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Slap Shot (SE)
DVD disk
10.08.2004 By: The Shootin Surgeon
Slap Shot (SE) order
Director:
George Roy Hill

Actors:
Paul Newman
Michael Ontkean
The Hanson Brothers

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Paul Newman stars as Reggie Dunlop, the aging coach/captain of a beleaguered small-town minor league hockey team, the Charlestown Chiefs. With sagging attendance and a horrible record, they find success when a trio of roughneck brothers joins the team and lets the fisticuffs fly. Old time hockey with an old time classic film? Sounds like a blast to me!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
What more can be said about a movie that endures despite its old age and that stars the Great Paul Newman next to a bunch of no-name minor hockey- rejects? Not much but this 1977 classic is definitely a keeper for anyone who likes either hockey, r fighting, or Paul Newman, or just plain having a roar of a time while watching a film. This hilarious portrayal of the grind of minor league sports has become a must-see for an entire country! In fact, those in Canada who have never seen these are a pretty sad minority. Newman is fantastic as the old geezer whose best days are behind him and who can't really get a grip on what to do once his days ion the ice come to an end. His handsome yet vulnerable looks are perfect for the role and is performance is so affable and low-key that you barely notice that a superstar walks among the rest of this cast.

That supporting cast though is what really gives the film its attitude. The mix consists of a couple of old school hockey players, a couple of French-Canadian dorks, a few past-their-prime primadonnas and a couple of roughhousing drunks. Sound like a hockey team to you? Sounds great to me! The kicker though, is went the Hanson Brothers, hockey's equivalent of the three stooges sporting boxing gloves join up with the team and inject it with new life through their aluminum-foil covered fists. Once these dudes come along, the blood starts filling the ice and the laughs start pouring out of your mouth! I suggest you get nice and trashed too before you watch this, as it helps get into the mood of what's going on through the player's heads! Among all major sports, hockey players are often regarded a the most fan-friendly and approachable and that's because they never hesitate to poke fun at themselves and even the millions they earn rarely push them into taking themselves too seriously. They are after all boys playing a game and this film shows us what fun the game can be!

This film would be a nightmare to current NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and his annual plans to "overhaul the game" and make it cleaner and more popular south of the Canadian border. But for longtime hockey fans here in the Great White North, this film will always remind us of a time when hockey was just a simple game and that once in a while, benches would clear and players in their underwear would file out of the dressing room and trade punches with each other even before the beginning of the game... ahh, the good old days of old time hockey...
THE EXTRAS
The first extra you'll be treated to is a Full Length Commentary by The Hanson Brothers. Although it definitely doesn't rank high among commentary tracks, the guys do have their fair share of funny film shoot and hockey stories. They do know the game, having played it at different levels. One of the brothers even had a brief stint with the Detroit Red Wings, among others. Unfortunately, they don't really fill in the time and their tone is pretty monotonous. This is also demonstrated in the next feature, a 5-minute spot entitled "Puck Talk with The Hanson Brothers", in which they discuss various topics, both film and hockey related. Not really horrible but definitely not worth a very big detour either.

Next up is a collection of "The Hanson Brothers' Classic Scenes". I really didn't get that. basically, it's just a collection of all their scenes during the film. It like you basic scene selection with only their scenes available. Whatever... I guess the DVD producers just wanted to add a "feature" line in back of the box to make it seem more packed.

The rest of the stuff is very standard: Trailer, Production Notes and Cast & Crew bios. Nothing to really blow you away.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
What a hilarious film this one is and combined with the fact that it can be watched tirelessly over and over again, it's definitely worth the purchase. The DVD isn't loaded with features but it's not really the kid of film you want to own to dissect, but rather just watch when you're piss-drunk and want to have a blast with the guys. Slap Shot shoots... AND SCORES!!!!.
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