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Culture Vulture Schmulture – E

In a feature shamelessly “inspired” by The Times‘s Culture Vulture, British Expat brings you the above titled (subtitled “Things you should own, if they’re the sort of thing you might like…”)

This week we’re on to “E”. Much as I like it, I can’t bring myself to choose Everything Must Go by the Manics. Primal Scream’s last album was called XTRMNTR (that’s “exterminator” – for the terminally thick). In order to dig myself out of a hole, I’ve decided (fairly enough) that that begins with an, um, “X”. Guess what the entry’s gonna be that week, ev’rybody!
AAAARRRRGGHHHHHH! Just realised that in all my effort to come up with something for “C” I forgot The Commitments, one of my very favourite films. I’m going to go and sulk now.

All-time great football team? Well, you’ve got to have Pelé, of course, and there’s few better defenders than Bobby Moore. That Ossie Ardiles was quite nifty, and then there’s the irreplaceable Sylvester Stallone. Hang on, what the hell…? Even if you absolutely had to have a film tough-guy in your AllStar XI, would you really have Sly? Would you really have him in goal? Not Bruce Willis as a midfield dynamo, or Jean-Claude Van Damme up front? Probably best not to put Kurt Russell on the wing. (Makes sense if you’ve seen the risible Executive Decision, starring Steven Seagull and Kurty (for approx. 12 minutes).) “Ah,” I hear you say (humour me…): “what if, hypothetically speaking, this AllStar XI is playing in war-time and has to have Sly as part of the escape team? And the only way to do so is to break your first-choice goalkeeper’s arm in between two slats supporting one of your POW camp beds?” I’m tempted to give the whole plot away, but that would be very un-professional of me (By the by, Ms Editor-person, I’m still waiting for my first pay cheque).

Cleverly the producers keep people doing what they can. Pelé and Ossie et al. don’t try to act and Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone are rarely seen with a ball. In fact, I think Stallone makes the same save about 17 times during the centre-piece match.

Escape to Victory is no The Great Escape, The Longest Day or Saving Private Ryan. It’s not so much about the brutality of war as it is about the human side. You can’t possibly have not seen it, it’s on every single Bank Holiday, sometimes twice. But it’s a feel-good movie, the good guys get what they deserve (except Stallone) and the bad guys get what they deserve (nothing). I may slate their decision to use fairly renowned actors as football players, but it’s got me talking about it so it’s obviously a reasonably good ploy. Well worth a look, in other words. In fact, you might say it’s something which…

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