MORE IN THE

Father's Day Special

Cool Stuff

Fashion

Beauty

Literature

Movies

Father's Day Literary Competition

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Ultimate Rugby Calendar

Movies

Match Reports

Showbiz

Editor's Mark

Crisis Management

Naked Truth

Heroes Rugby Challenge 2011

RUTube

Sevens Unplugged

Competitions

RWC Unplugged

Fashion

Literature

The Ticket Office

Up Close & Personal

Harry Potter Special

Travel

Invictus Special

Beauty

 
FURTHER IN KICK-OFF

 

 

Editor's Mark

Rugby News

Sevens Unplugged

Six Nations Unplugged

RWC Unplugged

RWC Warm Up Matches

Tri Nations Unplugged

Forces Unplugged

ournaments Unplugged

 

 

Father's Day Special

by The Editor

FROM Buenos Aires to Belfast, Calgary to Cape Town, Las Vegas to London, New York to Newcastle, and Toronto to Tokyo...it's Father's Day across much of the world on Sunday June 19th so we're dedicating this issue to spoiling our Dads with things that will make them smile...

And yes we know this doesn't apply in Australia and New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, and also Italy and Spain and Portugal amongst the few other nations who choose to celebrate at a different time of year...but hey - you can file this for later in the year and have a head start on planning.

Harlequins Dads

Much of the time it is our Dads that introduce us to rugby at a very young age [though my Dad still has not a clue what on earth I see in this bizarre game with an odd-shaped ball when as far as he is concerned, cricket is far more interesting!].

Therefore, we have for you just a few ideas as to what he might appreciate with contributions from the lifestyle sections of Rugby Unplugged. And all the editors involved have tried to ensure they are all lovely gifts that you can pick up in your local department store be it Macy's or Harvey Nics or the like, or from your nearest book or music or DVD store. And if that's all a bit too much like hard work, there's always the magic world wide web which means you don't even have to leave the comfort of your desk; Amazon and Tiffany & Co and Debenhams and Bloomingdales will all deliver directly to Papa's doorstep all sparkly and gift-wrapped!

Cool StuffFashionBeauty

LiteratureMovies & DVDs

All you have to do is click on the image of each scrumptious gift to find out more about it to be transported to the brand's site, then google to your heart's content to find your nearest stockist, wherever you are on the planet...

Harlequins Dads

Just Stuff

Dunhill Hip FlaskTRADITIONAL HIP FLASK

NO father should be without that perfect hip flask for every match, whether it's the school pitch on a freezing Saturday afternoon, or on tour in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup. And the terribly discerning men's luxury brand, Dunhill has just the thing...it's not the cheapest out there but it is awfully beautiful and will last a lifetime.

 

 

Photo BookFAMILY PHOTO BOOK

THERE'S not much more precious than memories once time has passed, so what better way to preserve these than by creating your own professional quality printed and perfect bound photo book. Whether it's his favourite holiday, his most memorable tour, or the journey of his family from marriage to grandchildren, here is a beautiful way to cherish those times. Choose your supplier, download the software, arrange your photos and order...it couldn't be easier!

Now we have found just so many different companies to produce these stunning books, so here's just a few of them that print and send across the globe...

My PublisherSnapfishPhotoBox

 

Tiffany & Co Paloma's GroovePALOMA'S GROOVE BOTTLE OPENER KEY RING

FOR the father that is always prepared, Tiffany & Co have created the perfect key ring that doubles as a bottle opener, and yet oozes total sophistication with a design from Paloma Picasso. And quite frankly, is there really anyone who's eyes wouldn't light up at the sight of that little blue box?

 

 

Tiffany & Co Money ClipTIFFANY 1837™ MONEY CLIP

AND finally, just in case one pretty little white-ribbon wrapped blue box wasn't enough, here's another little idea. For Papa who sensibly keeps his cash outside of his wallet in case it ends up left on a bar at the Frog & Princess in Paris, or falls down the back of a seat in Ellis Park, a sterling silver money clip is just the ticket.

top

 


Fashion

by BK Talley

“WHAT about this one?” I asked my friend picking up the grey cardigan from the table and unfolding it. Appraising said garment carefully in one snatched glance before continuing to browse the candy coloured fine knit sweaters, my friend replied: “Nah – it looks like something your dad would wear.” Reader, I dropped the cardigan like a hot potato – there is no way I would dress like my dad! It is strange how fashion sees granddad chic as cool but dressing like your dad in most cases is a no-no. Furthermore, for many people (both men and women) dads are one of the first style icons that we encounter in our lives and one could argue that they imprint a style template subconsciously in our minds of how to dress and worryingly, this stays with us for the rest of our lives, no matter how hard we try to escape from it (hence I didn’t pick that grey cardigan, my subconscious did).

This is OK if your father is super stylish and suavely dressed but not so good if your father has an eclectic sense of fashion and wears combinations that somehow look fine on him but on anyone else would merit instant imprisonment for crimes against fashion. Whilst there is no greater gift than actually being able to spend quality time with your parent at any point in life, a well thought out present will not only bring joy to your dad but also helps in getting one up over your sibling(s) and making a permanent contribution to your dad’s style (as you can guarantee if he likes what you give him, he will wear/use it all the time). With this in mind, Fashion at Rugby Unplugged gives you a few suggestions of gifts which will make Father’s Day just that bit happier…

 

Lacoste Original Polo ShirtLACOSTE POLO T-SHIRT

Classic, simple and fun, this is your fail safe option as there is a style to suit all dads everywhere and will fast become a staple piece of his wardrobe.

Lacoste.com

 

 

 

Timberland Men's Classic 2-Eye Boat ShoeTIMBERLAND MEN'S CLASSIC 2-EYE BOAT SHOE

A boat shoe is now de rigeur for downtime Dad – comfortable and smart, whether it is an informal lunch or drinks at the pub, you can’t go wrong.

Timberland

 

 

Fossil Decker Desert Sand Chronograph Black DialFOSSIL DECKER DESERT SAND CHRONOGRAPH BLACK DIAL

No doubt Dad already has a favourite watch of his own but a bit of variety never hurt anyone…

Fossil

 

 

 

dumpTackle McGeechan TeeDUMPTACKLE T-SHIRT

Inject a little casual cool with this T-shirt from dumpTackle which Dad can make his own, teamed with a sports jacket or plain cardigan.

dumpTackle

 

 

And there's more on dumpTackle over here: LMT's Likes

 

Burberry Fine Smooth Leather BeltBURBERRY BELT

Go all out and spoil Dad with this belt from Burberry – practical, stylish and timeless, high fashion dad will ooze class without saying a word…

Burberry

 

Aquascutum New Aquamac RaincoatAQUASCUTUM TRENCH

Convince Dad to ditch his old jacket in favour of this classic trench which can be worn with anything – just make sure he doesn’t button it all the way to the collar…

Aquascutum

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion Editor’s Note: All products featured are available from the websites found by clicking on the logo or can be tracked down in a store near you using the Store Locator functions on each individual website.

Now you've had an amuse-bouche, why not mosey on over to our fashion house and have a peruse of BK Talley's reflections...

Fashion Home

top

 


Beauty

by Farzaneh Janasheen Kassam

Classic men’s grooming gentlemen’s travel bagPAMPER him with luxury and style...here is the ultimate luxury CLASSIC MENS GROOMING GENTLEMEN’S TRAVEL BAG from the Scottish Fine Soaps Company.

At last the travel bag with a difference so he can enjoy the luxury style and deluxe products.

It’s perfect for the posh gym, if he’s frequent flyer, or simply a little extra for that romantic weekend trip.

It contains all the essentials: 75ml exfoliating body wash, 50ml facial wash, 50ml shampoo, 40ml moisturising aftershave balm and 100% cotton wash cloth.

 

Osium for men peppermint revive gelELIMINATE the headache, neck ache, the foot ache, the after gym ache; this is simply the most active tin the active dad will ever lay his hands on!

What an intense burst of energy lies within this PEPPERMINT REVIVE GEL from Osmium - a fresh peppermint and lavender gel that gives a double action of instant energy at the same time is deeply cooling and soothing. Massage on tired and sore leg muscles, feet, shoulders or even the back of the neck area. You can even apply a tiny amount to the temples to relieve headaches. With its non greasy formula it quickly absorbs into the skin and works instantly - the lavender oil has natural anti-fungal properties to also help to relieve body odours. A must have for active lifestyles and a quick fix to revive his muscles and get him back on his feet in no time.

 

Lush Dirty Body SprayLUSH is one of these innovative, organic, green and ethical brands that is fabulous for the environment. But whether you agree with their philosophy or not, this product is simply essential. The DIRTY BODY SPRAY is a spray you can squirt –literally- all over your body, day or night, for portable deodorising. It's great for when you’re on the move...or simply need something to squirt and go in morning! Dirty spray is super deep and a powerful body refreshener that you can use anytime, any place anywhere. The natural sandalwood helps to fight and ward off odours, and that famous Dirty scent of tarragon, lavender and subtle spearmint will even fool the wolves.

 

 

The Bluebeards Revenge "Privateer Collection" Mach3 Razor Gift SetFOR the ultimate shaving experience, take your Dad back to the old school way of shaving with this retro look shaving kit and modern products that give a sharp look and edge to the everyday routine.

Does he get that fire face feeling after shaving and crosses his fingers in hope that the 5 o’clock shadow won’t appear before lunch? Bluebeard promises the ultimate experience for those who find misery in shaving. If the Desperate Dan look is not for your pops,  you can introduce him to THE BLUEBEARDS REVENGE "PRIVATEER COLLECTION" MACH3 RAZOR GIFT SET.

The Collection is an an exclusive set of contemporary shaving tools designed for comfort, visual impact and individuality, including a pure badger brush, a Mach 3 razor fashioned from durable high-grade resin with silver finish in a chrome stand, and a tub of Bluebeard's Revenge. This shaving cream contains somewhat of a miracle ingredient called Decelerine – which the manufacturers Lipotec say can reduce beard growth over time. Take the heat out of shaving and transform him from hot and bothered daddy to Daddy Cool!

 

Kiehls Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub and Tweezerman KIEHL’S FACIAL FUEL ENERGIZING SCRUB Tweezerman Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub Tweezerman Ingrown Hair/Splintertweeze MEN exfoliate? Errr...yes of course! Exfoliation specifically benefits men more than women! This is because it is already a known fact that men have thicker skin than women. Most of the younger generation have become wise to this already, but there's no reason for dad to miss out. So if you’re going to treat him to a beauty tool this Father’s Day, it has to be an exfoliator - and there’s a simple analogy to explain it to him...in ‘man-speak’... exfoliation is exactly like sanding down a mahogany worktop to give a lovely, smooth finish. All men should exfoliate – capiche?

KIEHL’S FACIAL FUEL ENERGIZING SCRUB exposes the face's hair follicles, allowing for a better shave. We all know that a smoother shave is practically the holy grail of a man's morning routine. It also helps with the prevention of in-growing hairs but should they get odd one or two, the best tool of the trade is the TWEEZERMAN INGROWN HAIR AND SPLINTERTWEEZE. And Pops will end up with healthier looking skin and overall a better appearance, which can only be a good thing since it's his face that everyone sees first!

 

Elemis Daily Moisture BoosTHESE days most discerning gentlemen harbour a dark secret...that they in fact do have some semblance of a beauty regime. Whether he's stealing Mum's moisturiser, or using the first thing that comes to hand, they're all at it!

This DAILY MOISTURE BOOST by Elemis is just what Dad's face needs in the day to stop turning his skin into a disaster area. No matter what the skin type, this cleverly designed, lightweight, easy to use moisturiser should be the secret to his everyday skincare routine. From dull, dry, dehydrated skin due to extreme weather conditions, or simply a busy lifestyle, if moisturising just isn’t part of his routine yet, help Dad him bring back the years, softness, and suppleness to his skin - but just don’t giving away his secret!

 

Spa treatmentsAND lastly, for the ultimate in a relaxing beauty experience, there of course is always the spa. Attitudes are changing in spas to draw in more and more men. New trends include warm, “earthy” colours in the decor, products with masculine scents as opposed to floral fragrances, men-only nights including signature services and products offering more “athletic” type treatments, and simple touches like different coloured robes for the opposite sexes.

So spare him the cuff links and the tired tie…..send Dad for a stress-busting massage, a manly facial or shave, or maybe his very first MANi-pedi!

top

 


Books

by The Editor

SOMETIMES there's nothing quite as relaxing as burying your head in a good yarn, so we've had a look at recent offerings, and though most rugby-esque books are all due out later this year to coincide with the Rugby World Cup, there are just a few which that you should really get your hands on for Dad [and obviously borrow them back for yourself once he's read them!].

Oh and we have a fantastic competition for one lucky reader to win a copy of each of the four books we have reviewed in the Father's Day Special. All you need do is click the button and enter the competition...

Father's Day Literary Competition

Brian Moore Beware Of The DogFIRST up is an autobiography that surprised, intrigued, fascinated and generally just blew me away. The candour, the veracity, and the sheer style which had me page turning at the expense of work was frankly a breath of fresh air.

We have all picked up biographies, or 'autobiographies' which are either ghosted, or worse still, are so tedious to plough through you would think an editor had not been within 50 miles of it, and that half way through you lose the will to live. I can guarantee that this one will not have that effect.

British Sports Book Awards 2011In BEWARE OF THE DOG, Brian Moore -hard man of rugby, lawyer, England and British Lion hooker, nail technician [yes seriously], father, three times a husband, and now rugby commentator for the Beeb and columnist for the Telegraph on all matters that matter to him- has laid his soul bare for the world to see in such a compelling manner that I challenge you not be addicted right from the start.

William Hill Sportsbook Of The YearAnd it has had the same impact on people all over the globe, winning the William Hill Sports Book Of The Year 2010 and Best Autobiography at the British Sports Book Awards 2011.

Whether you agree with Mooro's views or not, whether he's just far too English for your palate, you will succumb.

Rugby World put it most succinctly, "It hits you like a sledgehammer."

Buy it, but don't even read the preface lest your Dad never sees his Father's Day present...or just get two copies to begin with!

 

My Italian Family CookbookRIGHT then - like most men these days - does your Dad like to potter around the kitchen? Is he a budding Gordon Ramsay or Antonio Carluccio? If that be the case, this next offering will be right up his street.

Messrs Dallaglio Senior [Vincenzo] and Dallaglio Junior [Lorenzo...or Lawrence to you and me] are passing on their collective years of wisdom from the kitchen to the next generation of little Dallaglios. And thus MY ITALIAN FAMILY COOKBOOK could not be a more apt book for Father's Day.

With Signore Vincenzo Dallaglio spending his working life in the food industry in top class hotels, some of it was bound to rub off on young Lawrence who is an enthusiastic cook. He writes,

"I learned my love of cooking from him [Dad], picking up techniques while sitting on the kitchen counter...Now the baton has been passed to me, and its my turn to show Enzo, Ella and Josie".

And in what fashion...the book may be in conjunction with the family-run Italian food brand, Sacla’, but that has not been made obvious in this artistically laid out cookery book. The recipes are all manageable and easy to follow, made up of authentic ingredients widely available and not requiring you to use pre-bought jars of sauces [although Sacla’  have created a small Dallaglio range of Italian pasta sauces].

As with all good recipe books, the photos are mouth-watering, and the added style of attaching a story to the cookbook gives it a little je ne sais quoi which endears you to publication. The generous smattering of family photos from the rugby pitch to childhood holidays to the Dallaglio kitchen simply adds to the beauty.

This is a delicious addition to any kitchen that is filled with a family that loves to eat.

 

A Fan's Guide To World RugbyNEXT up is a bible that every self-respecting rugby fan simply must have.

Respected rugby journalist Adam Hathaway and travel expert Daniel Ford have joined forces to create A FAN'S GUIDE TO RUGBY - the ultimate guide to being a rugby tourist across the globe.

From Ellis Park in Johannesburg, scene of Nelson Mandela's emotional handing over of the Webb Ellis Cup to Francois Pienaar in 1995, to Edgeley Park, home of the Sale Sharks in Stockport, every major ground is featured including invaluable information on how to get there, who plays there, which bars are within spitting distance, and a host of other fascinating and entertaining facts.

City guides explore the most interesting things to discover outside of the stadium including an at-a-glance guide to top attractions ranging from the Literary Pub Crawl in Dublin to eating bunny chow on the Golden Mile in Durban.

The book is clear, concise, animated, easy to navigate and simply the perfect pocketbook whether you are a seasoned rugby tourist or a complete rugby virgin...except of course it won't actually fit in your pocket(!)

You cannot even begin to plan your rugby season whether your team is in the Heineken Cup or Super Rugby tournaments, or indeed you are lucky enough to be going to the RWC 2011, without referring to the newest and most useful rugby doctrine.

Now there is a slight glitch in that this vital scripture is not actually physically available until 5th July 2011, but you can pre-order it now from the publishers with a special 25% discount off the RRP of £12.99 exclusively for Rugby Unplugged readers. All you need do is click the image and enter the promotional code 'Rugby Unplugged UK' for all UK purchases which will include free p&p, or if you are outside the UK, enter the code 'Rugby Unplugged'.

 

The Thoughts Of Chairman MooreAND now for more Moore!

There's nothing traditional about Brian Moore's style of commentary. Brian Moore made his name, of course, as a take-no-prisoners hooker at the heart of the England rugby team's pack, one of the game's original hard men at a time when rugby was still an amateur sport.

And since his retirement he has earned a reputation as a similarly unforgiving pundit, never afraid to tell it like it is and give an earful to anyone unlucky enough to meet with his disapproval. In this controversial, funny and forthright collection of thoughts and writings, Brian Moore sets the world to rights in his own inimitable fashion. Ranging from the problems with the England rugby team today to the 'soap opera' that is the FA, the feeble state of British tennis and the threats posed by corruption and drug-taking, Brian shares his unique insights and not-so-unique frustrations about the world of sport and beyond. THE THOUGHTS OF CHAIRMAN MOORE is an engaging and outspoken collection of articles from one of our most entertaining commentators.

Just published in paperback, this super read is perfect to have in the bathroom alongside Stephen Fry's Paperweight. And before there is uproar let me borrow from aforementioned Mr Fry to explain that this could be viewed as "a kind of literary guacamole into which a tired and hungry reader may from time to time wish to dip the tortilla chip of his or her curiosity". This is not meant to be read as one would a novel, and having just finished Beware Of The Dog, it is a great relief to have a book that one can read just one or two articles then carry on with life. Except of course when you get to 'Bloodgate'...sit down...get a cup of tea, put your feet up, and read this excellently argued commentary on the rights and wrongs of what happened at Quins.

Written much in the Clarkson-esque style, Dads the rugby world over will be guffawing and gasping at the actions of big business, politicians, the IRB, footballers, and sport in general, so hurry up and buy it!

Literary Competition

top

 


Movies & DVDs

MOVIES...hugely entertaining and highly addictive for just that couple of hours of escapism. So I've picked out a few that I think Dads everywhere might quite enjoy adding to their collection, both old and new. If it warrants it I've added the official synopsis, but quite frankly, the choices are mostly those that we we've seen already, so let's not waste each other's time here.

And I think you chaps are perfectly capable of finding your nearest stockist for buying DVDs so we don't need to go through the rigmarole of giving you Amazon links for the UK since you may not even live anywhere near here! But trailers we can do...

 

InvictusSo first up and most obviously, is Clint Eastwood's INVICTUS. It is simply brilliant. At last a movie about rugby - that features rugby! OK, Morgan Freeman just had to play Mandela...and he is almost passable - may I add with a terribly dodgy accent; Matt Damon is far too short to be Pienaar, but is terribly good anyway once I got over my heightism. And there's more rugby in this feature film than most box set highlights of tours!

I'm not going to say anymore here apart from if you haven't had the opportunity to see it now then do! I loved every moment of it! It has of course be featured as a cover story, and we bagged a few exclusive interviews with Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman and Zak Feau'nati just for you. So click on the poster image and you'll be transported into the world of Invictus...

 

The HangoverNEXT, probably one of the funniest comedies of the decade, THE HANGOVER. If Dad hasn't seen it, has he been living under a rock? No word of a lie - all boys should see this movie no matter the generation...

They planned a Vegas bachelor party that they would never forget. Now they really need to remember what exactly went down!

A baby?
A tiger?
Why is one of them missing a tooth?
And most of all, where is the groom?!

What the guys did while partying can't compare to what they must do sober in an outrageous caper that has them piecing together all their bad decisions from the night before-- one hazy clue at a time. Director Todd Phillips ("Old School") and an all-aces comedy cast tie one on... big time!

 

Top Gear The Challenges 5SO for more laughter, this time from the Top Gear crew. Conveniently, the BBC have just released TOP GEAR - THE CHALLENGES 5 in time for Father's Day, which has 12 crazy escapades and a bunch of special features including an extended interview with F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, outtakes and deleted scenes.

We all know just how bonkers the competition is between the Hamster, Captain Slow and Jezza, and here you can relive the madness of World speed records, flying caravans, unstable Reliant Robins, jaw dropping races and cars exploding all over the place. No other programme offers so much, for so little of your I.Q.

Oh but the arrogance of it...there's no trailer! 

 

The King's Speech TrailerNOW for a spot of culture after all that hilarity...THE KING'S SPEECH. It's enchanting, engaging, emotional, sublimely acted, humorous, expertly visualised and beautifully filmed. It will move you in every fashion; you will laugh, you may shed a tear, you'll feel contempt for those who deserve it, and admiration for others...you will feel the essence of what Tom Hooper wanted you to experience.

Colin Firth has produced his best work yet, Helena Bonham Carter has personified the Queen Mother, Geoffrey Rush could not have been improved upon, and the supporting cast...simply perfection. There is not a single element of this multi award-winning masterpiece that I could possible fault.

 

True Grit TrailerA classic western remade by Joel and Ethan Coen for me could have gone either way, but TRUE GRIT was definitely worth it.

I don't even like westerns, but this cannot be faulted...I really enjoyed this offering from the Coen Brothers, and also think it's their best yet. For once it's not slightly whacky, balancing on that knife-edge between genius and madness as was Fargo.

Hailee Steinfield who plays Mattie is brilliant and so deserves her numerous Best Supporting Actress nominations, and of course Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon are perfectly on target as per usual. There's really not much to say apart from get it!

 

The Complete Superman CollectionWHILE we're talking classics, Warner have just released the Blu-Ray version of THE COMPLETE SUPERMAN COLLECTION.

From the original SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE, through to SUPERMAN IV and even SUPERMAN RETURNS, this is quite special. And there's stacks of extras like theatrical and director's cut versions, and even 15 minutes of restored footage of Marlon Brando as Jor-El.

There cannot be a Dad who is not old enough to remember, and trust me, they'll love it unless they had some weird affliction that meant they disliked the late, great Christopher Reed.

 

The Ashes Series 2010/2011 Complete CollectionCRICKET anyone? I figured since it's not Father's Day in Australia that I could probably sneak this one in without too much grief from them down under(!)

Welcome to the definitive, THE ASHES SERIES 2010/2011 COMPLETE COLLECTION Box Set, which contains the Official Highlights of England's comprehensive 3-1 triumph, with all the action from every Test Match, as well as ‘The Inside Story', a 2 disc documentary examining the drama, intrigue and excitement that surrounded the 2010/11 Ashes series in Australia. This comprehensive documentary will incorporate a wealth of never before seen footage and behind the scenes action, and it will employ all the latest technology that surrounds and characterises modern cricket in order to tell fans and enthusiasts the complete story of the 2010/11 Vodafone Ashes series.

With 11 hours of incredible 2010/11 Ashes action from Australia spread over 7 DVDs and including a 16 page booklet, fans will know what it feels like to be in and around the action of one of the greatest Test Series of all time.

 

Inception TrailerREALITY check people...or maybe not. INCEPTION...an intriguing premise alongside an intriguing trailer – I’m not the biggest fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, but I was hooked.

Bending time and space, jumping in and out of people's dreams and creating realities that would otherwise have been hugely different, this film truly messes with your mind in the oddest manner.

The special effects are clever and mind-bending, and it is after all from the director of The Dark Knight - I'm so chuffed it is as good as it’s potential. Too difficult to explain in any cohesive two-dimensional fashion in black and white, so if you haven't already, I would strongly suggest adding this clever thriller to your collection as well as Daddy Dearest's.


The FighterA return to some hardcore manly stuff with award-winning THE FIGHTER.

This is a typical American awards movie...but one of the good ones. The story is true, but if you don't know it you can still pretty much figure it out quite quickly. It's very well made with no overly sentimental nonsense; this is a hard family and that's how they live their lives.

Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg need no introduction or explanation; the four main characters - the brothers, the mother and the girlfriend are all excellent but in my opinion, Christian Bale steals the show. You really cannot fault anything about the feature, unless like me you're not a boxing fan, so I did look away during the bouts, but actually, that's not a fault but a preference.

It's a film about a boxing family - yes the sport is important, but more so is the emphasis on the family dynamic. The film is superbly brought to us by David O. Russell of Three Kings fame - another thought-provoking piece of art so definitely a director to watch.

 

The Blind SideAND lastly, a sporting movie...well sort of. It's a true story about an American football star who came from the projects and made good with a little help from Sandra Bullock. Of course I'm talking of THE BLIND SIDE.

I began watching this movie with a slight hesitation as it's about football...well American football...and having never watched a game in my life, I was not sure what to expect.

Well, I now know a whole lot more about American football, and fully understand that anyone who compares it to rugby union is slightly bonkers. But actually that's neither here nor there. The Blind Side is an agreeable and smart movie. Insofar as it being a true story just makes it all the more endearing; since I knew nothing about American football to start with, it was terribly well-illustrated and like Invictus, it's quite irrelevant whether you get the game or not. It has all the passion and feel-good factor of movies like Rocky, Bend It Like Beckham and Cool Runnings but just a little toned-down; there's none of that rousing rah-rah nonsense. You will leave the cinema contented and smiling rather than punching the air with glee.

Fundamentally this is an inspiring story about a very affluent white all-American family from Memphis, and how they invite into their home an apparently not-too-bright young black man from the projects on 'the other side of town'; he becomes as much a part of their world as their own two children; the younger of the two, SJ, was brilliantly portrayed by Jae Head. The family dynamic is touching, the performances by all are accomplished - particularly Sandra Bullock - and her fascinating eyelashes should have a credit of their own!

And yes it is a little sentimental, but after all, it is Father's Day, so a hint of emotion won't hurt!

top