Any Given Sunday

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Picture this: I’m sick… and I don’t mean sick as in “I have a cold” or “I have the flu”, I’m sick as in “I’ve had pneumonia for a month. Will I live to see 2000?”. Yep, that’s how I spent the last two weeks and my Christmas holiday… at death’s door coughing and hacking up stuff that you only see in your nightmares. Well, I’m on the road to recovery at last and now I’m worrying about how to see the final wave of ’99 releases before the big two-zero-zero-zero kicks me right in the butt. So, my little brother decides to drive me into town and see a movie right. Nice of the little guy (I say little even though he’s going to be eighteen in two weeks and he’s just a hair taller than I am now) since he knows I love the movies and haven’t been able to go for a while. He asks me which movie I want to see… now, keep in mind I still don’t feel very well… and I respond, “I don’t care.”

0Big mistake.

My baby bro picks Any Given Sunday knowing full well that the only thing I hate more than football is a football movie. In fact, the best football movie I’ve seen in the last five years has been The Waterboy. Still, I was in that depressed sickly just-don’t-give-a-crap stage and I went anyway.

I will say this, Any Given Sunday was hands and yards better than Varsity Blows, but in the long run it amounted to an NFL highlight film sporadically interrupted by a movie. Imagine… Monday Night Football: The Movie!

Oliver Stoner… I mean, Stone… God bless him, he has such mastery over the moving image. He manipulates action and imagery as though it was fine marble and he was Michelangelo.

Al Pacino… the guy totally rules. He can take a piece of shit role like the one he had in Dick Tracy and make it into a scene-chewing bonanza! I want to be just like Al when I grow up!

Cameron Diaz… My god, even when she’s a total bitch on wheels, as she is in this movie, she is hot! Hot! Hot! Hot! Hot!

LL Cool J… He’s still awesome, but does anyone find it odd that right after Deep Blue Sea we would find him playing football for a team called “The Sharks”?

And finally, Jaime Foxx… Our boy has really grown up. From Luwanda “I’m Gonna Rock Yo’ World” on In Living Color to his big screen dramatic debut in On Any Given Sunday, Foxx proves he’s got the acting legs to make it in Hollywood.

Any Given Sunday is chock full of excellent stars, but the story is paper-thin, full of every cliché in the football movie manual, very predictable, and probably an hour too long. In fact, by my estimate, if you cut out all of the football highlights, you’d be left with half an hour of movie.

Football, to me, just doesn’t seem like good source material for a movie. I mean, the football movies just never seem to end up as good as, say, the baseball movies. Compare Johnny B. Good or All the Right Moves to A League of Their Own or Field of Dreams… there is no comparison, is there? Football just doesn’t have the tradition, grander, or incorruptibility of baseball or other sports so all of the football movies are usually (and by usually I mean always) about corruption and backstabbing.

Personally, I didn’t enjoy myself during  Any Given Sunday but, if you like football, I suppose you will.

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About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.