About Me

A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Goon

I just had to do a quick write-up on the movie Goon.

It's based on the biographical Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey,” by Doug Smith and Adam Frattasio. It opened on a couple screens in NYC this weekend. I took note of it after it got a kind review in this week's Village Voice, followed by another in Friday's New York Times.

It's better and worse than Slap Shot, which is pretty good praise. Slap Shot had a star turn from Paul Newman but otherwise not much else going on in the cast. Goon has Liev Schreiber in a supporting role, stars Seann William Scott from the American Pie movies and others, it just has a little more going on when you take your eye off the brightest light. It's more violent than Slap Shot but not as profane.

Considering that I don't think fighting is integral to the game of hockey, I should look down on the film, but it does just enough to show that the violence is in fact violence and fills its moments with just enough charm and offbeat wit that it's hard to resist.

Example: the big turning point in the relationship between the enforcer and the player who's still trying to recover from a big hit comes when the enforcer starts referencing ET, "the light in my chest needs the light in your chest." If you can't appreciate the wit of that line in the context of a movie about a hockey enforcer, don't look for this on video. If you can, please, yes, do.

And the movie's low budget, they could probably have spent a little more time and money in the ADR/dubbing booth. But I'd swear that there's a place when a character who's crying is asked "did you just see Rudy," which again is just the strangest and most delightfully off little piece of dialogue to hide away in a film.

I have a feeling this won't be playing at a theatre near you, you'll need to keep an eye out for a video release of some sort, and can self-identify if you should.

I saw this on the biggest screen at the City Cinemas Village East, which is in an old live stage theatre known primarily as a one time Yiddush stage house. A lot of the detailing is still intact, I smile just being in the auditorium, which doesn't happen very often. Paid full price to see it on this screen instead of using a Gold Experience ticket at the AMC Empire.

Finally, I feel like I'm living a movie. Both Friday and Saturday walking around Manhattan I heard ladies having a serious shouting match with a boyfriend (I think) on their cell phones, and then on the subway ride home from this movie there was somebody on the train with a sign board with a grudge against hindus that he had to share. In a movie, these things would be a quick montage warning us of some apocalyptic kind of something. Don't say you weren't warned.

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