Monday, December 27, 1999

Movie Review: Any Given Sunday

Any given Sunday, a moviegoer can see a film that catches them completely off-guard. Yesterday, the Sunday after Christmas, I saw such a film. Now, I don't much care for football. Nor is Oliver Stone typically my type of filmmaker. Nor am I a big fan of Al Pacino or Cameron Diaz or anyone in the movie for that matter. So why did I go see it? What was its appeal? I can't really say for sure, but when I saw the trailer for Any Given Sunday, I thought, "That should be a pretty good movie."

To say this movie was good would be not be doing it justice. I was floored. Astounded. Any Given Sunday is a visual and aural masterpiece and quite possibly the best movie I've seen this year... and I've seen American Beauty, The Sixth Sense, and other amazingly good movies. For three hours last night, I was enthralled, sucked in, completely involved in the story of an aging football coach, a hot shot new quarterback, the legend that preceded him, the cold-hearted, hard-nosed team owner (played amazingly by the completely opposite Cameron Diaz, and so many other incredible characters. I've always appreciated Oliver Stone as a filmmaker, but I have never been able to personally connect with his films, until now. I like that he has departed from his usual controversial subject matters and decided to tackle (no pun intended... okay, maybe a little intended, but don't tell anyone) something a little more fun. His use in this film of superimposed footage of old football heroes and coaches and crowds is used in such a fantastic way. It's just... wow.

If you have read any of my reviews, you may think that I tend to love every movie (except maybe the horrid Wing Commander), which is not far from the truth; I admit I'm a bit of a movie whore, but I typically only write about the movies that compel me to write (i.e. the good ones or the extraordinarily wretched ones). So I haven't written about all the middle-of-the-road stuff - just the stuff I want people to see or avoid, at all costs. I can be selective because nobody pays me to do this. Point is, I don't love every movie, so when I say that Any Given Sunday is one of the most astounding films I have ever seen, I am not just saying that. This movie has been given a permanent place on my Favorite Movies of All Time List. Don't miss it.


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