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Any Given Sunday (DVD)
Member Name: cswann
Any Given Sunday (DVD)
Date: 18/06/01, updated on 18/06/01 (3390 review reads)
Advantages: Good acting, Good if you like American football
Disadvantages: Too long, Too much like a pop video / TV programme
When this movie first came out last year, I missed it at the cinema, and was disappointed, as I try to see anything with Al Pacino in it, and "Any given Sunday" had received good reviews.
I have just watched it on cable TV, and have mixed feelings about it. Al Pacino is great in it, and it's a typically detailed and lengthy movie from Oliver Stone. But, I finished up not really enjoying it that much.
It's a movie about American football, and a lot of the footage features stadium action, or backroom talk of tactics. Now it's a game I can't for the life of me understand, but I don't think that's was my problem with the movie - in fact, it's a sport that offers lots of visual potential, and the game scenes are very exciting.
There, and Cameron Diaz is reasonably effective as a hardnosed big-business entrepreneur, and there are good, although relatively minor, roles for James Woods and Dennis Quaid.
But... all in all, it didn't do a lot for me.
What was wrong with Any Given Sunday?
* At 150 minutes, it's too long. I think that it would have been possible to make a great movie with about 30 minutes lopped off it.
* The soundtrack. To start with, it works well, tracks from people like Gary Glitter, Moby and FatBoy Slim complement the football action. But there are simply too many songs, most of which serve no real purpose - except perhaps to foster the audience's interest in the songs, (and sales) and I'd be very surprised if they are not Warner Brothers artists. (The movie is a Warner Brothers movie).
* The fast cutting. To begin with it's great, complements the fast-action on the field, but after a while it gets annoying, with the scenes cutting from this to that and back again.
What did I like about Any Given Sunday"?
* The characterisation of the players, mostly black, is very good, and you get to understand what it is that dri
ves them (off pitch as well as on). Also, the portrayal of race issues, even within the team, where there are some white guys who make the BNP look like pussycats, is realistic. This kind of conflict is presented as merely something that's there, not a subplot that's there to be resolved by the end of the movie.
* Al Pacino's acting is superb. He plays a man who lives for football, and is entirely convincing.
* The way it exposes corruption within the corporate sport and media industries. The viewpoint that it's all about money is forcefully put. Ironically, Stone also manages to point the finger at the film industry - as already mentioned, the number of music tracks featured in the movie is beyond a joke.
* I liked the movie trickery, such as the split screens, used to show some TV interviews, and also the way that, at one point, the movie itself turns into a pop promo video. Some might think it's gimmicky, but it worked for me.
The plot is on the predictable side, but there are some surprises along the way.
Many times, the movie whizzes by some quite momentous events, there's very little time spent, for example on the "eye accident" scene. This all reflects what is a very fast-paced sport, I guess. Also, the scene where Cameron Diaz, , goes into the shower room to see 'her' team - the full frontal, naked men
are not a real issue... unless of course you view it in terms of gender politics.
So, a movie that's well-worth seeing for many reasons, but the things that annoyed me about it, annoyed me a lot - it's not perfect.