Streaming highlights March 26 to 31 - The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, Black Hands & Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal

BACK ON THE ICE: Emilio Estevez reprises his role as the legendary coach Gordon Bombay in The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers.
BACK ON THE ICE: Emilio Estevez reprises his role as the legendary coach Gordon Bombay in The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers.

THE MIGHTY DUCKS: GAME CHANGERS

Disney+

OTHER than "The Great One" Wayne Gretzky it can be argued that nothing helped popularise ice hockey worldwide more than The Mighty Ducks trilogy in the '90s.

The first film in 1992 was so popular with its "flying V" and "quack quack" chant, it led to Walt Disney buying an NHL franchise and launching the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Netflix has proven there's an appetite for rebooted series with the success of Cobra Kai, so Disney+ has launched its own with The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers.

It's nearly 30 years after the first film and the once lovable underdog Ducks have morphed into an elite junior hockey team, driven by a ruthless coach and success-obsessed parents.

When 12-year-old Evan Morrow is dumped from the Ducks and told "not to bother" playing ice hockey if you can't be elite, his stressed single mum Alex, played by Gilmore Girls' Lauren Graham, starts a new team. Alex's "Don't Bothers" recruit a rag-tag mix of kids who are routinely bullied at school by the Ducks.

Meanwhile, they begin training at an ice rink owned by cynical former Ducks coach Gordon Bombay, played once again by Emilio Estevez. Bombay has become disillusioned after falling out with the Ducks and spends his days eating leftover kids party cake.

Much like the original films, Game Changers is predictable and cliche. However, having the film's creator, Steve Brill, back as the writer and executive producer ensures the 10-part series enjoys the humour and warmth which made the original Mighty Ducks such a cool ride.

BLACK HANDS

Stan

THIS Kiwi true crime drama has been described as "ghoulish" by David Bain, the real person at the centre of this family tragedy that unfolded on June 20, 1994. On that day David, then 22, rang police to report the murder of his father Robin, mother Margaret and siblings Arawa, 19, Laniet, 18, and Stephen, 14 in Dunedin.

David was found guilty of the murders and sentenced to life in prison before he was eventually released and found not guilty in a 2009 retrial. It's never been conclusively determined if it was David or Robin who committed the atrocity.

Black Hands is a bleak portrayal of a bizarre family beset by mental health issues, religious zealotry and trauma. It's an unsettling watch.

FAMOUS CASE: Matthew Modine as Rick Singer in Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal.

FAMOUS CASE: Matthew Modine as Rick Singer in Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal.

OPERATION VARSITY BLUES: THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL

Netflix

MOST of the news coverage in Australia surrounding the 2019 US college admissions bribery scandal focused on celebrity mums Lori Loughlin (Full House) and Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives).

This documentary takes the viewer inside the scandal and tells the story of its mastermind, counsellor Rick Singer, who created a million-dollar racket for himself by bribing college sports coaches to secure spots for the children of wealthy parents in Ivy league universities like Stanford, UCLA and Yale.

While some of the re-enactments based on phone-tapped conversations play like a B-grade tele-movie, the story makes for a fascinating examination of the capitalist heart of modern America.

This story The Mighty Ducks reboot almost as cool as the original first appeared on Newcastle Herald.