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Mystery, Alaska 1999

This comedy is about the residents of a small town who get over-excited when their hockey team gets chosen to host a televised event...

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Solar rating: 7.5

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Imdb rating: 6.6

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Lets get things perfectly clear right off the bat...I like sitting around watching television. I know that this is not the most popular approach to living nowadays. Today, its getting out and living life not laying around watching someone else do it. Exercise and healthy eating is starting to infringe upon my lifestyle of buttered popcorn, Goobers, and spend the majority of my waking hours as a Couch Potato. But, its a way to go.
I am not old, per say, but I am getting older. At 39, I remember standing in line to see Star Wars or Coma, hitting the Drive-in for Smokey and the Bandit or Porky's, and then heading home for an episode of Happy Days or the Brady Bunch. I remember Bruce Banner when he was Eddie's father, a skinny Dan Akroyd, and Saturday nights watching Hawaii 5-0 and eating TV dinners.
Ok, if that makes me old then so be it. And as an old person I am now entitled to my opinion regardless of how pointless and irrelavent it may seem. So be prepared for my reviews, comments, and shallow thinking as we journey forth into the past.
Ned
Hockey!! Hockey!! Okay, so I love hockey, and therefore, hockey movies.

Miracle - I caught this in February, but just rented it on DVD this week so I could enjoy Kurt Russell's accent some more :)

The Strong: Kurt Russell's Pants! One thing that stood out for me in this film was the wonderful editing during the final game. It's difficult during true life sports movies to keep up the tension during an event that people already know the outcome of. I also feel that they really captured the look and feel of the time period in which it occurred. And HOCKEY :D

The Weak: It was the usual 'feel-good movie' formula. Now I loves me a 'feel-good movie' every now and then, but enjoy it more when it's disguised - when I don't find out it is 'feel good' until the end.

Mystery, Alaska happens to be on my Top Ten list. I love it. I love the cast, the pacing, the plot, the humor- wonderful.

Slapshot - if you haven't seen it, you must. Hilarious!

Having a hockey movie take place in a small town and then focus on its locals instead of on the game sounded like a nice idea.
Too bad it doesn't work here.

Every subplot is overly melodramatic and nothing gets a satisfying resolution. Seriously, at times it's like watching Gone with the Wind on Ice.

4.4/10


Jay Roach's hockey dramedy is well-made, well-acted, and most importantly, hilarious.
Mystery, Alaska is an uplifting small town hockey film written by David E. Kelley with good performaces (Russell Crowe, Colm Meaney). A little hokey at times but what else would you expect from David E. Kelley?



So today I watched Mystery, Alaska. This was the last of my rentals and the one I was looking forward to most. The critics were pretty much split on this movie, but I love sports films. Rudy is in the top ten, and Friday Night Lights was one of my favorite movies of 2004. So obviously I was really interested in this.

While this film had so many flaws, I really really enjoyed it. Mystery Alaska, a fictional town in the extremely cold northwest, breaths hockey. The townspeople all come together saturday night to watch the local hockey team square off on the pond. But when Sports Illustrated does a small article about them, the NHL believes it would be good publicity to invite the New York Rangers up and have an exhibition game. For such a small town, this sparks lots of attention but the team of just 11 players practice like it's the stanley cup.

Alaska stars Russell Crowe as the teams captain, and Burt Reynolds as the teams coach, and as the towns Judge. Reynolds actually pulls off a great performance as a stubborn father, hard-ass Judge, and ultimately the teams coach who makes the team run dog sleds and skate for hours. I also think the other players did a tremendous job with what they were given. However, this film was far from perfect. There were some odd sub plots that had me cringing (the premature ejaculating high school kid, need I say more?). Along with that, the idea that they can score two goals against a professional team before they can even score one is hard to really believe.

Nonetheless, I really admired this film for all the heart it had. It may not have been a masterpiece like Rudy, but a good film that deserves a watch.

Mystery, Alaska is the best hockey movie that I have ever seen. I really really really enjoyed Slap Shot and Miracle, and they were both great movies, but Mystery has something that the other movies did not. I don't know exactally what it is, but it is just something. Some magical aura around it that makes it stand out compared to other hockey movies that I have seen. I think one of the main clinchers for me is the fact that they lose the game. Most movies are all happy happy, the good guy wins movies, but oh no, you don't see this one coming. I think that is what makes it a great movie (minus the slow clapping at the end, shame on you Burt Reynolds).
"Mystery is made up of quirky characters, charming storylines and an often funny and affecting script, all brought to life by excellent actors."
-- Sandra Ramani, CITYSEARCH
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Mystery, Alaska (1999): 7/10

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