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Kelley's script for Mystery, Alaska (co-authored by Sean O'Byrne) takes that level of eccentricity to a geographical and spiritual extreme. The film revives the hackneyed Rocky formula, setting a lopsided hockey match within a remote, self-contained hamlet where the members of a tiny population all have to wear multiple hats and still keep neighborly ties intact. The story concerns the town's chief source of identity and pride: so-called "Saturday games," in which local men divide into teams and play pond hockey for the locals. When a prodigal son (Hank Azaria) of Mystery shows up with a television network offer to bring the New York Rangers in for a televised match against the homegrown team, the town fathers agree. Coaching falls to the town sheriff, John Biebe (Russell Crowe), an admirable man and a longtime player recently bumped from the team. John, however, doesn't want the job: everyone knows the real coach in those parts is Judge Burns (Burt Reynolds), but he wants no part of it either. All of that changes after a sad tragedy forces everyone to reevaluate their positions and pull together in order to beat the Rangers.
Following the success of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Jay Roach proves to be an able director of drama, swift action, and low-key, character-driven comedy not unlike that in Benton's Nobody's Fool. He has to deal with some pure corn at the end, but Roach pulls it off and guides the actors to and through far better moments. --Tom Keogh
Top Customer Reviews
The "Saturday" hockey game leads off this fairy-tale story of David vs. Goliath, as their hometown boys go against the NHL'S New York Rangers. Former "townie" Hank Azaria starts this whole thing by writing a spotlight on the "Saturday Game" for Sports Illustrated and well.. Mystery is never the same after that. Russell Crowe turns in a great performance as "slightly older" town Sherif John Biebe, who is the heart and soul of the much younger hockey team. There are many wonderful smaller performances by faces you'll certainly know and love. It's a wonderfully sweet, charming and funny (with classic one liners from MANY of the young players) movie that only HAPPENS to be about hockey. There is so much more to it. You don't have to know a thing about hockey to appreciate this fun and lighthearted movie. It's right up there with my all-time favs. Definatley worth a look!
It star s apre-Gladiator Russel Crowe who is the town Sherriff and player during the Saturday Game. The people in mystery love hockey. Their lives revolve around it. Colm Meany plays the town mayor who is for all intents-and-purposes, the general manager of the "team". Hank Azaria plays the town prodigal son who left town for the bright lights and big city of New York and returns promising a game against the New York Rangers as a publicity stunt.
Admist all the fervor of playing against an NHL team on live TV, Burt Reynolds plays the towns Judge, who cautions them to think it through before agreeing to play a professional team.
Eventually we get to see the game, and it was nice to see them not end it with a total "feel-good" ending. You can probably guess what I mean by that, but you should buy or rent it anyway.
I only gave the DVD 4 stars because the DVD was woefully short on extras. Only the usual we have come to expect... commentary tracks and a very short "making of..." filmette. Still, it's a great buy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Entertaining movie - love Russell Crowe (even though he's hinted to as 'fat' by another character. Not a movie for younger than 12+... some iffy sexual scenes.Published 12 days ago by Jennyfromtheblock
You know the old expression about, "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out?" well, I went to a hockey game and a movie broke out. Mystery, Alaska is just plain fun. Read morePublished 13 days ago by By CJs Pirate
A great hidden gem of a movie. Don't be scared off because Russel Crowe is in it.Published 1 month ago by Deuceiscool