Friday, July 22, 2016
'Sons of Ben' VOD/DVD Awesome Doc on Fans Creating Philadelphia Union Soccer Team
The true love of Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States that le film du jour reflects extends beyond the subject of the new Rothbury Road Productions documentary "Sons of Ben," which tells of die-hard soccer fans in Philadelphia campaigning to bring a professional team to their city. Gravitas Ventures is coinciding the July 22, 2016 DVD and VOD releases of this awesome film with the start of the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Week.
This timing additionally is apt regarding preceding Democratic hooligans descending on the City of Brotherly Love (and the setting for the horribly maligned '70s Donna Pescow/Robert Hays/Doris Roberts sitcom "Angie.") for their convention. Sanders supporters may out hooligan the most die-hard "football" fan.
It is equally awesome that the appeal of "Sons" extends well beyond sports fans in the same manner that the 1998-2000 Aaron Sorkin sitcom "Sports Night" is a hilarious program that just happens to be set in an ESPN-style newsroom. Each of the founding fathers is a likable guy with whom one would love to have a Philly cheese steak and a Tasty Kake krimpet.
"Sons" tells how soccer mania in the wake of holding the 1994 World Cup in the United States leads to both forming the MLS and to "ordinary bloke" Bryan James and a few other soccer fans beginning their campaign to bring a professional team to Philadelphia. In the spirit of Philadelphia native son Rocky Balboa, this group does not give up even after MLS expansion bypasses their city and Mrs. James becomes increasingly annoyed regarding the amount of time that Bryan is devoting to the SOBs.
One of the most interesting members is a guy who uses the group as a positive outlet for his physical and mental energy as part of his effort to overcome a substance abuse problem. Other SOBs simply love the game and the group. Their discussing their grass root efforts show that they engage in that activity in the truest sense of the word.
One of the most interesting segments in this "its already over?!" film depicts creating the logo of this group that adopts Philadelphia celebrity Ben Franklin as their inspiration. The multiple Franklin elements include a kite, a lightning bolt, and the crack in the Liberty Bell.
Documentarian Jeffrey C. Bell additionally shows the international attention that the SOBs attract. the role of sports executive Nick Sakiewicz in the campaign, and the political and economic aspects of creating a new sports franchise. We further get a look at the inner-city community of Chester, Pennsylvania 20 miles from Philadelphia.
The personal and group ups-and-downs during the campaign for give Philadelphia soccer fans something about which to genuinely cheer will suck in those of us whom "Rocky" (and even "Rudy") merely bore silly. The "characters" are real people whose dedication is infectious. A perfect example of this is seeing "little Fitzy" lead a large group of SOBs in their most daring escapade.
On a larger level, this is a feel-good movie at a time that blockbusters and the real world provide very little reason for optimism. As this review repeatedly indicates, you will want Philadelphia to get a soccer team even if you have zero interest in the game.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Sons" is strongly encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.