Pond Hockey

"Good"

Pond Hockey Review


Pond Hockey begins the way it ends, with a drifting shot of wintering trees towering over a frozen river. It is an undoubtedly beautiful scene, but the calm the shot instills isn't indicative of the rest of the movie.

You don't get a true feeling of where Pond Hockey is headed until you see a frenetic group of people flying around a frozen river playing the equivalent of pick up hockey. As one of the participants notes: "You never turn down a good game of puck." And that, one might think, would fulfill Pond Hockey's mission of showing the true meaning of sports.

One minute and 21 seconds isn't quite long enough for a feature length documentary, so more is coming. The more comes in a few flavors. You get to watch amateurs play a lot of hockey, with interviews cut in every so often. You'll see some big names (Wayne Gretzky being the biggest) waxing poetic about time spent playing amateur hockey and about how different the culture was back in the day. When Pond Hockey isn't featuring a hockey legend remembering long-gone days you're either watching the pond hockey championships or listening to one of the amateur athletes talking about their time spent playing hockey.

It turns out the participants are much more interesting than the pros. These are guys who are playing in a tournament where the prize is a Golden Shovel. Sure, you could make your own with a can of Krylon and a dusty snow shovel but these guys aren't really playing for a shoveling implement, they're playing just because they love playing hockey. At this moment, it is important to note that if you're going to see this in the hopes of catching some brutal fights or great goaltending you'll be better off dusting off an old copy of Slap Shot. The hockey these guys play doesn't have fights or goalies, something that makes it much more interesting to watch.

The filmmakers do an admirable job of getting you interested in the pond hockey championships, but we are never fully engrossed in the outcome. You almost care who wins but we are more interested in watching people play for the love of playing than the eventual outcome. It's a feeling that goes nicely with the theme of the documentary. But there is also some irony. The pond hockey championships look well-attended and like fun. How long before the tournament is commercialized and people aren't just playing for the love of the game? Two years, max.

The easy thing to think is that Pond Hockey will only appeal to hockey aficionados. There's no reason not to think so; Pond Hockey is all ice all the time. But somewhere in the movie, perhaps the moment one of the players says, "Who gives a shit what a six-year-old does?" the movie stops talking just about hockey and starts talking about the changing nature of childhood. Anyone who remembers long days doing kid stuff, playing hockey, fishing, and playing baseball just because that is what you wanted to do will immediately identify with the laments of the cast. Where have those longs days spent learning nothing and everything gone?



Pond Hockey

Facts and Figures

Run time: 82 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 23rd April 2008

Budget: 75

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 8.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Tommy Haines

Producer: Tommy Haines, Andrew Sherburne, J.T. Haines, Nick Deutsch

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

Advertisement
The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Partisan Movie Review

Partisan Movie Review

With his feature debut, young Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman tells a creepy story about a...

The Revenant Movie Review

The Revenant Movie Review

A wrenching saga of survival and revenge, Alejandro G. Inarritu's new epic is just as...

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker who simply can't be ignored, especially when he lobs a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.