Monday, January 8, 2007

Hockey Films For People Who Know Nothing About Hockey

While Mystery, Alaska is making a valiant attempt to pretend to the throne, Slap Shot is still, of course, the hockey movie. Both of these fine films, however, require at least a smidgeon of knowledge about the game. If you don’t know the difference between high sticking and cross-checking, the following movies are hockey films for people who know nothing about hockey.

The Cutting Edge: DB Sweeney is a hockey player trying to make the Olympic team. Moira Kelly is an Olympic hopeful figure skater. When a tragic accident disqualifies young DB from the team, he attempts to compete as Moira’s figure skating partner. I swear to God, that’s the movie. They throw in some Tracy- Hepburn romantic comedy antagonism, but pretty much the movie’s about a hockey player who desires to wear a skirt.

Youngblood: Rob Lowe weighs about one-hundred-twenty-five pounds soaking wet and looks like a girl. There’s no way he’d play hockey without getting his ass beaten daily. Thank God that’s what the movie is all about, but even then, some of the other hockey players include Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves, neither of whom are the very picture of machismo. The action on the ice is terrific and may even convince you to start learning about hockey.

Touch And Go: Michael Keaton is a famous hockey player who gets mugged by a gang of children, befriends one of them -- Ajay Naidu -- and sleeps with the kid’s mom, Maria Conchita Alonso. Commitment-phobic Keaton tries to go splitsville but the petulant Naidu keeps thwarting his attempts by being really cute. Hockey takes a wayback seat in this film, but the performances by the three leads are truly compelling.

The Mighty Ducks, I, II and III: The Bad News Bears formula works for any team sport. This successful pee-wee league trilogy just happened to be about hockey. The same combination of elements -- a down-and-out coach, a bunch of punky brats, a Cinderella season -- would work with football, basketball, soccer, lacrosse and jai alai.

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