Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hockey Night

(Paul Shapiro, 1984)
My VHS of this movie is an "exclusive edited version" from a company dedicated to "strengthening traditional values through entertainment." The plot, meanwhile, seems to promise a critique of said values, with its narrative of a girl striving to play on a boy's hockey team in Parry Sound. And somewhere in there, with lots of promise and good will on evident display - not to mention the appealing players and evocative, location-specific cinematography - the whole thing degenerates into a digest reel of itself. I suspect a potty mouth removal conspiracy; what's left of Megan Follows lead performance leaves her staring off into middle distance way too much of the time. Meanwhile, Follows' great, spunky rocker buddy disappears without leaving a note. Apparently they needed extra space for their "Where's the game? Up here" catch phrase, which eventually takes over the entire dialogue track. And what ideology could have motivated editing out the climax?! You're all geared up for the big game and then suddenly they're dancing around the locker room with a trophy. Maybe someone realized too late that you can't shoot a climax in wide shot from the bleachers - the few on-ice scenes are hopelessly remote, with Maury Chaykin's fun play-by-play pitched several decibels too mild.

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