American Hockey Fan

Old time hockey for the new millenium

Monday, January 08, 2007

In the Crease

Hey- any of you guys remember when I told you that the producers of the movie In the Crease were kind enough to send me a DVD screener copy?

UPDATE: They are promoting and distributing the movie themselves, so if you want to see it, buy it here.

Anyway, I watched it last week, and all I can say is this: if you love the game of hockey, you will love this documentary.

OK- I can say a little more.

I posted the trailer back on December 28th- a post that is also worth reading for the motivation it has obviously given to the Phoenix Coyotes since that date, but I digress.

The film follows a California Bantam AAA hockey team as it pushes towards the national championships, and while I won't give away what happens, I will tell you that this film is not about winning or losing. What makes this film matter is the fact that the producers of this film truly "get" hockey.

I'll put it this way- have you seen the movie "The Mighty Ducks?"

Yeah, that one. With Emilio Estevez.

That movie's flaw is, it's just a sports movie with kids in it. It could be about a baseball team, a basketball team, a soccer team or whatever, and the plot wouldn't really change. The Mighty Ducks is a kids movie that happens to be about hockey.

In the Crease is a hockey movie that happens to be about kids.

And it's hockey that permeates all the characters in the film, from the NHL stars that provide cameos, to the players obsessed with nationals, to the terrific coach, to the sets of parents who span the spectrum from cool to crazy- just like in real hockey. If there was one thing missing from the movie, it was portrayals of the goalies, who go through a completely different experience. It would have been nice to have seen a bit of how goaltenders this young shoulder some of the stress of the position. For whatever reason, that wasn't included, which was a shame.

But ultimately the greatness of this movie was its ability to take you back to the memories of youth hockey:

- the weird feeling of walking in your socks across the padded floor after taking off your skates

- that totally unique, semi-sweet, semi-funky smell of every hockey rink I've ever been in, and how having that smell around somehow makes hot chocolate taste better

- the twin booms of a stick slapping the puck and the puck hitting the boards as both sounds echo over each other and throughout the building

And while it might seem ridiculous that a movie could make you remember a smell, this movie does it. It takes you there, and if you've been there before, it takes you back.

So pick it up, buy it, rent it, and hope your asses off that these are the guys who get to make the ice hockey version of Friday Night Lights.

Oh, and if they are- I know a certain hockey blogger who would be interested in showing them a spec script.

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