The Ottawa Senators and their Cable TV Movie equivalents. It’s the season for lying on your couch and realizing that the movies running late at night have more in common with your favorite Ottawa Senator than you think. Join me won’t you? The balcony is open:
Forwards Daniel Alfredsson – The Fugitive
Credits to credits this is an outstanding film, can’t say a word against it. Has a great habit of showing up during cold and flu season or during a rained out Atlanta Braves game. If I were starting a cable channel franchise, this would be the movie I build around. Re-watchable, gritty. Harrison Ford’s last great hurrah and only more fuel to the “he’s held on too long” argument.
Jason Spezza – Nothing But Trouble
On paper should be a comedy juggernaut, all star cast that led to a box office bomb. A bewildering script that wasted the talents of Chevy Chase, Dan Ackroyd and John Candy. A young Demi Moore makes it tolerable which pretty much accounts for Spezza’s flashes of brilliance. The horribly inane dialogue draws eerie comparisons to Spezza’s laugh.
Alex Kovalev – Hook
A re-imagining of Peter Pan which if we were to look at Kovalev these days one could argue he’s the re-imagining of a hockey player. Again, all star casts and large production values fail to live up to expectations now but back then was box-office dynamite. If you’re stuck on the couch with a case of scabies, it’s almost worth the 95 minutes of your bedridden time. Like Kovalev, had its best run in the 90’s and now represents a warm, fuzzy combination of nostalgia and “Holy Shit, Bob Hoskins is in this movie!.”
Milan Michalek – Meet Joe Black
Are we starting to get the theme here? Tantalizing talent yet, in over his head. A rare example of Brad Pitt being miscast. Seems like Michalek on any other team would be able to contribute more but instead he just reminds us of getting ripped off in the Heatley deal. Just like watching this movie and thinking of Fight Club.
Mike Fisher – Tremors
You know an action movie that features Country Music Superstar Reba McIntyre makes this list. Combined with everyone’s favourite country boy Mike Fisher (The fact that he married a country superstar helps too) This might be my favourite movie on the list, homespun, deep fried witticisms, Kevin Bacon, a huge arsenal of weapons. Misunderstood sandworms and the dad from Family ties. You love this movie and you love Mike Fisher, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If anything this movie needs to be on at 2 a.m. more!
Jarkko Ruutu – Demolition Man
I’m going to refer to an IMDB review for this one as it does a better job of encapsulating Ruutu’s play better than I ever could: “Demolition Man is just good, goofy fun. You plop yourself down when nothing else is on and watch Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes blow up everything around them. Snipesplays Simon Phoenix over the top and that’s exactly where he’s supposed to be. Stallone has some good lines in this film, and he’s actually a funny guy when he plays things straight. Of course, no action film would be complete without the prerequisite snappy one liners, outlandish action and bullets flying everywhere. A silly, but fun film to watch.”
Amen ilovetits1968, amen.
Chris Kelly – A League of Their Own.
Think about it, a guy with not only two first names, but two female first names can’t avoid the comparisons. Yes its a period piece about female baseball players, the similarity here is no one has done more with less than Chris Kelly and Tom Hanks. Think about it. If someone explained you were going to be in a movie with Rosie O’Donnel, Lori Petty, Geena Davis and… wait for it, Madonna! Only to have that movie actually turn out halfway decent. Wow. There’s a reason those ladies don’t do movies anymore. If that doesn’t accurately describe Chris Kelly’s skill set, I don’t know what movie could.
Chris Neil – Ace Ventura
Probably the polar opposite of my Alex Kovalev-Hook comparison. Ace Ventura has a no name cast. At the time Dan Marino was a bigger star than Jim Carrey. Add Courtney Cox and Sean Young plus a tour de force by Tone-Loc and you have a movie that shouldn’t be a movie. Problem is this might be the funniest movie getting heavy cable rotation. You can’t broadcast in North America without it in your line-up. The ultimate glue movie. The Fugitive can be shown in primetime, Ace Ventura is your 12:30 juggernaut. It’s the only movie I can specifically think of by name when I fee like watching a movie after getting home from a bar at 3 a.m and barely functioning.
Ryan Shannon – Rudy
C’mon this one’s easy. Everyone’s favourite undersized, over achiever. I think this movie would have been even better if you replace Rudy with Sean Austin’s hobbit character from LOTR and still had him enrol at Notre Dame and try to make the football team. (“Hobbit in the backfield”) Charles S. Dutton is the real heavyweight. “You’re five foot nothing, 100 and nothing without a speck of athletic ability.” Damn, it’s getting dusty in here.
The remaining Sens forwards don’t deserve movies so they get infomercials instead:
Peter Regin – Time life solid gold 70’s collection
Nick Foligno – Back To life back massager
Jesse Winchester – Magic Bullet mini food processor
Sergei Gonchar – Twister
Recent events notwithstanding (okay they’re standing, even if Gonchar can’t) Sergei is coming dangerously close to Kovalev territory, so its along the same lines as Hook only a cast with a slightly less pedigree. Made gobs of money at the box office and now seems trite and the production values have not aged well. Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton huh? Okay, if you say so.
Chris Phillips – Con Air
We made it this far without a Nic Cage reference? Not so fast. Another glue movie featuring an all star cast. This reflects well on Phillips, its not meant as a jab. This movie is another, preposterous, yet hard hitting, blow everything up in the frame. Like Phillips’ game there no subtley, characters are caricatures yet deep down inside there’s a vulnerability, like blocking a shot or turning the puck over. If you meet a girl who likes Con Air and has a #4 jersey, marry her!
Philip Kuba – Edward Scissor Hands
Had a real hard time debating this film for Kuba or Pascale Leclaire, could go either way really but Kuba’s hands are garbage so he gets the nod. He also seems moody, pouty, misunderstood and living in a fantasy world. Takes very few penalties only because he’s afraid to reach out and grab guys as they go by him. I guarantee you Clouston and Kuba have a similar relationship to that of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, why else would the coach keep calling his number?
Erik Karlsson – Parenthood
I know what you’re thinking, easily should have gone with Problem Child, but I find that movie reprehensible and I actually like Erik. Parenthood gets the nod due to its ensemble cast and general feeling of frustration at being human. Karlsson is prone to multiple personalities and I spend most of the game alternating between scolding him and feeling immensely proud of his progress. Plus there’s a kid named Cool in that movie.
Matt Carkner – Idle Hands
Why this movie is always on escapes me but we get a young Jessica Alba so I’m not complaining. For Carkner the combination of a horror comedy is especially apt since his play is prone to bouts of hilarity and shock. Plus his right hand seems to have a mind of its own while seeking out the faces of his opponents. Ordinarily a good thing, from a defenceman playing 15 mins a game, err not so much.
Chris Campoli – Super Mario Bros
Wha? How is this a movie, how does it get made or even resemble the video game from my youth? Campoli raises more questions than answers.
Brian Elliott – The Virgin Suicides
I can hear you scratching your head here, stick with me. Elliott is Brian Murray’s sacrificial lamb, talent evaluators graded him as a career backup and Murray’s fidelity may cost them both. I feel bad, he’s stolen a few games but really we’re talking about Kristen Dunst and Josh Hartnett in a movie that came from nowhere only to return to nowhere. Underrated to over-exposed. Sofia Coppola and Brian Elliott…peas in a pod if you ask me.
Pascale Leclaire – Face Off
This movie has everything, a hockey reference, multiple personalities, identity theft, extensive medical procedures. A more fitting cinematic tribute to Pascale Lecalire’s tortured brilliance isn’t out there. And it certainly isn’t out there at 2 a.m on a Friday night. Plus he got hit in the face with a puck while sitting on the bench.
There you have it, a tour through Hollywood starting from my couch using Sens coloured glasses. Feel free to suggest your own in the comments.