Ten important questions after watching the trailer for that new England documentary ‘The Edge’

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4 minute read

The Edge is a 1997 film starring Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Elle Macpherson and Bart the Bear, a kodiak bear who also starred in Legends of the Fall among other things (actual fact).

It is a lost-in-the-wilderness-getting-hunted-by-a-kodiak-bear film.

The Edge is also a 2019 documentary about the last England team to get to number one in the world but which then fell apart.

You can watch the trailer here.

Here are ten important questions that arise after watching said trailer.

1. Does Andy Flower always talk that slowly?

Because honestly, if that was how he gave his team talks, we would have taken in precisely zero information. We were a word ahead of him throughout and would definitely have joined Kevin Pietersen in staring out of the window daydreaming. Life is short, Andy! Pick up the pace.

2. What’s in KP’s pocket?

Horrific to contemplate, but sadly also unavoidable to contemplate.

3. What in hell is Jonathan Trott doing?

Dancing, yes – that much is obvious, but (a) why is he dancing like that? And (b) why is he dancing at all? (We always felt that Jonathan Trott was ‘above’ dancing, so this is a very disappointing revelation.)

4. Do the film makers own a spirit level?

We’ve a strong suspicion that no England changing rooms were built at this angle.

5. Who was the groundsman responsible for this pitch?

What is that? Corduroy or something? If so, who’s the tiny batsman?

6. Who will deliver the finest ‘tough times’ reaction shot?

A staple of all serious documentaries is the bit when the interviewee talks about a difficult time and then the camera lingers on them so that you can see the raw emotion. Alastair Cook is clearly doing a very good job of that here, but his team-mates will doubtless make their own attempts. Who will be the best/most overwrought? (We also get to see Andrew Strauss gazing mournfully to the heavens and Ian Bell staring glumly at the ground. Then we get to see Graeme Swann give a big shit-eating grin because Graeme Swann has his own thing going on.)

7. Where is Monty Panesar?

It’s so dark and the footage is so grainy we can’t really make it out. It looks like Monty’s polishing glasses on a wood-panelled Mississippi paddle steamer. Possibly one that doubles as a casino.

8. Just how monumentally annoying was that pre-Ashes boot camp?

Looks to be at least 8/10 annoying. Possibly 9/10.

9. How did Chris Tremlett get a bruised rib?

We get a very brief glimpse of two people having a fight. One person is being lifted in the air and is really scrabbling madly, like Scrappy Doo. The other guy is not. We can only presume this is the legendary fight that entirely predictably left Jimmy Anderson with a broken rib and completely inexplicably left Chris Tremlett with a bruised rib?

How much ‘sprinkler’ will there be?

Because we can only take a finite amount. In all honesty, we’re a bit sprinklered out just from the trailer and the trailer features almost zero sprinkler.

First published in December 2018.

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  1. You think of The Edge as being a cheesy movie about a bear.

    I think of the Edge as being a brain-straining website about stuff that is on the edge of knowledge:


    Neither of our alternative edges helps answer any of your ten questions. But I think I can say with some confidence that there will only be a finite amount of sprinkler in the documentary film. it would be hard to fit an infinity of anything into a documentary film.

    Bert does maths to edge.org levels and beyond. I’m sure Bert will explain it to you.

    1. Actually, we think of The Edge as being a minimalist Irish guitarist who always wears a hat.

  2. I hate documentaries. If they’re not telling you that the planet will end soon, they’re explaining how a volcano on Santorini caused the pyramids to be built by Nazis. I mean, it turns out that even David Attenborough uses actors in gorilla suits or parrot suits or whatever. When I was doing O-Levels, you could actually watch a documentary to revise. Try that now and your answers will appear on a T-shirt.

    But the main reason I hate documentaries is that they might as well all start with the following announcement:

    The maker of this documentary would like it to be known that he/she didn’t realise you could get an Oscar for documentary film making, but now that he/she does realise that, it is essentially what this documentary is all about.

    So, from a medium that is supposed to be informative, what we get instead is artistic-to-the-point-of-absurdity, melancholy, and with a false air of investigative journalism. Those Dutch angles – yeh, whatever. That lingering shot – designed to suggest the interviewee was caught in an unguarded moment, but actually take-thirty-four. Hanging scenes, where a camera focusses on the reaction of a player entirely out of context – ooh, so KP’s laughter must have been aimed at Cook then, the mean bastard.

    I’d rather stick to the truth about that team, which is that they couldn’t cope by themselves once the aliens had returned to Atlantis. On a shark.

      1. OK, Daddy-O, that’s a fruity riposte. Hope to ketchup with you when the county cricket season starts – Worcestershire perhaps – a thought for a gentleman’s relish.

  3. Ok it bugs me more than I care to admit that you numbered questions 1-9 but not 10. The last question feels like it should be a bonus question, but it’s not. Just number 10. I hereby request an 11th question so that I may feel the satisfaction of receiving a bonus question.

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