Number of Times Seen – 2 (21 Apr 2006 and 9 Mar 2016)
Brief Synopsis – The daily (and weekly) ins and out of key players on and off the field of a professional football team.
My Take on it – Anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t shy away from long movies.
This film was about 160 minutes and still felt too short because of the scope that Oliver Stone was aiming for.
There are way too many main characters and by trying to show so much, we don’t get enough well developed characters to care enough.
Truly an amazing cast led by Al Pacino (who I think is miscast as the seasoned coach), Cameron Diaz, Jimmy Fox, Matthew Modine, James Woods, Dennis Quaid (also miscast IMHO despite loving him), Lauren Holly, LL Cool J, Aaron Eckhart, Stone veteran John C. McGinley, Charlton Heston and of course Stone himself.
Unfortunately, most of them have little or nothing to do.
Ultimately, this movie suffers because it really lacks a specific focus and anchor. That and a longer runtime might have helped make this a classic instead of feeling incomplete.
Bottom Line – Despite being a huge fan of some of Stone’s work, this tries for too much at once and suffers for it. Excellent cast but due to an extremely large cast many have little to nothing to do. Pacino seems quite miscast here as the seasoned coach and as much as I love Quaid, he is too old to play a veteran quarterback convincingly. Too bad this film lacks an anchor because it could have been so much better. For its scope it also should have been much longer.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When Willie Beamen enters Tony D’Amato’s house, the movie that is on TV is Ben-Hur (1959), starring Charlton Heston, who also appears in Any Given Sunday as the Commissioner. Oliver Stone says on the commentary that the meta connection was deliberate, and meant to show that yesterday’s rebels become the establishment. Charlton Heston agreed to appear in the film and granted permission for his image in Ben-Hur to be used. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy
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