorite childhood movies. So let’s jump right in.
Fresh from England on a foreign exchange program, teacher Miss Anna arrives in a small Texas town where the local students don’t have much to be happy about. Determined to boost their spirits, Anna forms a soccer team, hoping the sport will help them out of their funk. But, since they‘ve never played before, she has her work cut out for her. She hopes that, with her assistant coach, Sheriff Tom, she might have a chance to turn their lives around.
The film stars Steve Guttenberg as Sheriff Tom, the local hero of the small Texas town who now is an incompetent law enforcer. He goes through the biggest character growth from simply wanting to get laid to actually giving a crap about the children he is tasked to mentor and coach. Olivia d’Abo plays Anna who is the new foregin exchange teacher from England who is given the “privilege” of teaching the class of big kids. She opens the children’s eyes to the wonderful world of soccer and the rest is history. Jay O. Sanders plays Coach Jay, the antagonist of the film. He has a group of expertly skilled soccer plays who thrash the local division on a yearly basis. The legend himself Bug Hall plays little Newt Shaw, in my opinion the actual protagonist of the film. He has a goat dude, enough said.
The first set-piece kicks off with Anna meeting a group of boys in a field covered in birds that they intended on teacher. She asks them for the directions to the school and classes they are in to the alarm of the boys realizing that she is their new teacher. She quickly realizes that this won’t be an easy task to get through to the kids. The second set-piece sees the introduction of Tom when the kids routinely harass him. They inform him of the new teacher and that he should check her out, which he does. Unleashed on pure hornyness, Tom meets Anna while she is on a run and decides to help her out with whatever she needs. The third set-piece sees the introduction of Juan, a Messi level soccer player, being brought to her class. The class warms up to him well, but him being the humble giant stays to himself. Anna , struggling to get through a lecture, breaks a globe in class and does some juggling with it to the amazement of the class. From that point Anna suggest that they form a team so they can build that bond that is clearly missing.
The fourth set-piece sees the kids play their first game against the Knight coached by Jay. They are thrashed and humiliated from the experience, but that was the genius idea behind it. Break you down to build you back up. The kids still left with low morale from the defeat challenges Juan to a quick shoot-around because he didn’t want to help. Juan shows off the levels he has compared to them and the kids are blown away from what they saw. They quickly decide to befriend him properly and insist to his mother they want him on the team. The fifth set-piece sees the newly formed Big Green dominating with the lead of Juan and ascend the league standing. Jay, being the asshole he is, places an investigation into the legality of Juan and his mother. This turns out to reveal that his mother is an illegal alien which prompts the pair to make a run for it.
The sixth set-piece sees the team learning of this bit of news and are naturally upset. Some missing him for the person he is and the rest upset that they lost him for the final against the Knights. Anna and Tom do their best to bring back the missing spark back in the kids. Tom goes out to find Juan and his mother before the team heads out. The final set-piece takes us to the final where the game is locked and everyone overly stressed and low on moral, except Newt who is just chilling. Tom manages to find the pair, which lifts the team and the stands, thus making the real game beginning. Juan joins the field of play and manages to tie the game from a setback that happened moments earlier. The game goes to a penalty shoot out and all but one of the respective team’s goals are score. Larry manages to save the most important goal of his childhood career, putting the game in Big Green’s hands. Anna and Tom needed one final person to go for a penalty and no one but Newt volunteered. The team apprehensive at first, but Newt showing he has balls of steel was determined. Newt goes up in his goat stance and scores the winning goal and bringing some joy to the small town.
Conclusion and Rating|
I was Newt as a kid and I am not ashamed to say so. I had a pet goat, I was short when I really wanted to play soccer for my local community, and I was fearless. All the characteristics of Newt. How i blew up to my height is confusing to me. This movie is a classic to me for the message it has. It doesn’t matter where you come from nor the amount of money you have, if you are determined and are unified as a team anything is possible. The core values of friendship is also in the movie, but I focused on the team aspect of it. The Big Green as a team sucks and honestly based on form should have lost the final. Juan is symbolic for the confidence he brings to the team. he is a work horse and miles ahead of the other children, but he is humble to not overshadow the team and compensates his own play for the betterment of the team. Newt is symbolic for the people who were told they weren’t good enough for the team or big enough like the rest, but ultimately shows the kind of heart needed to conquer anything. I give this movie a 4 out of 5 and I look forward to letting my kids see this movie that holds a special place in my childhood.
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