This weeks Midweek Mention was chosen by Dan and sees his love affair with sports movies continuing with 1999's MYSTERY, ALASKA.
Rusell Crowe stars as Justin Beiber (near enough) : sheriff and captain of the local ice hockey team in the tiny fictional town that gives the film its name. When a Sports Illustrated article is published about the towns open pond style skating it attracts the interests of the NHL and an exhibition game between the New York Rangers and the local community is arranged, propelling the inhabitants of this cold hamlet to the centre of national focus. A heart-warming character movie about a small town that makes it big, with a sprinkle of star power courtesy of Burt Reynolds and an unexpected cameo from Mike Myers (not Halloween), this one failed to make much of an impact on the box office and critical reception was largely negative. What will the dads make of it?
Sidey: Dan, you're a bit of a fan of a sports movie.
When you nominated mystery.
had no idea. it was going to be a sports movie from
No, no, It was a new one to me.
Reegs: I thought it was a sequel to Erie,
no, it could have been, but it isn't and the reason I actually nominated cause reads and I, we were talking on a previous, previous, a mid weaker and he said that he'd never seen it. And I thought, oh, well, let's hit, now's your chance. So how was it raining?
Sidey: Oh, fuck me. why have you got such an issue with the midweek content?
Reegs: The whole midweek thing was originally like an opt in or talk about it if you and somebody
Dan: I never got that memo.
Reegs: had, I never had the chance to watch it this week. It's a shame because I I'm looking at your faces and I'm sensing that you thought this was pretty good.
Sidey: You know, give it, give, the game away too early, That w
Dan: but there's, there's a who's who in this film you've got Russell Crowe. Hankers Ari
but when oats makes an appearance, so does Mike Myers
Sidey: might have been on credited?
Dan: in it. I think so. Well I looked later on and I could see that he was in it.
Sidey: is in this
Well, you call . You got Barry Melville, Melrose Stevie levy.
Sidey: Scott Grimes Scott Grimes, or grimy.
as he likes to make goals.
Dan: you've got little Richard in this,
Sidey: He is actually in this.
Yeah it doesn't.
Dan: the real, the real Richard and Jim Fox as well. They're all kind of. Hockey players and stuff, you know,
Reegs: I mean, half of those people, I don't know who they are, but
Dan: well, cause you're not a hockey fan, I guess. Otherwise you would have seen this film because ice hockey fans will love this movie, I think straight off because there's ice hockey in it that gives it away.
Sidey: you will. Yeah. If you like ice hockey, then this would be right up your alley. It's not a true story. I was wondering throughout if this was a true story, but it's inspired by
a gay Yeah. It's but it's not,
Dan: everything's inspired by a true story in some way, shape or form, but I mean, basically mystery Alaska is a small town in Canada who played pond hockey, but really seriously.
So it's on a fro on a frozen lake. They're playing ice hockey and it's freezing there all the time. It's like
Sidey: it starts with one of the guys ice skating through a frozen river and he's fucking quick. And that's their thing is that they are unbelievable athletes in terms of their skating ability, but they're not as proficient as.
NHL the big league players. And the crux. of The thing is that
They're going to be visited by the New York Rangers are going to come and play basically an exhibition game against these guys But these guys play four on four. no boards just upon the frozen pond. Obviously the major leagues, is five on five with boards, more firing, blah, blah, blah.
And they actually do say in it, we don't stand a chance. In terms of like shooting all the, all the, like.
But escaping, We can take
Dan: but ho home advantage is skating.
We can take them and it's come about because an ex resident of theirs of Mr. Alaska, Charlie, who's gone to the big apple, wrote an article that got featured in sports illustrated and then the TV. China, we started picking up and think there could be something in there. So let's get an exhibition game.
And so the, the New York Rangers, this like NHL team. You know, top drawer team, they're coming to play him.
Reegs: What year is this? Cause what's the T is it
Dan: Oh, we're looking at probably nineties is in the
Reegs: so who played for the Rangers where they had big
Dan: No, they didn't. They didn't actually, you, you didn't see the Rangers team. I don't think any of the players actually want it,
Sidey: no, they've actually flat out refuse to be there. So the whole roster is made up.
Dan: Yeah. So you don't, you don't see that,
Sidey: Just be
Dan: right towards the end. There's a lot of, kind of, you know, within the town. Do they want it a little bit scared? You know, the kind of theme, you know, it's. It's a underdog team with a bunch of characters who you know, and, and within that, within those characters, within the film, there's a few great little, one liners and and little moments that help knit the film together a little bit for me.
I mean, I've seen this probably three or four times over the years where it's come up and yeah. You know, one of those things I've started to watch, maybe not from the beginning, but it's easy to get into. I mean, it's a comedy sports drama, you know, it is what it is. It's, it's got these say these different characters in and they all bring something a little bit
Sidey: Yeah. Well, we can get it. Cause there is, When you're talking about team sport, you're going to have a lot of different personalities on there that they want to show you the different personalities that they've got. The main guy he's the sheriff of the town. And he's the team. Captain is John Beeb. Is that how we're saying a surname
Sidey: got Bieber fever played by Russell Crowe This came out in 99. So the year before gladiators. He's right on the cusp of mega stardom. It's still a big name, but not quite there
Dan: And I think when it came out actually was delayed. So it should have come out a little bit before actually did, but they'd held it back, I think is the matrix had come out or something they didn't want to go up against.
Sidey: Well they needed
Dan: probably homed it in the long run.
Sidey: I mean, when it, when we were watching it, the misses and it's very on point observation, it's like, this looks like a hallmark movie. It's like a director TV
Dan: soft focus
Reegs: Yeah. That's sort of Vaseline smeared lens. But do you get is it shot in Alaska as well to get lots of
Dan: No, I think it's in Albuquerque or something, but
Reegs: because Alaska is a stunning
Dan: yeah, the, the landscape of this place, the scenery is, is fantastic. I mean, the, the whole set where there, where they in around, it looks a beautiful spot for sure.
The guy who directed it, directed all the Austin power
Sidey: Yeah. He Jay Roach. He's married to Suzanne Hoffs.
fucking mega babe.
So great. work
Reegs: The bangles. Yeah. Yeah.
Dan: Okay. So anyway, we've got this kind of team. There's one of them called skank. Marvin he's shagging all the
Sidey: he's literally banging everyone who's banging
Dan: he's one. No, he's one of the, his name is Alright,
Sidey: He's played by Ron Eldard You'll never see him again.
in your life. He he's having an affair. He's a school teacher, primary school teacher, and he's banging one of those other school teachers, but she's married to the town ma who is basically in charge Of the team as well. So his first action, we see them play a game and it's called the Saturday game. And that's the big game in town. If you're playing in the Saturday game, you're the fucking one of the big
Reegs: What day are they playing?
Sidey: I don't know.
They didn't say, but,
What is weird is the population seems to be about a hundred people. So if you, if you're a man age between like 20 and 35. you probably gonna play in that game but he's paying it. He's a real good player, but he's older. And the first thing that happens is he's asked to make way for the young
player. Who's the new hype man. I think he was the one that was skating
Dan: is he's he's the youngster. And they've kind of reading through this sports illustrated. Big news for the town there's is sports illustrated article on them and they can't wait to read it.
And when it comes out, it's a glow and a reference for everyone. It's kind of what sets up the big matches
Reegs: And when you see the ice skating scene, so they shot with
Sidey: it's fucking great I have to say they really, there's a real kinetic energy.
to it. You know, you get all those closeup of the S the ice skate, slashing across the ice and split it. and it really does. look good. I was
Dan: yeah. Well, I think they genuinely do love ice hockey, all the people associated with this film. I think that's kind of what. Brings him in Mike Myers. I know he's a
Dan: fan as well, you know,
Reegs: We got a few listeners who are ice
Sidey: I think
Dan: have seen this film
Sidey: Johnny Utah, like this, this
Dan: Yeah, well, it was, you
Reegs: get, see Cole Meaney do any kind of,
Dan: coal, coal mine is really good for it for out he's he's the mayor and his wife is getting banked by skank who comes in and tells everybody in the dressing room. You know, I fucked her. She was like you know, this, that, and other really trash-talking horrible.
Sidey: think the first line of the film, could you see the skating and then you go to Russell Crowe and his son and the kid who's about six goes I'll fuck me. That's not
what I thought it was a Disney
Dan: him? And he was like, I heard it in the locker room. And he was like, well, don't tell your mom then, you know? So there's a real kind of sense of camaraderie and brotherhood within the locker room at one scene.
The words that skank has said about a woman get back to her somehow and. They have to have a punishment donate after have that guy who slides across the ice with not wearing any pants or anything. He's got to go into that. Oh, it really, really hurt. But he said, you know, you know, the balls it's apples in the locker room stays in the
Sidey: said in the fucking changes stays in
Reegs: that is a chastening experience.
Sidey: on the team you've got the great, big, massive guy called tree. Like
Sort of stereotypically a bit simple, but like lovable then you got Scott Grimes. You may have seen him in the ER, He was really good at that as well. He plays but Reynold son but rounds is like the judge the local sort of, he started the big powerful guy in town.
He doesn't approve of It He doesn't think of son's only God, he will never tell him he's good enough. So you can see what's coming. down the line. It's a lot of cliched material. Yeah.
Reegs: but it's sports movies. You've got, you have a bit of
Sidey: You've got the guy who's shagging everyone in town. You've got a few native people there in Europe. people who are obviously be tough fellows.
And then the old Hi, Russell Crowe is the captain, but he gets axed and he's asked to coach the team when this game comes about and they're torn because they're like, well, this could bring in a shitload of money for the. town. And this old lady stands up at the town meeting where they're trying to decide just like, we don't want to be fucking like taking the piss out of here where these guys come in and beat us 30 nil. what's the point of that. And they're like, yeah, money. So they they're all for it.
Dan: so then throughout the the game, as it's leading in there, they're starting to bring in.
Kind of environment to, to what they used to play in, in. So they've got boards alongside the it's made a little bit short of that and suddenly there's a few doubts creeping in is this big matches coming. And even the Rangers themselves don't want it to players are like, fuck, this is holidays. I don't want to cut into my family time to go and play an exhibition match against a low risk.
That's kind of how it's sold to them, you know, but so one of the town residents, who's a lawyer goes on there on the kind of behest of the judge has gone go.
To this meeting in New York and just state our case. And he does that during that time, he actually also has a heart attack and dies. So and trio had gone with him and it would Bailey his name was the lawyer.
So cut straight to scene of them having the funeral afterwards. But the game is on what he did was with his last sort of dying words was managed to get this game on the town's on. So there they will come in.
Sidey: They have two players on the team the new young kid who's joined at the expense of Russell Crowe. He's the.
Bright star for the future of the team. I think he's really gonna make it, but the other guy I forget his name. Dan, can you remember him? The guy who's in charge of the shop
Yeah kind of they say apart from him, everyone else is just good at skating, but he could, he could play in the big leagues.
He's fucking good. and you've got loads of scenes of him shooting and he's got cans tied up on a, on a goal and he's like hitting every single one. of them. he shoots Yeah. It's a nice montage.
Michael McKean Is it the one from spinal tap. He has. he's a rat who goes into to like a cost code kind of thing to take over their local economy and like undercut I've won. So he fucking shoots him. He just doesn't get out of the shop. He shoots a whereabouts, it, ricocheted into his foot and he unleashes some of the best swearing, like you've ever heard in a film. he just annihilates them is so fucking rude. And they basically repeat what he said in the court case whether that, you know, cause this guy has obviously shot him.
Dan: You are shit house town and all this
Sidey: a dumb fuck. No one's from fucking
and all that sort of shit. But cause they read out the jury like, we hate this guy so that automatic light, He's not every guy's found, not.
Dan: Then they start to try to award costs to the guy who shot him, his well, you know, they're starting to say we want
Sidey: we want
Dan: $40,000 to go to. He's like you can't even do that. So the judge is pissed off because he's disgraced his courtroom really. The judge, the jury is coming with their their decisions.
So he hobbles off and and he's, and Connor's left the play. The game
Sidey: That was the, that,
was the crux of the matter was if he was found guilty, he wouldn't be able to get in the game. he's, he's innocent, He's not, but he's found innocent and able to play. So we'd get like momentum building towards the game.
There's a bit of a drama about, are they going to play? Are they not? They've already invested loads of money in new scoreboard, new facilities, which.
Reegs: Even Drago style shots of the New York Rangers being really good in
Sidey: We see them watching a game where a fight breaks out after like five seconds.
And they're just like Jesus, or there, they are like huge compared to these guys as Well, But that's the that's the saying that people say, and I go, I went to watch a fight in a game of ice hockey broke out because there's just always fucking fighting.
Dan: Yeah Yeah.
That's it. So they bought you this game on TV and they're like, You know,
Sidey: But they're there but they're still bullish. Like We could fucking beat these
guys, you know, they can't
skate Like we can skate you know
Dan: is our place. So eventually the day comes game days there.
And they tune it up in the first period and they think, you know, so it doesn't suddenly go that
Sidey: What we've missed is that Burt Reynolds was a good player and he coach he's a coach
Russell Crowe has been asked to coach instead of playing.
he's like, no, you should coach. You're the man. And he's sort of like,
so in the end you know, it does
all pan out where Burt Reynolds becomes a coach and Russell Crowe gets to play because someone else can't make it. for Some reason
Dan: Well, they, they play, they play with more men don't they, they play with
Sidey: the guy 5, 1, 5 that's a bait, basically play have to play NHL rules, but like you say, yeah, they do go to like, after the first.
period they're winning to now
Reegs: and how many periods
Dan: Three, I believe in this game and whether that's
Reegs: So to nail up taught me, I still don't know which way this is going to go.
Sidey: Well, I kind of telegraphed it to be honest with you. The second period, they go in five two down
Dan: They shown they scored. The pants had been pulled down and slapped and they they're set they're set in back into the into the changing
Reegs: three down. Oh, they're pretty low. I would
Sidey: And then it's a little bit of coaching masterclass now,
because but just goes in bit defeatist and he's like, let's just damage limitation. We can't fucking live with these guys. We're not, we're not as good as them. it better. Russell Crowe is like, fuck that.
And he stands up and gives this big rousing speech
Reegs: Oh, I can feel it. I got it. I'm there with it
Dan: and then of course, but she gives him the wink and
Reegs: yeah, I sent you all a what? A genius. So, but do they win for fuck
Sidey: well they score next to the back
in the game It's 5, 5, 3, to score
Dan: was that, or that might've been John himself where he got one goal.
Sidey: It did get
Reegs: that Reynolds
Sidey: never skied. He was always like the assistant master but it was never fast enough to get an a but he does score in this game.
And then you get the slow-mo the final,
the big move of the match, they fucking knock it around bit like Barcelona, tick attacker, kind of like they're really good.
Dan: off one place all down to this last moment.
Sidey: And it proper slow Mo's for, I think it's Connor has the last show wax it. And you're like, oh, and the guy, the college is a proffer, like dive, like it's football
like, cause the
Sidey: And he saves, it
Dan: No, it hits the ball.
Sidey: he sits on to borrow, it just hits the bone. He catches it as it comes down and you're like, oh, it's so close. But they're you know, they, they, weren't hammered. they were able to live
Dan: Unlike Friday night lights, they actually, in this film, they, they, they took defeat, but there was a feeling of that they've won with it because they were massively under the odds to go into
Sidey: And then you get the aftermath of that but did we do well, blah, blah, blah. And that's sort of shy and the next day, Connor and the young ad whose name, I think.
Dan: What is his name? He'll have to
Sidey: it's got really Biff haircut And he what we've got to say was he just really early on in the movie when his girlfriend who's Burt Reynolds daughter, she's like, we have to fuck, because if we don't fight, you're going to go off with some other girl who puts out. So he's like, okay. and he chooses while she's putting a condom on
Reegs: this is really a subplot in the movie. Are you not making this up
Dan: wedge that in there.
Reegs: All right, so he's got, he's had some sort of premature
Sidey: I think he gets a concussion And he wakes up and goes, I'm a premature ejaculator. So he goes he clocked off to the minor leagues. He
Reegs: That is the first thing he remembers
Sidey: why he.
blurts out the whole team, when he comes to
say him, him and Connor are going off to the New York giants, like feeder team at play in the minor leagues. So there's a bit of joy
Dan: they're on the journey, you know, they're hoping that that's their way out of, of mystery. And they're going to go in and play pro hockey pro puck or whatever they call it.
Sidey: And russet grows back in the, in the Saturday game because they fucked
off he can play
Dan: gone. So his is needing to be moved on, is no longer necessary and will get a couple more years out the Saturday game. And, and.
End of the movie, skank has been fucking the mayor's wife, but he goes in apologizes. That happens throughout the film
Sidey: then he finds his. Necklace thing under the
bed. And he's like skank spin here. And she's like,
Dan: bad, bad.
Sidey: yeah, But he sort of, they
sort of, because the hockey game goes well, he forgives her. that's basically what happens.
Reegs: So if they'd have got trounced then
Sidey: would have been game over
Dan: not have been better. I mean, he they'd had their own problems in the marriage anyway. I
Sidey: Yeah, she says you haven't touched me for 20
years. So what do you spend me to
Dan: did touch her. And that ended the mystery elastic movie midweek.
Yeah. Well he was stretching it out, you know, it was
Sidey: Dan I think you, you obviously enjoy this.
Dan: Well, I enjoyed it. I mean, it's, it's really easy to watch. It is one of those that is a good family sports drama, you know, you can there's, there is enough for dad to keep interested and it's maybe a little bit older kids, you know, not, not not too young, but yeah. Well, I enjoyed it. I mean,
Reegs: ejaculator is not for my six-year-old.
Dan: no, probably not.
No, but you know, as I say, there was a, there was a Mike Myers plays Donny Scholtz, Hoffa. Who's a commentator. Who's a little bit like the dodgeball guy, cotton, you know what you know, he just got that kind of,
Sidey: He just goes with whatever way, when they're tuning up, he's like, oh I got it. And Then as soon as they come, are they going to
Dan: I love these boys. These boys, haven't got a
Reegs: is he doing a funny accent
could be like a Austin Powers character, the way he's made up and
Dan: he's gone for Canadian sports
Reegs: a lot of his stuff has just aged really badly.
Dan: Yeah, this is okay. You didn't get anything too controversial in this, but it was kind of funny is a few laughs in it. I've been seeing it sort of three or four times. I know what's going to happen. So
you probably knew what was gonna happen.
Not quite how it's going
Sidey: I w I I've thought that they would be like plucky losers. That's what I thought would happen. Which has been, and again, habits. Do you want. to say I I
had no idea was going to be sports. Maybe I thought I was expecting like a murder mystery, Cause then I mystery Alaska.
And it does look, it does have that daytime feel-good shitty movie about it, but I fucking really. liked it. I really, really
And Part of it was you know, Dan and I, we just play football, Well, Daniel spec football, I played a version of
football but that
stuff of like being in the change room with your mates all in it together, and that camaraderie and I was fucking like, thinking about that and loving it and yeah, nostalgia vibes.
And it's got that pleasing, like cliche stuff where you can just switch your brain off and just kind of enjoy it for what it is, which is a silly sports
movie but Yeah. I really, really enjoyed I would definitely recommend you check it out.