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Any Given Sunday

Rated [R], 168 minutes
Starring Al Pacino
Story by Daniel Pyne and John Logan
Screenplay by John Logan and Oliver Stone
Directed by Oliver Stone

Less about football and more about how professional football dominates the lives of those who play it, Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday is a remarkably compact movie even at a two hours forty eight minute running time. With, perhaps, an unnecessary ten minutes of music vid type stuff, the flick is stuffed with half a dozen good stories all rotating around two time Pantheon Cup winning coach Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino), whose team is aging as his career and personal life falls apart.

I said half a dozen and I meant it. Let's count: D'Amato versus the new owner (Cameron Diaz), daughter of the old and more concerned with stats and the bottom line than old school football; 39 year old first string quarterback Jack "Cap" rooney (Dennis Quaid) who's facing the uprights for the last time; Mrs. Rooney (Lauren Holly) who's not about to let her celebrity stud retire; Third string QB Willie Beaman (Jamie Foxx), who's spent 6 years on the bench and doesn't know how to lead a team; the alcoholic mom (Ann-Margret) who's seen what owning the team did to her late husband, and now her daughter; and the $5 grand a night hooker (Elizabeth Berkely) who brings a little cheer to D'Amato's otherwise cheerless holiday season.

And there you have it. Half a dozen, not counting the miraculous rebirth of the team and the run for the Pantheon Cup -- make up your own ending, 'cuz the clock hits :00 halfway into a successful playoff season and then jumps to post season. It's just what you want under the tree, a piece of cake you can eat and have, too. Unless, of course, you're the negative type, in which case you can fantasize that the team blows it big time.

The negative is simple: this flick is almost three hours. The positive is simpler: This may be the best work out of Cameron Diaz in all the years that I've been watching her on screen. Yes, better than Being John Malkovich.. It certainly is from Jamie Foxx, who is the hands down winner in this flick. At nearly three hours this flick (almost) doesn't feel like it. Ten minutes less and this would have been a hands down winner.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Any Given Sunday, he would have paid...


Date flick for the guys. A "recommended" level, less a buck for the time.

Click to buy films by Oliver Stone
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