HAT TRICK: HOCKEY FLICKS
Another form of entertainment taking a breather this weekend is the NHL. There's only the All-Star Game on tap, but it's in Tampa, so it's kind of a big deal. The puck drops at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, but a hockey fix is just a streaming service or DVD away. In honor of the All-Star Game on home ice, here are a few hockey movie suggestions to pass the time. Penalty killers, if you will. Game on.
Slap Shot (1977)
One of the funniest sports movies ever, with Paul Newman at his rascally best as minor league player-coach Reggie Dunlop. Introduced the dumb, destructive Hanson brothers, making fans of people who never watched the game.e_SClB
Not a good movie but it's fun watching Brat Pack-era Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze faking it on skates, and Keanu Reeves demonstrating everything goalies shouldn't do.e_SClB
Mystery, Alaska (1999)
A small town's amateur team is plucked from obscurity like Rocky for a game with the New York Rangers in a charming yarn. Russell Crowe and Hank Azaria are in the starting lineup with Burt Reynolds coaching. e_SClB
A great choice with the Winter Olympics on the horizon. Kurt Russell plays U.S. hockey coach Herb Brooks, whose team shocked the seemingly invincible Soviet Union team on the way to a gold medal at the 1980 Games.e_SClB
Son of Slap Shot. The Hanson brothers certainly inspired this comedy about a bouncer (Seann William Scott) parlaying his brawling skill into semi-pro hockey success.
OPENING FRIDAY: MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE
It's a slow weekend for new movie releases since Hollywood is occupied with the Sundance Film Festival or plotting campaigns for Academy Awards nominees announced Tuesday.
Meanwhile, we're stuck with Maze Runner: The Death Cure (PG-13), the obligatory finale to a Hunger Games wannabe that won't just quit like the Divergent series did.
The Maze Runner franchise started decently enough in 2014 when violent futuristic pep rallies were box office catnip. It introduced the mystery behind Thomas' (Dylan O'Brien) abduction to the Glade, where CW hopefuls train in an obstacle maze filled with creatures.
The Death Cure shows up way late to the party, thanks to O'Brien's on-set motorcycle stunt accident that delayed production for months. The Death Cure brings Thomas and his fellow Gladers to the Last City, controlled by the evil World Catastrophe Killzone Department (WCKD, get it?). They must survive the most dangerous maze yet, searching for the cure to a lethal disease called the Flare. Let me know how that works out.
in theaters: our Top 5
Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:
1 The Shape of Water: Guillermo del Toro's Cold War fantasy leads with 13 Oscar nominations.
2 Call Me by Your Name: Remember the name Timothée Chalamet, an Oscar nominee for best actor.
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3 I, Tonya: Margot Robbie is Oscar nominated as Tonya Harding, skating on thin ice.
4 The Greatest Showman: An original musical about P.T. Barnum starring Hugh Jackman.
5 Lady Bird: Greta Gerwig's best picture Oscar nominee also earned directing and writing nods.
(Dates subject to change)
Feb. 2: Winchester
Feb. 9: Fifty Shades Freed; The 15:17 to Paris; Peter Rabbit; Gringo
Feb. 16: Black Panther; Early Man
Feb. 23: Annihilation; Game Night; War With Grandpa; Every Day
March 2: Death Wish; Red Sparrow; Alpha
March 9: A Wrinkle in Time; Gringo; The Upside; The Hurricane Heist
March 16: Tomb Raider; Love, Simon
March 23: Isle of Dogs; Pacific Rim: Uprising; Sherlock Gnomes; Midnight Sun
March 30: Ready Player One