It is kind of jarring to realize that all of this drama, all of these emotional arcs, climax during the friggin' divisional round of the playoffs. This movie is what comes to mind for me every time a real-life football player takes a bad hit and lingers, just a little longer than normal, on the ground. Off the field there's a lot of good going on thanks to the performances. After you've seen the first ten minutes, you could probably write out the plot yourself, beat by beat. At this point, it's as defining a characteristic as any other for him, and we have to take the good with the bad.
The eye is just the start. Greed is right, greed works. Who throws those bodies away, and why, and how, and what that means for the players themselves — their egos, their health — are all questions Stone posits answers to, all at once, in Any Given Sunday. Now it's more like finding awesome things amid the wreckage of a kid's messy room. The movie was directed by Oliver Stone, who plays that network voice in the press box, adding color to what were already, in his hands, overwhelming proceedings. I loved the performance by Stone favorite John C.
To solve the crises in football, Goodell would have to ask himself why getting huge men to beat the shit out of each other for the amusement of crowds is the most popular entertainment in America. His camera is constantly moving, and the quick cutting style appropriate to someone who really ought to be tested for Attention Deficit Disorder is only punctuated by maudlin scenes of drunkenness, debauchery or self-pity masquerading as deep thoughts about life, the universe and everything. The resulting film is a hot mess, frankly, but also one whose concern for the people who make the game remains resonant 16-plus years later. Comments on the website or technical programs? Even Cameron Diaz is great, chewing up whatever scenery Pacino leaves over. I've seen four bubbles, big bubbles now. At one point he has her enter the locker room full of naked athletes and pauses to have her shake the hand of a man with a cartoonishly large penis; you can almost hear the camera snigger.
Opposing Coach - Game 2. The ingredients are there, and also the results to a certain extent, but rarely does it rise up to tougher competition. After creating entertaining and edgy—not in the buzzword sense, but in the tense-and-unstable sense—movies at a breakneck pace in the 1980's, Stone eased into more spaced out and frankly bloated movies in the '90's. The veteran coach looking for one last big victory, worried that he's a has-been. But it was to try to keep your own humanity alive inside you.
And so the question of how we deal with the suffering and violent men at the heart of the game is a question of more than athletic importance. The Miami Sharks win at the last second, and everybody is happy except for Dallas coach Johnny Unitas and the Dallas player who loses an eye in the middle of the fucking game. As for his backup, you can name any African-American quarterback of the last 30 years and find at least one non-racial reason to compare him to Steamin' Willie Beamen. The most effective of these is Foxx, playing Willie Beaman, a third-string quarterback called on at the end of a game that leaves the first two options injured. Any Given Sunday is a football movie that Ronald Reagan would have recognized: the old classic quarterback who's a team player played by Dennis Quaid against the new hotheaded selfish quarterback Jamie Foxx. McGinley in a delightfully fey turn as a sportscaster.
Nobody wants to hear about the pain. That guy is probably like, 'how could this possibly have been worth it? When little blonde Diaz shakes hands with these naked men, and they all act as politely as they can manage, the message is utterly clear: This woman owns these men. They are all dealing with their pain. It's moments like these, combined with the blunt way he approaches the business of commercial sports, that give the movie an actual edge—it's unfortunate that he dilutes them with too much in-game footage, many sub-plots the story doesn't have time for, and an almost hilariously pandering parade of cliches for an ending. That is the gift of football: the extreme speed of it, alongside the immense forces it involves.
Why do we reward those who are excellent at violence, train them to be better at violence, and then punish them when the violence they commit is not the kind of violence we admire? And we, the people, are hungry for political art. On the second point: the movie sets itself up initially as being very boldly concerned with an in-your-face representation of contemporary sports culture, and I expected the social criticism to come exclusively from this approach—a typically blatant Oliver Stone screed against how sports peddle violence à la Roman gladiators under a flimsy cover of physical determination, hard work, and glory. This time Stone's wandering eye hits on sports films. Never has his conspiracy-sniffing faculty been put to better use. I don't regret watching it, though I do regret—on a large, vicarious level—the soundtrack.
I've been told that if Peyton Manning's head is still completely attached to his body past the third quarter, Papa John will give away a free pizza to everyone in America. Both of these men take bad hits in the playoff game, and both are worse off for it. This is in fun right? I don't feel like it's a B-movie as much as it's a barely unsuccessful A-movie. Party Girl as Jeannie Mustelier. It is, of course, amazingly easy to shit all over Goodell, but the truth is that all of us, all of us who are spectators of football, are complicit in its moral quandaries. After creating entertaining and edgy—not in the buzzword sense, but in the tense-and-unstable sense—movies at a breakneck pace in the 1980's, Stone eased into more spaced out and frankly bloated movies in the '90's.
That said, it still provides a uniquely Oliver Stone-y look at football, and a few indelible moments amid all the pomp and flab. I immediately think back to the moments of Cap Rooney looking out at the world through the fog of his injuries. So, I was able to exorcise some of these devils. Tunnel Reporter - Game 3. Their whole life revolves around inflicting pain for reward. Party Girl as Gwendolyn Osborne. Tunnel Reporter - Game 3.