I picked up the 25th Anniversary edition of Slap Shot on DVD the other day for under $10 at Wal-Mart. What a steal! Woo hoo! I so love this movie. I popped it into the player last night and immediately got pissed off, because Universal put a two minute commercial at the start of it, and disabled the DVD controls for the duration of it. Frelling pea brained, lice ridden, MPAA maggots. Powered down, then started experimenting. If you go to the scenes menu and click on scene 1, it starts as God intended it to, with no maggotty intervention. In your face, Universal!
Anyway, since I was already fiddling with the scenes, I just skipped ahead to my favorite scenes (mostly the on-ice stuff), and watched those. I watched the championship game sequence six or seven times in a row, just skipping back and rerunning it again and again. The introduction of the Syracuse players ("This young man has had a very trying rookie season, with the litigation, the notoriety, his subsequent deportation to Canada and that country's refusal to accept him."), the Chief's defenseman nervously smiling and giving a little wave to his hulking Syracuse counterpart with the big grin, who's having none of it ("I'm gonna straighten you out, you little prick..."), and Ned Braden's (Michael Ontkean) slow victory dance around the ice are all so much fun. Then I clicked to scene 1 and watched all the way through. Tonight I'll probably watch it again, this time with the commentary by the Hanson brothers (who've made quite a career out of their roles in this flick).
Watching it all the way through also reminded me of how similar it is to Bull Durham. Both films are takes on the lives of a minor league players. They both focus on the relationship between an old timer and an up-and-comer, along with the women in their lives. There are differences. Slap Shot is certainly the cruder, more exagerated of the two. Ned Braden is the polar opposite of Nuke LaLouche, the one guy on the team who refuses to go along with the Reggie Dunlop's (Paul Newman) craziness, but it still works out for him in the end. Both are among my favorite movies. To sum up, this film has everything — Newman at his crudest, young (and frelling gorgeous) Lindsay Crouse, the Hanson Brothers, nekkid Melinda Dillon (yup, little Ralphie's mom), cartoon violence, funny lines, wonderful on-ice camera work, and old time hockey.
"The fans are standing up to them! The security guards are standing up to them! The peanut vendors are standing up to them! And by golly, if I could be down there, I'd be standing up to them!"
Side note — It is a frelling gorgeous day outside. I have my office window open, and am basking in the sunshine pouring through the windows. The foliage on the trees outside my window is golden yellow. It's a shame to be working on such a day. Sigh.