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w/ WNT midfielder Aly Wagner


With the summer coming to an end, we wanted to look back at the top five summer blockbusters of 2002, and we knew just the person to supply it.  If she wasn't one of the top young midfielders in the world, Aly Wagner might be sitting next to Roger Ebert, giving thumbs up or thumbs down on the best, and worst, that Hollywood has to offer.  The Santa Clara University senior, college soccer player of the year candidate and resident U.S. Soccer movie critic is sure to be a top pick in the 2003 WUSA draft next year.  Today, Aly picks her top five summer favorites.

1) “Spiderman (starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst)
“I can't say I'm a big fan of men in tights, but I'll make an exception for Tobey Maguire. He's got that cute, dorky superhero aura nailed.  There's just something about a guy who can whisk you away from the dangers of the night and then end it with an upside-down kiss.  It was undoubtedly the best upside-down kiss in film history.  And if you're that creative on a kiss, well … It was your classic fun, entertaining and not-too-deep summer blockbuster.”

2) “My Big Fat Greek Wedding (starring John Corbett and Nia Vardalos)
“‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ was an independent film that drew a mainstream following -- and rightfully so.  While ‘Austin Powers’ (see below) was the funniest movie of the summer, this was a close second.  Perhaps the movie hit home with those of us who fear being a woman in her mid-30s who has been unable to find a worthy man.  In the end, the film convinced me of two things: 1) I don't want to have a Greek wedding, but 2) I would love to attend a few.”

3) “Austin Powers in Goldmember (starring Mike Myers and Beyonce Knowles)
“For a sequel to a sequel, which generally gets two thumbs down, the plot line was creative and funny.  While the jokes were basically retreads from the first two films, they still had some bite and got me laughing.  It did take me half the movie to realize that the crazy Dutchman was actually Mike Myers, which either attests to his ability as a character actor or my willingness to play the Phoebe-from-‘Friends’ role as an audience member.  While the movie was well worth seeing, the jokes may have run their course.  If they can find some new material, I might go see Seth Green play the new antagonist in the sure-to-be made fourth Austin Powers movie.”

4) “Signs (starring Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix)
“I'm usually not one for scary movies, but I am one for Mel Gibson, and seeing as how my Friday nights have been spent with moms and pops of late, I decided to take a chance.  I must admit I jumped, screamed and bit all my nails off during the movie, and it wasn't even that scary.  Director M. Night Shyamalan pieced together a tremendous film about an extra-terrestrial invasion, while making it seem very believable and real.  One critique would be that they could have done better with the alien costumes (I liked how they were tall and lean, as I think any good alien would have that physique, but their faces were kind of cheesy and lacked character and originality).  Still, if you want to see a science fiction thriller that defies most stereotypes of a sci-fi movie, this is for you.  Not only that, but it was as funny as it was scary.”

5) “Possessions (starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart)
“Of course, I could not have a top-five summer hits list without throwing in a ‘this-could-never-happen-in-real-life’ love story.  You know the ones you watch as a child that taint your perception of future romance because we all know those men from the movies are really just a women's creation?  Of course. Who wants to live in reality? So I keep going back, and ‘Possessions’ delivers the fantasy.  In this film that goes back and forth between two time periods and two romantic trysts, Gwenyth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart develop a relationship featuring back and forth bantering between two strong-willed people who eventually find happiness and compliment each other perfectly.  True life?  No.  Fun to watch? Yes.”

Table of Contents
1)
Armchair Midfielder (The Triple-Edged Sword: Class of 1991 vs. Class of 2002)
2) Word Association (w/ MNT defender Eddie Pope)
3) At the Movies (w/ WNT midfielder Aly Wagner)
4) Queries and Anecdotes (w/ MNT defender Gregg Berhalter)
5) Big Woman on Campus (w/ U-19 WNT defender Keeley Dowling)
6) Superstar!!! (w/ WNT forward Mia Hamm)
7) Mark That Calendar (2002 Nike U.S. Women’s Cup)
8) Point/Counterpoint (What Do YOU Know?!?)
9) "You Don’t Know Jack (Marshall)" (U.S. Open Cup trivia) 

Download this issue of Center Circle (.pdf)

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