The Couch Potato Report (Special Edition)

The Couch Potato Report ñ Special Edition for Hockey Day In Canada
This week in a Special Edition of The Couch Potato Report ñ since it is Hockey Day In Canada – Iíll take a look at some movies that include hockey.
Sports movies are a dime a dozen. Good sports movies are a bit harder to find. A good movie about hockey is literally one in a million.
Unlike baseball, football, and many other North American sports, Hollywood has virtually ignored the great game of hockey. When they have bothered to make a hockey movie, they havenít really scored. In fact, with the exception of two movies, we hockey fans have been shut out at the movies.
Instead of spending this time talking about the many bad films that have been made about hockey, Iím going to cover some films that arenít about hockey, but have hockey in them.
For all of you Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves fans I am sorry to report that I wonít be speaking about YOUNGBLOOD, even though this 1986 flick is mildly entertaining.
You also wonít hear me utter a word about THE MIGHTY DUCKS. One, two or three. Yes, Disney did score a major box office hit with this sad-sack team of hockey playing kids, but hockey was just the backdrop. It could have been any sport, like baseball.
No, wait, they already made a baseball film about that very same subject. It was released in 1976 and was called THE BAD NEWS BEARS.
So with two exceptions, which Iíll get to in a minute, let me reference two movies that arenít about hockey, but have hockey in them.
Iíll start with WAYNEíS WORLD.
In this 1992 gem film Mike Myers and Dana Carvey are Wayne and Garth ñ two teens who live at home and have their own low-rent cable-access show in which they celebrate their favorite female movie stars and heavy-metal bands.
While it was based in a suburb of Chicago, it was actually based on Myers personal experiences growing up in a suburb of Toronto.
A suburb where they played road hockey. I ask you: Whatís more Canadian that playing road hockey and having to stop for a car?
No WAYNEíS WORLD isnít about hockey, but itís a better movie because it includes it.
Another great film that includes hockey is actually my favourite film of all time. The picture is called STRANGE BREW and it is the one and only cinematic adventure of SCTVís BOB & DOUG McKENZIE ñ two of the most iconic Canadians of all time.
In a nutshell STRANGE BREW is actually a well-sustained parody of Shakepeareís HAMLET, with a little hockey thrown in on the side.
Since it isnít a real game of hockey, but merely an attempt to control the world through beer, I guess including STRANGE BREW is a bit of a stretch, but as it ponders on the video and DVD package for the film: What matters most in life, eh? Hockey, donuts and beer.
Arenít those things synonymous with Canadians? And isnít it hockey day in Canada?
Okay, before I get too far off topic, letís drop the puck on this edition of The Couch Potato Report and let me tell you about two movies that not only have hockey in them, but are actually hockey movies.
MYSTERY, ALSAKA stars a pre-superstar Russell Crowe who is a small-town Sherriff and a player during the weekly game. The people in mystery love hockey. Their lives revolve around it. As a publicity stunt the NHLís New York Rangers propose to visit Mystery for a game.
If you havenít seen MYSTERY, ALASKA I donít want to say anything else as you should experience this wonderful little film without knowing too much about it. Especially the ending and the Don Cherry type commentator who appears in the middle of the film.
MYSTERY, ALASKA is a great hockey movie, but any conversation about the best hockey movie of all time has to begin and end with a slap shot.
Itís not even close, the definitive hockey film is SLAP SHOT.
Paul Newman and his Butch Cassidy director, George Roy Hill, made a very original comedy in this 1977 story of an over-the-hill player/coach for a lousy hockey team who gets results when he teaches his players to get dirty.
SLAP SHOT itself is dirty. It might be one of the most hilariously profane movies ever to come out of Hollywood.
It certainly is one of the most hilarious films that Hollywood has ever made.
WAYNEíS WORLD, STRANGE BREW, MYSTERY, ALASKA and SLAP SHOT are available on DVD at a store near you.
SPY KIDS 3-D: GAME OVER – This is the third (and reported final) installment in the very entertaining series.
MATCHSTICK MEN – Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell star in this picture about con men.
THE MISSING – Ron Howard followed up his Oscar winning turn in A BEAUTIFUL MIND with this forgettable pseudo western. In it a daughter and father team up to find a missing girl. (Tommy Lee Jones, Cate Blanchett, Simon Baker)
PIECES OF APRIL – A young woman tries to bring her family together for Thanksgiving. (Katie Holmes, Patricia Clarkson, Oliver Platt).
Enjoy the movies and Iíll see you back here next week on The Couch.