Review: Best

A mostly successful portrait of the Norther Irish footballer explores his explosive sporting highs and dark personal lows.

Hailing from Belfast, he crossed the Irish sea and was playing for Matt Busby‘s Manchester United by the age of 17.

Then began a dizzy spell of sumptuous football: an FA Cup win for the club in 1963, two First Division titles in 1965 and 1967 either side of a famous performance in 1966 away to Lisbon’s Benfica, and then a dramatic European Cup win in 1968, again against the aforementioned Portuguese powerhouse.

Ironically, this win marked a gradual decline for both club and player as United did not win a league title for another 25 years and would only regain the European Cup in 1999.

As for Best, he would endure a shattering descent into depression and alcoholism, with parts of the British press painting him into a corner as a celebrity party animal.

He later said: “The whole thing became a total nightmare”

Although director Daniel Gordon adopts a mostly chronological approach, he doesn’t shy away from the pain of his private life that continued to dog him as he became a wandering footballer for hire in the USA and around the world during the 1970s and 80s.

Among a raft of smoothly edited archive footage, there are some key interviews woven throughout: a sad lament from close United teammate Paddy Crerand, plus testimony from former wives Angie and Alex, who reveal the tumult of living with Best.

The film doesn’t really go far enough in exploring the full extent of the physical and mental abuse he reportedly inflicted on them, but still deserves praise for getting them in front of the camera to broach the subject.

At the time of his death in 2005, Best was a forlorn figure who had undergone a liver transplant and yet still continued to drink.

One might have thought there was not much more to say about George Best. But for veteran observers or newcomers to his life and career, this is a solid place to start.

> Find out more about George Best at Wikipedia
> Buy the film on DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon UK

DVD & Blu-ray Picks: May 2017


Tampopo – The Criterion Collection (Sony Pictures Home Ent.) /

A Monster Calls (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) /

My Life As a Dog (Arrow Films) /

Silence (Elevation Sales) /

12 Angry Men – The Criterion Collection (Sony Pictures Home Ent.) /

La La Land (Elevation Sales) /

Mad Max: Fury Road – Black and Chrome Edition (Warner Home Video) /

Manchester By the Sea (Elevation Sales) /

Truck Turner (Trinity Creative Partnership) /

Mulholland Drive (Elevation Sales) /

Kraftwerk: The Catalogue 3D (Parlophone Records) /

Fahrenheit 451 (Universal Pictures) /

Toni Erdmann (Elevation Sales) /

Mirror (Artificial Eye) /

> George Miller interview at IndieWire on the Fury Road Chrome Edition
> Roger Ebert’s Great Movies: Crimes and Misdemeanors
> Kenneth Lonergan, Casey Affleck and Lucas Hedges Discuss Manchester By The Sea at AOL
> DP/30 interview with writer-director Damien Chazelle on La La Land

DVD & Blu-ray Picks: April 2017


Crimes and Misdemeanours (Arrow Films) /

Solaris – The Criterion Collection (Sony Pictures Home Ent.) /

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Walt Disney Home Entertainment) /

Akira (Manga Entertainment) /

O.J.: Made in America (Fremantle) /

Coal Miner’s Daughter (Media Sales) /

Umberto D (Trinity Creative Partnership) /

The Lady from Shanghai (Trinity Creative Partnership) /

> More about Vittorio De Sica at Wikipedia
> Reviews of Crimes and Misdemeanours at IMDb

DVD & Blu-ray Picks: March 2017


Another Woman (Arrow Films) / Blu-ray/Normal /

Knife in the Water (Screenbound Pictures Ltd) / Blu-ray /

Nocturnal Animals (Universal) / Blu-ray/Normal /

Repulsion (Screenbound Pictures Limited) / Blu-ray/DVD /

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Trinity Creative Partnership) / Blu-ray/DVD /

Paterson (Soda Pictures Ltd) Blu-ray/DVD /

> Find out more about Roman Polanski’s films at DVD Beaver
> More about Another Woman at Woody Allen Pages

DVD & Blu-ray Picks: February 2017


Heat (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) Blu-ray / Remastered

Glengarry Glen Ross (Network Releasing) Blu-ray / Normal

A Man for All Seasons – The Masters of Cinema Series (Eureka) Blu-ray / with DVD – Double Play

Charade (Universal Pictures) Blu-ray / Normal

Hannah and Her Sisters (Arrow Films) Blu-ray / Normal

Woody Allen: Seven Films – 1986-1991 (Arrow Films) Blu-ray / Box Set

Christine (Universal Pictures) Blu-ray / Normal

Cul-de-sac – The Criterion Collection (Sony Pictures Home Ent.) Blu-ray / Restored

I, Daniel Blake (Entertainment One) Blu-ray / Normal

Mildred Pierce – The Criterion Collection (Sony Pictures Home Ent.) Blu-ray / Restored

My Darling Clementine (Arrow Films) Blu-ray / Normal

The Last Detail (Indicator) Blu-ray / with DVD – Double Play

The Wicker Man (Elevation Sales) Blu-ray / Normal

What Dreams May Come (Fremantle) Blu-ray / Normal

> Review of the newly restored Heat Blu-ray
> review The Last Detail (1973)