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Hockey Films - Mystery, Alaska

Mystery, Alaska DVD cover

What the box says...

“With Russell Crowe (The Insider, LA Confidential), Hank Azaria (Godzilla, The Bird Cage) and Burt Reynolds leading an incredible all-star cast, here’s a fun, uplifting and action-packed story that everyone will love!  A remote, hockey-obsessed town populated by 633 of the most eccentric characters you’d ever want to meet, Mystery is the kind of place where nothing ever changes.  But then life as they know it gets turned completely upside down!  When a publicity stunt brings the world famous New York Rangers - and the national spotlight - to Mystery for a game with the local team of weekend wariors, the whole town rises to the challenge of a lifetime!  Also starring Mary McCormack (True Crime, Deep Impact) and Lolita Davidovich (Play It To The Bone, Jungle 2 Jungle) in another critical favorite from the hit-making director of Austin Powers 1 & 2 - you’ll stand and cheer as this ragtag bunch shows that nothing can melt their dreams of a miracle on ice!”

“This is a sensational movie!” - Larry King, USA Today

View from Block 107...

Mystery, Alaska tells the story of a small remote town that lives for the ‘Saturday Game’ when the men of the town come together for a game of pond hockey.  The participants in the game and the rules they play by are decided by the town commitee and the game is attended with almost religious reverence by the other townspeople.  When an ex-native of Mystery, now a journalist, gets an article about Mystery and the Saturday Game published in Sports Illustrated, the NHL see an opportunity for a great PR event - an exhibition match between the New York Rangers and the players from Mystery.

When it comes to hockey films, Slap Shot is the title that all others are compared to and measured against.  This film more than stands up to that comparison and is, in my opinion, right up there with Slap Shot as one of the greats. So much so that if you were to ask me to pick

Mystery, Alaska Wallpaper

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between them I wouldn’t be able to!  Right now, Mystery, Alaska is fresh in my mind (having watched it two days ago in preparation for writing this!) but on another day I may pick Slap Shot.

Sometimes as a hockey fan it is difficult to be impartial when it comes to hockey films - my love for the game always colours my judgement and a good hockey film doesn’t necessarily mean a good film in general.  However, a couple of my non-hockey fan friends have watched Mystery, Alaska and really enjoyed it, regardless of the overall hockey theme and content.  So, if you are the sole hockey fan in your family, this may be the ideal film for you to get your hockey fix and still satisfy the others!

If you are over here in the UK then Mystery, Alaska is available to rent on video but you may need to search for this though as only one of my two local shops ever got this in and even then only had one copy!  For those in the States or who own a multi-region DVD player, it is available on Region 1 DVD (and probably VHS for those with NTSC players) to buy.  Either way I recommend you search this one out as soon as possible and treat yourself to a great evening of hockey related entertainment!

As for me?  I’m off to convince the wife that a move to a town where hockey is the #1 priority is a good thing and arrange our emigration to Mystery, Alaska!!!

PD - 02/08/02

Russel Crowe as Sheriff John Biebe Face-off against the Rangers Burt Reynolds as The Judge

Do you agree or disagree with the View From Block 107? Do you want your opinion heard? If so, email me with your comments on Mystery, Alaska and they will be included in this section. Don’t forget to provide some details about yourself when contacting me though.