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The Damned United - 27/3/2009 4:59:49 PM   
Empire Admin

 

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Bloody Great! - 27/3/2009 4:59:49 PM   
skeletonjack


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Finally a decent footy film.
This succeeds where others fail due to the combination of good acting, sharp script and the smart decision to not actually stage much football at all.
Highly enjoyable, thoroughly engaging, of course if you're not a footy fan you probably wont care.
4 stars.

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Post #: 2
Brilliant - 27/3/2009 9:09:49 PM   
rougier

 

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To quote the great man himself 'bloody brilliant full stop!'. The acting all round is first class, and at times its spooky how much Sheen looks like Clough never mind the exellent impersination. The 70's look and feel is expertly captured, particularly the old facades of Elland Road and Derby. Just go see it !

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RE: Brilliant - 27/3/2009 10:07:05 PM   
Starscream


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My film of the year so far, Engrossing and best movie i've seen based around football. Michael Sheen yet again nails another person perfectly, this time in the shape of Big 'Ead himself Brian Clough. It's also full of great performances for the likes of Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney, Jim Broadbent and Stephan Graham as legendary hardman Billy Bremner. The only downside was it was too short and left me wanting more, especially the Nottingham Forest part of his career.


9/10

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RE: Brilliant - 27/3/2009 10:53:27 PM   
lord of the pies


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Great film and a must see for any football fan. Sheen is exceptional as Clough and the supporting cast are all on good form. One of if not the best film about football ever made.

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RE: Brilliant - 28/3/2009 12:02:40 AM   
Ethanial


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I found the acting, mainly stemming from an awful script, annoying and dull, and the whole film seemed to be just dire. Maybe it's relegated (get it) to football fans, but I try to expand my cinematic horizons.
Shame too, The Queen and Frost / Nixon were little crackers, I hoped for at least some of those films here.

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RE: Brilliant - 28/3/2009 12:08:14 AM   
frankie


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Well, I know next to nothing about football. I just never got into it.
But, I loved this film. It's not really about football ata ll. It's a relationship story. It's a story about pride and ambition.
Plus it's very funny.
I loved every second of it.

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- 31/3/2009 10:11:31 AM   
AngeloComet

 

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Way better than I thought it would be. More than just a football movie about a man people may not know so well. And more than just one good performance from Sheen (though it IS good). There's an emotional kick playing alongside all the amusing passes. It's brisk, refreshing, interesting and full of vitality.

Should have got more than 3 stars, Empire! You've played a shocker there!

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Post #: 8
Disappointing - 2/4/2009 9:38:19 AM   
Speedwagon Roll!

 

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I found this a paperweight collection of barely related scenes, with the central friendship/love affair between Taylor and Clough completely sidestepped. Was there anything to their relationship besides Taylor's genius? You never know.

Michael Sheen was always watchable, but having his loathing of Leeds and Revie born out of one slight, whether true or not, was shallow and emotionally unsatisfying as entertainment.

The Damned Utd reguritates the old truisms of players being as thick as shit and that all board members are venal twats; it has nothing original to say at all.

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Post #: 9
RE: Brilliant - 3/4/2009 5:09:28 PM   
Sway


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quote:

ORIGINAL: frankie

Well, I know next to nothing about football. I just never got into it.
But, I loved this film. It's not really about football ata ll. It's a relationship story. It's a story about pride and ambition.
Plus it's very funny.
I loved every second of it.


I wholeheartedly echo this sentiment and was, in fact just away to post in response to Skeletonjacks unfortunate claim that unless you're into footy you just won't care.   Personally I think that's about as far removed from the truth as you can get. 

I vaguely follow the goings of one of the SPL teams, but that's about my knowledge and interest in football right there and I thoroughly enjoyed the film.  

I finished the book at the beginning of this week actually - it's been the first non-history book I've read in years and I'm glad I did.  To be honest, it was actually last month's article in Empire that highlighted the story to me, I thought it was a really fascinating story which wasn't just about football.  I couldn't put it better than frankie puts it here - it's a relationship story and it's about pride and ambition.  Absolutely.   The actual football in this film is relegated to the bottom of the league in terms of what's most important to the film.

Empire's review suggests that making this film was always going to be a challenge since Peace's novel is essentially an on-going narrative of the inside of Clough's mind, but I think they managed to pull the film off nicely and bring to view (through a lovely performance by Michael Sheen) exactly what was going through Clough's mind, even if he doesn't vocalise it.  The increasing resentment towards Don Revie, his increasing sense of self importance and self confidence, and his increasing sense of ignorance as to what's going on around him.

Speedwagon Roll suggests the film doesn't have anything original to say at all, but I suggest that the film isn't trying, and nor does it need to, say anything in the first place.  This is a snapshot of only one part of Clough's life (regardless of how much of the film/book is embellished) and it's a genuinely fascinating story to tell, who wouldn't want to tell it? Why every film must come with a message, moral or meaning is beyond me.  The book is exactly the same - it suddenly dumps you into his life as he starts at Leeds Utd and by means of 2 intertwinning narratives, it finishes almost at the same bit.

Definitely an engaging and thoughtful film, with several laughs thrown in along the way - infact by the time it finished I was almost taken by surprise since I'd become so engrossed.

< Message edited by Sway -- 3/4/2009 5:11:30 PM >


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RE: Brilliant - 3/4/2009 6:04:41 PM   
skeletonjack


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sway

I wholeheartedly echo this sentiment and was, in fact just away to post in response to Skeletonjacks unfortunate claim that unless you're into footy you just won't care.    


My quote actually said "probably wont care" which is clearly very different to "you just wont care".
I perhaps should clarify that I felt people who weren't interested in football probably wouldn't be that interested in seeing it and therefore wouldn't give it a chance which WOULD DEFINITELY be a great shame.

< Message edited by skeletonjack -- 3/4/2009 9:11:19 PM >

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Post #: 11
RE: Brilliant - 4/4/2009 12:23:53 AM   
Sway


Posts: 9085
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From: Albuquerque
quote:

ORIGINAL: skeletonjack

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sway

I wholeheartedly echo this sentiment and was, in fact just away to post in response to Skeletonjacks unfortunate claim that unless you're into footy you just won't care.    


My quote actually said "probably wont care" which is clearly very different to "you just wont care".
I perhaps should clarify that I felt people who weren't interested in football probably wouldn't be that interested in seeing it and therefore wouldn't give it a chance which WOULD DEFINITELY be a great shame.


Haha, ok so I misquoted you a little (not intentionally to miscontrue you by the way, just lazy writing, I didn't scroll up the screen to see your exact phrase), but I can see where the confusion has come in, now that you've made your meaning clearer.  




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Post #: 12
RE: Brilliant - 4/4/2009 10:27:07 AM   
skeletonjack


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sway

quote:

ORIGINAL: skeletonjack

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sway

I wholeheartedly echo this sentiment and was, in fact just away to post in response to Skeletonjacks unfortunate claim that unless you're into footy you just won't care.    


My quote actually said "probably wont care" which is clearly very different to "you just wont care".
I perhaps should clarify that I felt people who weren't interested in football probably wouldn't be that interested in seeing it and therefore wouldn't give it a chance which WOULD DEFINITELY be a great shame.


Haha, ok so I misquoted you a little (not intentionally to miscontrue you by the way, just lazy writing, I didn't scroll up the screen to see your exact phrase), but I can see where the confusion has come in, now that you've made your meaning clearer.  





Ha ha, no worries, it was lazy writing from me that caused the confusion in the first place!

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Post #: 13
Damned United - 4/4/2009 5:18:19 PM   
moviemaniac2


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Clough was obviously a hugely complicated man. Here, coach Peter Taylor is seen as the one with the brains, who was responsible for assembling the league winning team. it projects the image of someone who was all talk, with little to back it up. Despite the often downbeat tone, there is still enough here to warrant a gander.

You'd think Michael Sheen would be sick of playing real life characters but, if he is, he isn't showing it. He has essentially nailed Clough to the point that you forget you're watching an actor. Spall too is excellent, more than playing his part in creating a genuine friendship between these two men for celluloid. The men at the centre of the film, along with some really nice comic touches, just about make this worth seeing.


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Post #: 14
RE: Damned United - 6/4/2009 1:58:21 PM   
rick_7


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From: The internet
MICHAEL Sheen excels as football manager Brian Clough in a film that everyone should enjoy - except Leeds United fans. Loosely based on David Peace's incendiary novel, the movie flits between two timeframes, as Clough (Michael Sheen) turns provincial no-hopers Derby County into league champions, then spends a disastrous 44 days at Leeds.

Clough is portrayed as an idealist who clashes with players and fans at league champions Leeds as he seeks to curb their cheating and obliterate the legacy of predecessor and arch-rival Don Revie (Colm Meaney). Unable to function without best friend and former right hand man Peter Taylor (the excellent Timothy Spall), he stumbles from one catastrophe to another.

The film is funny, fast-moving and phenomenally entertaining, interspersed with some glorious archive footage. It's also unexpectedly powerful. The improbable "love story" between Clough and Taylor is smartly handled and the former's self-destructive obsession with Leeds allows for some showboating emoting.

Sheen is extraordinary. While accents and mannerisms are often mere window dressing, with Clough they're essential. Where the star really scores, though, is in his articulation of the character's inner conflicts. Whether he's raging at the Derby chairman, impishly signing players on the hoof or delivering the most withering opening team talk on record, Sheen seems to inhabit Clough entirely.

Peter Morgan's screenplay has some patches of clumsy exposition but incorporates countless priceless Clough quips. Its two most notable forays into fiction are perfectly judged. The first sees Clough seething and close to tears after he's snubbed by Revie. The second shows him in his office, chain-smoking and clock-watching as his team confront Leeds again, the clamour of the crowd sending a shiver down the spine.

The movie may have flaws - footballers who don't look like sportsmen, the lack of a dramatic crescendo and Morgan's omission of key portions of the closing interview - but it's a riotous ride. And when Sheen is on screen, nothing else matters.


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RE: Damned United - 8/4/2009 11:45:55 PM   
Qwerty Norris


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Easily the best fictionalized football film I've ever seen. Achieves the impossible by making a football film feel authentic, and Sheen continues to build his excellent CV with a strong interpretation of the legendary Manager. Good to hear my local team Hearts get a mention too!!!

4/5

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RE: Damned United - 23/4/2009 10:14:09 AM   
Goodfella


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It was fairly average I have to say. I thought Michael Sheen was fantastic as Brian Clough but the film itself was rather bland and the story seemed solely focused on getting laughs from Clough's pompus but rather loveable attitude. I can see maybe why the Clough family have had a few issues with it, certainly the slightly homoerotic relationship between Clough and Taylor that they spent a few scenes hinting at. It was still enjoyable enough for a footie fan like myself though. 3/5

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RE: Damned United - 29/4/2009 3:32:15 PM   
mattdavies86

 

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A pretty good film with a great central performance from Sheen. The main problems I had with the film were the somewhat homoerotic exchanges between Clough and Taylor, although given how close their relationship was I can forgive this. Also, why does Peter Morgan always feel the need to put in some bullshit telephone conversation/exchange betweeen the two central rivals in his scripts? We had Blair and the Queen in 'The Queen', Frost and Nixon in 'Frost/Nixon', and we have it again here with Clough and Revie (Colm Meaney was a dead ringer for him). I know it is supposed to add dramatic edge, but audiences can tell how phoney they are.

Generally I enjoyed it though - any football fan should. Me and my mates found it hilarious that blokes had dragged their wives along to it - clearly it was a case of get your own back for all the shitty chick flicks they had been dragged to!

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RE: Damned United - 30/4/2009 9:47:57 AM   
rick_7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Goodfella

I can see maybe why the Clough family have had a few issues with it, certainly the slightly homoerotic relationship between Clough and Taylor that they spent a few scenes hinting at.

There's a difference between homoeroticism and a friendship rooted in love. Or were you thinking of the bit where Cloughie rubbed oil all over Taylor in the dressing room? Because that didn't happen.
 
The family haven't seen the film, their problems with the book were largely to do with Clough's supposed foul language and alcoholism.

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RE: Damned United - 30/4/2009 1:52:01 PM   
doncopey1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7

quote:

ORIGINAL: Goodfella

I can see maybe why the Clough family have had a few issues with it, certainly the slightly homoerotic relationship between Clough and Taylor that they spent a few scenes hinting at.

There's a difference between homoeroticism and a friendship rooted in love. Or were you thinking of the bit where Cloughie rubbed oil all over Taylor in the dressing room? Because that didn't happen.
 
The family haven't seen the film, their problems with the book were largely to do with Clough's supposed foul language and alcoholism.


Nothing homoerotic about it in the slightest, there is a difference. More on the side of dressing room jock antics combined with a deeply loved and mutual respect between real friends.

Its a solid film, throughly enjoyable with witty and sharp dialogue. The script is a bit patchy as you say Rick. Its also a very biased, one sided affair...anti Leeds United in a word. Football isn't really the issue here, its the world surrounding it. The matches themselves are almost like a hyper reality, for instance the over amplified rain drops falling during one of the games. Its a character study played with utter conviction and charisma by Sheen. He balances his charm and heartache excellently in the film.

Supporting performances too are top notch. Spall, Meany and Broadbent all excel in their individual roles. The film edits and utilies original footage extremely well. Its insightful and very cinematic. (3.5)


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RE: Damned United - 30/4/2009 2:02:55 PM   
rick_7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: doncopey1

The matches themselves are almost like a hyper reality, for instance the over amplified rain drops falling during one of the games.

Good point, that. That's exactly how the matches are shown, and I hadn't really thought of it. It's a smart way of presenting football, as matches are so self-contained, with the clear distinction between winning and losing that life rarely offers.

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RE: Damned United - 30/4/2009 7:15:15 PM   
Achtung Englander


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I knew Brian Clough when I was a kid. He told my mum I was a cheeky little boy - which always brings a smile to my face whenever I think of it

haven't seen the film yet but its a definite must on DVD

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RE: Damned United - 1/5/2009 10:46:49 AM   
rick_7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Achtung Englander

I knew Brian Clough when I was a kid. He told my mum I was a cheeky little boy - which always brings a smile to my face whenever I think of it

Awesome.

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Post #: 23
- 3/5/2009 6:05:33 PM   
Romarth


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Following memorable “stepping stones” in The Queen and Frost/Nixon, Sheen finally achieves tour du force heights in his pitch-perfect embodiment of Clough. But The Damned United is not just The Performance; it’s a marvellous concoction, written with a smarmy zest, making for a humorous and beguiling look at the dangers of ego.

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Post #: 24
- 18/2/2010 10:36:43 PM   
Blue Ryan

 

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The finest sports movie ever made (in my opinion better than Raging Bull). And i really hate Football. So i am not being unfair

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Damned United - 29/3/2010 10:34:24 PM   
lynnshep


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Michael Sheen rules!!!!!

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