|"Any Given Sunday"
Reviewed by Frank Cracolice
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Rumor has it (no doubt started by Stone and his collaborators on this film) that the NFL would not sanction the movie. Yet, see it and you come away with the feeling that the NFL probably couldn't care less.
If there is anything herein that the American professional football machine would find a harmful public revelation, it went sailing over my head like one of those closeups of a football soaring through the air that Stone's camera is so over-enamored of.
Stone is miles away from "Platoon" and a good distance from "JFK" here. The former had a perfect feel for what was wrought in Viet Nam. The latter, if a shot in the dark as so many critics expounded, was a piece of diligently crafted filmmaking.
In the midst of this film is Al Pacino, a towering figure at his perhaps 5-9 height.
It is his persona that dares, indeed almost wills us to care about the film.
Well, his character, at least. Tony DeMarco is the mentor of the Miami Sharks, and both he and the team have seen better days. You can tell where this is going.
The character Stone and co-conspirator John Logan have given Pacino is at every level predictable, as are all in this film, actually. Yet Pacino's nuanced performance evokes care for his outcome, if not the others in "Sunday."
Among those are Cameron Diaz as the young team owner who spends most of the film trying to unload her aging coach, who is somewhat of a family heirloom; Dennis Quaid as a veteran quarterback who will also make you care about him; Jamie Foxx as a young black quarterback who goes from unbearable to annoying to tolerable by the time the film has traversed its nearly three-hour time frame; James Woods as a seedy team physician; and Ann-Margret as Diaz's mother, who may not have one scene without glass in hand.
By the 90-minute mark, I was ready to join her.
See other information about "Any Given Sunday" at Internet Movie Data Base.