Archive for Football

Any Given Sunday (1999)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 14, 2012 by Parker Connell

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      Any Given Sunday is a god damn mess. Think of every sports movie cliche, now pump those with human growth hormone and mountain dew, if you make that take too much crank you’ve got Any Given Sunday. Oliver Stone’s attempt to tell the story of the wild world of pro-football is an over-the-top, badly edited, poorly written cluster-fuck of a film.
    Stone has never been known for making subtle films but Any Given Sunday is as unsubtle as film gets, at least Natural Born Killers has the semi-excuse of being an attack on subtlety. The movie starts in the middle of a game and in the opening 10 minutes alone we are assaulted with rapid-fire edits, cartoon sound effects, weird fades, pointless blur effects, also Matthew Modine being underutilized as usual. It was stressful and incredibly difficult to watch, it felt almost like having a panic attack except I’ve never had Pacino yell at me during a panic attack, and it never lets up for the rest of the movie.
    Speaking of Mr. Pacino I actually do like him in this. He is in full blown Shouting Pacino mode but Any Given Sunday is one of the few instances where this method of acting works because the rest of the film is in full on shouting overdrive, any kind of acting subtlety doesn’t even read which is probably why Cameron Diaz isn’t completely awful and why Aaron Eckhart is totally forgettable.
    Stone also continues his trend of giving James Woods one scene where he gets to just totally put everyone else to shame. Good for you Mr. Woods I hope you live forever.
    The closest thing to a theme this movie has is the always boring ‘old versus new’. Al Pacino is an old school coach, a thirty year veteran of the game and he’s being pushed around by the new school, Cameron Diaz is the owner of the team and she wants to run the team based on money and stats and all the other things that aren’t “Heart and Gumption and Wanting It The Most” and Jamie Foxx is the hot shot new guy who has his own ideas about football, and also racial issues but those speeches are badly written. Part of me thinks Stone is siding with Pacino in this regard, in ’99 Stone had already been making movies for almost 30 years and he probably had a lot to say about young guys edging in on his territory. However, Any Given Sunday is like a bad interpretation of what young people want, maybe that’s the point and Stone purposefully made a bad movie to prove that what young people is shitty… but I doubt it.

    Schizophrenic editing that is akin to a panic attack, blunt, boring, cliche writing (probably the worst writing Stone has done since Scarface), it features the only recurring puke gag in film history that I don’t like, oh and it’s two and a half hours long, there is very little to like about Any Given Sunday.