ANY GIVEN SUNDAY: DVD
Once the darlings of the football league, the Miami Sharks are heading for their fourth
straight defeat and everyone is looking to veteran coach Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino) to do
something about it. Team owner Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz), who has taken over
following the death of her father, is not a fan of D'Amato's coaching tactics. She's
convinced the Sharks' losing streak can be directly attributed to D'Amato's reluctance to
replace his aging and injured one time star quarterback, Jack Rooney (Dennis Quaid), with
brash rookie Willie Beaman (Jamie Foxx), who, in addition to his football skills, readily
personifies Pagliacci's "win at all cost, show me the money" credo. With the
all-important finals coming up, D'Amato knows that a wrong decision will not only knock
his team out of the competition, it could also signal the end of his career.
"Now that you've read the exhaustive list of extra features on this double-disc
set and you've dedicated a full day to see them all, be prepared for an exhausting assault
on the senses as our feature presentation commences. Yes, it's the perplexing game of
American football played the Oliver Stone way.
As you'd expect he dissects the sport/showbiz spectacle of gridiron with all the
delicacy of a Crimean War field surgeon. No matter what your opinion of Stone's excesses
are (and here his excesses suit the material) you can hardly accuse him of being boring.
His filmmaking style is voracious and consuming, as if he simply can't fit in everything
he wants to say. Even at 151 minutes it seems too brief for the multiple storylines.
Like a Robert Altman on amphetamines, Stone packs in as much as he can and leaves no
tried and true sports movie element uncovered. There's the ageing star (Dennis Quaid)
whose money hungry wife wants him to keep playing no matter the risks; the replacement
quarterback (Jamie Foxx) who leaps from nowhere to stardom and the old school coach (Al
Pacino) who's desperately attempting to halt the team's losing streak.
What's more interesting than the team's on-field wins and losses are the sideline
elements that bring the business of sport into sharp focus. James Woods is dynamite as the
team doctor who understands much better than conscientious assistant medico Matthew Modine
what it's all about. "These guys have got 3 or 4 years to make their money then
that's it" is his rationale when turning a blind eye to potentially dangerous
injuries that could ruin a player's career. Cameron Diaz, as the team's new owner, brings
the dreaded reality of marketing to the foreground in a series of confrontations with
Pacino and team officials that prove just how far this game (and just about every popular
sport you can name) has come since it was primarily about putting a team on the field and
trying your best to win. The pernicious influence of corporate interests, giant egos,
media attention, TV rights, sponsorships and endorsements that make up the modern game are
here in stark hyper-reality. If, like me, you believe rugby league died the day
Sydney’s Newtown was ejected from the competition you'll know what I mean.
I can take or leave the bone crunching on-field action and the dressing room pep talks
but away from the grass (or astroturf) fields of combat, Any Given Sunday has plenty of
juicy drama and a swag of fine performances from a classy cast. Stone can't resist getting
in on the act himself and plays a commentator in the film while also providing excellent
audio commentary on the additional features. As a value for money purchase it's hard to go
past this title that packs as many extras as Any Given Fan could possibly desire on two
Published April 5, 2001
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ANY GIVEN SUNDAY (MA15+) (US)
CAST: Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, James Woods, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J
DIRECTOR: Oliver Stone
RUNNING TIME: 151 minutes
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner
DVD RELEASE: January 17, 2001
Interactive Menus; Scene Access; Theatrical Trailer; Music Only Track; Director’s
Commentary; Cast and Crew Commentary; Languages in Dolby Digital 5.1: English, Italian;
Subtitles: Bulgarian, English, French, German, Italian, Romanian, Spanish, Italian for the
‘Full Contact’: The Making of Any Given Sunday; Deleted / Extended scenes;
Original Screen tests; Stills Gallery; 3 Music Videos; Outtakes / Gag Reel; Football
Outtakes Montage; The Art of Selling; Miscellaneous Landscape and Outtakes Montage;
Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish.
Enhanced Features for DVD-ROM PC:
Special On-line Events; Training Camp: Grid Iron Trivia Challenge; From Script to Screen;
Virtual Edit Suite; Original Theatrical Website; Scoreboard: Essays and Reviews.
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.