Monday, January 7, 2019

Review of "Any Given Sunday," DVD version

Review of
Any Given Sunday, DVD version

Three out of five stars
 This sports movie follows a stock formula of the talented player suddenly thrust into action, becomes successful and then is expected to heroically make the play that wins the big game at the end. That ending is easily predictable less than halfway through the movie. The sport is professional football, there is a great deal of pressure placed on everyone on the team, the players, coaches and even the doctors.
 What makes this movie so weak is the portrayal of many of the women. Yes, there are the women that hang around in order to party with the players, that much is fine. However, there are three women that are presented as totally self-centered and see the men as objects designed to get them what they want. Another weakness is the pseudo lightning flashes and the length of time it often takes to run through a single scene due to the jumping around. Twenty minutes could have been cut out with no loss of story continuity.
 The female lead is the owner of the team inherited from her father and she is ruthless and makes it clear to all that she is in charge and no one is allowed to disagree. That point is emphatically made when she enters the locker room after a game when the men are showering. To her, the players are simply pawns to further an agenda and if they get hurt, then they are no longer needed. After talking with her for a short time, another owner walks away and tells the person next to him, “That woman would eat her own young.”
 Two other wild female characters are the main females in the lives of the starting quarterback and the emergency quarterback. When the starting quarterback is almost recovered from his injury and could play in the playoff game, he expresses doubts about his body being capable of playing. When she hears this, his wife screams at him and eventually slaps him in disgust.
 When the newly emergent star and his girlfriend attend a party and when she is slighted, she reacts negatively. They are at home and when he is trying to study the plays and images of defensive alignments, she lights into him in an absurd emotional tirade.
 The best thing about this movie is all the cameo appearances of football legends. When I realized this was happening, I spent most of my viewing looking for the next appearance. Jim Brown plays the defensive coach and there are appearances by Johnny Unitas, Dick Butkus, and Barry Switzer among others that I no doubt missed.

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