Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
A great movie to watch on Sunday, or any day...
on 26 October 2002
Any Given Sunday is a great piece of film making, if slightly tarred by an overly polished Hollywood format. What I mean is, it has all of the [Oliver] Stone ingredients we've come to expect; various video formats, a seemingly incongruous mix of camera angles and close-ups and some amazing performances, but minus the imperfections. So what you say, well sometimes it's those little accidental nuances that turn a good movie into an amazing one. AGS is a piece of highly professional, polished movie making - but at the end of the day it's just a good movie, not an amazing one.
The performances are just fantastic, Pacino whilst not as intense as in say "Heat" really drives the movie and doesn't for a second let you question whether he's a football coach. You just BELIEVE it, when he's shouting you think it's at you. James Woods is typically side-lined, no pun intended, but what time he is on screen he's James Woods through and through. Why this guy is never given bigger parts I'll never know. Cameron Diaz' is one of the most surprising characters. When Charlton Heston says "I actually believe this woman would eat her young" (line of the movie right there) you totally empathise. She's ruthless, self-opinionated and such a b***h. But it's no facade, she really throws herself into the part and the results are great.
The actual film itself is an amazing piece of work. It's like some sort of drug; it's cocktail of visual and audio mixing is so intense, so in your face you soon get totally sucked in. The on-field football action is incredible, when the tackles come in you find yourself tensing your whole body waiting for the impact. Then you're treated to the players perspective as the stadium swims around them, the crowds die away and you're left for a few seconds to recover before you're hit with the next instalment. You really start to root for the sharks by the end as they go from average schmoes, to washed-up has-beens to a team in the play-offs. And whilst yes this is a fairly predictable journey it's not entirely predictable.
I'm not so sure the parallels between 'gladiators of the field' and Spartacus really pay-off, in some ways you feel a little spoon-fed - because just watching the action you really feel the players are warriors, willing to sacrifice absolutely everything to play the game they're good at.
I've never been a massive fan of American sports, or even American 'Football' but what drew me to the movie is the acting and directing talent and I wasn't disappointed. After I'd bought the movie I mentioned it to a friend who told me it was his 'favourite sports movie of all time'. I can't really think of that many sports movies worth watching, but sport aside if you want some high quality entertainment and a feast for the senses this movie will not disappoint. Strap yourself in and enjoy every intoxicating minute.
The quality of the movie on DVD is also awesome, not a single imperfection could I spot. The audio also nicely fires round the room, it makes me wish I'd seen it at the cinema... it represents outstanding value for money, especially as it has a second disc entirely dedicated to extras you can watch on any given rainy Sunday. A great movie, and great value.