Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Mystery, Alaska

Ever since Mystery, Alaska came out in theaters I’ve always had this preconceived notion that it was a piece of shit. I thought it was absolutely ridiculous that a movie was made in which a local hockey team would play an NHL team. That concept is f’ing ludicrous. I know that it is just a movie and a lot of incredulous plotlines are in movies but still, I can only be asked to believe so much.

However, I decided last month to attempt to watch every hockey movie ever made (with the exception of that asinine primate movie). Mystery, Alaska is on the list and after reading plenty of comments that lauded the movie, I decided that watching it couldn’t be that bad.

I rarely ever rent movies so I don’t have a Netflix account. Since I couldn’t remember how much Blockbuster charges for rentals I actually considered getting a Netflix account for a month or two and then just canceling it. I also considered just buying the movie from However, I really couldn’t bring myself to buy a movie I’ve never seen, especially one that I always thought I would hate. I settled on going to Blockbuster and renting any hockey movies that were in stock. Mystery, Alaska was the only movie on my list that I don’t own that was actually in the Blockbuster store. I was actually shocked that my local Blockbuster didn’t carry Sudden Death and Youngblood. What Blockbuster doesn’t carry every Jean-Claude Van Damme movie ever made?

Renting Mystery, Alaska set me back $4.86. I thought it was going to cost me $2-3. $4.86?? What a rip-off!! (Can you tell I’m frugal?) Best Buy even sells some movies for $4! I was so disgusted by the rental cost yet so glad that Blockbuster didn’t have any other hockey movies on my “Watch” list.

I rented the DVD on Saturday and I still have it and I don’t plan on returning it till either Friday or Saturday. So far, I’ve watched it twice and might even watch it again on Thursday so that I get my full $4.86 worth. I watched it twice because after I watched it the first time I knew there were little things that I had missed or didn’t catch on till later in the movie. What can I say? Sometimes it’s difficult to tell white boys apart; some of them look alike. Call me racist, whatever.

I knew after the first five minutes that I was going to enjoy this movie (sorry,
Schnookie, I desperately wanted to join your fanclub). I thought the dialogue was funny (I guess I really am immature) and the actors were pretty good. The whole “local hockey team plays the NHL” plot still bugs me but thankfully the movie is, of course, much more than about how the team fares against the New York Rangers. It’s about hockey, a close-knit community, camaraderie, young love, and, of course, adultery. I wish I had purchased this movie on Amazon instead of paying to rent it, because it’s a movie that I would definitely watch again.

If you’ve never seen the movie and don’t want anything spoiled, stop reading.

I really liked a lot of the characters. The boys that played Russell Crowe’s sons were hysterical and absolutely adorable. Some of my favorite quotes from these boys:
“I have a toy pony and he takes big shits”.
“That’s a lung biscuit.”

I thought Russell Crowe was a convincing hockey player, although I thought his character was too soft-spoken. I didn’t really understand the “Dear Abby” scene because he did something really sweet and then disappeared. What? That was kind of lame.

I enjoyed seeing Hank Azaria play a jackass. I may be completely wrong but I thought he usually played charming, nice guy characters that are beloved by everybody so it was fun to see him play something completely different.

Skank Marden was probably my favorite character (can’t remember the actor’s name, although he did look very familiar). He acts just like a bunch of my guy friends except he’s nicer. He also had some memorable lines. And seriously, who wouldn’t shack up with him.

Kirsten and Tracy both told me to watch out for some speech by Tree, but I couldn’t figure out which one they were talking about seeing because I thought both speeches, the one at the beginning of the movie and the one at the court, weren't that notable . I wasn’t particularly fond of Tree. Towards the beginning of the movie he seems likeable enough but after that I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. Most of the time I kept thinking, “That guy is seriously retarded”. Also, as soon as I saw him I thought, “Look, an Eddie Belfour alike”. As for another look alike, Stevie reminded me of Sidney Crosby but with straighter hair and lips that weren’t as voluminous or pink.

I was happy to see Jim Fox as an announcer and I actually had no idea that he was in the movie. After hearing about the new Mike Myers hockey movie I was actually kind of annoyed to see him in the movie. IMDB notes that Myers’ character closely resembles Don Cherry.

There were some things that I didn’t really get in the movie, for example:
-How we were supposed to believe that they were all such great skaters;
-Why they cooked potatoes before games;
-Why the Saturday game was so special and its players so highly touted;

I knew that Mystery wouldn’t win the game but I was glad to see the guy hit the post. Brutal way to lose but I thought it was a good ending.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the movie:

“I'm telling you, she got her February fat now in the second week in December.”

“Well, actually, I heard he left 'cause he skated like a homosexual.”

“they're sending us a Zamboni.”
“Oh, a Zamboni. Gettin' wet just thinking about it.”

“You'd bite off your own jimmy if the price were right.”
“Really, Scott? My own jimmy?”

“dig splinters out of my ass that I get while sitting around pining for you?“

“I can’t feel my fingers”
“You need to rub 'em on a nice warm Yuletide log.”

“Don't you ever wish you lived…someplace where brothers and sisters were off-limits to each other sexually?”

To my surprise I enjoyed the movie. I wished I had watched Slap Shot 2 before Mystery, Alaska because I’m 99.99% sure that I will be disappointed with it. I’ll either buy The Rocket on Amazon or rent it on Netflix, if I sign up for an account, so that review won’t be coming soon. Look for my Slap Shot 2 review either this weekend or next week.


Kirsten said...

I dunno why I like Tree, I just do.
I told you it was an awesome movie...I like the part where the kid says some swearword, and then his mom asks "where did you learn that?" "at the rink." "you are never allowed there again". Definitely some classic lines in that movie. ooh, and the part where the girl's mom says to her dad "leave or I'll tell you", and he runs out like his ass is on fire.

KMS2 said...

Yeah, the kids were hysterical. I thought Burt Reynolds was great in the movie, too. I was expecting him to be some goofy, charming character but instead he was a hard ass. The stuff with his character's daughter was too funny.

Kirsten said...

My copy of the Rocket is currently on loan, but perhaps when it comes back it could make its way down there.
I don't remember what her name is, but it made me laugh really hard. I have to say, though, I've been inside a plow truck, and that doesn't strike me as a good idea...

Silencer76 said...

Glad that you gave Mystery a chance and enjoyed it. I think a lot of people downplayed it because Crowe was in it and he is not what one expects as a quintessential hockey player. Perhaps you will find that it is better than that "movie" Van Damme was in, Sudden Death. ;)

Silencer76 said...

Forgot to answer a couple of your other things on here:

The Saturday game was tradition in Mystery. Only the best of the best, young and old, were allowed to partake in the game. You had to earn your way into the contest, just like paying your dues in the minors. They actually had a committee in the town whose sole purpose was to select who would play.

Ron Eldard played Skank, he is one of those guys who seems to be in almost everything, that you never really realize until you look for him.

KMS2 said...

K: Thanks for the offer but I'm eventually going to buy The Rocket from Amazon because I have a strong feeling that I'll like it. The failed sex scene was hysterical!

S: I didn't think Russell Crowe would make a good hockey player but he proved me wrong. I could have sworn that I've seen Sudden Death but it was so long ago I can't exactly remember. But really, any movie with JCVD is worth a watch ;)

Kirsten said...

It totally is worth whatever it is, it's a GREAT movie. There are English subtitles if you don't speak French. If you do speak French there is a massive amount of awesome extras and interviews. Be sure and let me know what you think when you get around to watching it.

Steph said...

What Blockbuster doesn’t carry every Jean-Claude Van Damme movie ever made?

A TERRIBLE one, that's what! I hear you on the pains of not finding Youngblood though, out of the four video stores in Kalamazoo, none of them have it.

And as for Slapshot's a disappointment, but an amusing one. The fact that the Hanson brothers show up, completely dated and ridiculous and exactly the way they looked in the first movie made up for a whole lot of lame.

KMS2 said...

Steph: I couldn't believe Blockbuster didn't have Sudden Death and Youngblood!! I just signed up for Netflix so Youngblood should be arriving today and Sudden Death is in my queue. I also queued Les Boys but the reviews said the dubbing is absolutely dreadful so I'm worried about watching that one.

I still haven't gotten around to watching Slap Shot 2 but it's my goal to do so this week.

Steph said...

I ended up just downloading Youngblood because I was entirely impatient and didn't want to wait. I tried to do the same thing with Youngblood after I couldn't find it anywhere, but apparently even the internet doesn't want me to have it. Bah. I'll find it somewhere!

Isleschick said...

I loved this movie..!