Thursday, December 10, 2009

There's No Fooling Montreal

Plotless Habs Movie Likely A Bomb

There's a line of Habs players that will tell you the same: Montrealers are a demanding bunch. We've always known this with regards to our hockey. With a few exceptions loved for their success against the odds (of playing with seemingly no talent whatsoever), all hockey players in this town have been panned mercilessly at one point or another.

What director Sylvain Archambault discovered this week is that the same fans are not about to give him a free pass, just because he doesn't wear skates to work.

The box office numbers for his new film, Pour toujours les Canadiens, play like the attendance for the latter-day Expos, not the present-day Canadiens:
The much-anticipated Habs 100th-anniversary feature Pour toujours les Canadiens had a disappointing opening weekend, selling only $112,335 in tickets on 90 screens, according to the Montreal box-office tracking firm CinĂ©ac. Only two others films – The Twilight Saga: New Moon and 2012 – were on more screens yet Pour toujours les Canadiens managed to land in only eighth place in the local box-office top 10. The per-screen-average for the Quebec film was $1,248-per-screen, the lowest average of any film in the top 10.

Brendan Kelly of the Gazette reckons that the film is suffering because of an early panning from the test audience a few weeks back. Though his own review certainly can't be helping.

I don;t know about you, but I was thinking of seeing this movie. I think I'll check that thought and spend my money on something more worthwhile, like a beer or two. When I first heard about this film, I thought Saku Koivu, the Habs, this is a movie I can get to grips with. But from reports it's not really got anything to do with the Canadiens at all, at least not in any coherent way. If the review says something like this:
There is a great movie to be made about our hockey-mad culture. Sadly, Pour toujours les Canadiens is not that film.

Then why would I want to see it?

It's a lesson, I suppose to people who think they can just ride on the coattails of this religiously followed organization. Be it Guillaume Latendresse or Sylvain Archambault – wearing a CH on your chest does not absolve you of having to produce work with some substance.

In case you still want to see what you're missing, then the screens are listed in this article. Really though, it sounds like this clip might give you as much of a thrill as the whole movie would anyway:

A real sports story

As Kenny said, there is a movie to be made about our hockey-mad culture. It will have to wait. A good surrogate, I found, was a book I read back in University called Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby. Now you'll all know the hopeless adaptation that painted the subtle story from the novel with a sledgehammer's touch that was the Jimmy Fallon Red Sox movie of a few years ago. However, the real thing, I suspect especially when read, painted a much more interesting picture of the love affair between fanatic and team.

The story looked at the life of an Arsenal football fan (really Hornby himself, I suspect) as he stumbled from game to game with life serving as his intermission. It captured the obsession of the fan better than any book I've read before or since. For your pleasure then, imagine this as the game to clinch a playoff berth:

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