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“GOALIE” Fast Action Biography




Review by John Delia

It’s the perfect time to release the movie Goalie, the powerful biography of hockey great Terry Sawchuk who dedicated his life to the sport only to let his personal life fade in his glory. With America in the midst of a tough hockey season, the film shows what the sport dishes out to the players that work on ice each night for their fans. As brutal in contact as the two as other sports football and basketball, this one provides the tension and focus that makes players winners.

As a young boy Terry Sawchuk grew up in the shadow of his older brother who was motivated by his father to be a hockey great. But, fate steps in and changes all that leaving dad with a void. Terry (Mark O’Brien) worked hard at the sport not wanting to disappoint his father’s dream. As the years passed he earned a position as goalie on the Detroit Redwings. The film goes on from there to show his ability to help his team being in big wins.

Terry Sawchuk (Mark O’Brien) in GOALIE from Dark Star Pictures

Director and co-writer Adriana Maggs takes the audience through Sawchuk’s up and down life, including the rocky marriage, children and the many scars he received by not wearing a mask. But, it wasn’t all awards and cheers as hockey fans are very fickle and so are the team’s managers like Jack Adams (Kevin Pollak) nicknamed “The Trader”. Keeping the Redwings on top also meant healing from one game to the next and Sawchuk’s pain killer included a lot of booze.

Making the film work Mark O’Brien gives a heartbreaking performance as the man who wanted to prove to his father he could make the dream come true. His ability to keep in Sawchuk’s strongminded character on and off the ice makes the film look very realistic. Especially as the goalie that has to take a beaten in the rink from pucks and players, O’Brien is tops.

Jack Adams (Kevin Pollak) in GOALIE from Dark Star Pictures

The film puts on a good show for those that are fans of the game and also thrill seekers that get to see things up close while being treated to the true story of one of the exceptional greats. The cinematography also plays a big part in the production value with some brutal moments and exciting plays. Keeping the film realistic, director Maggs takes his audience from locker room to the ice and into the lives of those who he loved.

Editors Notes: Terry Sawchuk’s National Hockey League career included his record season 103 shutouts and held the record for 46 years from 1944 until it was broken in 2009 by Martin Brodeur. He played for the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings and ended his career with the New York Rangers. Combined he played 971 games and won 4 Stanley Cup championships. He was inducted posthumously into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1971.

Goalie has not been rated by the MPAA, but contains language, hockey violence. For those who are not into the brutal sport, the film gets pretty intense at times. Not recommended for youngsters or immature teens.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A very cool look into the life of a hockey great. (3.5 out of 5 Stars)

Specifications and additional video information
Cast: Mark O’Brien, Kevin Pollak and Georgina Reilly also Ted Atherton, Janine Theriault, Owen Maggs,
Directed and co-written by: Adriana Maggs
Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport
MPAA Rating: Not Rated, language, Hockey violence
Running Time: 1 hr. 51 min
Video Release Date: February 25, 2020
Original Theatrical Release Date: January 31, 2020
Language: English
Reviewed Format: Blu-ray
Distributed by: Dark Star Pictures
Released on: DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD

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