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Forever Faithful - The Review

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
The argument can certainly be made that the 2007-08 season was not one that fans of the Vancouver Canucks want to remember forever.

It had a lot of highs and a ton of lows, all of which are explored in great length throughout Forever Faithful - The Canucks Movie, which premiered at Cineplex Odeon and Landmark Theatres throughout B.C. on Monday for one night only.

The 93-minute documentary recaps the season that was from the optimism of training camp to Vancouver’s final home game, and while reopening last year’s wounds doesn’t sound like a capital idea, this movie is about much more than just the on-ice product.

The Canucks are the centerpiece, yet the fans are the stars and it’s their stories that bring the film to life.

Spoiler alert! There’s no sense wrecking it for those of you waiting to see the movie on DVD, so just a warning that continuing to read this story could ruin a few surprises. If you want your first viewing to be pristine, proceed with caution.

Ten fans, six men and four women from across B.C. and even the United States, are the focal points and as the movie progresses, each of their distinct tales is told.

The unique aspect of this is that almost every fan base is represented making it easy to relate to at least one of the characters.

During pre-premiere interviews with three of the individuals featured in the movie, it became clear that they each enjoy the Canucks from drastically different vantage points.

Aldo Mauro, a barber and realist: “I want them to win, but I don’t start planning parade routes after a few victories.”

Barb Katz, a teacher and enthusiast: “I really believe that I am the Canucks’ #1 fan. That’s what I believe.”

Cory Matheson, an entrepreneur and fanatic: “I’m part of the group of loud and obnoxious drunks. Whenever you’re in a big group, stupidity grows in numbers.”

This trio is mixed in with an enthusiastic teen, a couple of pragmatic parents, a grizzled lumber worker, a familiar anthem singer, an American fan and a witty elderly woman who steals the show.

The superb cast of regular, everyday fans is united in their undying love for the Vancouver Canucks, win, lose or draw.

Each fan gets their share of camera time as the audience is exposed to their daily lives and quirky Canucks support. These parts are then expertly woven together with player interviews from Roberto Luongo, Trevor Linden, Markus Naslund and Kevin Bieksa, among others, to cover all the angles.

A prime example of this comes near the beginning of the movie when there is an interesting look at “the shift.” Referred to by Tom Larscheid as “the best shift of the season,” this was the lengthy onslaught that had the Canucks terrorize the Edmonton Oilers in their own zone for two-minutes and fifteen seconds during the second period of a 4-1 Vancouver win last October.

The movie simultaneously cuts between the on-ice action, led by Daniel and Henrik Sedin, to the fans, some of which are at the game, others watching from home or a pub.

Seeing what both the players and fans are experiencing in chorus, often in split-screen, is quite captivating and makes for good viewing.

It’s segments like this, and the one that takes place in Florida with the Canucks unable to focus during O Canada because of the rowdy Vancouver fans that made the trip to cheer them on, that give the movie a genuine, loveable candidness.

As the movie is winding down and the late season struggles of the Canucks are front and centre, wincing becomes natural and a painful sick feeling takes over. There’s no need for Pepto-Bismol though, gears shift and Linden’s final game becomes the focus before the ice is removed from GM Place to bring down the curtain on the season and the film.

Overall it was good, an ending that featured a Stanley Cup parade would have made it great, but either way it’s certainly a must see for Canucks fans.

You don’t have to take my word for it, here’s what a few moviegoers had to say after the 7 p.m. viewing at the Scotiabank Theatre in downtown Vancouver.

“I thought the movie was fantastic. It was absolutely real and everything really spoke from the heart. From beginning to end, you felt like you were part of the documentary.” - Andre Beck

“I thought it was pretty good, it was a good recap of last year. It’s too bad what happened [last year] happened, but I think it was still a good movie.” - Andrew Shieh

“It was good, I was glad I came for sure. I like the fact that it had the highs and the lows going through the full season.” - Caroline Bonshor

“I thought it was interesting, but I could have waited for it to be on DVD. It was a little depressing, but that’s what happens when you lose that way.” - Tú Pham

“It told a story really well, and the fact that it told a story where you knew the ending made you want to see how they were going to close the whole story. Going in I was thinking it was going to be a little bit cheesy, but at the end I truly thought they really did a pretty good job of it.” - Aaron Andersen

Four thumbs up and one down for Forever Faithful so far, but you’re free to make your own decision. The DVD is available at all Save-On-Foods, Overwaitea Foods or Cooper's Foods locations on December 1, 2008.

You experienced last season already, it’s true, but not like this. It’s definitely worth a second look.

Press Release
Forever Faithful

Forever Faithful trailer

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