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Any Given Sunday

 

The Diva's review of
Any Given Sunday (1999)

 

Any Given Sunday Rated R; running time of 2 hours and 42 minutes
Genre: Sports Drama
Written by: Daniel Pyne, John Logan, and Oliver
Directed by: Oliver Stone
Cast : Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, L.L. Cool J, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, Mathew Modine, Lawrence Taylor and Dennis Quaid
U.S. Release Date: 12/22/99


WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.

The Digest

Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino) is the head coach of The Miami Sharks. The Sharks are an embittered team struggling with the loss of their glory days. They were once a team who won championships now they've lost three in a row, their quarterback is injured and their young General Manager, Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz) is not happy.

Christina has no respect for the "Old school" she wants to get rid of all the old players and coaches and bring in some new blood. She hired an assistant coach who she is grooming to take over the head coach position and he has been working with the third string quarterback, Willie Beaman (Jamie Foxx). Willie has never been put in the game, but due to injuries sustained by the number 1 and 2 quarterbacks, he gets his shot. He goes on the field and promptly pukes because he is so nervous. He can't seem to focus and find his game. Coach D'Amato gives him a few pep talks, he gets his confidence and there is no turning back.

Willie begins to win. No sooner than he wins two games, he begins to show his natural behind. He starts changing the plays, he no longer passes to the star Running Back, Julius Washington (L.L. Cool J.). He begins taking risks with the other players and showboating. He thinks because he has a music video out and he's putting points on the board, he can do whatever he wants - regardless of what it does to the team.

Coach D'Amato doesn't like this one bit, but there is nothing he can do. Things are extremely political in the front office. The G.M. wants a new stadium. She can't get it if the team is losing. The more games they win, the more tickets they sell. The more tickets they sell the better chance they have of being on television. The ad revenues from television will increase the team's net worth by a couple hundred million.

What it boils down to is money and prestige. Not love of the sport. Linebacker Luther 'Shark' Lavay (Lawrence Taylor) literally risks his life so he can get a million-dollar bonus. Julian Washington is pissed because he won't make his 2,500th rushing yard if Willie doesn't start throwing to him. If he doesn't get the yards he doesn't get the endorsements and bonus. The team doctor (James Woods) is unethical. He'll help them do anything to win because the female groupies treat him like one of the football players. Cap Rooney (Dennis Quaid) the teams 38 year-old injured quarterback is married to a woman who would rather see him severely hurt rather than be married to a former quarterback who is now a sportscaster

The Dish

This movie floored me. It didn't hurt that I'm a football fan. I was amazed to see how things are off the field, like the women. Those triflin' heifers have no self respect and the players were no better. 90% of them cheated on their wives and the wives knew, I'm sure. The kicker was that most of the women did even try to be sneaky about it. One week Willie is content with his girlfriend, the next after throwing a few touchdowns, he's got 5 women throwing themselves at him. And the drugs! I don't mean recreational drugs. I mean drugs for medicinal purposes. The players stay doped up so much that I'm surprised that they don't pass out when the painkillers wear off.

I enjoyed the film. It was hard not screaming at the screen, especially when the refs made some bad calls. I thought every role was cast perfectly. Pacino, Foxx , Taylor and L.L were superb. With the exception of Pacino, I think these will be roles that everyone remembers. Not that Pacino wasn't wonderful, you just don't forget Michael Corleone or Tony Montana. One thing is for sure though. After having seen this film no son of mine will ever play football.

I was disappointed that Ann-Margaret was cast as a drunk and I didn't need to see Elizabeth Berkley's boobs again. Cameron Diaz surprised me, I've never seen her with such intensity. Speaking of Cameron ... girl please tell me how you made it through the locker room scene especially talking to "3 legged Jack" or what ever his name was. Lord knows I went cross-eyed trying to find it in the credits.

The Directive

Parents. You may be tempted to take your sons to see this, but I would advise against. It has very foul language, nudity and very adult themes

3BC Ratings

green light

 

Every sports fan should see this film. It's an eye opener. .


Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2007
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