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Movie Review: Once in a Lifetime - The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos

Alternate Title: Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooal!

Story: Why isn't soccer beloved in our country as it is around the world? This very entertaining, interesting documentary about the New York Cosmos Soccer team of the 1970's helps to answer that question. One of the suggestions is that it is commercially not viable because there are not enough natural pauses in action to sell products on TV. But there is much more to the film than that.

Steve Ross ran Warner Communications (he was the Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch of his day). He wanted a soccer team and how he realized that dream is the first half of the film. Together with Atlantic Records moguls, the Ertegun brothers, and even some intervention by my favorite war criminal, Henry Kissinger, who helped seal the deal with Pele to join the fledging team, a franchise was born.

Directors Paul Crowder (Dogtown and Z-Boys) and John Dower do a fine job it keeping the action and story line moving forward. It does get bogged down in too many personality clashes in the second half but that brought home all of the gossip of the day.

If you like sport documentaries and want to learn a bit about the sport, check it out.

Acting: There's no acting because it is a documentary. However it has a large cast of ex Cosmo soccer players and talking heads including Pelé (not interviewed for this film), Marv Albert, Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia, Johan Cruyff, Ahmet Ertegun, Mia Hamm, Steve Hunt, Rodney Marsh, Shep Messing, Steve Ross, Werner Roth, Bobby Smith, Clive Toye, Dennis Tueart, narrated by Matt Dillon and hundreds of thousands of US soccer fans.

Predilection: I like documentaries

Soundtrack: Zippy, peppy, foot tapping 70's songs and more.

Opening Titles: The graphics and type face took me immediately back to the 70's.

Visual Art: Oh those hairdos and sideburns.

Theater Audience: More crowded than I would have thought. Mostly guys and lots of laughs.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Drift Factor: The first half of the film had my full attention. The second half got a bit long.

Oscar Worthy: No

Soap Box: The demise of this 70's soccer league was the beginning of soccer's popularity in the US today. There are over 58,000,000 kids in Soccer leagues around the country.

Big Screen or Rental: Chances of finding this in your neighborhood are slim so rental would be the way to go.

Length: 100 minutes.