In the short post ORFFA life of this fantasy coach I have become nostalgic. What greater nostalgia is represented by the 1960’s to 1980’s Friday and Saturday nights in Australia and New Zealand which were often spent visiting Suburban drive-ins which showed a single, double and in some cases triple bill with families of 6 or 7 piling into domestic made vehicles and clipping on their drive-in movie speakers to watch some wholesome and not so wholesome entertainments. Kids were running back and forth to the concession stands while once it got dark the teenagers in other sections mostly necked and became familiar with their sweethearts in their Datsun 180B or other such stylish younger persons vehicles of the time.
So here is an attempted drive in and movie themed review of both the wonderful week and partial season so far in the ORFFA, apologies for any errors or omissions as my movie buffdom is limited at best and used only for poorly presented thematic purposes, and note of course the upcoming State of Origin and MSD period which now take centre stage while the 18 clubs take a brief hiatus.
Misfits 1425 defeated Hoppers 1209
The match shaped as blockbuster movie with the reigning oscar winners against the powerhouse challengers from marble bar. While the Marvel loving Misfit’s Fans would have been hoping to unwind for a full Avenger’s Trilogy the sole Drive In Offering at Marble Bar is a remake of the 1961 classic Western Movie – The Misfits - Starring Nic Nat (163), and Jake Lloyd (142) from the team of the same name and a cameo from Clayton Oliver (139) from the vanquished premiers, who remain 2nd and amongst the favourites to defend their tile despite the loss to the 3rd ranked side.
Rating - a solid 4.5 stars, a sequel is rumoured to be in the works scheduled for late August
Wombats 993 def by Vultures 1162
This match was poised as another blockbuster with top 4 fortunes in the balance and saw the visitors pull off a succesful raid in a dour affair which left patrons hugely disappointed muck like the viewers of an straight to Netflix Adam Sandler rom-com where viewers are compelled to be reaching for the remote about 7 minutes in. The after match entertainment was again a single billing of the 1984 movie the Vultures starring Crozier (118) and Cumming (117) for the home side and Luke Parker (112) for the victors
Rating - 2.5 stars, and that is probably because after an evening beer this reviewer was feeling very generous
Chickens 1285 defeated Lefties 1065
While the performance of Daniel Day Lewis in 1989 film my Left Foot was a masterpiece, apart from the efforts of Peter Ladhams (130) in the ruck the performance of the visitors in this match left a lot more to be desired. For the home side Hawkins (126) and Langford (125) put in gritty efforts which will be hard to top in the 2021 Best Supporting Actor award stakes.
The buoyant home fans celebrated a victory which put them alone at 10-1 atop the ladder for the midseason break by rocking up in droves to the afore mentioned movie, which formed part of a double billing with DDL’s other signature film role 2002’s Gangs of New York, directed by Martin Scorsese.
Rating – Like a mid-90s Paulie Shore effort the match delivered a little in the way of genuine entertainment but everyone got paid for their weekly efforts and log another record on their IMDB/ORFFA database resume before going home to cleanse themselves of the stench of a lacklustre overall effort. Despite the stars present the overall double bill somehow managed to fall short of other drive in offerings, 3.5 stars.
Spelunkers 1056 def by Lilacs 1373
With the Round 10 Klopp Cup victory against the Nuffers under their belt the Spelunkers were annihilated by the Lovely Bay blitzkrieg in a team performance not unlike the Ben Affleck’s widely panned role in the forgettable 1998 movie directed by Michael Bay. Darcy Parish (136) yet again shone as the leading man while Isaac Heeney (128) for the visitors and the Bont (125) for the home side also shone as Earth’s survival was miraculously secured via an utterly incomprehensible plot.
Rating – Unlike audiences of Armageddon that instantly regretted their life decisions as they rushed to the exit before intermission, those that stayed for this one were rewarded, 4 stars
Devils 1431 defeated Battlers 1227
Like another Scorsese movie, 1990’s Goodfellas, fans who attended this match followed a decent plot and plenty of action and intrigue but quickly realise that the end is near certain to follow every similar movie before or since with the high flying Devils whacking the Battlers who are now swimming with the fishes, meaning their fellow ORFFFA battlers in bottom of the table mediocrity.
A double bill of the afore mentioned movie followed by the far more forgettable 1997 The Devil’s Advocate - which was amongst the first movies a 20yo Tassie Hawk and his future wife saw at the flicks together - upon request from the home side provided a long night of entrainment and saw Dayne Zorko (162) and Jack Steele (154) draw massive praise form the critics while Tim Membrey (132) completed a trifectas of votes and award nominations for the home side.
Rating – 5 stars, and not just for the appearance of a young Charlize Theron and (a completely taking the Piss and Huge Paycheck) Al Pacino
Cows 1353 defeated Packers 1083
As the author knows only too painfully well the Packers coach tasted premiership success earlier in 2021 in the ORFFW but this crushing loss pushes ORFFA finals well out of reach, running the chances of a rare premiership double. One doesn’t normally associate the Bulls Hit with the cultural fare of the masses, and while a request from Cows management to select an arthouse movie for indoor screening in between courses of a special degustation selection the theme of this week applies to all matches regardless of country of origin, with the exception of the Whitsunday’s, which are different only because they are a small island not a big one like Tassie or the NZ North and South Islands.
IMDB couldn’t find any movies with much of a connection to the competing sides apart from several hundred documentaries of the infamous under-arm delivery our kiwi neighbours are still livid about. However taking poetic license to the extreme (and most definitely sans any actual or figurative poetry) the early 1983 movie Phar Lap described the story of a kiwi born and bred star who made it to the big time on our side of the ditch, since repeated ad infinitum by the likes of Russel Crowe, Australian Idol Stan Walker and the great man himself Richard Wilkins. The author may or may not have actually watched this movie as a youngster at the Elwick Racecourse drive in later the same year, and if so I don’t recall much of it but the 2021 airing saw the Cows duo of Reilly O’Brien (147) and Mitch Robinson (140) as a hard to believe trainer and jockey combo while Luke Dunstan (131) retuned from what seems like longstanding career obscurity via whole bunch of horse steroids to star as Big Red himself.
Rating - 4 stars
Wanderers 967 defeated by Uglies 1327
For reasons that are pretty obvious the opening act of a double bill was the 1979 Ken Wahl movie the Wanderers, and many of the older folk around these parts may have forgotten that actor as the lkead role in 1987 tv series WiseGuy, which I believe debuted on Tasmanian TV screens around early 1989 as my evening tv watching expanded beyond a once during the week and every weekend of Friday and Saturday primary school routine.
The second act was also an easy choice an easy one to pick with the 1966 spaghetti Western Film aptly describing this match being selected, with Mt Beauty as the Good, the Wanderers the Bad and there is never any doubt which of these teams is the Uglies. Veterans Brandon Ellis (137), Max Gawn (120) and Trent Cotchin (113) were amongst the standouts amongst an ensemble cast which otherwise underwhelmed slightly.
Rating – 3.5 stars, noting I am already in witness protection and am not really named the Tassie Hawk in real life in case Heavymen takes exception to the critic’s remarks
Warriors 1245 defeated by Cockatoos 1295
The tiki Bar was cleared out and converted to a boutique gold class experience for a non-drive-in film night featuring the 1990’s NZ classic Once Were Warriors. For Warrior’s fans this one was every bit as tough to watch as Temeura Morrison’s breakout performance as the violent patriarch Jake the Muss, with yet another 1200 point effort resulting in a loss. Meanwhile the Cockies were talking up the Oscar chances of Gariwerd star Touk Miller (153) who provided the silk as always while the home sides Pears contingent of Dixon (138) and Wines (134) ensured the gritty nature of the 1994 film was replicated with their usual bullocking efforts despite their club’s eventual defeat.
Rating – neither side is likely to be taking home the 2021 grand prize, but the match was by far the closest of the round so for that reason it gets 3.5 stars.
Cods 1202 defeated Nuffers 896
As yours truly knows only too well most Nuffers matches are of the horrific kind from a fantasy football perspective with B-Grade special effects, have a non existent or a threadbare plot (which is apt as Nuffers fans realise that the former coach lost the plot around a year and half ago) and - note dear readers - never a full ruckman in sight, let alone a 200cm one who scored 112 in his second ever AFL match and promises to be a star in the making.
Original Nuffers coach Melbandy waltzed into the 2018 PSD with one thing in mind to create a cult classic, having secured youngster Callum Coleman Jones at pick 38 the project fell into hibernation until 3 years, one club relocation and 2 director changes later the last round prior to the 2021 MSD was dominated by the star in the making.
In the last of this week's themed matches The Iron Knob Drive In featured the 2011 movie the Zombie Apocalypse which is anchored by a headline grabbing second up effort frorm the 21 year old acting sensation aka CCJ also aka The Zombie who has taken some time to follow up his debut effort in 2019, partly due to living the party life in the hubs during 2020 and also due to the hundred or so mediocre backup ruck/kpp’s currently lining the hall of Punt Road Oval.
With a kicking style that is anything but classical the future 5 time Brownlow medallist and AFL Hall Of Famer will be sure to break many records during a 12-15 movie reign of terror before his Nuffers paying career is over and the non dead eventually overturn the Apocalypse for good.
While Jackson Macrae (145), Jack Riewoldt (140) and SPP (130) may have technically outscored the greatest ruckman who ever lived (112) and the Nuffers tasted yet another 300 plus point belting their fans now have hope that with Chris88 now in the director’s chair and provided with full artistic control by the studio execs the movie and ORFFA franchise is in finally in the right hands to begin the slowest climb out of the basement ever witnessed by the ORFF* universe,
Rating (excluding CCJ) – much like any Denzel Washington effort, pretty much the same thing each time, never bad but no work of art, 3 stars
Rating (including CCJ) – absolutely sure to win every movie award ever created, 6 stars (out of 5)
With a 3 year ORFFA stint featuring a mammoth 8 wins and almost uncountable losses gained and zero get stuffeds given I wish to close the weekly review by emphasising the enjoyment garnered on what was intended to be a 6-18 month mid-season supplementary draft style contract that was extended due to some initial intrigue associated with the list build project at the Nuffers along with the fun and frivolity of the competition more generally, then the uncertainty of COVID.
Provided that Heavymen’s hit squad don’t have alternative plans I will be sure to read along in future barracking for the Nuffers and also closely following the clubs where Narrewillock Footy Club’s former stars such as Nic Nat, JPK and Charlie Dixon play out their remaining seasons.
As they say in the classics, that’s all folks.