Mystery, Alaska (1999)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Mystery, Alaska</strong> (1999)

(On DVD, January 2005) Starring a pre-megastar Russell Crowe, this movie tells the story of a hockey-obsessed Alaskan town that finally gets the chance to see its home-grown team face off against a pro NHL lineup. If you’ve taken screenwriting classes in the past ten years, you can plot the story yourself: The soap opera romances, the father-son conflicts, the small-town-boy-does-good, and so on. Marry it with a sports drama all leading up to a big final game, and you’ve got it all pre-packaged. To its credit, the film is almost invariably amusing. On the other hand, there isn’t a whole lot of originality to it. The dialogue is slightly better than average for this type of film (thanks to David E. Kelly) and the casting even gets some mileage out of Burt Reynolds. Not bad, except for the fact that we all know that it should have taken place in Northern Ontario.

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