Director(s): Jay Roach
Country: USA, Canada
IMDB Rating: 6.4
When Mystery, Alaskas amateur hockey team accepts a challenge to play against the New York Rangers, the entire population must put their petty differences aside and pull together as their small town becomes the center of a nationally televised event.
|Mystery, Alaska (iPod)||Resolution: 480x208 px||Total Size: 316 Mb||
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billsccc (21 May 2013)
I had no idea at the time that I would enjoy a movie about hockey, andI was right, because this movie had nothing really to do withhockey.It's a great character based movie about a small town that makesit big and the reason the town makes it big is because of it's people.It's a great rocky type movie that makes you root for a small town andit's wonderful characters. Russell Crowe is excellent as well as theentire cast and a great turn by Burt Reynolds as the town judge andcoach. This is a very well crafted, witty , warm and realistic and justa charming movie overall. Don't let the hockey fool you, this is amovie about people and a quite enjoyable movie I may add.
(21 May 2013)
Russell Crowe is an excellent actor. This movie was a fun hockey film about a rag tag team from the little town of Mystery who have a chance to take on the New York Rangers. Don't take it too seriously, and you will have fun.
merc_man02 (12 May 2013)
Don't I long for redemption, too! Maybe just like everyone else. AlthoughI'm also an aging "almost good enough" athlete, the part that hit me inthegut was when Donna (Mary McCormack) confronts John (Russell Crowe). Men,when our bodies start to fail, why do we withdraw from our loved ones?DAMN!(I hope that passes the censors). Crowe's character got another chancewitha renewed outlook, a vision transformed. It wasn't about the shot thatalmost tied the game with the Rangers. When the drama of the 2003 Tour deFrance was unfolding and people were speculating on whether LanceArmstrongwould come back for a sixth attempt, all I could think of was his earliermarital problems during spring training. Having been there, I wanted tosay"Lance, don't forget we only get one life. The Tour will not be thatimportant in the end".
Brian Orndorf (12 May 2013)
Just in time for the start of the hockey season, MYSTERY, ALASKA comesalongwith it's tale of small town hockey with big city dreams. Directed byAUSTINPOWERS 1&2's Jay Roach and written by TV kingpin David E Kelley, ALASKA isjust the type of film you might expect these two to make without any ofthepeople and ideas involved that made their respected earlier works somemorable. While not a terrible film, MYSTERY is often lacking in so manyareas and ideas, it's hard to love it.Taking place in the small icy town of Mystery, the story concerns acommonwealth who's main concerns are knit caps and who will play in thecommunity's weekly Saturday hockey game. A former resident(THE SIMPSONS'sHank Azaria), who has moved to New York and become a Sports Illustratedreporter, returns with news that the New York Rangers hockey team iscomingto Mystery to play the local boys in a nationally broadcast event. Elatedbythe prospect of notoriety yet wary of the affect the publicity will haveonthe small community, the town sheriff (L.A. CONFIDENTIAL's RussellCrowe) -a former player himself, and the town judge (Burt Reynolds) join forces towhip the team into shape for the big game.This being Mr. Kelley's second produced screenplay in three months,MYSTERY,ALASKA suffers from a bizarre comparison to the earlier script LAKEPLACID.While Kelley has a knack for characterization and tone, both scripts falldangerously close to condescension and plagiarism. Anybody who saw themildly amusing PLACID will recall Betty White's cringe inducing,profanity-laden dialog. In MYSTERY, we have another scene of an old womancursing, adding to that a moment where a small child uses the F-word.Obviously, these moments are there to get a laugh. They don't, only comingoff as desperate attempts to charm and shock when nothing else works. Andaswith PLACID, MYSTERY spends an inordinately amount of time on giving eachand every character a backstory of somesorts. In PLACID it helped to fillanalready skimpy 80 minute running time. In MYSTERY, it pushes the lethargicstory to the 120 minute range. If it ain't SLAP SHOT, then I don't need atwo hour hockey film. The endless story spiral is tiring and unneeded inboth films. MYSTERY even has the gall to end the picture with big thingshappening to two characters we've barely met. It's hard to get excitedwhenyour third cousin gets a promotion, and it's even harder to achievecinematic goosebumps over characters whom you couldn't even recall namesfor.With Jay Roach, it's now clear who really makes the AUSTIN POWERS films soenjoyable, Mike Myers. The unpredictable nature of those successfulcomediesare long gone in MYSTERY. Working with a talented cast of unrecognizedstars(Crowe, Azaria, Reynolds, Mary McCormack, Lolita Davidovich, and ColmMeaney) and the setting of Alaska, Roach still manages to create a vastlyuninteresting film. Flat and without vitality, it's shocking consideringthefilm uses and abuses the same sports film clichÃ©s that have worked on metime and again. Roach doesn't seem to have a clue what to do with thisfilmexcept keep his head down and stick to the script.I have a deep affection for snow movies (FARGO, the recent JACK FROST,helleven THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK) and Roach blows the cold weather settingwithdismal and distancing cinematography. Shooting in a stark whiteenvironmentand then dressing your actors in white outfits probably wasn't the bestaesthetic choice Roach could have made. He also cannot seem to get an ideahow to shoot the hockey scenes. With frenetic editing and bad cameraangles,MYSTERY earns it's name just for trying to figure out who has the puck.Evenlast minute cameos by Mike Myers (who easily contributes the film's onlyfunny line) and Little Richard cannot save MYSTERY from failing.It's no secret that the film is formulaic. Released by Disney, MYSTERYoftenfeels like a big bad adult version of THE MIGHTY DUCKS. Boiling it down,these types of films can only end two different ways. Either the team winsthe big game or they don't. I was hoping Roach and Kelley could come upwithsomething inventive for a climax, but they don't even bother. It's all onebig audience pleasing film that forgot to please the audience.I really wanted to get into the spirit of MYSTERY, ALASKA, but thefilmmakers kept me away. Roach can go back to the psychedelic world in thecolorful AUSTIN POWERS films, and Kelley can continue writing heady stufffor THE PRACTICE and the other one million shows he has created. Both menobviously have talent, but this film doesn't help that argument. Coming sosoon after John Sayles's thought provoking and decidedly more entertainingAlaska odyssey LIMBO, MYSTERY, ALASKA seems like a slapshot across theface.----------------- 3
(12 May 2013)
I am a hockey player from holland and i play in one of the top competition leages. This movie is not only great by it's humor or acting quallity. It has the most exeptional hockey shots shown in any hockey movie. Even pro's can watch this video and learn from it. If you like comedy, action and a great game of hockey you must buy this dvd.
mm-39 (12 May 2013)
This film entertains, but it is run of the mill. Would I buy the film no,watch it on tv yes. I do not mind it, but the writing is goofy. Inconclusion, the jury says goofy but watchable It will be on tv again.6/10
ray-280 (09 May 2013)
This movie is easy to bash because of its "underdog" formula, but thisis one of the better spins I've ever seen put on it.Mystery, Alaska is a small, ice-covered town that no one would everhave heard of were it not for former resident Charles Danner's (HankAzaria) article on the "Saturday game" of hockey that has become aritual in the town. Danner sings the town's hockey praises, likeningtheir skating ability to that of "any team in the NHL," and the gods offiction hear the call, arranging for an exhibition game between the NewYork Rangers and the Mystery players. This sets off storms of conflictand multiple subplots which give this film a depth normally not foundin the genre. The hockey game itself is almost an afterthought, becausewhile the players know how to play the game, they don't have the samemastery over their daily lives.John Biebe (Russell Crowe) is the town sheriff andinvoluntarily-retired player from the Saturday game who is called uponto return to the team as their coach and as a player. His wife, Donna(Mary McCormack), is proud of the life she has built and slightlywistful about what the rest of the world would have held for her, butis content with what she has and does not live with her head in theclouds. Burt Reynolds is excellent as town judge Walter Burns, who mustgrapple with his teenage children, one of each gender, with the boylacking the ambition Walter has for him, and the girl being a littletoo ambitious for his taste with her boyfriend. Colm Meany is the townMayor who must deal with marital conflicts, and the remainingcharacters are what you'd expect to find in a closely-knit small town.The game itself is more like something out of "The Air Up There" thanany of the movies mentioned in the other reviews. In that movie, theAfricans played basketball for much the same reason as the Mystery boysplay hockey, and as in that movie, the talent pool from the area isrich enough for the pros to take more than a passing look at theplayers (two of the Mystery players wind up signing with the Rangersand playing for their minor-league outfit in Binghamton).The players' main worry is that they'll get blown out by the Rangers,and shatter their illusions about their talent, but since the game isheld on "their pond," where they believe "nobody beats them," theyweren't about to back down. The Rangers, at first reluctant opponentswho would rather have had some time with their families, get an earlywake-up call in the game that causes them to remember why they playedhockey in the first place, and take the game as seriously as a StanleyCup final from then on. It is then that we see that while the Mysteryplayers may lack the polish of the NHL, they are hardly outclassed.As expected, the Zamboni makes a cameo, as does Mike Myers as a formerplayer/announcer. The movie has the usual small-town hostility towardsoutsiders, including some ribald swipes at a female TV reporter, butthroughout the movie, we see what makes this town tick, and how theircommitment to hockey is one that every professional player should neverlose. Sports may be a business, but in the end, the play is the thing,and this movie makes that point better than many of the better-knownfilms that try to drive home the same point.
davyd1983 (08 May 2013)
One of the movie's greatest weaknessness, at least commercially, is its'greatest strength.The Underdog DOESN'T win. An upset win for the Mysteryboys may have garnered this picture a lot more box office dollars. But thefact that Mystery comes up short, despite a valiant effort, and thereactionof the Rangers, from the tapping of the sticks to the traditionalhandshake,showed more about the respect that the home team earned. Maybe it didn'tstrike as close to home for those who haven't been part of the game, butforthose that have, it hit the nail on the head!
(02 May 2013)
In a word: SCORE! This is Mighty Ducks meets Major League with a hint of integrity. The hockey alone is worth it, but the story is fun as hell. Russel Crowe turns in another wonderful preformance, but not to be overlooked is Colm Meany who of course played the always reliable and lovelable Chief O'Brien on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and later on "Deep Space Nine." This is the only movie I have ever liked Burt Reynolds in and Hank Azaria, well what can I say, it's nice to see someone punch his lights out. This is the only film I have gotten up at 7 in the morning to watch, if you like wham bam thank you ma'am sports with some actual character development and great humor, then pick this baby up, it will not let you down.
(02 May 2013)
This review is from: Mystery, Alaska (DVD) This is one of my favorite movies a great story and a great hockey movie. This was a great movie and I absolutely love it. I watch it constantly and I have many friends who feel the same way.
(30 April 2013)
This review is from: Mystery, Alaska (DVD) This movie is so good. It covers a lot of differnt emotions and just a great movie to snuggle on the couch on a snowy day!
Theo Robertson (30 April 2013)
I read this page just before I watched MYSTERY ALASKA and after seeingthe movie the only mystery was why so many IMDb users seemed to enjoyit First of all it seems the audience needs some knowledge of ice hockeyto understand the premise featuring a local team playing the NY Rangersteam . If I mentioned to you " Glasgow Rangers " would you understand iwas talking about a Scottish football team ? Would you understand itspolitical and religious affiliations ? Would you know of its standingin British / European / World soccer ? Secondly if this movie is marketed for ice hockey fans then why does itspend so much time on sub stories ? Worse why does it include sexscenes and some crude humour ? The idea of a sports comedy screamsfamily film does it not ? But there's no way you'd be able to recommendMYSTERY ALASKA as family fare I'm only going on my own opinion guys so don't hate me for it but Ifound little to recommend in this movie , not even an early starringrole by Russell Crowe
Michael Sibley (27 April 2013)
In a place where the sheriff is captain, the grocer is the marqueeplayer, a high school senior who is the rising star of the team, andthe town judge is the coach comes a hockey team from a small town onthe outskirts of greatness. Russell Crowe leads all-star cast that included Hank Azaria, MaryMcCormack, Lolita Davidovich, Ron Eldard, Colm Meaney, Maury Chaykinand Burt Reynolds in "Mystery, Alaska." Full of hope, pride anddetermination, "Mystery, Alaska" will capture the hearts of theaudience. A 13-year tradition in Mystery where everybody comes togetherto participate in the Saturday game, a hockey game played everySaturday, draws the interest of the National Hockey League and the NewYork Rangers.Azaria comes to propose this challenge to the townspeople of Mystery.After some debate at a town meeting, the mayor accepts the challenge toplay the New York Rangers; the players must put their personal feelingsaside to win the game. This game between the team from Mystery and theRangers becomes a David and Goliath match-up, which ultimately comesdown to which team can outduel the other first. Can the team fromMystery rise to the challenge given by the New York Rangers? Crowe is an actor that has brought integrity to his roles such asOfficer Bud White in "L.A. Confidential." Crowe, who received criticalpraise as Bud White, brought the same amount of integrity to "Mystery,Alaska," as soft-spoken Sheriff John Biebe. Burt Reynolds, who hasstarred in Boogie Nights and received an Oscar nomination for his roleas Jack Horner, portrayed hard-nosed Judge Walter Burns in "MysteryAlaska." Reynolds role as Judge Burns turned out to be very impressivesince it seemed that he took his time and enjoyed portraying the smalltown judge/coach from Mystery.Co-writers David E. Kelley and Sean O'Byrne as well as director JayRoach work in conjunction to make one of the best films in 1999.Kelley, who has enjoyed success as producer of "The Practice," "AllyMcBeal", "Chicago Hope," "L.A. Law" and "Picket Fences," has broughtoriginality to the film. This film allows the audience to sit back,relax and focus on putting themselves in the movie. "Mystery, Alaska" is a highly recommended film that should be seen byeverybody because it was performed by a talented cast, well-puttogether by the writers and director, has a great plot, and noteworthyperformances by the actors.
policy134 (27 April 2013)
It is weird to think that Russell Crowe was part of this rather low keysports drama since most of his films have been of a higher order. Ialmost forgot that before he made L.A. Confidential he was relativelyunknown in the U.S. and it was only when he was nominated for an Oscarfor "The Insider" that his movies became big events.That aside, this is an immensely entertaining little movie and Crowehas a very sympathetic character here. His character has many things incommon with characters in other sports movies like Walter Matthau in"Bad News Bears" and most of these movies have a strict formula. Theyusually revolve around underdogs and here we get a local hockey teamwho gets a chance to play against a NHL team, the New York Rangers.There are not many ways to tamper with this formula and indeed"Mystery, Alaska" does not stray from it. Instead we get very enjoyablehockey action and the usual rivalry between the better hockey playerand the one who thinks he should be the star. In this case the part isfilled out nicely by Ron Eldard, who is not a household name, at leastnot here in Denmark, but he has made a few films that stuck with me,one of them being the revenge drama "Sleepers". Here he has a muchlarger part and he does well as the arrogant rival to Crowe.The other supporting actors like Burt Reynolds and Hank Azaria aremostly decorative but there is no one who can play smarmy better thanAzaria and Reynolds does well as a more dignified character than he hasever played before (check out his senator in "Striptease" to compare).The sole female, Lolita Davidovich, is terribly underwritten but thatis typical of this kind of movie.Last there is a cameo by Mike Myers who of course struck gold with thedirector of this film and this is as it should be. So many directors dothe same so why not here. The actual big game is not that extraordinarybut there are enough good moments to make this a pleasant viewingexperience.
Henk van de Goor (25 April 2013)
I watch many movies and I hit the fast forward button very fast. Very seldoma movie grips me in the first minutes and makes me forget time.Mystery, Alaska is one of those few movies that really touched me. Itsucceeds to tell the story of a town with real people in it with everydayproblems that don't come across as cardboard characters. This is what anoutsider would probably see as Small-town USA.A cynic could see this as "Mighty Ducks grown up". But hey: who needs acynic anyway?Bottom line: if you want to see a nice, feelgood movie with a funny plot,Mystery, Alaska is your kind of movie. It is no Oscar winning material, butjust a nice well put together movie with a good cast.If you rather see the kind of movies like Terminator 6 or Texas ChainsawMassacre part IV, stay away from it.But I'll bet you anything that when you see this movie with your significantother, both will be in a romantic mood when the movie is over.
fpoppe (25 April 2013)
_Fornication _Under _Christian _KnowledgeIs it now a contest to see just how many times in a minute thisanachronismcan be used in a movie? This movie was an insult! Excelent story line,butthats all it had going for it.
(23 April 2013)
If you're interested in this movie, it's probably because it stars Russell Crowe. But if you thought that was the only reason to see this film, have I got some good news for you.Mystery, Alaska, population 633, is a town obsessed with hockey. From the time they're children, every Mystery boy's dream is to be a member of the town's unnamed hockey team in the weekly "Saturday game." Through a sequence of events only slightly farfetched, the Mystery team is scheduled for an exhibitition game with the visiting New York Rangers, an event of only slightly less importance to this hockey-struck town than the Second Coming. One of the many great things about this movie is the town's reaction to news of the impending game. They're not awestruck by the Rangers, the visiting demi-gods; their first reaction is, "Can we win?" If Mystery plays, they intend to win. The Rangers might be big league American hockey, but Mystery has faith in its boys. It knows they're great even if the rest of the world doesn't.The movie is about how the town and its inhabitants are affected by the upcoming game. The game itself, though perfectly realized in the film, is almost incidental. Colm Meaney (late of Star Trek: The Next Generattion and Deep Space Nine) plays the town mayor who discovers his wife (Lolita Davidovich) is sleeping with a member of the hockey team. Hank Azaria is Charles Danner, the home town boy who was never respected growing up, became a reporter out in the great big world, brings back to Mystery the NEW YORK RANGERS....and finds he's still not respected. Donna Biebe (Mary McCormack) is the girl Charles loved in high school, now married to team captain and town sheriff John Biebe (Crowe). Burt Reynolds, who still has it, and in spades, after all these years, plays town judge Walter Burns. Walter as a young man wasn't good enough for the Saturday game, a fact he's never forgotten and a source of conflict with his son, who's made the current team. But Walter was good enough for minor league hockey in the lower 48, making him the perfect choice to coach the team for and through the big game. He's the only person in town who really understands North American hockey. For his own reasons, he refuses. Then there's Russell Crowe as John Biebe. The big game comes at the tail end of John's career. After 13 years in the Saturday game - a Mystery record - he's cut from the team just before news of the Rangers' visit hits town. And the town fathers, whose most solemn duties involve administering the hockey team, don't want him back. A man of quiet strength but not good at expressing his softer emotions, John doesn't know how to tell his wife how much he loves her when he sees Charles flirting, and her flirting back. The way he figures out finally to do that is both inventive and touching.Though this movie "stars" Russell Crowe, it's not a star driven vehicle, it's an ensemble piece. And while Russell is wonderful as John Biebe, for my money the best performance in the film is Ron Eldard as "Skank" Marden, Mystery hockey player and dedicated fornicator. The scene where Skank appears on the mayor's doorstep one frozen night to apologize to the man he's cuckolded is, I think, the highlight of the film. It's fascinating to watch the unexpected decency, sensitivity, and dignity emerge from what til then seemed an indecent, shallow, undignified man.The hockey game footage is convincing - thrilling, actually. Russell learned to ice skate for this role, and, with the help of some careful editing, looks pretty darn good on the ice. Numerous Rangers play themselves.Mystery, Alaska has been called "Rocky On Ice" and that's a fair description. Yes, the film deals with a hockey game, but that's not what makes it special. This isn't a dumb, gimmicky, braindead hockey flick like The Mighty Ducks. It's a character driven, imaginative, well-acted drama....that happens to work within the framework of a story about a hockey game. By the time the Rangers arrive in Mystery you're totally on the home team's side, rooting for them because you've come to care for the Mystery boys, and respect the sacrifices they, and the town as a whole, have made for this game. Like Rocky, Mystery, Alaska shows you don't need a huge budget to make a good movie when you have a great script, solid direction, good actors, and the film possesses that quality indefinable but impossible to mistake or ignore: "heart."So, can a team of pond hockey players from Mystery, Alaska REALLY beat the New York Rangers? Watch this movie and find out.
phaeded (23 April 2013)
This is undoubtedly one of the worst movies I've seen in awhile. What doyouget when you add a LOT of cliches, completely boring cinematography,cheeseball dialog and characters you TRULY don't care about?I wonder if Mystery, Alaska has a high suicide rate...
jules21 (22 April 2013)
I suppose in today's society, everyone loves to overanalyze... if you dothis, then don't bother to see Mystery, Alaska. For the rest of you... gosee this movie.I felt that this was a well done hockey movie, a cut above the usual"mightyducks" genre where the team **spoiler** always wins the game in the lastsecond and (yay) everyone is always happy...Hockey's not like that and I play. I felt that M,A provided a good insightto how the game is played, how fanatical hockey fans can be, and how theimportant the game can be.The acting was great as well... I suppose there were parts of the moviethatcould be improved upon, but why overanalyze it? Mystery, Alaska is adefinate "must-see" for hockey fans and for anyone that wants to see adecent movie.
(21 April 2013)
If you want to know about the great state of Alaska, just watch M. Jay Roach's Mystery, Alaska. According to this film, Alaska has the following:cold, hockey, freezing snow, adultery, bitter cold, underage sex (maybe because of the cold), and hockey. And that's just about it. Now if you're not familiar with M. Jay Roach, he's the director of the Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery/The Spy Who Shagged Me/Goldmemberfilms, so I was expecting this movie to be funnier. There are some reallly funny moments, but it made me appreciate how much the humor of Austin Powers should be attributed to Mike Myers. The director is just there to help manage things. Mystery, Alaska tries to be funny, and it manages sometimes, but it's really an ensemble romantic film tied around a Rocky story.It's no Rocky, though. That movie had real gravitas. This one has Burt Reynolds, who should, like the Rolling Stones (No Stone Unturned + 7 Bonus Tracks), quit. He's absolutely the worst part in this movie. He made me want to relive my junior high days. They were more fun than watching him. Russel Crowe is great, of course, but his acting is beside the point. He's only one small part of this larger town, and the movie doesn't focus on him, not like it should in order to be labeled a good movie. The fact is, though--I guess I should admit it--I enjoyed Mystery, Alaska. It was a feel good movie about how it's okay to live in a small town. The people in small towns are just as good as the jerks from the big cities who look down on them and call them "hicks" or even "lumberjacks" in this case. Being from a small town in South Carolina, I sympathized with that point. It made me feel warm inside.And the characters are likeable, too. I found myself caring about them. I wanted them to make good. I wanted their lives to be enjoyable. I wanted them to win their big hockey game. But these things do not a good movie make. Mystery, Alaska is, finally, enjoyable but not great. Comforting but trite. Warm but, well, freezing cold.
Review total: 20, showing from 1 to 20