Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|New England Hockey Life at the Rink|
Step inside the world of dedicated New England hockey players with this inspiring documentary. Brothers Mike and Joe Devin are just a couple of the individuals who share their stories of struggle and promise in NEW ENGLAND... more »
Mkap1 | 03/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the best names in sports documentaries has done it again. Bombo Sports has brought us another great story here, showing us what hockey means to the New England area. The same company that brought us Still, We Believe and E-A-G-L-E-S, shows us what hockey means to people of all ages. From the young kids playing, to the beanpot, to has-been hockey, this movie really opened up my eyes to the impact hockey has in the northeast. When it was over, I couldn't wait to get outside and lace up my skates. A must see for any sports fan out there."
Disappointing and misleading
A. Everett Logan | New Hampshire, USA | 09/17/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"As a native New Englander, and someone who has spent almost his entire life around hockey, I could not have been more disappointed in this film.
First, the title is misleading. The film does not venture outside of the greater Boston metropolitan area in its exploration of "New England" hockey. Small-towns, rural areas, the other five states in New England - none is even mentioned, let alone examined. If they had called the movie, "Boston Hockey," then perhaps I would not have been so disappointed. Despite its small size, the culture of New England hockey is greatly varied from one area to another. Calling this move a documentary about New England hockey would be like making a film about baseball in America and only filming in one state.
Second, the sample of people chronicled is an ineffective size. If you are expecting an insightful documentary about life as a hockey player, a la what "Hoop Dreams" did with basketball, you will find none of it, as the movie jumps around among far too may people to really get to know any of them with any substance. If, on the other hand, you want to see a representative sample of different subcultures within the game, then you will also be disappointed as the sample is too small to represent any kind of diversity. It landed in a middle ground, where you don't get to know anyone in a holistic way, yet hear from each of them too much for the superficial topics they're covering.
Third, the movie shied away from any kind of controversy. There are plenty of areas of controversy that could be explored. Massachusetts youth hockey has seen a murder of a volunteer coach by a deranged parent. Massachusetts youth hockey has seen double the national rates of youth-player attrition, most likely due to the high-pressure, win-at-all-costs atmosphere parents have helped create. None of this is even hinted at. I love the sport of hockey, but there is a very real dark side to youth hockey, especially in eastern Massachusetts, yet this movie sugar coats it in a way that would make Disney proud. There is also great controversy surrounding many of the high-school coaches in the Boston area, especially about how many of them bully and psychologically abuse their players for the sake of their own win-loss records. This side is never examined; instead the only high-school coach shown is portrayed as a slightly gruff, but ultimately lovable coach along the lines of a skating Mr. Chips.
Finally, the sections on the Boston Bruins fans were superfluous and didn't lend anything to the film in terms of being an insight into a regional culture. As mentioned, this film only examined Boston-area culture, not New England culture, but even by these standards, the Bruins sections don't tell one anything about Boston culture. There are passionate pro-sports fans in all sports all across this country, and their behavior is far more similar than it is unique or diverse. If one put Steelers or Cubs jerseys on these folks and changed any hockey-specific terms they spoke to those of football or baseball, no one would have noticed the difference (the Boston accents notwithstanding). These sections should have been cut to spend more time with the folks who actually play and/or coach hockey. If these latter people had been explored in more detail, I could have gotten something positive out of the film. As it was, it was a superficial piece of fluff."