Puck Newbies and Their First Viewing of ‘Slapshot’

slapshot.jpgEarly last autumn I chronicled the story of two young transplants to D.C. from hockey-indifferent origins who got swept up in Red Fever, and purchased a ticket plan for the Caps in 2008-09. More good news concerning that pleasant young couple John and Victoria: their puck disciple-dom progresses — recently they went to a local movie theater to see ‘Slapshot’ for the first time.

Credit the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring for making such an opportunity possible. For approximately two weeks earlier this spring the artsy theater in the heart of revitalized Silver Spring ran the sports classic concurrent with the Caps’ participation in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Better: that theater sells beer and wine with its screenings, so John and Victoria could (and did) view the film with appropriate pucks sodas. Their indoctrination continues. And the occasion merited, I thought, a post-screening interview. 

Why did you two decide to travel all the way to Silver Spring and attend? What if anything had you heard about the movie?

Victoria: We like to go up to the AFI Theater every once in a while to see some of the old classics. It’s different than going to see modern movies because most of these movies were hits in their time, so it’s nice to take a walk in the past and appreciate the art of good, quality filmmaking. Also, we like movie theaters that let you enjoy a drink with your show. We decided to go see ‘Slapshot’ in the spirit of the Washington Capitals being in the playoffs. I had never heard of the movie before, but John’s brother recommended it and so did OFB, so I thought it had to be good.

John: My brother, a big hickey fan, has raved about that movie for years.  I
enjoy going to the AFI Theater for other movies, and when I saw that
Slap Shot was playing, I thought I should go, now that I have been
enjoying hockey this season.

How crowded was the theater? Was the screen big, and the picture high def? Did you drink beer?

Victoria: The theater wasn’t too crowded. ‘Slapshot’ wasn’t the main feature, so it was in one of their side theaters. The screen still seemed big and the picture quality was great. John had a beer — ok, maybe more than one! — and I had a glass of wine.

John: It was not in the main theater there, so the screen was a little
smaller. But still a big screen. They did advertise it as “a new 35
mm print.” Movies are always better on the big screen. Even comedies
are funnier, although it might be just part of having a whole bunch of
people with you that are laughing. The theater was crowded and people
were laughing out loud — and there were definitely some
easy-to-pick-out-of-a-crowd hockey fans there. I had a beer. Ok, maybe more than one! They
only let you get one at a time, though, and I didn’t want to leave the movie to
get more (or have to go to the bathroom).

What were your overall impressions of the flick — a classic? Seriously funny? In your top 10 comedies now? Would you want to see it again, and most especially, would you recommend it to other hockey newcomers?

Victoria: I thought the movie was absolutely hysterical. I was laughing so hard a couple of times that John started laughing at me, but everyone else was laughing too. It’s definitely a classic. I’d like to watch it again because I didn’t know Bruce Boudreau was in it and I’d like to try and find him in the line-up. I’d say it’s in my top comedies, right there with ‘Animal House.’ I would definitely recommend it to other hockey newcomers. I also noticed the clip with the announcer calling out the plays, the same clip that plays on Verizon Center’s jumbo-tron before “Unleash the Fury!” I’m glad I know where that clip came from now!

John: I thought it was very funny. I think it would be a classic if it was
ever played on TV. It’s one of those movies you get more from the more you
see it. Anyone know why it isn’t? I would think it would be in the
rotation with ‘Caddyshack,’ ‘Major League’ and sports comedies like that. 

What scene did you most enjoy? And, did the film do anything to further your interest in hockey?

Victoria: My favorite scene was when the three brothers went out onto the ice for the first time and were breaking every hockey rule that was mentioned at the beginning of the film. They were hilarious because their actions were so unpredictable, from the first time they talked in the locker room, “Aww yeah coach . . . yeah . . .” to the toy cars in their hotel rooms. I also liked how all of the girls loved the three guys and by the end they even had their own groupie bus, full of girls wearing shirts professing their love for them. I don’t know if the film furthered my interest in hockey because I am already a huge hockey fan, but it was nice to finally see a sports flick that wasn’t so over-dramatized for the last game that makes or breaks their careers, like ‘Mighty Ducks.’ In ‘Slapshot’ there is a feeling that hockey is the dying sport, but yet the fanbase was growing with each scene, further showing that the sport will live and grow for years to come.

John: The Hanson brothers were great, particularly when they first got to play. I do feel like I’m more of a hockey fan now that I’ve seen ‘Slapshot.’ Like I’m in the club now!  

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2 Responses to Puck Newbies and Their First Viewing of ‘Slapshot’

  1. wayne scarlett says:

    Yeah….I saw it first at the old Uptown Theatre in Toronto….and several years later at the much more reviled Rio,also in Toronto.

  2. Victor says:

    Hey, Bruce wasn’t the only Caps coach in that movie! There was another one.
    And, as far as I know, the only other person besides me who knows that is my gf.

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