This is the 4th entry looking at music used in films about football. [Previous one here]

This next film was a Hollywood vehicle intended to launch someone into future starring roles.

What happens is the person in question was a support in a.n.other movie and subsequently got a lot of notice in this role (c.f: Russell Brand in Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and then the big studios take a gamble by putting together something in which they hope will put the leading actor onto the A list.
And of course make the studio a ton of money as well.

An attempt at this was made with:

Vinnie Jones in: MEAN MACHINE

I'm a future X-Man you know

Previously known for his less than subtle tackles on some others and whilst still as a player Vinnie was paid to front the video: Soccer’s Hard Men which got him into a bit of bother:

…He also was the presenter of the infamous Soccer’s Hard Men video released in 1992, which featured archived footage of himself and many other “hard men” of the game, and included advice for budding “hard men”. After the release of the video, Jones was fined £20,000, banned for six months, and suspended for three years from The FA for “bringing the game into disrepute.” Wimbledon chairman Sam Hammam branded Jones a “mosquito brain”. Jones continued to find trouble. After exceeding 40 disciplinary points he was once again summoned to Lancaster Gate, but failed to appear. The FA banned Jones indefinitely. Jones explained that he had “mixed up” the date of the hearing; the FA imposed a four-match ban and told Jones to “grow up.” Jones commented later: “The FA have given me a pat on the back. I’ve taken violence off the terracing and onto the pitch.”     [source]

He liked this brush with the media and the exposure it gave him. After retirement from playing he subsequently began to appear on various telly programmes as well as a (thankfully) short musical career. [More about that at a later date.]
I do my little turn on the catwalk...
Then a couple of years later a mate of his who was a budding film director cast him in this low budget, UK made Cockerney caper and thus… Hold on a sec…

Can I get a… on this…? Yes…? Vinnie Jones is now a thespian. A confirmed one at that.

After the unexpected success of Lock, Stock and notice by everyone of Vinnie’s natural progression from a hard man into a err…. hard man, more money was thrown at Guy Ritchie to see if lightning can strike twice in the same place and it pretty much did.

After these two strong showings by Vinnie it was time to see if he could hold up on his own and with Matthew Vaughn, (the Producer of Lock, Stock and Snatch) & Guy Ritchie as Exec Producer they looked at how they could get a quick return on this investment by taking and remaking a well known story and tooling it for Vinnie’s obvious talents. Thus the change the American football into soccer Mean Machine movie was made.

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What’s the film like ? Dunno. I haven’t seen it myself. I’ve looked through a few online reviews and it’s basically what you see is what you get – an English accented remake of the 1974 Burt Reynolds movie The Longest Yard.

The Soundtrack:

Mean Machine soundtrack Now this is the thing about what is billed as an original soundtrack. It actually is.

Just like the Jimmy Grimble soundtrack this is an album that could exist separate from the movie. If I played the whole CD to you, barring a few songs, you would not guess that this was a soundtrack for a footballing movie.

This compilation is a mix of genres with some familiar pop tunes as well as some obvious linked to footie songs.

A few examples:

» Krafty Kuts – Who’s Da Man
» Tin Tin Out -Strings For Yasmin
[Actual footie connection with that one.]
» Firstborn – The Mood Club
» Pressure Drop – Dusk

This next one which I’m led to believe was featured in the film but didn’t make it onto the soundtrack:

» Lo-Fidelity Allstars Feat Pigeonhead – Battle Flag

I’ve grouped together there what would be considered as dance music.
(Going a bit corny here, but these are some banging tunes)

There are some film score tracks on the CD too, which don’t actually sound like your average film score music. Especially when you read the title of the first track and then have a listen to it:

» Mean Machine Soundtrack – Danny In Solitary
» Mean Machine Soundtrack – Flight Night

Not what you expect when you think “solitary confinement”

Wrapping this up for now… I might post some additional if you ask nice, but for now a couple of very infectious tunes:

» Middlerow -Right Proper Charlie
“Bruv ! Are you sure bruv ?!” My favourite of all the tracks.

» Little T & One Track Mike – Wings

One each from both sides of the Atlantic there. Neither of them like the above (and previous soundtracks) have anything to do with footie. In fact the last one references basketball, but bugger it. I like the tunes.

3 Replies to “Football & Movie Music: Mean Machine”

  1. Ah…Vinnie Jones….The Beautiful Game….if we’re being honest he’s got a lot further in life than his talent deserved.

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