|Index||8 reviews in total|
I watched this movie with my teenage son. Every parent of a kid who aspires to become a hockey player or just plays hockey should watch this film and take notes. We both thought this movie had some very funny scenes, but it wasn't a comedy. The hard life that semi-pro and minor-league hockey players live due to low wages and tough travel schedules is downright heartbreaking. The way hockey players are used and discarded like yesterday's trash after accomplishing what they were traded or brought to the team to do is sad beyond words. This movie shows the 'win-at-any-cost' mentality of some owners, and the consequences it has on players. The sport is not as brutal as the insensitive and greedy owners are. We wish all of the real-life players and their families in this movie all the best. This film brings to mind the proverb 'All that glitters is not gold....'
Welcome to Laval, Quebec - home of the world's craziest hockey league, the LNAH! Les Chiefs takes you on-board the Chiefs bus with five guys who are trying to make the big leagues any way that they can.. while living in the arena! Yes, they actually live in tiny, horrid apartments inside the arena! Les Chiefs is the story about the guys that don't make the cut. In a way, it's a sad story of dreams that refuse to come true. But, it's also a Don Cherry style Rock 'Em Sock 'Em fist fest that's sure to appeal to fans of the games darker side. (The side Gary "the Snail" Bettman has been trying to eliminate for the past decade) This league jumped into the spotlight a few months back when NHL enforcers Donald Brashear (Montreal, Vancover, Phillie) and Slyvain Blouin (Montreal, Minnesota), Vancover) where both involved in a massive brawl that lead to the two players being banned from the league.
After playing hockey for many years back in Canada, I saw this
documentary in the clearance bin and decided to give it a go.
What's crazy is that this really IS a semi-pro league in Quebec. I did some research on the making of the movie itself and the people in it ... an interesting note is that that one of the main players on the team that the movie focuses on - is the brother of the producer. No matter.
There are some members of the team that have been drafted in the NHL, but other than Bobby Dollas (Ist Round draft pick who played for many years - he is not showcased in the movie), they have seen little or no NHL playing time, they have spent their entire careers languishing in the minors. And this league is "semi"-pro.
This movie is excellent - there are parts that seem so depressing, I mean this is really the end of the line. They are playing because they really love the game. Some seem like they could do nothing else BUT play hockey. I thought the coach was a weasel. The little pit bull of an owner suffered from LMS ... and the story of "Gun-For-Hire" Tim Leveque was exploitative and sad. I also read that a few years after the movie was filmed - the team folded. There was no way it could allude to this on the DVD.
I wish they would've showcased more of the players other than just five. The rabid fan they show so much ... pure comedy. This guy was right over the top when it came to 'team loyalty' ... but he added so much to the movie.
I would recommend this movie - it it so raw, so real. It really shows the unglamorous side of hockey. In a way, it really reveals how tough it is to make it the NHL - without ever referring to it.
This documentary was a shocking, back-stage sight at the world of professional hockey enforcers. The horrific fighting scenes, as brutal as they could be, were nothing compared to the human emotion that followed as you get to see first-hand the players' living conditions, their self-pride, their sacrifice and the pressure of performing at that level on a consistent basis. You see the daily fights that Mike, Cory and Tim must go through send a message to viewers that their never-give-up attitude is what hockey is all about. Unfortunately, this may not be the last movie about hockey enforcers, since the "new" way to play is so focused on speed and defense, these are the guys that are being left behind. The guys that will drop the gloves to have that edge. This truly is a must see movie for all true-blue hockey fans. Never before has a documentary captured such greatness - especially when it comes to hockey. I only wish I lived in Laval.
The film-making is a bit dull at times but will generally appeal to hockey fans interested in seeing the less glamorous side of the game. Set in a semi-pro league in Quebec, the players featured here are literally fighting to keep playing the game they love. At times there doesn't seem to be enough meat to the subject though. It feels like we watch the same talking heads in the same scene over and over again. I get that the director's trying to show that the biggest goon on the ice can be the sweetest guy off it but I've seen that chiché a million times before. I would like to have seen a better context of how these goons fit in with the rest of their team, their families and the community(i.e. other than the rabid Laval fan, how does the rest of the community + skilled teammates feel about being associated with a goon squad?)
I saw the cover of this film and immediately started laughing being a hockey player myself and seeing 5 players in the penalty box. I read the back and decided to pick this one up. On the way home I couldn't wait to watch this film and started watching it right away. THIS MOVIE IS AMAZING!!!! The story of a hockey team full of goons... These guys come from all over the place to play in Laval. Guys trying to make it in the pros. The film is packed with so many fights, after you watch it you want to fight somebody. The film is set up beautifully with lots of scenery shots and interviews that make you second guess these goons and best of all after you watch this film you actually feel good about it. Its weird how documented violence can make you feel good but it does in this film. Overall this film is unbelievable and I highly recommend it. 10 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This documentary is about a season for a semi-pro hockey team from
Laval, Ontario named the Chiefs. This name is not just randomly chosen
name but are named for the team in the film "Slapshot" that became
famous not for their talent but for their ability to fight. This
Canadian team is pretty much like their namesake--they're all about
fighting. Because of this, they appeal to folks who want to see blood
but are a definite turnoff to anyone wanting to see a good, quality
After a very short time, I lost interest in the film. Part of it was because I have no respect or interest in this sort of game. Part of it was because the film was very amateurish in quality. Much of the footage looked like it was done on a handicam and the editing was often pretty poor. The music was 'special'. And, part of it was because the film seemed to lack structure and focus. You could do better.
By the way, around the same time this film was made, the Laval Chiefs folded after five seasons. And, judging by how little the players seemed to care about the team and the season towards the end of this film, it isn't much of a surprise.
The opening scene is playing and a disturbing feeling comes over me: this is dull. The camera work is atrocious. It goes nowhere very slowly, This is your grabber off the top? Uh oh. It wasn't long before a scene so inept appeared that it caused my DVD player to crash. There were several other egregious faults with this waste of a fantastic subject, but the one fault that lead me to register with IMDb was this: your exploitation of Tim Leveque. It's ironic he was badly exploited by the team he played for but you guys fed on another, sadder type of exploitation. Shamefull, really. Nos Amours: the Saga of the Montreal Expos. Now that's a documentary.
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