Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Independence Day
Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Randy Quaid, Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsch, Mary McDonnell, Robert Loggia, James Rebhorn, Harry Connick Jr., Mae Whitman
Released: July 3, 1996

Oscar nominations:
Best Visual Effects (won)
Best Sound (lost to The English Patient)


I remember all the hype that surrounded this movie when it came out in the summer of '96. I don't actually remember seeing any commercials for it on TV or any trailers for it on the big screen, but I have no doubt that I must have seen many of them because I was super excited to see this movie when it came out. I had boughten into all of the hype. It was a big summer blockbuster about aliens coming to destroy Earth and the only people who could stop them were the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park! And the guy from While You Were Sleeping was the President! Yeah! And let's not forget Cousin Eddie! (Though I don't think I knew he was in the movie until I saw it). And everybody else, I don't think I knew who they were.

If memory serves right, I saw this film on opening day. If not opening day, it was at least the second day, but I'm pretty sure it was opening day. I was 15  and saw it with two of my friends. It was a packed theater (I mean, obviously, it was opening day for a huge blockbuster!) It was a lot of fun and the whole audience got into it and I loved it, naturally. I laughed at all of Will Smith's one liners, I pumped my fist at Bill Pullman's awesome speech (well, I didn't literally do that), I jumped at all the alien jump scare scenes, I was in awe of the White House exploding effect, and I cheered when the aliens were defeated (well, I cheered inside).

I've seen this movie a handful of times and each time I watch it, it seems to lose a little bit of its initial luster. I think I was just wrapped up in all the hype; I was an impressionable teen, after all. There are still things I enjoy, but I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it to anyone. If I were to recommend a '90s action blockbuster that came out over the Fourth of July holiday, I would tell them to see Terminator 2. That is by far the superior film. And if we were to get even more specific and I had to recommend a Roland Emmerich movie that was rife with American patriotism, I would tell them to watch The Patriot, which is my favorite Emmerich movie and I prefer it over ID4.

At two hours and forty minutes, this film is so dang long! And it doesn't need to be at all! There are quite a few scenes that seem to drag. It's probably so long because there must be as many characters as a season of Game of Thrones! We are introduced to David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum - he's pretty much playing Ian Malcolm 2.0), a computer scientist who is trying to figure out a way to stop the aliens. We then meet President Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman) who has a young daughter, Patricia (a super young Mae Whitman) and we learn the First Lady (Mary McDonnell) is in Los Angeles. Then we are introduced to Russell Casse (Randy Quaid) who is a crop duster. He pretty much plays Cousin Eddie in this. Everyone thinks he's a whack-o because he claims to have been abducted by aliens in the past (and the government officials never think to interview him about that, because clearly he was right about being abducted by aliens!) He has three children and his oldest son looks and sounds like Keanu Reeves (it wasn't, though) with the long hair and surfer dude speech. I assume we will next be introduced to Will Smith, but no, we get another scene with David and we meet his father, Julius (Judd Hirsh). Then we get another scene with the President and meet some of his staff which include the White House Communications Director (played by Blair's mom from Gossip Girl) who also just so happens to be David's ex-wife, Robert Loggia as a General, and James Rebhorn as the Secretary of Defense. Then we get another scene with Russell and his kids. Will Smith isn't introduced until twenty minutes into the film. He plays Steven Hiller, a fighter pilot. He lives near Los Angeles with his girlfriend, Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox) and her young son, Dylan.

I don't understand how Hiller can be a fighter pilot, because, my God his peripheral vision is atrocious! He walks out to get the morning paper and looks to his left and sees everyone in the neighborhood are packing their cars, then he looks to the right and sees the same thing. Then he picks up the paper and it's only after he's picked it up that he notices the HUGE MASSIVE FIFTEEN MILE WIDE SPACESHIP in front of him! Um...that should have been the first thing he saw when he walked outside! Hell, that should have been the first thing he saw when he looked out the window just minutes before! And to make matters worse, Jasmine comes outside and also doesn't notice the spaceship until Steven points it out to her.

It is July 2 when the aliens start to arrive. The Mother Ship has sent 36 of the huge fifteen mile wide spaceships (you know, the ones fighter pilot Steven Hiller apparently can't see!) to hover around the largest cities in the world. The ones shown prominently in the movie are over Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles. David is the one to find out the aliens are coordinating an attack and are not here on a friendly visit. Because of who his ex-wife is, he is able to get to the President and warn him and everyone else to evacuate the White House. I didn't understand why the President was in the Oval Office when he was briefed about the ordeal. Shouldn't that have taken place in the Situation Room? I did laugh when he goes on TV and tells people if they must leave, then do so in an orderly fashion and it cuts to pure chaos in New York. I also laughed when a newscaster says, "LAPD is asking Los Angelenos not to fire their guns at the visitor spacecraft. You may inadvertently trigger an interstellar war." I don't even understand why the word "visitor" is even in that sentence!

A bunch of morons with welcome signs are gathered on top of the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles in hopes that the aliens will take them with them. This includes one of Jasmine's friends who tells her not to go, but she joins the "Party of the century" as Julie Moran from Entertainment Tonight deems the event. Seriously, why is E.T. acting like this is some kind of movie premiere? Speaking of E.T. (the OTHER E.T.), Hiller and the other fighter pilots (including his friend, Jimmy (Harry Connick Jr.)) are getting instructions on how they're going to go after the spaceships and he tells everyone that he wants to "kick E.T.'s ass."

Jimmy is the Goose to Hiller's Maverick because he dies while they are fighting the aliens in their fighter planes. (Spoilers for Top Gun!) After a high speed chase through the Grand Canyon, Hiller and an alien space pod crash and he greets the alien by saying, "Welcome to Earth!" and punching it. A moment I loved when I was 15, and okay, still kind of love it today. He somehow meets up with the President and David who will soon meet up with Jasmine and the First Lady.

We've all seen the scenes of the White House, Empire State Building, and U.S. Bank Tower get obliterated. Oh, and I just love that when the White House blows up and there's a huge fireball, the President, his daughter, David, his father, and all the official White House people are just taking off on Air Force One and trying to outfly the huge explosion...which they manage to do, but barely! This is the best effect in the movie...I think it works that they built miniatures of the famous buildings and didn't use CGI. However, the other special effects (like all the plane and space shifts) do not hold up.

Jasmine is in her car with her son and dog in a tunnel when the U.S. Bank Tower has exploded and when she sees the huge fireball coming towards, she grabs Dylan and takes him to a utility closet or something in the tunnel, which I thought was a really smart thing to do. She yells at Boomer, the dog, to run to them and he jumps over a car and makes it inside the closet so she can close the door right before the fireball goes past them. She later finds a truck that still works and picks up any survivors. This includes the First Lady who was in a helicopter that crashed, but she's still alive, but not for long because she will die from internal bleeding. At least she gets to say goodbye to her husband and daughter.

The President and his crew are taken to Area 51 where he meets an eccentric scientist (who clearly dies in this movie, but just so happens to be in the sequel?)  who has been studying alien life and has this huge spacecraft that's been just sitting around since the 50s. IDK, honestly this is around the time I kind of check out. Hiller has also arrived with his new alien friend and this is when it kills the scientist, but somehow Whitmore can read its mind. Again, IDK.

Okay, so now it's July 4 and the Americans are planning an attack on the aliens and they have told the other countries their plan of attack. I laughed when a group of British soldiers are reading a telegram and one says "The Americans are proposing a counter attack. It's about bloody time!" Of course, this is when we also get the best speech in the history of movies. I'm talking, of course, about President Whitmore's, "This is the day when we celebrate our Independence Day!" speech and everyone cheers. I did love the guy that gives that super intense salute. Oh, man, I laughed so hard at that. But seriously, how great was that speech? Still gives me chills.

For some reason, they let the President of the United States fly a jet to fight the aliens. Um, that would never happen. They would never let the President in any danger. They would get his ass in a bunker or something. But, no he is a noble President and wants to fight alongside his fellow countrymen. It's Quaid who saves the day when he sacrifices himself by somehow making a whole spaceship explode...still not sure how he did that, but he sure did make his children proud.

In the meantime, David has learned that they need to upload a computer virus to the mother ship, which is located in outer space so he and Hiller take the spaceship, which just so happens to work fine even though it hasn't been used for 50 years to outer space....okay, my brain is starting to hurt. This movie is so stupid, isn't it? Anyway, they save the day. Obviously. All the spaceships have crashed and we see these huge eyesores in the grasslands of Africa, in the Sydney Harbour, and among the Pyramids. I wonder how they're going to clean up that mess? No, seriously, how are they going to get rid of 36 fifteen-mile wide spaceships (that must have destroyed the cities they fell on!) You think it would have made more sense to have them blow up, then disintegrate in the air.


Like I said, I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone, but if I could somehow edit my own version of it together of my favorite scenes, which would probably amount to 30 minutes, then I would absolutely recommend those "best of" moments (which would include the explosions and the speech and all the stupid Will Smith one liners among others). I have never seen the sequel which came out twenty years later as I heard it was awful. If it had gotten mixed reviews, I might consider watching it, but no, I have not heard one positive review of it.  Maybe someday I'll watch it, but don't count on a review of it anytime soon. I have looked up the cast and watched a five minute trailer of it. I know Will Smith isn't in it, but his stepson, Dylan is grown up and plays an important role. (I assume he plays an important role). Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox, and Judd Hirsh reprise their roles, but I have a feeling, with the exception of Goldblum, they're probably all only in one scene. Liam Hemsworth in is in it and I think he's the main character. What I gather from the preview is he's dating Patricia Whitmore...who isn't even played by Mae Whitman which is really stupid because she's still acting. I understand why they didn't get the original kid who played Dylan cuz I don't think he acts anymore, but Mae Whitman has been steadily working since she was a little kid! So I don't know if she turned it down or was busy with something else or they just forgot she was in the movie, but she probably dodged a bullet with that one anyway. Oh yeah, and the scientist Area 51 guy is in this even though he clearly died in the first one! Unless it's his twin brother or something? The first one was stupid, sure, but at least it still had some fun moments.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Miracle in the Andes

Alive
Director: Frank Marshall
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Josh Hamilton, Vincent Spano, Bruce Ramsay, Danny Nucci, Illeana Douglas, John Malkovich
Released: January 15, 1993


I was not familiar with this true story of a plane crash carrying a Uruguayan rugby team and their friends and family until the movie came out twenty years after it happened. My parents saw it and my mom told me about the cannibalism (oh, we'll get to that later!) I saw the movie a few years later and recently revisited it when I saw it was on Netflix Instant. 

When watching it the first time, when I was in middle school (or high school....I don't remember), it didn't even occur to me that the majority of the actors were caucasian Americans (there were a few Hispanic actors) playing Uruguayans. Now I didn't really have that much of a problem with that as I understand that this was an American production, but still, you're not fooling anyone that Ethan Hawke isn't from South America! I also understand why they're not speaking in Spanish because, again, this is intended for American audiences, but it is weird that this is a South American rugby team and they're all speaking in English...I thought the same thing when I saw that movie about the Chilean miners who were trapped underground and they were all speaking in English too. But seeing as that they had two survivors from the actual plane crash as technical advisors, if they didn't have a problem with it, then neither do I. But it's just so weird.

A small plane (Uruguayan Flight 571) is carrying 45 passengers across the Andes (though the movie was filmed in the Canadian Rockies) to Chile where they will have a rugby match. The 45 people include the rugby team, their family and associates, and five people made up the crew. The date is October 13, 1972, and yes, that just so happened to land on a Friday. (I only know that because Wikipedia told me). The weather is foggy, never a good mix with flying through the mountains on Friday the 13th! Because of the horrible visibility, the tail and the wings broke apart from the fuselage when the plane clips a mountain peak. The plane is still flying, though, with a huge hole, and the unfortunate people in the back are ripped out of the plane along with their seats. I can't even imagine what they were thinking, or the people who were sitting at the front who knew they were inevitably going to crash.

The plane crash lands hard and goes skidding very fast down the snowy mountain. In a way, they were lucky there was so much snow...that probably saved them. It's a bumpy and terrifying ride, but it eventually comes to a stop. Seven people died from falling from the aircraft and another five people died from the crash, including the team's physician, ironically, which would be nice to have one what with all the injuries the survivors have obtained...some much more worse than others. Two of the players are medical students and help assist the wounded. They are able to do this as they only have a few minor scrapes and bruises. The co-pilot is still alive, but has blood all over his face and begs for one of them men to get his gun for him, but he tells him he can't be a part of it. The pilot eventually dies during the first night as well as three other passengers, including a woman who had her foot caught under one of the seats and kept wailing in agony until one of the players told her to shut up or else he'll punch her face. When he learns that she died that night, he feels horrible for being so mean to her. The twenty-seven survivors have laid out the bodies in the snow and the team captain, Antonio (Vincent Spano) has taken charge. The captain's name was actually Marcelo Perez, but I learned that they changed all the names of the dead out of respect. I'll get to how he perishes later.

There is only wine and chocolate (for celebrating a victory when they win the match, I suppose?) for food and they ration it out to one capful of wine and a square of chocolate for all the survivors every so often. They sleep in the fuselage and huddle around each other for warmth and block the gaping hole by stuffing it with the luggage. I got so cold watching this movie! I had to turn my A/C off and put on my zip up hoodie and get my bedspread. There's a scene where we see one of the survivors has frostbite on their feet. This movie shows how Mother Nature (especially in the Andes!) is brutal.

Ethan Hawke plays Nando Parrado, a rugby player whose sister and mother were also on board. His mother died in the crash and his sister has horrible injuries. She is still alive, but not doing well. Nando is unconscious and doesn't wake up until the second or third day. He learns about his mother's death and does his best to keep his sister alive, but she will eventually die from her injuries a week later.

The first full day, they hear a plane but it is too cloudy and they know that if they can't see the plane, then it can't seem them. A couple days later, on a more clear day, they see another plane and start waving around brightly colored clothes. The plane dips one of its wings and they start celebrating, taking that as a sign that the plane saw them and is going to get help. I can't blame them for celebrating, I would also want to hope for the best too if I were out there, but there would also be a part of me wondering if the plane really saw the crash site. Everyone except for Antonio and Javier and Lilliana, a married couple with children back home (by the way, thank God there were no children on that flight!) are the only ones who don't eat the rest of the wine and the chocolates. In fact, Antonio doesn't know that they ate all their rations and is super pissed when he finds out. He tells them that the rescuers could be doing a land rescue and it could take days before they are reached. It turns out that the plane didn't even see them at all. I read on Wikipedia that the plane that crashed was white and it blended in with the snow, thus making it difficult for search planes to spot it.

At least a week has passed and there is no food left...or is there? This is the moment of the movie that everybody remembers. Not the horrific crash, not the dangers of being in the middle of the Andes, but the discussion of eating the dead. I can't blame them - the bodies, being in the snow are well-preserved and they do need to eat, because, what else are they going to eat? Remember, there are 27 people (maybe 26 at this time...it was hard to keep track) who need to eat. They do talk it over and how it will change them. Everyone reluctantly agrees they should do it except for Lilliana (played by Illeana Douglas). I would also say no. Not that I would feel like an evil person for eating another human beings; I do get that it's for survival, but my God! I just can't imagine humans tasting good (uh...maybe that's a good thing!) And they're eating them raw! Ughhhhhh! So disgusting! Eww! When we see the first person (Antonio, I think) cut into the rear end of one of the victims, the piece of flesh he eats looks like cold cuts. (I read that they used turkey jerky). It looks SO GROSS. I would seriously throw up. And the fact that they're eating people they know (and Nando specifically asks the others not to touch his mother or sister, which makes sense) makes it worse. If I absolutely was in this dire situation and had to eat a dead body to survive, I would want to eat someone I didn't know, for God's sake and wasn't a relative or close friend of mine. Guess I would have to eat one of the pilots! But then I would throw it up (I just know I would!) and would eventually die from starvation. I know I would die for a fact because they were stranded in the mountains for 72 days! From October 13 - December 23. A small transistor radio is found on the plane and they hear the news that the search effort has been called off, so it's up to them to get help.

The plane's mechanic survived the crash, but doesn't seem to be much help when he is asked about the radio. He says it needs batteries, which just so happen to be in the tail section. (You think the batteries would be in the cockpit). A few of the men decide to look for it and there's a scary scene where they are walking over a snow covered chasm and the snow falls and one of the men almost falls in the gaping hole, but he is grabbed by another and they form a human chain. Who knows if that really happened or if they added it in the movie. Something that really did happen was an avalanche that occurred in the middle of the night and killed eight people including the team captain, Lilliana (who eventually started eating the dead upon her husband's instinct), and the mechanic. It completely covered the fuselage and those lucky enough not to be completely covered by the snow, quickly started digging through the snow.

The search for the tail continues and this time it is found (along with a few dead bodies, still attached to their seats). The battery, however, is too heavy to carry back to the crash site, so it is decided they will return to the crash site and disconnect the radio and bring it back. Needless to say, it didn't work. Nando and Roberto Canessa (played by Josh Hamilton - he played Clay's dad on 13 Reasons Why if you watched that on Netflix) decide they're going to trek down the mountains to get help. It took them ten days before they finally reached help. In the movie, it is very rushed. Before they leave to get help, Nando (or maybe it was Roberto, I don't remember) gives one of the other men one half of a pair of red baby shoes and tells him that when the shoes are united, then that means they will have been rescued. Um...why are there baby shoes on that plane? There were no babies on that flight! (And thank God!) No way this happened in real life and they were doing it to gloss up the movie a bit, but, again, I ask, why are there baby shoes on that flight? That made no sense at all!

So of course when the helicopters arrive, the baby shoes are reunited and everyone is rescued. Well, the remaining survivors are rescued. In the end, only sixteen out of the forty-five people who were on that flight survived the 72 day ordeal. It is pretty amazing that even that many people did survive!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Boston Strong

Patriots Day
Director: Peter Berg
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, Michelle Monaghan, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist
Released: December 21, 2016


This movie is based on the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, which I'm sure everyone remembers as it only happened a mere four years ago. I thought I remembered everything about this incident, but apparently not because there were things in the movie that I found myself going, "Wait, I thought it happened this way!" or "Wait, I don't remember that happening!" But I'll get to those later. Mark Wahlberg (a native Bostonian as you all know) does not play a real person, but his police officer character, Sergeant Tommy Sanders is suppose to represent the everyman Boston police officer during this tragic event.

Everyone else, to my knowledge portray real-life people. Before the day of the Marathon we are shown the home lives of a few different characters. Even though they tell us the last name of the family/person we're viewing, I didn't know who any of these people were. I didn't remember the names of the terrorist brothers, but once I saw the title card say, "Tsarnaev residence", I knew it was them because I remember them being Russian and sure enough we see them along with the older brother's wife (played by Melissa Benoist...who I did not recognize until the interrogation scene because she wears a hijab and that was the first time the camera lingers on her. I guess I forgot that the wife was American). We see a young married couple and a young Chinese man who's attending MIT and showing his parents his new car via his phone. I had no idea who these people were and thought maybe they were victims of the bombing. Well, they were victims, but they weren't the ones who were killed by the bomb like I had thought. I had to remind myself who died because I only remembered the police officer, who wasn't killed by the bomb, but who was killed the following night by one of the brothers, and an eight year old boy died from the blast. Two other young women also died from the blast. Except for the police officer, there is no mention of the deceased by name and they don't have anyone playing them which I thought was a smart choice. The only mention of the deceased is when the young boy who died is covered by a table cloth from a restaurant and they are unable to remove him until they are sure there isn't any bomb residue on him. I'm sure this happened in real life (otherwise why would it be in the movie?) and I can't imagine being the parents of that boy who took him to see the Boston Marathon, but weren't able to take him home because two low-lives (one who has a young daughter!) took his life.

For two bombs going off, it is very fortunate that not more lives were lost that day. The majority of the devastation came from injuries, the severest being lost of limbs. The couple that is shown the night before the Marathon are actors playing a real life couple who both run the race every year and had to have their legs amputated. Saunders is near the finish line when both bombs go off (which were only 13 seconds apart...a fact I did not know) and his wife is also there because she had come down to bring him something. He will feel very guilty for putting her in harm's way, but she tells him it wasn't his fault. During all the commotion, the race is (surprisingly) still going on and runners are running into the confusion and they have to block the area.

John Goodman plays Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and Kevin Bacon plays Richard DesLauriers, special agent in the Boston field and both head the investigation to find out what happened. You get a glimpse of what happened behind the scenes. It seemed to happen really fast because the bombing happened on a Monday and by Friday the older brother was killed and the younger one was caught. But we see the process of trying to find out who set off the bombs is a painstakingly slow as several people are scouring over security footage (and they used real footage) of every angle from where the bomb went off. Someone alerts the two men in charge when he sees footage of a young man in a white hat looking away from the camera (as though he knows a bomb is about to off) a second before everyone else does. They try to find other angles where they can see "White Hat" and Saunders tells them which business security camera to look up and they find a few more angles of him as well as him standing next to someone wearing sunglasses and a black hat and holding a backpack (the older brother) who they assume are together and are the bombers. Even though they have clear photos, they can't find them in the criminal database as they have no records. Now what I didn't know is that the FBI agent did NOT want to release the photos of the suspects because if they were wrong and they weren't involved, they would be raked over the coals by the public. He wanted more evidence that these were the bombers. They just wanted a little more time to figure out, but then it turned out FOX News (of course it was FOX!) got a hold of the photos and were going to release them in a few hours, so they decided they would go ahead and release them before the media did so they could get them out there their way.

The only person shown being killed is Officer Sean Collier. Like the other characters the day before the bomb happened, we also get a glimpse into his life. I remember a police officer being killed by the suspected bombers, but I guess I thought it was from a shoot out. I didn't remember that he was sitting in his car in front of MIT and the younger brother came up to his car and motioned for him to roll down his window and when he did, he shot him and stole his gun. That's scary. The thing that shocked me the most from watching this was what happened next because I did not remember this AT ALL. In fact, I don't think I even knew about this until I watched the movie. This is when the young Chinese student comes into play. We see him in an earlier scene having dinner with a new friend and he's telling her what it's like living in a new country. I was wondering what he had to do with this story and this is when we find out. He's sitting in his car, looking at his phone, when the older brother comes up to his window and motions for him to roll it down. Both brothers hijack the car with their new gun and make Dun Meng, the young Chinese man drive them. This seems like a big part of the story, was it even in the news? How could I not know this happened? They make him get out of the driver's seat and into the passenger seat so the older brother can drive. As they're driving, they tell him that they bombed the Marathon and are planning to go to Manhattan and bomb Times Square. They also talked about 9/11 being an inside job by the government (now I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person...I am all about the JFK and TWA 800 conspiracies....but the 9/11 one, I never got that one).

Speaking of 9/11, we get a comment from a news reporter saying that the bombing is the worst act of terrorism in the U.S. since 9/11 and I'm thinking, "What?" Because it seems like that's a pretty big gap between 2001 and 2013, but then I realized all the 40 million shootings in those years weren't linked to terrorism groups...we just have a bunch of idiots who live in this country. Before the race begins, there is a moment of silence for the victims of the Newtown, CT school shooting and I had to remind myself that had only happened four months prior and in just a few short hours they would have their own tragedy. I've seen the Boston Marathon bombing be compared to 9/11 on a few occasions and aside from the terrorism aspect and when they shut down the city of Boston that day (like when they shut down all the airports), I've never really understood that. I was reminded more of the Oklahoma City bombing. I am always amazed at the amount of people who refer to 9/11 as a "bombing". There were no bombs involved in 9/11! Let me tell you a true story....the week after 9/11 happened, my school had a banner saying something along the lines to donate blood or money for the victims of the 9/11 bombing. And I see it and I'm thinking, Huh...I don't remember any bombs being reported. Anyway, I'm getting way off topic...

The brothers stop at gas station for snacks and this is when Dun Meng makes his escape. He has already pleaded to be let go and they can have his money and car and he promises he won't tell anyone, but the brothers refuse. You know that since they have already told him who they are and what they plan to do, that they have no plans to keep him alive once they don't need him anymore and you know he knows this. While the younger brother is getting snacks, the older brother has the gun in the side pocket of the car and is looking out the window. We see Dung Meng getting ready to escape. Now I just thought he had to open the door and that was it, but he also had his seatbelt on, so that gave the bomber notice that his abductee was getting ready to leave, but luckily Meng manages to escape and runs to a gas station across the street and screams at the manager to call the police. When the police arrive, Meng tells them he was abducted by the two brothers who were involved in the Boston Marathon bombing and his phone is still in the car an they are able to track them down. Saunders tells Meng that he was very brave to do what he did and I have to agree...if I had done that, I would have over thought it and would end up dead. Meng was just sitting in his car playing with his phone when he was hijacked and I told myself that I would NEVER just sit alone in my car while on my phone. Well, just a couple days after I saw this, I found myself in a parking lot with my phone trying to locate a place I was looking for. Now it was broad daylight, but I still locked my car! So starting now I will NEVER sit in my car, night or day, and look at my phone!

When  the police locate the bothers, they have a big shootout and many bombs are involved so right there the police knew that they had plans to bomb other places. This is when the older brother is killed, which I remembered. What I don't remember is that the younger brother ran over him with the car! He was aiming at the police who had gotten a hold of the older brother, but jumped out of the way when the car came towards them. He gets away and the next day is devoted to looking for him which I remember, especially since I watched it on TV when they had located him in the boat. That would be so scary to be the guy who owns the boat and find the one person everybody in the city is looking for is hiding in your boat! In the film, the owner of the boat notices something wrong with his boat and calls the police, but I watched a documentary about this whole ordeal and they interviewed the guy and he said that he actually went up to his boat and saw the kid (I think he was sleeping?) and then called the police, but in the movie, it's Saunders who discovers him.

We all know how the story ends and the perpetrator is caught. The movie ends with the real footage of David Ortiz giving his speech at the April 20, 2013 Red Sox game against the Royals and we see the Mayor of Boston, Ed Davis, and other people who helped make Boston safe. Then we see clips of the real life couple who lost their legs talking as well as a father and son who were separated (who were also featured in the movie). I really didn't think it was necessary to have these talking heads in there because it felt like I was watching a documentary and an entire new movie was starting. This should have been in the special features portion of the DVD. And believe me, there are TONS of documentaries on the Boston Marathon bombing to watch if you want to find out the many stories that come from it. I think having the baseball speech was the perfect place to end it, as well as have the in memoriam photos of the four people who lost their lives. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Fallen Star

O.J.: Made in America
Director: Ezra Edelman
Released: May 20, 2016

Oscar nominations:

Best Documentary (won)


At a running length of seven hours and forty-seven minutes, this is the longest film to ever win an Oscar. I was surprised it was even up for an Oscar since it watches more as a miniseries than as a film. It was first shown as a five part miniseries on ESPN, but it also got a theatrical release which made it eligible for the Oscar. When it was shown at Sundance, there was only one intermission! What kind of bs is that? A nearly eight hour movie and only one intermission? At least there were two intermissions at other places it was shown theatrically. I watched it on Hulu and it took me about a week to get through it.

This movie chronicles the life of O.J. Simpson. Now when I think of O.J. Simpson, the first thing that comes to my mind is the Trial of the Century and that part of his life was a huge chunk of the film, but they also discuss his early life as a football player who became a beloved national symbol and then a superstar athlete and celebrity. I was in middle school when the murders occurred and a high school freshman when the not guilty verdict was read. I'm trying to remember if I even knew who O.J. Simpson was before all this occurred or if this was my first introduction to him because I honestly don't remember. It's possible I had heard of the name because I believe at that point he was a commentator for one of the big networks during football games so I probably heard it when my dad was watching football games and I was doing something else. By this time he would have played Nordberg in the three Naked Gun movies, but I honestly don't remember when I saw those and I'm sure I wouldn't have remembered him from them even if I had seen them before the trial. I'm pretty sure I was familiar with the name, but didn't know much about his life until the trial.

I would rank the O.J. Simpson Murder Trial as one of the most significant cultural events that ever happened during my lifetime. If you are old enough to remember this, then you remember what a big deal it was. And if you were too young/weren't born yet, this documentary is a great way to find out about it. In fact, there were many things I had forgotten or didn't even realize while watching it. (And some things I was reminded about earlier when I had watched the FX series The People vs. OJ Simpson).

They interview everybody and anybody who was involved in Simpson's life, whether it was his football career, personal life, or his trial. The only person they didn't get to interview was Simpson himself.

The first part of the documentary began with his college and professional football career, the part of his life I was the least familiar with. He played for the Buffalo Bills in the '70s and the documentary reiterates what an icon he became and how everybody loved him. Apparently he did some pretty impressive things during his football career, but I don't know anything about football. Being so well loved by everybody made it easy for him to transition into Hollywood. He was in a handful of films, but I've only seen/heard of The Towering Inferno and the Naked Gun movies. (And I'm pretty sure he was the one who started the fire in The Towering Inferno! (And yes, I made that joke when I reviewed that film.)) He was the spokesman for Hertz and I feel like I remember the networks showing these commercials over and over again because I know I've seen them, but they were first aired before my time. They interviewed the director or someone who was involved in the commercials and he said that since a black man was the star of the commercials, they had to make sure everyone else in it was white. This was in the late '70s - a different time for all!

There were lots of things I didn't know about Simpson that I learned in this documentary. I knew he was married before he met Nicole Brown, but I didn't know he had a daughter who drowned right before she turned two. I also didn't know his father was gay. And while I knew Nicole was younger than him, I guess I hadn't realized how large the age gap was, especially when they met. He is twelve years older than her and they met when she was 18, so he was 30 when he was going after an eighteen year old. Ewww. They interview a few of his friends from childhood and high school and they tell stories about how charming he was and how he could talk his way out of any situation.

Race plays an important part in this documentary as it did with the trial. They take the time to rehash the Rodney King beating and how that played a vital role in the trial. At the time, I was way too young to understand how it was connected, but this documentary it makes perfect sense. If you don't know, Rodney King was a young black man who was beaten by police and it was caught on video. This happened in 1991 Los Angeles. The police men were not held responsible and this incited outrage among the black community. I can't blame them; that was pretty infuriating. One juror member on the O.J. trial was interviewed and admitted her not guilty vote for Simpson was payback for that. His lawyers (especially Johnny Cochran) did a great job of making race the number one priority in a murder trial that I remember thinking at one point during the whole ordeal, Wait, weren't two people brutally murdered? It was really unfortunate for the prosecution that Mark Fuhram was the first cop to be on the scene and he had a history of saying some terrible, racist things. The defense team aka The Dream Team used that to their full advantage and ran with it. And it certainly paid off as we all know. The prosecution also made some very dumb mistakes, most notably the gloves. (Sidenote: I've recently just finished the first season of This is Us and every time I see Sterling K. Brown in a scene, I just shake my head and think, Oh, Charles Darden, why did you have O.J. try on the gloves?) Having him try on the gloves was so stupid! Of course they're not going to fit! Do you know how easy it is to try on a glove and make sure it doesn't fit? All you have to do is stiffen your hand. I've also heard he stopped taking his arthritis medication and that made his hand swell up. At least that moment gave us the great line, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit!"

Even with that bone head move, I still puzzle over how Simpson was acquitted. Everyone and their grandmothers knows that he did it. I'm sorry, but you have to be stupid or in complete denial if you think he is innocent. Because if he didn't kill his ex-wife and Ron Goldman who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, then who did? The details of their gruesome murders are explained while very, very graphic photos are shown. Nicole was nearly decapitated because her throat was slashed so viscously. And let's not forget that Simpson had a record for domestic abuse and even spied on his ex once when she was with another man. Everyone interviewed in the documentary say they believe he did it or if they don't flat out say that he did it, they insinuate that they believe he did. EVERYONE. His (former) friends. His former manager. People from the defense team. The jurors.

The last part of the documentary goes into detail about how Simpson ended up in jail. Ironically, he got away with murder but he didn't get away with a robbery! This is schadenfreude at its finest. In 2008, he was sentenced to 33 years in jail for breaking and entering into a Las Vegas hotel room of a man who had a bunch of Simpson memorabilia from his football days. Simpson claims that all this stuff was stolen and wanted it back. (Is it considered a robbery if you're taking back stuff that was yours in the first place? Hmmm. Although he did take other stuff that wasn't previously his). They interview the guy who had the memorabilia and he said he went to the front desk and asked for security because he was "robbed by O.J. Simpson" and that everyone started laughing at him. To be honest, I would probably have had the same reaction. I would also probably have said an off-color joke like, "Well, at least he didn't kill you!"

Let's just pretend we're living in an alternate universe where Brown and Goldman were never murdered and O.J. Simpson was best known as being one of football's greats and the Trial of the Century never existed. If the Las Vegas robbery still happened in this timeline, no way in hell he is sentenced to 33 years in jail. He would have only had a slap on a wrist and probably would have to pay a fine. Even though a gun was involved, nobody was hurt and the whole thing was told as a dumb heist with a bunch of idiots.

But we don't live in an alternative universe and he wasn't sentenced to 33 years in prison for breaking and entering or robbing a man or having a gun, no he was sentenced to 33 years for murdering two people. How stupid do you have to be? He literally got away with murder (TWO murders!) and goes and does something stupid. Here's a lesson for you: if you get away with murder, don't do stupid stuff!

This was a very compelling documentary and I highly recommend it. You can find it on Hulu. Take a week and watch an hour every day. I learned a lot of things about Simpson's past and football days that I never knew. I also learned a lot about the Trial that I wasn't aware of or just forgot. There's so much in the documentary (obviously, it's nearly eight hour long!) that I only just scratched the surface with this review.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

7th Movie Montage



I have made my seventh overall movie montage! Please enjoy! And if you have missed any of my other movie montages, click on the "montage" tag and check them out! 


video

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Femme Fatale

Fatal Attraction
Director: Adrian Lyne
Cast: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer
Released: September 18, 1987

Oscar nominations:
Best Picture (lost to The Last Emperor)
Best Director - Adrian Lyne (lost to Bernardo Bertolucci for The Last Emperor)
Best Actress - Glenn Close (lost to Cher for Moonstruck)
Best Supporting Actress - Anne Archer (lost to Olympia Dukakis for Moonstruck)
Best Adapted Screenplay - James Dearden (lost to Mark Peploe and Bernardo Bertolucci for The Last Emperor)
Best Film Editing (lost to The Last Emperor)


There are a ton of movies out there about stalkers, but Fatal Attraction is probably the first one that comes to mind, especially when it deals with a scorned lover. I had never seen this film until now, but I was very familiar with it and knew about certain scenes (that poor bunny!), but other scenes I had no idea were coming. This movie is why it is a good idea not to cheat on your spouse/significant other! This is what could happen if you do! You might run into your very own Alex Forrest and that is a very, very bad thing.

The film makes it very clear that Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), the woman Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) has an affair with is the villain and she does some horrible, vile things and is clearly unstable and unhinged, BUT Dan is no saint himself. He has a pretty good thing going. He's a successful lawyer who lives in Manhattan with his beautiful and loving wife, Beth (Anne Archer), and as far as I can tell, there are no marital spats between them. They have a six-year-old daughter named Ellen. Not gonna lie - I thought she was a boy at first because she has very short hair and she never wears any barrettes or headbands in it and she never wears any girly outfits. I also thought they were calling her "Alan", but when they referred to their child as "her" and "she", then I realized the kid was a girl. Plus the fact that she's carrying a Cabbage Patch doll in an early scene - not that boys can't play with Cabbage Patch Dolls! She's also playing with My Little Ponies in a later scene which was my toy of choice back in the '80s, so of course I would notice them. You can definitely tell the decade of this movie just from the toys the little girl plays with! So anyway, Dan's life is pretty good, but he decides he's going to mess that all up by having an affair, because, why not?

He meets Alex at a party and he is the one to sidle up to her at the bar and initiate a conversation. She is an editor for a publishing company and they both find themselves at the same meeting the next afternoon. They end up going out for a drink afterwards when neither can hail a taxi. (This is also exactly how the affair in Unfaithful started, which is also directed by Adrian Lyne). Did I mention that Dan's wife and daughter are out of town? They're in the country looking at a house they're planning to buy. Alex asks Dan if he can be "discreet" and he says he can. She says they're both adults and they have a weekend affair. Dan makes it very clear that he is married and this is a one time thing (still doesn't make it right!) and the next morning when he returns to his apartment ( and his poor dog is waiting by the door to be let out), Alex calls him right after he's gotten off the phone with his wife and demands to know where he went. She wants him to come back over, but he says he has too much work and she tells him to come over to her place and work there (like he would get anything done!) He tells her he needs to walk his dog and she invites herself along because she "loves animals" (yeah, okay, bunny boiler!). We get a weird scene here where they're playing with the dog and Dan falls and pretends to have a heart attack and won't wake up when Alex goes over to him (which is a weird thing to do to someone who you've just met) and starts shaking him. He eventually sits up and starts laughing at the look on her face. This pisses her off, which is understandable, and she tells him that her father died of a heart attack right in front of her when she was a kid. Then she starts laughing and this time she's telling the lie and tells him her dad is alive and well. So the whole exchange was just very odd. And this is just the beginning of how unstable Alex is. In fact, that scene is nothing compared to what is to come!

Beth and Ellen were suppose to come home that afternoon, but Beth calls Dan to tell him they won't be home until the next morning, so this gives Dan a chance to spend the night with Alex again. There's a scene where Alex makes Dan spaghetti (and that boiling pot of water will come back later in the movie...believe me, I noticed it, which I'm sure was the intention for people to notice when they went back and watched it a second time). While they're eating, she asks him how long he's been married and if he has any kids and Dan answers the questions. Alex says, "Sounds good" and Dan agrees and says, "I'm lucky." Alex asks, "So what are you doing here?" which is a very valid question. If he even admits he's lucky to have the life he has, then WHY is he having this affair? He doesn't answer the question (probably because he doesn't even know why he's doing something so stupid), but when Alex tells him she'd like to see him again, he quickly tells her no, that it's not possible.

The next morning, he has to leave to get home before his wife and daughter return, but Alex begs him not to go. This is when we see just how unstable she is. She slits her wrists in an attempt to get him to stay. I had no idea this was coming, so it came as a shock to me, especially the way it is presented. She is very calm  and has her arms behind her back and when she starts kissing Dan and puts her hands on his face, we see she has slit her wrists the same time Dan does. Well, we actually see it first because he just thinks the blood smeared all over his face is water because he says, "Your hands are all wet", then freaks out when he sees her wrists are cut. Is he really that dumb he can't tell water from blood? Because I feel like I would be able to tell the difference! He helps bandage them up and makes her promise him that she'll see a doctor. That should have been his first warning bell that she was a bit unhinged and it did shake him up a little, but I still don't think he knows exactly what he's dealing with. When he returns home, he musses up the bed to look like he had slept in it.

Dan may be ready to forget about the affair and pretend it never happened, but Alex sure isn't! She keeps calling him at work, but he won't take her calls, so she starts calling him at home and always hanging up if Beth answered. There were a couple of lingering, menacing shots on the phone as it rang. Dan changes his home number, but do you think that's enough to keep the crazy away? Of course not! Alex will stop at nothing. One day after work, Dan comes home to find Alex in the living room talking to his wife. She is posing as someone who is interested in buying their apartment since they will be selling it once they move to the house in the country. Dan is giving Alex a very cold look as Beth introduces them and Alex even has the nerve to ask him, "Haven't we met somewhere before?" to which Dan tells her, no, they haven't. She insists they did meet at the party and tells him she never forgets a face. Beth doesn't know it, but she is giving away too much information to Alex, but Dan can't say anything without revealing just exactly how he knows Alex. Beth tells her the town they're moving to and gives Alex their number if she has any questions. There's a great stare down between Dan and Alex as Beth is writing down the number.

Alex announces to Dan that she is pregnant and that she plans to have the child. When Dan doesn't believe her, she tells him to call her her gynecologist which he does and it is confirmed Alex is indeed with child.

No matter what Dan does, he can't seem to escape from Alex's clutches. She pours acid on his car, ruining the engine; she makes him a tape where she just goes off on him; she spies on Dan and his happy family through the bushes at their new house. She clearly has issues! At first, it's just Dan she's going after (even though there's that scene where she pretends to be interested in the Gallagher's apartment), but then she starts going after the rest of his family...including the new family pet. This is probably the most famous scene in the film and the term "bunny boiler" was coined because of this film. I looked it up on my computer's dictionary, and, sure enough, it popped up. The definition for a bunny boiler is "a woman who acts vengefully after having been spurned by her lover." It even says the origin for this term is from the 1987 film, Fatal Attraction.

I was thinking the Gallaghers already had the rabbit when we meet them, but they don't. (Why would you have a pet rabbit in a Manhattan apartment, though, right?) It's not until after Beth and Ellen look at the house in the country when Ellen excitedly tells her dad that "there's even a place for rabbits." Even though she already has a dog, she wants a rabbit. He finally caves in and gets her one when they move to their new home. All I'm thinking is, Oh, you shouldn't have given her that rabbit. Only bad things can come from this. The family goes to the city for the weekend (and thank God they take their dog with them!) leaving the poor rabbit in its outside pen. (Although it wouldn't be safe even if it were indoors because clearly Alex breaks in). The scene is brilliantly and creepily shot. Beth comes in the house and hears something coming from the kitchen and sees a large pot boiling on the stove. This alone would set off alarm bells for me as someone was obviously in my home, plus they left the stove on which is a huge fire hazard. Despite this being the first time I've seen this movie, I was well aware of what was coming and I would bet those who first saw it thirty years ago knew what Beth was going to find under that lid. Audiences who watched this in 1987 had to know, right? Even before the shots that are interwoven with Ellen running to the rabbit cage and yelling and crying, "Whitey's gone!" (By the way, what an original name for a rabbit)! Poor Whitey. He never had a chance. I really hope they told their daughter that Whitey just "hopped away".

Understandably, Beth wants to call the police and this is when Dan has to come clean to her and tell her he knows who did this horrific act and this includes having to tell her he had an affair with the woman who came to look at their apartment that one day. Beth demands that he leave. He calls Alex to tell her that his wife knows about the affair and Alex doesn't believe him until Beth gets on the phone and tells her, "If you ever come near my family again, I'll kill you."

Alex obviously doesn't take Beth's threat seriously because she kidnaps Ellen. Now this was a scene I had no idea was coming. I soon figured out that Alex had picked up Ellen from school when Beth goes to pick her up and everybody is telling her that she already left. I think they need to have a talk with Ellen about not going anywhere with strangers! We never see how Alex obtains Ellen; I image she just told her she was a friend of her father's. She takes her to an amusement park where she buys her an ice cream cone and they ride a roller coaster and she drops her off at home, asking for a kiss on the cheek. While this is going on, Beth is frantically searching for her daughter and ends up in the hospital when she crashes her car because she isn't paying attention to the road. Eventually she forgives Dan and they reconcile.

The movie ends with Alex sneaking into their house and threatening Beth with a knife in the upstairs bathroom while Beth is getting a bath ready while Dan is downstairs. Beth is in front of the sink and has the medicine cabinet open and as soon as she shut it, I just knew that we would see Alex's reflection. The water is still running and is dripping down on the first floor, but Dan doesn't notice it. He also doesn't notice Beth's shrieks because she shrieks the same time the tea kettle starts whistling. When he hears a loud thud from the two women fighting, he runs upstairs where he attacks Alex and they have a struggle. She eventually lands in the bathtub and he holds her underwater until she stops moving. She's just laying underwater, presumably dead, while he's on the edge of the tub. And I'm thinking, Oh, God, she's going to pop up, isn't she? So I'm just clutching my blanket, trying to get ready for the jump scare (which I hate!) And sure enough she pops up out of the water with the knife ready to attack Dan, and sure enough, I shriek. Beth comes in at that moment with a gun, and as she had promised Alex during that phone call, she kills her by shooting her in the chest.

Some of you may know that this wasn't the original ending of the film. When they first screen tested the original ending, the audience wasn't happy with it so they scrapped it and went with the ending where Beth shoots and kills Alex. You can find the original ending on YouTube (just type in Fatal Attraction, alternate ending). I had heard about the original ending from podcasts before watching it and I thought it was a lot more ambiguous than it actually was. The police come to the Gallaghers' residence to inform Dan that Alex is dead and he is the number one suspect. He tells them that she was suicidal and was always threatening to kill herself, but they tell him they don't think someone would kill themselves by cutting their throat with a nine inch knife (they got a good point there...obviously they didn't know just how effing insane Alex was!) Dan's prints are all over the knife because it was the same one she used when she threatened him with it and he grabbed it from her. As the police take him into custody, he tells Beth to call his lawyer and when she's in his office looking for the number, she comes across the tape Alex made for Dan and plays it. It reveals that Alex will find a way to get back at Dan and she admits she will kill herself. So now Beth has evidence that her husband is clearly innocent. Now when I listened to a couple podcasts talking about this alternate ending, I was under the impression that we were suppose to wonder if Beth was going to exonerate her husband with this evidence. Which would be quite interesting, especially if we never saw them reconcile after the kidnapping incident. After all, he had an affair with this woman and because of that, her daughter was abducted, and, not to mention, this woman caused trauma in her daughter's life by taking away her beloved pet bunny. But I must have misunderstood these podcasts because it's very clear that Beth is upset while her husband is being taken away, crying and telling him, "I love you" and you know she is going to do everything in her power to free him. And once she has the cassette, she tells Ellen, "Come on, honey, we're going to go get Daddy", so obviously you know he's not going to prison. The alternate ending would have been MUCH more interesting if you didn't know what Beth was going to do with that cassette and if there was still tension between her and Dan. I also don't buy Alex committing suicide by slitting her own throat. I understand she did it so it would look like she was murdered, but....no. I felt like she was more the type to threaten suicide, but never actually go through with it. I don't really understand why the test audience were so upset by the original ending when Dan is going to be cleared of all charges, but I guess they thought it would be more satisfying if Beth killed Alex. I prefer the ending the way they have it now, but I could have done without the cheap jump scare.

This movie was the highest grossing film, worldwide, in 1987. And second highest grossing in the United States after Three Men and a Baby. If this film were made today, I doubt it would even crack the top twenty as it is neither a comic book movie or from a popular franchise. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Pride of Minnesota

The Mighty Ducks
Director: Stephen Herek
Cast: Emilio Estevez, Joshua Jackson, Joss Ackland, Lane Smith, Heidi Kling
Released: October 2, 1992



D2: The Mighty Ducks
Director: Sam Weisman
Cast: Emilio Estevez, Joshua Jackson, Kathryn Erbe, Michael Tucker, Jan Rubes
Released: March 25, 1994



D3: The Mighty Ducks
Director: Robert Lieberman
Cast: Emilio Estevez, Joshua Jackson, Jeffrey Nordling, Joss Ackland, Heidi Kling
Released: October 4, 1996



Okay. First things first. I owe an apology to the first Mighty Ducks movie because I was wrong. I was very wrong. I don't know if you remember, but when I reviewed The Sandlot nearly a year ago (and it was my #1 most viewed movie review of 2016, thankyouverymuch!), I may have dissed The Mighty Ducks and said it didn't hold up very well. No, I was wrong. I probably just wasn't in a good mood when it was on, and, like I said in my Sandlot review, I had it on in the background a few years ago and wasn't paying attention. The one scene I did watch is probably the worst one in the movie: it's when we're first introduced to a few of the kids and Charlie, Averman, Peter, and Karp are trying to trick someone to pick up a purse that has a dollar bill sticking out of it...and the purse is full of dog crap. Some moron stops and picks it up (seriously, how do you not smell or feel the weight of the dog crap?) and starts chasing them through a back alley. It's shot really weirdly because it's sped up and there's all these stupid sound effects and the guy chasing them gets hit in the groin with a wooden plank. There's absolutely no reason for this scene (just to show us they're little scamps, I guess) as we're introduced to all the kids in the very next scene. So that may have tampered my thoughts on the movie. What I didn't realize, is that if I had kept on watching it, I would have remembered how much I loved it!

I have to give a shout out to the podcast, Hey Do You Remember? (@HDYRpodcast) for making me go back and watch these movies again. They did an episode about the first movie and I listened to it and it made me laugh a lot (especially when they referred to Peter as "Pocket Fonzie" - so true!) and it made me want to go back and watch the movies and this time I really enjoyed them! (Well, at least the first two - the third one is a bit of a letdown). The first movie came out when I was twelve-years old so it's a definitive part of my childhood. Twelve-year-old me had such a crush on little Charlie Conway and Adam Banks as I'm sure every pre-teen girl of the early '90s did as well. I remember seeing this movie in the theater with my dad. I also remember seeing the second movie in the theater because I have a vivid memory of the scene where they're skating through the Mall of America and thinking what a magical place! And I would visit the MoA a couple years later and it was everything that I had dreamed! I didn't see the third one in theaters. I'm not even sure if I actually even saw that one because I didn't remember anything about it when I re-watched it. I'm sure I saw it when it first came out on video because I did love the first two movies.

Emilio Estevez plays Gordon Bombay, a hotshot lawyer, who gets in trouble with the law after he is caught drinking and driving. He is suspended from his job by his boss, Mr. Ducksworth ("Quack, quack, quack, Mr. Ducksworth!") and is to complete 500 hours of community service which is coaching District 5, a peewee hockey team in Minneapolis. These kids are just awful players. Their record is 0 and 9 but one game was pretty close because they "only lost by five points" and "almost scored a goal". Wow, if that's a "close game" for them, they really suck! To add salt to the wound, when he was a kid, Gordon played for the Hawks, who have won every State Championship since 1971 (maybe even further...but that was the earliest banner I saw for them). Well, they had won every State Championship up until 1991 except for one: 1973. That was the year Gordon played his first big game and he missed the penalty shot for his team, thus getting them second place. And right before he takes the shot, his coach, Jack Reilly (Lane Smith), gives him this gem of a pep talk: "If you miss this shot, you're not just letting your team down, but you're letting me down too."  That is a lot of pressure for a ten-year-old! And when he doesn't make it and Reilly is clearly pissed? No wonder Gordon didn't skate for the next twenty years! And no wonder he has a disdain for hockey! ("I hate hockey and I don't like kids!") Somebody who worked on this movie really loved that scene because it is shown three times! A little bit of overkill, but it's a pretty cinematic scene.

It probably wasn't smart for Reilly to put in Gordon to take this penalty shot: the poor kid had just lost his father in the same year. He probably wasn't thinking clearly, plus he had all that pressure on him. I feel like the more pressure that's on someone, the worse they're going to do. It's understandable why Reilly picked the little Bombay because he was his star player. As we learn later in the movie, he scored 198 goals that season. Is it me or does that sound like a lot? Now I don't know too much about hockey. I don't know if 198 goals in one season is feasible for a ten-year-old kid. So I looked up Wayne Gretzky, arguably the most famous hockey player ever (and, honestly, the only one I can name!) His record for most goals in a season is 92 during the '81-'82 season which would have made him twenty-years-old. That's 106 less than ten-year-old Gordon Bombay made! Holy effing crap; this kid is better than Wayne Gretzky! It is a shame he quit, as Hans (Joss Ackland), his Norwegian skate-sharpening mentor told him! Gordon Bombay could have grown up and been the best hockey player the world has ever known! Yeah, something tells me Steven Brill (the screenwriter) didn't go back and fact check that because I call bs on that!

Guess which team District 5 plays against first with Bombay as their coach? Yep, it's the Hawks and they DESTROY D5 with a final score of 17-0. Coach Reilly is still their collar-popping, gum-snapping coach (and boy, he sure hasn't aged in the last 19 years!) and recognizes his former star player. He's such an ass to him because he points to the second-place banner and says, "I wish they would take that one down...don't you?" Before the game, all the Hawks are gathered around Riley all chanting, "WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN WIN!" Bombay tries to get his team to do the same thing, but they're not as enthusiastic!

District 5 starts off with nine kids, but three more are recruited and one is acquired from another team for a total of 13 players. Bombay gets off to a rocky start with the kids, but overtime, earns their trust and respect. He gets his boss, Mr. Ducksworth ("Quack, quack, quack, Mr. Ducksworth!") to sponsor the team and that's how they become the Ducks. (Good thing his boss wasn't named Mr. Slothington!) The kids aren't too excited about being Ducks because they're wimpy animals, but Gordon tells them that ducks  are the "most noble, agile, and intelligent creatures of the animal kingdom", that they "fly together" and "if you mess with one duck, you have to mess with the whole flock".  Look, I don't know if that's true or not, but he gave a pretty convincing speech about how cool ducks are and the kids are proud to wear their new uniforms. He teaches the kids to become better players and hone their skills.

During their first match as the Ducks (against the Cardinals), Gordon gets them pumped up by telling them that now they're the Ducks and "the Ducks are undefeated" and this is when we get our (first of many to come!) famous "Quack. Quack. Quack. Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack! QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! GOOOOOOO Ducks!" chant. There is a LOT of quacking in these movies! They end up tying with the Cardinals and Hans tells Gordon that the Ducks have a chance to make the playoffs. Out of the ten teams, only two won't make it. Luckily for the Ducks, the Panthers got the measles and forfeited the season, so they only need to beat the Huskies! And the Ducks will soon acquire a secret weapon that will help them do that. They make it to the Minnesota State Championship where they defeat the Hawks.

In D2, a year has passed, and the Ducks have been asked to represent the USA in the Junior Goodwill Games set in Los Angeles. Not every player from the first movie has been invited back (they never explain what happened to those players), but they are joined by some new recruits around the country. Gordon, the "Minnesota Miracle Man" is offered a lot of money from sponsor Don Tibbles (Michael Tucker), Senior VP of Hendrix Hockey, to be the coach for Team USA and he becomes seduced by the vast luxuries he's been given and starts to neglect the team.

The Vikings, the team from Iceland (or "Island" as that's what's on their jerseys...I guess Iceland is technically an island!) are the Big Bad Team to Beat (and they also wear black, like the Hawks did, so that way you know they are the EVIL team) and they are led by Wolf "The Dentist" Stansson who earned his nickname because he knocked out so many teeth when he played in the NHL for a year. Bombay went to play pro too, but he got hurt and that's why he was free to coach Team USA. He starts schmoozing with the attractive Icelandic woman, Maria, who trains the Iceland team and the Ducks aren't too happy about that.

Bombay becomes a hardass when they lose embarrassingly to Iceland (12-1) and makes them practice more hours until their tutor, Miss McKay (Kathryn Erbe) chastises him because they're so tired they can barely stay awake in class. He's even earned the nickname Captain Blood. Before the USA/Germany game, Bombay doesn't show up and if there is no coach, they will have to forfeit. Charlie gets Miss McKay to pretend to be their coach so they can play. This makes no sense...how stupid is the referee? And the entire German team for that matter? They have to know that Gordon Bombay is the coach of Team USA because they made such a big deal out of it. But he does come back and gathers his little ducklings and gets their moral back up so they are able to defeat Germany and Russia. The final match is between (who else?) USA and Iceland. During the first half, Iceland is beating them 4-1, but after an uplifting pep talk in the locker room ("We are Ducks! And Ducks fly together!"), they go on to defeat Iceland. They were wearing their Team USA uniforms before halftime, but after halftime they come out wearing their (new and improved) Ducks uniforms. Apparently there is no rule about changing your uniform in the middle of a game!

D2 has what is probably the best scene (that isn't hockey related) out of all the three movies. It's when Charlie is rallying the Ducks with a duck whistle!

I love this scene. It's so '90s with the clothes and the rollerblading. And this was my first glance at the Mall of America! (I remember when Camp Snoopy looked like that...it looks so much different now! I know it's not Camp Snoopy anymore, but it will always be Camp Snoopy to me!) Also, there is no way in hell you could ever rollerblade through the MoA! It's way too crowded! I'm not too familiar with all the places in Minneapolis they visit, but I know it's a big city and I know that the MoA is in Bloomington and they also go to Edina to pick up Banks. I read that they traveled nearly 40 miles on their little rollerblading trip! And all before the sun went down! Pretty impressive!

In D3, they're all high school freshmen who have received scholarships to Eden Hall Academy and have all been put on the jayvee hockey team, the Warriors. Bombay takes a backseat in this movie because he's no longer their coach as he's taken a job with the Junior Goodwill Games. Ted Orion (Jeffrey Nordling), who is a former player for the North Stars is their new coach. He clashes with Team Captain, Charlie Conway, and to Charlie's dismay, takes away his "C". Orion's big thing is defense. He knows that the Ducks can make goals, but can they stop them? He wants them to learn to play two way hockey - offense and defense. He doesn't want to see the other team making any points. In the first game they play against another school, the Blake Bears, they are winning, 9-0 until the second half when the other team ties up the game.

They go from being the Warriors to the Ducks (of course they do!) I did laugh when they're playing their first big game and Charlie is leading everyone into the, "Quack, quack, quack, quack!" chant and Orion is like, "What the hell is that? Knock that off!" and wants them to say "Go team" instead and everyone unenthusiastically says, "Go team" and Charlie mutters, "Go team...how original." When they do become the Ducks again, the quacking returns!

What I didn't like about D3 is that it was such a letdown. The Big Bad Team they're playing in this movie...is the Varsity team? Seriously? Who cares! They defeated the Hawks in an EPIC game to nab the peewee Minnesota State Championship! They defeated freakin' Iceland in an EPIC game to win the freakin' Junior Goodwill Games in a freakin' INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION! This is just stupid high school stuff...who cares!!!! OMG! So stupid! Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know the Varsity team is really good and they've had ten consecutive state wins, but the Ducks beat ICELAND!!! Also, the coach of the Varsity team is just a coach who wants to win. There's really nothing memorable about him at all. He's no collar-popping Jack Reilly or slicked-back hair Wolf "The Dentist" Stansson (but who could top somebody with that moniker?) There's also these really stupid sound effects...a lot of them. It got to the point where it was really distracting. The first two movies have some dumb sound effects, but they're nowhere near as bad as this one, which should be catering to a more mature audience as they are growing up with the characters!

A prank war ensues between the JV and Varsity teams. This includes the JV team using liquid nitrogen on the Varsity team's uniforms and ruining them and thus the Varsity team taking the JV team out to a "traditional" dinner at the Minnesota Club and bailing on them and making them pay for the $857 dinner bill which they do by doing dishes, cleaning toilets, and vacuuming.

Orion does teach his team the to become good defensemen as they don't let Varsity make any goals in the final game.

Okay, now let's get to the good stuff! I thought about ranking the Ducks in order from my favorite to least favorite like I did with the Sandlot kids, but it proved to be way too difficult because there are so many of them and I do like all the characters (for the most part!) However, I decided to Power Rank them. If I were going to do a Duck draft, this is how I would pick them in order from greatness. So here we go. Here are all nineteen Ducks throughout the three movies ranked. I watched each movie twice and all the games multiple times and just scoured over them. As you can see, I literally have no life!

1. Adam Banks, #99
Portrayed by Vincent Larusso; appears in all three films.
"I just wanna play hockey."


Remember that scene in the first movie where Gordon takes his team to a North Stars game and introduces them to Mike Modano and Basil McRae and the kids all have sarcastic replies because of course they know who they are? (I didn't know who they were!) Anyway, that should be your reaction to seeing who I put first in my Power Rankings. Adam is by far the best player on the team and helps them win many of their games. He is my favorite character; I love the Banksy!

Here are the top ten reason why Adam Banks is the best hockey player in the movies:

1. He was the best player on the Hawks. As you may remember, Adam was originally a Hawk. The Hawks, a team who has won every State Championship for the last twenty years (except one; good job, Gordie!). EVERYONE who is a Hawk is GOOD, but if you're the best on that team? Then you are damn good. Interestingly enough, when Gordon played for the Hawks, he was #9 and Adam was #9 as a Hawk. Obviously #9 is saved for the cream of the crop when you're a Hawk. Reilly tells Gordon that Banks is his star player but isn't as quite as good as Bombay was (well, no sh*t, who can beat 198 goals in one season?), but he "wants it more".

Banksy!
Gordon finds out that the district lines have been redrawn and tells Reilly that Adam should be playing for the Ducks. Adam's dad ("My son is a HAWK! Not a DUCK!") and coach want Adam to finish the season with his team, then they would have the new districts be for next season, but Gordon refuses. I thought that was actually pretty fair. I felt bad for the kid because everyone on the Ducks hates him (except for Charlie who is just a super nice kid) and now his friends from the Hawks hate him because he's a Duck. Although Adam didn't help matters because he was a jerk to the Ducks. When D5 play the Hawks, Adam shoots the first point and goads Jesse by knocking his helmet off and declaring, "That's one!" (Jesse h-a-t-e-s that damn cake eater!)  He also runs into Charlie on purpose and slams him against the wall for no reason (other than to be a jerk) after Charlie slipped and is getting up. I don't know how many of the seventeen points he made for his team when they slaughtered D5, but his coach says, "Nice going, Banks, new Hawks' record" so he obviously scored the bulk of them. (Although he could have easily done it blindfolded and skating with one foot since they were competing against the worst team ever!) But it's like Coach Reilly taught him and the rest of the Hawks, "Remember, it's not worth winning IF YOU CAN'T WIN BIG!"

2. He helps the Ducks make the finals. Even Bombay pretty much admits to the group that Banks can be a big help to them in the playoffs. I think the Ducks could have beaten a few teams without Banks, but no way they make it to the finals. They owe a lot to the Banks!

Cake Eater
During the first game Adam's playing as a Duck, and none of the other kids are too excited he's on their team, he's over by the goalie telling the others that he's open, but they're ignoring him. After Gordon yells at them to pass it to Banks, Charlie does and Adam scores a point for them. All the kids are thrilled and hugging him, except for Jesse. He does seem to be accepted pretty quickly....just as quickly as his old friends from the Hawks, McGill and Larson, dropped him. Some friends they were! During the line up between the Ducks and the Hawks before their final match (epic scene), poor Adam just looks so uncomfortable and McGill is mercilessly smirking at him. You have to give Adam credit because he is quacking his little heart out along with the other Ducks before that big game so he is dedicated to his new team (no matter what Jesse thinks!)

In the montage of the Ducks beating the other teams to make it to the finals, it's pretty much Banks making score after score (with a few of the other kids also getting goals) and he's touted as the team's "star player".

3. He's often "taken out" by the rival teams. During the showdown between the Ducks and the Hawks, Coach Riley tells McGill and Larson he wants them to "drop Banks like a bad habit". McGill shoves Adam hard and he slips and knocks his head into the post of the goal and even wearing his helmet, that looked like it HURT. Larson, at least, is concerned for Adam, and when he asks McGill what he did, McGill replies in this very cartoonish way, "My job!" I thought Larson could be redeemable, but nope, in the second movie, he's with McGill and another Hawk ready to trip the Ducks who are rollerblading towards them.

The editing messed up a bit because right after Fulton makes his shot (and Banks is gone by the time due to his injury), you can clearly see a kid wearing the Banks 99 jersey. Oops!

In D2, when they're playing against Iceland for the first time, an opponent whacks Adam's wrist with his stick, thus making him injured for the the rest of the Games until the very end when he wakes up one morning and "the pain was gone". The only problem is they have a full roster because Charlie recruited a new player and Bombay is like, "Adam, I'm sorry, but we have a full roster." UH, EXCUSE ME? WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU, BOMBAY? YOU'RE NOT GOING TO PUT IN YOUR STAR PLAYER BECAUSE YOU HAVE A "FULL ROSTER"? WHAT KIND OF BS IS THIS?!??!?!? YOU PUT IN BANKSY!!!!!! Luckily, Charlie is smart enough to realize that they need the Banks so he gives up his spot for Adam. Yeah, sit this one out, L'il Pacey!

4. He takes hockey the most seriously. There are scouts in the audience during the Junior Goodwill Games and he's the only one to seem concerned about them and playing his best to impress them.

5. He scores the lone point in the first USA v Iceland game. This was the match where Iceland decimated the U.S. 12-1. Right after he made the goal was when he was whacked on the wrist by Olaf Sanderson.

6. He helped the team win against Iceland. It's a good thing Bombay put in Banks because he helps score one of the points during the five point shootout. Not just a point. But the point to put them in the lead. And I love how Bombay is giving Adam this fist pump like he's saying, "Yeah, you're my star player, Banks! I may favor Charlie the most because he's my pseudo son, but it's you who makes this team." Well, that's what I read from it!

7. He makes Varsity as a freshman. He's like the Harry Potter of these movies! Remember when Harry made the Quidditich team as a First Year? None of the other Ducks were good enough to go from jayvee to Varsity at that age! And both teams pretty much acknowledge that Banks is the best player amongst every single player between the two teams. The captain of the Varsity team tells Charlie, "We're just glad you loaned us Banksy so that we'd have a chance to beat you guys in the annual Freshman-Varsity showdown." Uh....this is a team that has won TEN CONSECUTIVE STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS and he's pretty much admitting having Banks will help them win and the Ducks not having him is a huge detriment to their game. Of course, Banks returns to the Ducks (is that even allowed? Can you just decide which team you want to be on? I guess if you're Banks, you can!) and now he will be playing with them in the freshmen-senior match. Charlie tells Captain Douche, "You had an unfair advantage last time; you had one of us: Banks." He's referring to an unofficial game the rival teams had early one morning to see who could score ten points first before it was broken up by Orion. The Varsity made three points while the Ducks didn't get any. I don't think Banks made any points, but he definitely helped make sure the Ducks didn't score.

8. He's one of the 3 players chosen in the Freshman-Varisty match.  Towards the end of the game, the Ducks get a penalty and they can only have three people on the ice instead of five. Banks, obviously, is one of the three chosen.

9.  He plays great defense. When it's 3 on 5, there's a moment when there's an open net because Julie has slipped and a Varsity member is ready to take his aim, but Banks skates around the goal post and throws himself in front of it and the puck ricochets off him. It's pretty awesome. Because of that move, the Varsity got a big fat goose egg!

10. He's #99. You know who else was #99? Wayne Gretzky (who appears in D2 to visit the Ducks during the Junior Goodwill Games). That cannot be a coincidence! Adam Banks is a Boss on the ice.

2. Jesse Hall, #9
Portrayed by Brandon Quintin Adams; appears in first two movies.
"All right, let's go, Flying V!"


I would say that before the Ducks acquired Banks, Jesse Hall was the best player on their team. Him or Guy Germaine. That's kind of up for debate. Jesse was the first Duck ever to score a point for the team (and I'm pretty sure this includes when they were D5 too!) Now I've watched this moment many times and it looks like Guy Germaine made the point, but the kids are all around Jesse cheering; Jesse's dad is in the stands and proclaims, "That's my boy!"; and Jesse says, "Yes! We are alive!" You see Guy shoot the puck and it goes straight past Jesse who's right in front of him and into the net. But the newspapers claim that Jesse and Guy made the first two points in Ducks history and Guy definitely made the second goal.

Hall has a few power plays in the final game against the Hawks: he knocks down two Hawks to let Fulton Reed take his winning point and he scores a point himself to tie the game as the lead of the "Flying V" along with his little brother, Guy, Connie, and Averman. (Terry's place in the Flying V is taken by Charlie in the second movie). He is always the one to lead the Flying V until the third movie when Charlie leads it. He is the first of the five players chosen to participate in the shootout at the end of the game against Iceland and makes the goal.

Jesse is also part of the controversial "Oreo line" along with his brother and Guy Germaine. Now it's one thing for McGill, the bully jerk from the Hawks to refer to them as that, but during the final game, Gordon says, "Oreo line!" to call them over. Whoa-oa-oa! I don't think that's very PC, Gordie!

Jesse Hall has a reputation for being a hothead, but I think that's something you need in a quality hockey player. You need someone who isn't afraid to stand up for himself and he possesses leadership skills. When we're first introduced to the kids, he appears to be the ringleader of the group. When Gordon first approaches them on the ice and the kids think he's a drug dealer, Jesse is the one to tell him to get out of there before they "use his eyeballs as hockey pucks" and he talks back to his coach when Gordon asks them why they didn't listen to him and replies, "Why the hell should we?" He also talks back to Gordon in the locker room after the disastrous USA vs Iceland match. In D2, he really gets into it with future player Russ Tyler ("He dissed you bad, G!") and gets a penalty for attacking a player from the Trinidad and Tobago team. And he was ready to take a swipe at Banks during their first game against the Hawks when Adam goads him, but the referee held him back.

Speaking of which, I loved the dynamic between Jesse and Adam in these movies. None of the kids are particularly thrilled about Banks joining the team (until he proves his worth and scores them many points), but Jesse seems to despise him the most. We have that earlier scene I  just mentioned, plus I also think there's a little jealousy on Jesse's part because, like I said, before Adam joined the team, he was (perhaps tied with Guy) the best player. When Adam is in the locker room before his first Ducks game, Jesse tells him, "Putting on a Ducks jersey doesn't make you a real Duck" and when they're playing against the Hawks he tells him, "Hey, Banks, don't forget what side you're on." Jesse often called him "Cake Eater", which, according to my brother, who used to live in Edina where Adam is from, is what the locals call people from there. As in, they're so rich that they can have their cake and eat it too.

Jesse does come around after Adam is injured by McGill and Banks tells him to "kick some Hawk butt" and Jesse replies, "All right, Cake Eater". After that moment, whenever Jesse calls him Cake Eater, it's more of an affectionate term. "Hey, Cake Eater, you wanna play some real hockey?"  And when Adam reveals his wrist is better in D2 among the group of players, Jesse exclaims, "Alright, Cake Eater!" It's just adorable.

While doing some research, I found out that #9 was a pretty significant number in hockey history and Jesse was #9, and, as I mentioned earlier, Bombay and Banks were #9 when they were Hawks. Another very good player who is #9 is Gunner Stahl, the best player on the Iceland team. I read that Wayne Gretzky wanted to be #9 because that was the number of Gordie Howe (a legendary hockey player who I had never heard of until I did some research!), but someone else already had it so that's why he settled on #99. I guess that's what Banks did when he came over to the Ducks and his #9 was already taken by Jesse.

The same actor was also in The Sandlot (he played Kenny DeNunez) so he was in three of the most beloved kids sports movie from the early '90s (plus he had the good fortune to NOT be in the disappointing third Ducks movie!) His presence in D3 was sorely missed, though. Plus it's no wonder the Ducks kinda sucked with Jesse MIA and Banks on a different team!


3. Guy Germaine, #00
Portrayed by Garette Ratliff Henson; appears in all three movies.
"They don't even have teeth!" 


Guy (his name rhymes with "ski") is more of a background character who is a reliable and strong hockey player. He is the cream filling in the controversial Oreo line. He scores in every movie (but not with Connie...thank you, I'll be here all night!) and is an all around nice guy. Guy is a little stud as a twelve-year-old and is flirting up a storm with Connie by winking at her or holding her hand while they ice skate together or sit next to each other at a North Stars game. He is a cutie, I must say. Connie is a lucky Duck (hahaha...my puns are so good!)

Guy and Connie have a little romance throughout the movies, and ironically, it's only the first movie, where they're TWELVE when they are making out! (At the end of the big game they win). LOL, what the huh? You think it would make much more sense that they make out in the third movie when they're in high school, but nope. They share one cute little moment where they're flirting a little bit, but no kissing. I think they don't focus on the Guy/Connie relationship in D3 because there's already the one brewing between Charlie and Linda and I honestly could care less about that one...but I'll get to that later. Guy and Connie almost kiss in D2, but are interrupted by other Ducks and Guy proclaims, "I was this close!" Guy, calm down. You act like this was going to be the first time you kissed her and you had your tongue down her throat after that Minnesota State Championship game! 

When the Ducks are tied with the Hawks, Gordon has to choose someone on the ice to take the penalty shot. His choices are Charlie, Guy, Peter, Averman, and Connie. Connie says she thinks Guy should take it. Now you could say she was just saying that because he is her little boyfriend, but out of that lineup, he WAS the best choice and the other kids agree with her. However, we know that Bombay decided to go with someone else. Bit of a risk? Sure, but it did pay off. Guy is the second player to go in the five person shootout against Iceland (and makes the point, of course!)

Guy is from St. Paul and has a dope sense of style; just look at what he's wearing when Gordon takes all the kids to a hockey game.  He also has a great coif of hair under all those hats he wears.


4. Fulton Reed, #44
Portrayed by Elden Hensen; appears in all three movies
"I'll be a Duck." 


Fulton Reed is the one that Gordon recruits because he has a great slapshot (at one game, the puck rips through the net), but he doesn't know how to skate so the crew teaches him to skate at a mall and there's a hilarious moment where he's skating down the steps and runs into a lady who falls into a fountain. I laughed so hard at that. Sometimes the twelve-year-old in me will never die! Now I had assumed it was the Mall of America, but doing some research, I discovered that the MoA didn't open until August '92 and this movie was filmed at the beginning of that year. One of the kids tells Gordon that Fulton isn't allowed to play hockey because a preppy school gave him a scholarship to play football and they don't want him getting hurt if he plays hockey.

Fulton is one of the best players on the team, thus making him in my top five of my Power Rankings. He tells Bombay he only makes one out of five of his shots, but I think he's selling himself short. I think there's only one time when he does his famous shot and doesn't score: when they play Iceland for the first time and the Icelandic goalie catches the puck and reveals a bruised hand after taking off his glove.


Gordon uses Fulton to scare the opponents during one of the playoff games (against the Cardinals). He has him practice his slapshots so the Cardinals can see what he's capable of and when he's about to do one during the game, they all cower and duck (NO PUN INTENDED, honest!), but it was just a ruse and he passes it to Guy who easily makes the point. Fulton scores a point during the State Championship against the Hawks and also scores one of the four points when they go against Iceland in the five point shootout at the Junior Goodwill Games in D2. 

He proves himself to be a loyal ally to his team and doesn't let anyone mess with the Ducks (especially Larson and McGill!) When Banks was still a Hawk, the three of them bully a group of Ducks (well, technically they were still District 5 as the Ducks didn't exist yet). The D5 kids are looking at some dirty magazines and the Hawks skate up to them and take them away and make fun of them until Fulton shows up (before he is a member of the team) and tosses them aside like the pieces of trash they are.

When McGill trips Tammy Duncan on the ice during the final game after she scores a point, Fulton skates over to the Hawks' side and tosses him over the divider. He gets taken out of the game and I love how Bombay tells the referee, "He barely touched him!"

In D2, Fulton comes to the rescue of the Ducks when they're roller blading in a park and McGill, Larson, and some random blond kid (must be Banksy's replacement!) decide they're going to trip them with a string tied between two trees. It is so hilarious because I love how Larson points at them and says, "DUCKS!" And I love the pun of, "Sittin' ducks!" Fulton foils their plans and manages to strip them down to their boxers and tie them to a tree with the string. Then he yells, "Nobody messes with the Ducks!" and the Ducks cheer. It is absolutely ridiculous! And then the Ducks start quacking! Um, it's one thing if you're quacking to get ready for a big game, but why are they just quacking when they're rollerblading through a park? I'm sure people are looking at then like, "What the hell?"

He becomes a Bash Brother along with Dean Portman in D2. I absolutely loved the scene (pictured in the gif above) where they knock on the helmets of the Icelandic players.

In the first movie, Fulton's uniform has "Reed" on the  back of it which makes sense because that's his last name and all the kids' last names are on their uniforms, but, for some reason, in the second and third movies, he has "Fulton" on the back of his Duck uniform. What? Did someone forget that Fulton is his first name? His Team USA jersey says "Reed" on the back, though.

Stillwater native!
In D2, we learn that Fulton is from Stillwater, Minnesota! This was very exciting for me because my brother and his family live in Stillwater (for the last five years) and I go up there at least twice a year so I'm very familiar with that town and it was exciting to hear it get a shout out! Next time I'm up there, I'm going to see if there's a Fulton Reed Avenue! Because if there's not, there totally should be!

Elden Hensen was fourteen when he portrayed Reed in the first movie.  I'm pretty sure I thought he was in his twenties when I saw this movie as a 12-year-old, but watching it now, he looks young! But he still looks so much older than the actors who were just a year younger than him. They do explain his age difference when one of the kids tell Gordon he has to pass the sixth grade again so he's at least a year (or two or three depending on how many times he's been held back!) older then the other kids and he's in the same detention as them so we know that they're sixth graders. (I was in sixth grade when I saw this movie!)


5. Julie "The Cat" Gaffney, #6
Portrayed by Colombe Jacobsen; appears D2 and D3
"I left my team in Maine to show the world what I can do."

Julie is the first girl (out of all three of them) to appear on my Power Ranking list. She is also the first person to make my list who doesn't appear until the second movie. She is recruited, along with four other star players from around the country, to join the eight other Minnesota natives (well, technically seven Minnesota natives and one Philly native!) to represent USA hockey at the Junior Goodwill Games. Simply put, Julie is a Bad Ass. She is a goalie and her team in Bangor won the State Championship for Maine three years in a row, thanks to her. They call her "The Cat" because girlfriend can pounce! She is a MUCH better goalie than Goldberg, MUCH better! It is a head scratcher why Bombay didn't use her more. She even asks him when she's going to be able to play and his response is that they're on a winning streak with Goldberg and he doesn't want to jeopardize that. She is first put in during the first match with Iceland when they are beating the pants off of Team USA. However, she does not last long as she gets called out of the game for "intent to injure" after she knocks over two opponents for making misogynist comments towards her. (Can't blame the girl for what she did)! This cat has claws!

She finally gets her due and recognition during the (literal) final seconds of the last game between USA and Iceland.  Here's how the five point shootout went down:

Jesse Hall goes first. He scores. First Iceland player scores.
Guy Germaine goes second. He scores. Second Iceland player misses.
Dwayne Robertson goes third. He misses. Third Iceland player scores.
Fulton Reed goes fourth. He scores. Fourth Iceland player scores.
Adam Banks is the last Team USA player to go. He scores. (Obviously!)
The score is now 4-3 with just one Iceland player (Gunnar Stahl, who is their best player) to go. Up until now, Goldberg has been the goalie, but Bombay has decided to put in Julie because he thinks she will be able to stop the puck. I agree with the announcer that it's a risky move to put in a cold goaltender. But of course she stops Stahl from making a goal and the USA Ducks win! I wonder what would have happened if Gunner had scored and there was still a tie? Would they just keep having a shootout until someone missed?

In D3, at least Coach Orion sees her potential and names her the starter goalie while Goldberg is trying to sabotage her and make her eat all this food so she'll get fat (because that's much easier than him loosing weight!) During the final game against the Varsity team, she has some pretty quick moves (like a cat!) and doesn't let them get any points.




6. Charlie Conway, #96
Portrayed by Joshua Jackson; appears in all three movies.
"We weren't even the Ducks until you came along. You made us and now you're stuck with us." 

Of all the young actors who play Ducks, Joshua Jackson is one of the three recognizable names. (To me, anyway!) He was 13 when he first played Charlie Conway and he was TOO CUTE! Twelve-year-old me defintely had a crush on him when I first saw this movie! He is so '90s in the first movie, I love it! The flannel button down shirt and the backwards hat, so adorable! Charlie's nickname is Spazway because he's a total klutz. There's a hilarious moment during the very first game they play against the Hawks and Gordon is excited because Charlie has the puck and it looks like he's going to make a goal. Karp pretty much shuts that down when he tells Bombay that it's Spazway and "he'll screw up." He goes to shoot the puck, but misses entirely and falls flat on his face and slides into the wall. This also happens in D2.


Charlie totally wants his coach and his mom (Heidi Kling) to hook up (he tells Gordon to "go for it" and that his mom "has many fine qualities that men find attractive"), but they never do and he seems fine with it. In fact, his mom is remarried by the second movie. Charlie's dad is missing from the picture and Coach Bombay becomes a father figure to him. Charlie doesn't have a father and Gordon's died when he was Charlie's age, so that bonds them.

Charlie and Gordon do not get off on the right foot, though. Charlie is this good, moral kid. He was the only one to really welcome Adam to the team and when Gordon wants Charlie to cheat during a game they're playing when they're still District 5, Charlie refuses and it pisses off Gordon which makes Charlie quit the team until Gordon comes to his senses and apologizes to the kid.

During the last game with the Hawks, the score is tied 4-4 and Charlie is about to make a goal, but he is tripped by the hockey stick of Larson. They get a penalty shot and Coach Bombay chooses Charlie to do it and gives him a much better pep talk than the one Reilly gave to a young Gordon. He tells Charlie it doesn't matter if he makes it or not; what matters is that they've made it this far and whether he makes the shot or not, he believes in him. Of course he makes it. Did anyone ever doubt he would?


He takes a bit of a backseat in the second movie; his biggest moments are recruiting Russ Tyler and giving up his spot so Banks can play. In the third movie, he is front and center and he doesn't get along with his new coach, who strips him of his Captain title. Charlie tells him he's a scorer, not a defenseman. He dislikes Orion so much that he quits the team (along with Fulton) and hangs out at the Mall of America until he realizes that he just can't drop out of school and returns to the team after Bombay comes to visit during Hans' funeral and has a heart to heart with Charlie.


Captain Duck
Charlie tries to get the attention of a girl at his new school named Linda. Look, I know that Joshua Jackson was a cute kid who grew up to be a good looking guy and he was the main character so they probably thought he needed a love interest, but we're going to get plenty of that in just a couple of years on Dawson's Creek. They cast aside the Guy/Connie relationship for this one instead? This girl wasn't too bright either. She and Charlie first meet when she asks him to sign a petition to change the name of the school team because "Warriors" is too demeaning. (Well, she does get her wish when they become the Ducks!) Charlie doesn't think it's too bad and she goes, "Oh, you must be a jock." Uh, DUH! He's wearing his Ducks jersey with the "C" on it. He is obviously a Captain of Sports! She is also a snob because she hates all the jocks and cheerleaders at her school and thinks she's better than everyone else. Ugh, I hated her! She was the worst!

Charlie is fiercely loyal to his coach and the Ducks and it's easy to see why he becomes the Captain of the team. After it's discovered that Gordon was a former Hawk and Peter and Jesse overhear him talking to Coach Reilly and misunderstand what he's saying, the rest of them get mad at him and don't show up to the next game. Everyone that is, except for Charlie and Fulton. He doesn't understand why they can't be USA Ducks when they represent the U.S. in the Goodwill Games and his "pep quacks" are quickly shut down by Coach Orion. Charlie seriously hates it when he isn't a Duck.


Here's a fun fact: did you know that Jake Gyllenhaal was also up for the part of Charlie but had to turn it down because his parents didn't want him to take it. He's two years younger than Joshua Jackson so he would have been eleven! And Jackson already looks so young; I can't imagine an 11- year-old in that role! It's hard to imagine anyone other than L'il Pacey Witter in the role of Charlie, though! It would have been fun to see Gyllenhaal as another Duck, though, perhaps Peter?



7. Kenny Wu, #16
Portrayed by Justin Wong; appears in D2 and D3.
"Get in the box, you big goon!"


I had a really tough time placing my next three and kept changing the order around until I settled on my final rankings. My next three Ducks all have great attributes; but they also have severe disadvantages to their game. In Wu's case, his disadvantage is that he is so small! He is by far the smallest player on the team. He doesn't appear until D2 and now all the kids are starting to grow so he doesn't psychically fit in with the other kids like he would in the first movie (and he would not be the smallest in that one!) At one point, an Icelandic player is standing behind him and he must be two feet taller than Wu! "Oh, vey!", indeed!

However, Kenny wants to be tough and he gets a couple of pointers. Russ teaches him to talk trash and Russ's older brother teaches him that when a guy charges at him, he should drop his stick, then his glove, then pull the other guy's shirt over his head. He tries this tactic against an opponent in the final match against Iceland and starts punching the guy and is sent to the penalty box. While he's being skated away by the ref, he exclaims, "What'd I do?" He may be small, but he has a lot of tenacity. He also becomes an honorary Bash Brother and is dubbed "Little Bash Brother" by Portman.

Kenny is recruited for Team USA because of his background in Olympic figure skating. (Hmm, I don't remember him competing in Lillehammer!) I don't know much about hockey, but does being a good figure skater make you a good hockey player? I guess it means you can skate which is a good thing, but other than that, I don't see how it really helps. However, he uses his agile moves (there's one point where he skates between the legs of an opponent when he's blocked) to score goals and when used right, he's very helpful to the team. Plus his own special chant is pretty fun to say: "Wu, Wu, Wu, Kenny Wu!"

8. Dwayne Robertson; #7
Portrayed by Ty O'Neal; appears in D2 and D3
"It's a great day for hockey, ain't it?"


Pro: Dwayne is a really good puck handler. Con: he showboats too much and doesn't like to share the puck. Pro: Gordon chose Dwayne as one of his five best players to take place in the shootout during the final game against Iceland. Con: Dwayne was the only USA Duck to miss his shot because he was showboating too much!

Dwayne is recruited for Team USA for his puck handling skills. Tibbles tells Gordon that Robertson is the best puck handler he's ever seen to which Gordon replies, "You mean for his age" and Tibbles responds, "No, I don't." Dwayne is from Austin, Texas and boy is he a stereotype! It's so irritating. He loves to "YEEHAW!" and wave his cowboy hat around and brings his lasso to every practice and game. He pretty much has his lasso at all times. He even comes to Connie's rescue during the final game against Iceland when he lassos the player who is about to slam Connie against the wall. (By the way, where was Guy during all this?) He endures a two minute penalty for roping. ("This isn't a hockey game; it's a circus!" is what Gordon says).

Dwayne is a certified dumbass; he makes Fulton, the guy who had to pass the sixth grade at least once, look super smart. I guess someone took too many hits to the head with that puck! Or maybe a horse hoofed him in the head one too many times. He is always asking questions about what things mean and he thinks the new captain on the JV team is "Captain TBD", not realizing those letters stand for "To Be Determined."

Despite his stupidness and showboating, he has been known to score some points so he's not a compete dud. And his puck handling IS pretty impressive, though there's one point in the third movie where he's juggling the puck on his stick from one zone to the other and I feel like that's the equivalent of running from one end of the court to the other without dribbling the basketball. Feels like cheating, but I guess it wasn't 'cause he wasn't called on it.

9. Dean Portman, #21
Portrayed by Aaron Lohr; appears in D2 and D3
"Yeah, showtime!"

If I were ranking the Ducks in terms of likability, Dean Portman would be near the bottom of the list. I cannot stand this douche! When we are first introduced to him in D2 as a new recruit from Chicago for Team USA, he comes out and starts pushing and shoving everyone around. He was chosen for his brute strength and to be an enforcer because, like Tibbles tells Bombay, when they play Iceland they're going to need one. And I have to say, Portman does come in handy when they play Iceland (and later when they're little freshmen playing the Big Bad Seniors in D3), who have players who are much bigger than them. He and Fulton Reed become fast bros and become branded as the Bash Brothers because they just take everyone out when they play together. 

Bash Brothers
Here's my problem with Portman: he never actually makes any goals (not to my knowledge, anyway), but he's really just there to be a body guard for the other players and keep the big guys from the opposing teams out of the way. He also spends way too much time in the penalty box. This doesn't come as a surprise because he has way too much aggression (or "hormones" as Tibbles tells Gordon). He gets into it with Banks after Adam sticks up for Julie after Portman makes a sexist comment towards her (poor girl can't catch a break and she is much better hockey player than many of the guys in this movie!) and when Fulton tells his Bash Brother to chill, he starts getting into it with him! When they play Iceland the first time, he is out of the game within the first three seconds because he runs into an opponent and starts arguing with the ref. However, in D3, there's a moment when he leans over so a Varsity player, who's charging towards him, flips over him and crashes into the glass wall and does a flip over into the crowd where he lands into the laps of several people. (And this was a pretty big dude already even without all that hockey gear!) And he doesn't even get a penalty for that! He does get one later for doing something pretty minor and starts stripping in the box. He just wants attention all the time and he's so obnoxious! 

When we first meet Portman and the rest of the new recruits, I had the same thought as Gordon when he says, "That guy's a teenager?!" I thought for sure the actor was no younger than twenty-five. All the Ducks were played by 13-15 year olds and he looked so much older than all of them. I looked him up and he would have been 17 when he filmed D2. He is the oldest actor out of the Ducks, but not too much older than the rest of them as I thought! He definitely does not look like a high school freshman in D3 (hell, he looks too old to be a freshman in D2!) He was suppose to be older though, right? Plus, it's kind of disturbing if all those older women were hooting and hollering over a fourteen-year-old boy stripping in the penalty box. But there is no way he was fourteen! There's no way he was even a teenager! We don't see him until the end of D3 and it's probably because he wasn't allowed to get a scholarship at the school because he was too old! 


10. Connie Moreau, #18
Portrayed by Marguerite Moreau; appears in all three movies.
"I'm not a lady....I'm a Duck!"

Marguerite Moreau was the oldest of the original Ducks at 14-years-old when she made the first movie. It's pretty funny because she towers over all the boys (some more than others!), but by the third movie Charlie is at least a foot taller than her. She is the only girl on the team until another one comes along. She can hold her own against the boys as her nickname is The Velvet Hammer. When they're all piling into Gordon's limo when they first meet him, she's the first one to start chanting, "We want a ride!" In the second movie when Dwayne ropes the Iceland player who's about to tackle her and tells him, "Where I come from, we treat ladies with respect", she tells him, "Thanks, Dwayne, but I'm not a lady...I'M A DUCK!"


It is very sweet when Guy comes to Connie's defense during that classroom brawl the Ducks get into. Peter shoves Connie and Guy comes after him and says, "Stupid jerk! She's just a girl." However, I have no doubt Connie can take care of herself. She is two and a half feet taller than Peter so my money is on her! She must have told Guy she can take care of herself because we never see him come to her defense again, like during the game against the Varsity team when she takes a nasty tumble due to someone charging at her.

She seems to be a solid hockey player, making goals in in the second and third movies. Like Guy, she is a secondary character and doesn't have too much of a storyline.

11. Russ Tyler, #56
Portrayed by Kenan Thompson; appears in D2 and D3
"Hey, Goldberg! I bet if that puck was a cheeseburger, you'd stop it!" 

Russ Tyler is a one-trick pony. His claim to fame is the Knuckle Puck, which, admittedly, is pretty cool, but he only scores with it twice and one of those times, I'm pretty sure he's cheating. He doesn't appear until D2 and even then he's not one of the five original members who are recruited to join Team USA. No, instead he starts out as a HECKLER in the crowd. He gives the Ducks crap for celebrating a point over the Trinidad and Tobago team and tells Jesse, "Man, my little brother could score against these guys." I mean, he does have a point. The fact that Trinidad and Tobago even got two points is pretty amazing since they're this little island country in the Caribbean. Hockey isn't the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of that area of the world! And Team USA is mostly comprised of kids from freakin' Minnesota! You better believe they're gonna win against Trinidad and Tobago! 

After the first game against Iceland where Team USA gets slaughtered by them, Russ approaches them while they're outside and tells them he's sick of the USA being represented by a "bunch of whining babies" and Jesse Hall, bless him, tells him that he bets he can't "back up that mouth." I was rooting for Jesse to beat the crap out of this kid, cuz, he totally deserved it. Tyler challenges Team USA to a game of schoolyard puck and tells them that he and his boys can take them anytime, anywhere.  When they get to the outdoor court, Russ's older brother tells them, "We can teach you how to play like the real Team USA." Uh...when did he become a coaching expert? 

Right before they play their game of roller hockey (and remember, it's been quite a while since I've seen D2), I think, Oh, hey, this is the scene where they play Tag Team. And sure enough, there it is! (Or, should I say, Whoomp, There It Is?) I love it...it's soooo '90s! This is where we first see Russ show off his Knuckle Puck. 


By this time Banks has been benched due to his injury and Charlie takes it upon himself to recruit Russ after seeing his Knuckle Puck firsthand. Now, I don't know the rules of competitive hockey, but I don't think you can just take any random kid off the street to join your team. I'm sure they have alternatives for that, right? Bombay could have called Karp or Jesse's little brother back home in Minneapolis if he needed a replacement, right? Cuz God knows we all want Karp competing in an international competition!

Russ's first game is when they play Russia and he manages to pull off his Knuckle Puck without a hitch. Of course, "The Dentist" is at the game and takes note of the USA's newest player, so when they play the USA in the final game, the players know about Tyler. He's a little too boastful when he does the Knuckle Puck because he has to make a big show of saying, "It's Knuckle Puck time!" and takes his sweet time getting the shot ready, so of course it's so easy for one of the Iceland players to swoop in and steal the puck right from under him, thus resulting in Tyler landing flat on his face. With just a few second left in the game, Gordon calls everyone over for a last minute play. Knowing that the Iceland players are gunning for Russ, what he has done is taken Goldberg out of the game and has Russ put on Goldberg's jersey and all the goalie gear. The Ducks pass it back to Russ where he reveals himself by taking off his helmet and scoring with his Knuckle Puck, tying the game. Uh huh. Pretty sure switching jerseys with someone is cheating! I did love it when Stansson yells, "The gooooooalieeeeeee!"

In D3, he does his Knuckle Puck once, but it doesn't even get to the net, but it gets close enough so another player can score for them.

At one point during the prank war between the JV and Varsity teams, he refers to Adam as "Cake Eater" and I'm thinking, No, no, no, only Jesse Hall can call Banksy "Cake Eater". He can refer to him as "Banks" or "Banksy" or, "Rich Boy" or "Preppie" as he's called as insults, but never "Cake Eater." That alone is only reserved for Jesse Hall. Besides, how would Russ even know about that term? He's not even from Minnesota! (Duh, I know Jesse probably told him about it).

Russ is much less annoying in D3 than he was in the previous movie. Out of all the Ducks, he seems to appreciate the scholarship to Eden Hall the most.

Like I mentioned earlier, it had been awhile since I've seen D2 and I watched the first movie way more as a kid (I think I like D2 better though!) so I had totally forgotten that Kenan Thompson was in this and the role he played. He is the second of the three recognizable names of the Ducks' actors.




12. Lester Averman, #4
Portrayed by Matt Doherty; appears in all three movies. 
"The Quack Attack is back, Jack!"

Averman is the smart aleck-y redhead with glasses. I am so confused what his first name is suppose to be. When Gordon first meets the kids and is reading off the roll call, he says, "Averman, Dave; Conway, Charlie; Hall, Terry." So that means Averman's first name is Dave, right? But IMDb and Wikipedia list "Lester/Les" as being Averman's first name and during my re-watches of D2 and D3, I heard the announcers referring to him as that. Not to mention we hear Karp being referred to as "Dumpster Dave" at the beginning of the first film. Here's my theory (which doesn't make a lick of sense): Both Karp's and Averman's first names are Dave, and to avoid confusion, Averman decided to go by his middle name, Lester (or Les) and it stuck so that's what they call him. I know, I know, this makes absolutely no sense because 1)Averman and Karp both go by their last names anyway, and 2)Karp is only in the first movie! Also, Bombay's obviously reading that roster in alphabetical order, so where the hell is Germaine, Guy and Goldberg, Greg? Duh!

We learn Averman is from Brooklyn Park, MN and works at the movie theater at the Mall of America (when he's 13...maybe 14, but still, WTF?) Although, I don't think he had that job very long because he leaves in the middle of his shift when Charlie and Jesse come to pick him up to go rollerblading. ("Averman, let's go!" "But...but...but!") I looked up to see how far Brooklyn Park is from Bloomington and it's just under half an hour...that's kind of a long commute for a thirteen-year-old who works at the movie theater! Plus you gotta find parking (maybe employees have special parking?) and you gotta go all the way up to the top floor where the theaters are. That's gotta add another twenty minutes right there! Maybe Charlie and Jesse did a good thing by getting Averman fired!

Averman obviously watched a lot of SNL because he was always doing the Rob Schneider copy machine guy schtick and making up names for his teammates like "The Connie Meister!" or "The Jess-ster! Dissin' the new guy!" He was super annoying, but he did have some good zingers. When Gordon tells the kids they are the Ducks because they are being sponsored by his boss, Mr. Ducksworth ("Quack, quack, quack, Mr. Ducksworth!"), Averman says, "By who? Donald and Daisy?"

The reason Averman is towards the bottom of my Power Ranking list is because we only see him score one goal...and that was in the first movie. Now, to be fair, we don't see every single game the Ducks play and we also don't see who scores every single point in the games shown (except for the Championship games), so it's very possible he did score more than was shown. However, I doubt that. He does show good sportsmanship and teamwork and is very good at handing the puck off to the players who are able to score.

13. Greg Goldberg, #33
Portrayed by Shaun Weiss; appears in all three movies.
"I'm Goldberg! The Goalie!"

Look, we all love Goldberg. If the Mighty Ducks had a vote for fan favorite, most likely he would be the winner. (For me, he would be tied with ten other Ducks for third place as Banks and Conway are my #1 and #2). He's the funny fat kid who likes food and farts a lot. ("Goldberg!") However, as a hockey player, yeah, I just can't place him any higher. He's our Philly native who started off as the goalie, though not by choice:

Goldberg: "Be careful man, it almost hit me that time!"
Charlie: "Goldberg, you're the goalie - you're suppose to get hit!" 
Goldberg: "Does that sound stupid to anyone else?" 

I assumed he was the goalie because he had the biggest girth and took up more room to block the net! I mean, you don't want Pocket Fonzie as your goalie! During games, he would leap aside and let the other team just have the goals. Coach Bombay ties him to the goal post where he learns that getting hit by the puck while wearing all that padding doesn't hurt and he can take it. He learns to stop goals and even makes a few good saves during the last game against the Hawks. 

I will never understand why Bombay didn't use Julie "The Cat" more when they were at the Goodwill Games. Goldberg couldn't even stop three of the Iceland players during the shootout. But it is stated that while Julie has the quicker glove, he has the better stick. There's also a moment in D3 when they're playing the Blake Bears and he goes behind the net, leaving it wide open for them to score...which they do! Why did he go behind the net? I don't get it! 

There's a bit of a continuity problem with Goldberg's skating skills: is he a good skater or is he not? In D3, the gang is rollerblading to school (because they literally rollerblade everywhere) and he tells them, "I'm a goalie, not a skater!" before falling down some steps and ending up in traffic not being able to stop while Charlie is chasing after him and trying to save him the entire time. They end up jumping over a bridge about ten feet in the air and landing on their feet where they rejoin the rest of the group. Okay, how the hell did they not BREAK their ankles? But this scene makes absolutely no sense because we've seen Goldberg skate just fine in the first movie when they were showing Fulton how to skate at the mall (and Goldberg steals a hot dog from that guy!) and in the second movie when Charlie is doing the Duck roundup, he's showing off and skating backwards. Sure, he does tumble down that hill after Jesse good-naturedly says "Goldberg!" and gives him a little shove.

But if he is bad at skating, then he has no business being on the ice playing defense which is where Coach Orion puts him on the JV team because he wants Gaffney to be their starter goalie (which makes sense; because she IS the better of the two). For someone who proclaims not to be a good skater, he isn't too bad on the ice and does help stop a goal from being scored.

When Orion first meets his new JV team, he tells them, "It all begins with defense. I've seen your tapes. I know you can score goals, I just don't know if you can stop them." Goldberg scoffs at this and says, "Hey!" and is quickly shut down by the look Orion gives him.

During the final game against the Varsity team, there's some kind of penalty (something about too many players out on the ice) and Orion is only allowed to have three players (aside from the goalie) on the ice against the opposing team and he chooses: 1) Banks (obviously!), 2) Conway (good choice; he's proven himself to be a good player), and 3) Goldberg. GOLDBERG? WTF? Uh, what about putting in Guy? Or Fulton?  Or even Russ? Or pretty much anyone else? It's too bad Jesse Hall wasn't there or you can bet he would be the third player! However, he does win the game for them by scoring the one and only point of that game. He sure isn't confident about it, though. He freaks out when Charlie passes him the puck and members from the opposing team start charging at him. It seems more of a fluke that he made that goal. It was total fan service that Goldberg made that point and I hate it. Ugh! I understand that Charlie is the hero in the first movie and they don't want him being the hero again in the third movie to score the point, but HE is the main focus of the Ducks. I think he should have scored the point. And why is he not passing to Banks (who is conveniently out of the screen)? Why pass to GOLDBERG? It makes no sense!



14. Terry Hall, #1
Portrayed by Jussie Smollett; appears in first movie
"It's not like you're out there coaching us...at least we try!"

Terry is the first person to appear on my Power Rankings who was one of the five Ducks who didn't make the cut for the Junior Goodwill Games and didn't get a scholarship to Eden Hall. In other words, he didn't go on to appear in D2 or D3. I feel out of those five players, he was the best and could have really gone on to play some really great hockey in his future. Unfortunately, the world will never know how great he could have been. I ALMSOT considered ranking him THREE spots higher, but that wouldn't be fair since we only see him in the first movie. But I really do think he could have been a better hockey player than Goldberg, Averman, and Russ. He was on the right track of greatness. For one thing, he was the little brother of Jesse, my #2 in these Drafts and I like to think that Jesse and Banks (my #1) became bros (they were sitting next to each other at the campfire singalong of We Are the Champions!) and therefore Terry would have the two best hockey players as his mentors. You can't beat that! And I'm sure the other Ducks would be happy to take Terry under their wings (hahahaha..get it? Cuz ducks have wings? I'm so easily amused!) and teach their "little bro" a thing or two. 

The controversial Oreo line
It was obvious Terry was the youngest out of the original group (along with Tommy Duncan....Terry even tells Gordon that Tommy is in his science class (although it turn out that ALL THE DUCKS (besides Banks who obviously goes to a different school) are all in the same science class...that's the class where they all get detention...so maybe Terry and Tommy are in an advanced science class??)) and that's probably the reason why he wasn't able to participate in the Junior Goodwill Games. They do have an age limit on those things, I'm sure. Also, I don't think he was quite up to par to play in an international competition just quite yet. 

He never made any goals, but he was there right along with Jesse as part of the Flying V. Kid could also talk some trash, just like his older bro. Just look at the gif above where he's saying something (it was inaudible) to a Hawks player during the national anthem before the Minnesota State Peewee Championship. You just know he's saying something to rile up the other team. Terry completes the controversial Oreo line. 

15. Tammy Duncan, #5
Portrayed by Jane Plank; appears in first movie
"What do I know about hockey?"

Let's be honest: Tammy's heart was never in the game. Sure, she liked being a part of a team and she enjoyed beating the Hawks in that epic game, but she would have rather been figure skating than playing hockey and I believe that's where she went back to after her stint as a Duck. And, let's face it: she never would have made the Junior Goodwill Games anyway. 

Tammy and her younger brother, Tommy, (okay, what moron gave her kids two very similar names?) are recruited by Bombay when he and the Ducks see them ice skating and think they would be good additions to the team. I already mentioned this in Kenny's blurb, but I still don't understand how a figure skater makes a good hockey player. Has this ever happened in real life? A figure skater becoming a hockey player? (Something tells me no). I know the opposite happened in that movie, The Cutting Edge. An ex-hockey player becomes a pairs figure skater. I think that's what happened! God, I haven't seen that movie in FOR-EV-ER! 

She does help the team score a goal during the championship game against the Hawks when she distracts them by spinning around really fast near the goalpost and when she stops, her brother passes her the puck and she slides it in. It's pretty hilarious that the Hawks were duped by a girl.



16. Luis Mendoza, #22
Portrayed by Mike Vitar; appears in D2 and D3
"I stopped!"

What the eff was Don Tibbles thinking when he recruited the Miami native as part of Team USA for the Junior Goodwill Games? Sure, Luis is a super speed skater (he can clock 1.9 seconds blue line to blue line) but he cannot stop! He just crashes into the wall. What good is that? Even though Jan (Han's brother who I only realized wasn't Hans 23 years after the fact, LOL!) tries to teach Luis to stop by building a wall of soda pop cans (who remembers those '90s Cherry Coke cans? I do!) That must have been such a pain having to rebuild that wall of cans! Luis does stop once and ONLY once during his entire time in the two movies. It's during the final match against Iceland and he makes the goal. He does also make a goal during the Blake Bears game in D3, but ends up flying over the net and seems to get a concussion. Obviously him stopping during the final game in D2 was a total fluke. If he had continued to learn how to stop in D3, he would have been ranked higher. Not only can Luis not stop and is a liability to his team, but he also let Team Iceland make a point during the final match! He was chasing one of the players down the rink to make sure they didn't score, but was going so fast that he knocked into him and Luis, Iceland player, and puck all went into the net and Iceland scored. Great job, Luis! You just helped the other team score!

The only reason he's not dead last is because he's taller and more athletic than the remaining players left on my list. Plus, whether flukes or not, he has helped score points for his team.

Luis is probably the best looking player of the bunch, but he's also a perv so he would rank low if I made this list based on likability. He's not too bad in D2, but in D3 he's hitting on the head cheerleader who's the girlfriend of Captain Douche and also looks up girls' skirts when he's under the cafeteria table.

The same actor played Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez in The Sandlot and I love that movie and I love that character so you know I'm not playing favorites in my Power Rankings! I think we can all agree he's a better baseball player than hockey player!

17. Tommy Duncan, #2
Portrayed by Danny Tamberelli; appears in first movie.

Probably the third most recognizable name for the Ducks behind Joshua Jackson and Kenan Thompson is Danny Tamberelli who plays Tommy Duncan, Tammy's younger brother. Obviously, Tamberelli went on to play one of the Petes in The Adventures of Pete and Pete on Nickelodeon with Jeff McCallister from Home Alone. ("Kevin, you're such a disease!) This kind of explains why he wasn't in the other films because Pete and Pete started in '92 so he was probably busy with that! Or it could be that he was too young and just sucked! (He did help his sister score that one point, but that's about it). This kid has no business playing hockey...he's like three feet tall! The only reason I have him ranked before the remaining two is because he doesn't start conflict like those two did and he seems like a pretty smart kid as he did know the answer to his science teacher's question about what the "blue balls" are...wow, I cannot believe that made it into a Disney kid's film...the '90s were a different time!

Tommy and Tammy don't do too much besides make that point during the Hawks game (as you can see, I can't even come up with a memorable quote for Tommy), but I do love the exchange they have after Gordon has recruited them:
Tammy: "Mom isn't going to like this!"
Tommy: "So what? You want me to figure skate, then you gotta play hockey."
Tammy: "What do I know about hockey?" (Shoves her brother on the ice).
Tommy: "More than you think!"
His delivery of that line just makes me laugh.

18. Peter Mark, #24
Portrayed by J.D. Daniels; appears in first movie.
"What's this suppose to be, a pep talk?"

Peter was described by the HDYR podcast as "Pocket Fonzie" because he's the short kid with the leather jacket and backwards hat and is a bit of a smart mouth. After Gordon tells the kids, "I hate hockey and I don't like kids," Peter replies, "What's this suppose to be, a pep talk?" And after their first game against the Hawks when they lose epically and Gordon yells at them, "I thought we came here to play hockey!", Peter replies, "You know, I knew we were forgetting something!"

Peter is a little sh*t stirrer. He's often involved in the many pranks and goads other players (namely Karp) to do stupid stuff. He encourages Karp to beat up Averman after Averman tells Karp that the purse he found in the dumpster matches his eyes, and, again, eggs on Karp to beat up the Hawks after McGill calls him "wuss breath".

He definitely had the most screen time out of all the kids who didn't make the second movie, but I can kind of understand why he wasn't in the other movies: the kid is like three feet tall! And that's with skates! He's so short that when they all have detention and have to write, "I will not quack at the principal" infinite times on the blackboard, his starts in the middle of the chalkboard while the other kids are able to reach the top of it. How good can he be at hockey?  Plus he never did score any points; just saying. He's the one to discover that Gordon was originally a Hawk and is the first one to quit the team (along with everyone else aside from loyal Charlie and Fulton) until Gordon wins everyone back. He over hears Gordon talking to Reilly saying that the Ducks are a bunch of losers and don't deserve to live. Now he is obviously being sarcastic and I never understood why Peter seems not to know that. This kid lives on sarcasm so you think he would know when someone else was being sarcastic.

When Gordon first meets the kids, he tells them, "I'm sure this will be a real bonding experience. Maybe one day, one of you will right a book about it in jail." Peter doesn't find this amusing at all and replies, "Funny." But you know what? Out of all the Ducks, he'd be the most likely to end up in jail and write that book!

19. Dave Karp, #11
Portrayed by Aaron Schwartz
"I did it. I did it!"

You could switch around the last three in my Power Rankings and it really wouldn't matter. The only reason I have poor Karp dead last is because he is just dead weight. He's the fat kid on the team (yes, Goldberg was fat too, but he was somewhat useful when he learned not to be afraid of the pucks) who barely skates at all. I think you only see him on the ice once and that's when he gets a nasty puck to the helmet. (By this time he's wearing his new hockey helmet and not the football helmet he used to don). He does seem very pleased with himself when Bombay is teaching the kids some basic hockey skills with raw eggs. Their goal is to pass the eggs without breaking them. We see a bunch of broken eggs right in front of Karp and when he finally receives one without it breaking, he exclaims, "I did it. I did it!" 

Karp has a short temper as is evident when the Hawks are mocking them and McGill calls him "wuss breath". Peter asks him if he's going to let him get away with that and Karp says, "NO!" and charges after him. Not the brighest bulb of the bunch. When he gets hit in the helmet by a puck, Gordon holds up four fingers and asks him how many fingers he's holding up and Peter tells him, "He wouldn't know that anyway!" He's the kid to reply, "Noooo-oo-ooo-oo!" when Gordon tells them he was being sarcastic and asks the class if they know what that means.

I absolutely loved the look Karp gives to Terry during the very first game Bombay coaches and is trying to get the kids fired up by chanting, "Win, win, win!" It's like he's saying, "Is this guy for real?" I also love it when he is just nonchalantly slurping from his water bottle during the break for the same game while Gordon is yelling at them

Interestingly enough, Karp was #11 and when Hans dies in the third movie, he is buried with his own special jersey, also #11. I guess it's okay for two people to have the same number, as long as they're both not players? When Bombay reveals the new Ducks jersey to the players, his is #99 and obviously Banks becomes #99 when he joins the Ducks.


OG Ducks
Whew....that's my Mighty Ducks Power Rankings. That took a long time to rank them! Believe me, I had so many different variations (especially in the middle...I was pretty set on my top five and bottom five!) until I settled on this definitive ranking.

I did a lot of research for this review. Thank God that I could find these movies on Netflix and Hulu so I could go back and rewatch the games and study all the Ducks. While doing my research, I discovered there's a podcast called The Quack Attack (@QuackAttackPod) that specifically only talks about the Mighty Ducks movies. Who knew those three movies could spawn so many different subjects? I also listened to many movie podcasts reviews of the three movies. For the most part, everyone seemed to agree that D2 is the best among the three and D3 is the least favorite, but I was shocked (SHOCKED!) when I came across a couple reviews that ranked D2 as the worst of the three. Uh, no. D2 is awesome. No WAY is it the worst! Look, if you like D3, that's fine, but no way it's the best one. Plus, we get this awesome inspirational speech in D2 right before they go on to win an epic international game:



#DUCKSFLYTOGETHER!