Friday, December 14, 2007

We were contacted recently about doing a review for a movie that has recently been released on DVD in the United States.

The winner of, ironically, 9 Canadian Academy Awards...


First and foremost, if you're not a hockey fan, you won't like this movie, let alone watch it.
However, if you're a fan of life and a fan of captivating cinema, this is the movie to watch.

We were going to rate this movie using a 1 through 4 stars rating.
20 minutes into this film, we came to the realization that there are not enough stars in the galaxy to rate the dominance of this celluloid spectacular.

Actor Roy Dupuis turns in the performance of his career.
Maurice Richard being Maurice Richard was tough.
Being the actor playing Maurice Richard is more pressure than any of us will ever feel.

In a move that Quentin Tarantino's dreams dream about, the movie starts off by putting you right into the mix of the controversy that took place at Le Forum de Montreal on March 13, 1955. [ Wiki ]

It then starts the traditional cinematic plot process, as you go on a trip through Richard's teenage years, then through his trials and tribulations as a rising hockey star.

The movie pulls off the rare feat of dominating your eyes without really having an antagonist in the film, although it can be argued that Richard's inner-self and his rise of a reluctant French-speaking hockey star in an English-speaking world brings more adversity to the table than anything you'll find in movies coming from southern California.

Whoever was in charge of this film was in the zone while in the editing room.

They have sporadic scenes on the streets of Montreal that are in black-and-white,
reminding you that we're talking about mid-20th century life.

We also get to see a cool scene of when Montreal wins the Stanley Cup.
The Cup is only that, a cup. Someone mistakes it as a dish.
Little moments like this are what movies are all about.

A subtle touch in the film is showing Richard's shoe stepping on a loose board while opening the door to the home in his early career, showing the poor life Richard led while also depicting the weight of being a hockey superstar weighing down on Richard's shoulders.

A downfall in this film was during the actual hockey scenes,
where goalies seemed like they were purposely giving up goals.
But we digress, since that is a staple in every hockey movie ever made, and the movie is about Richard scoring goals, not goalies making saves.

Another downfall is Sean Avery.
Although he has some acting skill, Avery, who acts every day as a NHL player, has the charisma of a 4th-grade art teacher.
He brings the film down as a 4-minute foe of The Rocket.

Richard is all business.

The hockey scenes survive, though, by totally transcending time and space, and being able to take you to a 1950's Le Forum de Montreal atmosphere without you batting an eye.

Some sports movies cannot seem to balance sports-action scenes with scenes concerning off-the-ice life, but this film pulls it off with ease.


In final, we have to say that this film will never get the respect it rightfully deserves.
No one born after 1955 can grasp how much of a legend Richard was, and how much he changed life and the world.


We also wanted to take the opportunity to direct you to a review of this film
that was written by a man who gave it no chance.

Ronnie Sheib from [ ]

"...steadfast wife Lucille (Julie LeBreton) alternates between two stereotypical emotions: pride for Richard's accomplishments and fear for his safety."

Yeah, man, those are human emotions.
Is she supposed to be apathetic towards everything?
What a stupid statement.
Since the movie is about her HUSBAND, she is there to push the story along.
They're not gonna have a scene where she's telling one of her friends that she likes to play Bingo, because it's irrelevant.

"Ken Scott's overdetermined script permits no event, no emotion, no moment not absolutely essential to his straight-ahead narrative, as every character displays one trait that will slot him or her into a preordained role."

Sorry, dude. It's a movie.
You watch movies for a living, so you've already lost yourself in self-adulation about what you think a movie should be.

-- Everyone on Earth knows if a single line of dialog or a scene does not progress the movie's plot or develop a character, then the movie should not be heralded for its narrative feel.

You say each character displays one trait, while telling us just a paragraph before that Richard's wife exhibits TWO emotions.

The traits slot them into a preordained role?
Yeah, that's what a screenplay script does sometimes.

"Tech credits are pro, though Michel Cusson's swelling [ music ] score skirts parody."

What? We're in 2007.
Everything you listen to these days will somehow be influenced by earlier works or try to capture what someone felt when hearing a certain piece.
That "parody" happens in every genre.

"When everyone but gruff, hardline Montreal Canadiens coach Dick Irvin (an excellent Stephen McHattie) doubts Richard's stamina, Richard spectacularly proves them wrong."

We agree that Stephen McHattie played the role with the brass of a riverboat gambler.

He ran the money-counterfeiting scheme in Beverly Hills Cop III.

But the fact that this critic does not make any mention of Ed Harris being a perfect fit for the role gives no credence to anything he has to say.

And finally, the movie is based on actual events and stays true to history.
Not a lot of wiggle room to put a mobster in there who wants Richard to throw a game or something just to spice the story up.


We're not here to throw anyone under the bus for just simply making a movie.
It's a movie. It's entertainment. Enjoy it.
It's definitely not a waste of time on idle Tuesday afternoon.


canaanregulatesblog said...

tldnr. =)

BlankieGirl said...

WOW! I'd never heard of this movie, and I thank you for the review of it. Will definitely add this to my Christmas list I'm giving to hubby tonight!! :)

Lauren said...

A friend of mine managed to get me a Québécois copy of Le Rocket last year, and it made my life. One of my all-time favorite movies. I can't believe it's finally being released in the states!

I think it'll be missing something if it's not in French, though...

Jonny McBusiness-Man said...

Sorry Ya'll.

I know my wife made me late to the game because she was washing the mini-van and then we had to pick up Cody McBusiness-Man from soccer practice.

Blackberry during the game? How am i supossed to get all of my work done if i dont bring that with me? Sorry the wife and kids (which i didnt want) were hungry.

I go to the games to be considered "in" i like that Stall kid, i think he should shoot whenever he touches the ball. he would have like 60 touchdowns.

You have to admit hockey is harder to understand than the nfl. i cant speak canadian so wtf. when the stillers score a touchdahn i know when to cheer and when to stand.

Korn said...

Everyone cries and complains that hockey doesn't get more respect and that if people gave it a chance they'd realize what a great sport it is. And then they bash people who can't recite the 91 Cup team's roster and don't understand the ins and outs of setting up a power play.

Everyone cried that the Pens had to get rid of Kovy, Jagr, Straka, Lang, Kasper because they couldn't afford them. And aside from the lack of a salary cap, the arena wasn't selling out every night.

Sure it's nice to have 20 dollar tickets. And maybe a lot of the student rushers were louder and more enthusiastic (read: drunk). But if the Penguins faithful want any chance of keeping the core of this team together long enough to make a Cup run (or 4 or 5), you're going to need Johnny McBusinessman to pay for his season tickets. And hopefully his desire to have those seats moves from being "the thing to do" to "I love this team and can't wait to plunk down my money for it (which was also hard earned)"

Can't have it both ways.

wilsmith said...

Can't wait to see Rocket. For real.


We should create a list of "to-do's" at Pens games.

I'm stealing this idea, of course, from concert goers who distribute lists of little things to do during the set that are cued by the band (the band isn't supposed to really know about it). It's simple, but it can be hilarious.

Why not try and coordinate chants/cheers etc etc for the games? Surely enough people could find their way to this blog, or other forums like LPG where they could see things to do at certain times.

The crowd is largely silent, and "Lets Go Pens" is the only thing you ever hear, if anything at all. Maybe you can blame audio equipment (and to be honest, if you're watching it on TV that's probably what to blame), but how much more into the game does the crowd sound at many of the other arenas?

Show up early, stay late and be loud.

Ryan said...

Today's post seemed really unusual...but that's probably because you guys actually proofread it. And didn't make any feces jokes.

With that said...

Solid review.

::moves The Rocket to top of netflix queue::

otis said...

If you have a Netflix account, you don't even have to add it to your's one of those "Watch Instantly" flicks.
Awesome review....looking forward to checking it out!

Lisa said...

As a Montrealer, I swelled in pride.

Fun Tidbit: Le Rocket is actually implemented into 8th grade courses in Montreal :) He was (and still is) that much of a legend. When the cemetery workers went on strike where he's buried, the citizens of Montreal kept his grave clean--they mowed it, took away old flowers, and kept replacing the Quebec flag whenver it would get too tattered.


Pensgirl said...

Wow, Roy Dupuis? He played the "badass spy" role well on USA's old "La Femme Nikita" show. And he's playing the Rocket? I almost never watch movies, but I'm gonna have to get my hands on this one.

wilsmith, the two home games I've attended this year have featured absolute duds of fans. And both were OT games (Habs shootout & Rangers OT). In the Habs game people wouldn't even cheer when the jumbotron prompted it. I could hear the players' skates on the ice from section C. In the Rangers game people were too concerned with booing Jagr to bother cheering for their own effing team. It's pathetic.

Lana said...

Sweet review, I've owned the movie for over a year now but now I think i'm going to have to watch it again.

wingergirl said...

The things you guys normally do are amazing.

But reviewing that absolute gem of a movie is one of the best things ever.

I've had it for almost a year and a half, since my mom went to Montreal on business, saw that it had a hockey player on the front of it, and bought it for me.

Above and beyond my favorite movie. I'm so glad someone else has seen it. Watching Avery get taken out not once but three times in a row is priceless.

Everyone should get it and cherish it.

Anonymous said...

bp in alberta .. meant to send the anthems photos from edmonton and calgary but was reduced to life threatening illness during those 2 days.. the best thing resulting was the chance to download and watch the he-man / she-ra power of the sword movie (absolute amazingness) glad this movie found its way south, despite my dislike for the habs (good friend and roomie is a die-hard) this movie is a changer of lives, see ya ll soon

Davy D said...

Netflix brings up a 1998 The Roket too. Wonder if that's any good . . .

Ju said...

Great post guys! I'm so happy you talked about this movie. We, "Québécois", are all very proud of this movie!
Keep up the good reading this blog!

Ashley said...

I absolutely love this movie. One of my all-time favourites - I think I've seen it 15 times since I bought it last Christmas. Maurice was one of the toughest snipers the game has ever seen.


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