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“Stories Of Pelé” — SportsCentury Interviews
“Glory, glamour, debauchery, controversy. It’s all here in ‘Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos.’ This untold tale of America’s first great soccer team and its larger-than-life superstar reveals how a scrappy team of ragtag athletes rose from total anonymity to stratospheric celebrity only to flame out in a New York minute. From the makers of the award-winning ‘One Day in September’ and ‘Dogtown and Z-Boys,’ this hugely entertaining and humorous film has everything — heroes and villains, egos and excess, wild partying and exciting sports action. Adding to all the drama are candid — and often juicy interviews with former players, coaches, newsmakers, and journalists. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime story you just can’t miss.”
“Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos” is rated PG-13 for language and some nudity.
That being said, I found myself quite often bored by it. I have very little interest in soccer, so I had a hard time being engaged by it. The business and hype surrounding the Cosmos is interesting, but it wasn’t enough. There were other things I would rather have viewed. Still, I could see how soccer fans would be really intrigued by it.
The bonus features are light on the DVD, but what is here should make fans happy. There’s a lone deleted scene where the Cosmos businessmen talked about putting together a fake Haitian team to play in a tournament after the real team jumped immigration. There’s also a featurette where Pele’s former teammates talk about what it was like playing and socializing with him. They make him sound like a demigod of sorts. Finally, there’s a collection of highlights from some of their more notable games including Pele’s final game with the Cosmos.