Any Given Sunday

By Mark Ramsey | 2000/01/16

Those crazy Blair Witch folks at Artisan Entertainment are at it again. Now they’ve put out a casting call for “unrecognizable talent.” In a surprise move, Denise Richards sent over a head shot until her agent gently suggested she misunderstood the question.

Game 1: the Miami Sharks meet the Toledo Colorblinders. The Sharks turn off the lights when the TC’s unique blue/green uniforms are shown to clash distractingly for all but 10 percent of the male population.

Finally, I catch up with Any Given Sunday, director Oliver Stone’s ode to pigskin and pigs who chase skin. Yes, there are bruisers on the field and babes in the stands, God bless ‘em. Any movie kicking off with tribal rhythms, lightning flashes, and Vince Lombardi quotes is bound to spawn a self-help desk-calendar and end with alpha-males carrying their dates out by the hair.

anygivensunday_cameronjames.jpgn addition to his director’s duties, Oliver also plays a sports announcer for Al Pacino’s football team, the Miami Sharks, thus giving him one more way to keep score when he’s not scoring. Clocking in at close to three hours, director Ollie needs to mind the timer. Can I call a time-out?

There’s a conspiracy in the huddle. Jamie Foxx, the quarterback, is changing plays. What’s more, someone spotted a wide receiver on the grassy knoll and the Cuban, CIA, and Mafia teams are all suspects. As the pass rang out, doubts arose that the quarterback acted alone, and somehow, Nixon’s to blame.

Hey, this is a pretty good movie! And if Football sounds this good with a Rap soundtrack, then imagine what Jay Z can do for Golf!

Is there a quake on? The Jiffy-Pop cam shooting this flick slips and slides and darts and jiggles non-stop! No wonder the quarterback pukes before every play: It’s motion sickness. Oliver, try mounting a new gyroscope, or whatever you call that cute Production Assistant. How is it we can get clear shots of far-off galaxies but Pacino’s face looks like a smudged, hot-headed Italian raisin, albeit a raisin with a home in Malibu?

In trademark style, Pacino screams and raves like a sonofabitch. He’s one anger management class removed from Dustin Hoffman. If temper were an orgasm, Al could play with the NBA. When Al blows his top Fred Flintstone screams “Yabadabadoo!”


Cameron Diaz is the brassy bad-ass broad who inherited the team from her daddy and who’d rather sell it than wear a bra. Come on! She’s too cute to be so bitchy. You just want to squeeze her cheeks: All four of them.

Game 2: the Miami Sharks meet the Key West DandyLads. The Sharks out-style the DandyLads who, after every fumble, personally tidy the field and retreat to the locker room to change tired, soiled garments.

Ann-Margret is Cameron’s wacky mom, and she’s wearing the same fake eyelashes she used to bat at Sidney Poitier to keep him cool back in the ’60s. That’s not Estée Lauder on those lashes, that’s quick-dry black paint! Them lashes tote six-packs in the skybox and serve as handy wall-hooks for pop-tops. I know this gal used to be hot, but nowadays she’s seducing a can of Dutch-Boy. Forget the makeup remover, pass the paint thinner.

Saved by the Bell and Showgirls alum Elizabeth Berkeley returns with head held embarrassingly high for a role as a high-priced call girl who shows her boobs long enough for me to place the face.

I know why the Sharks keep winning. It’s not talent. It’s the stink-awful color schemes of their competitors’ uniforms. These guys are printing block letters on picnic tablecloths! In three out of four plays, ants scurried away with the ball.

In case you’ve forgotten what wooden acting in Cinemascope looks like, Charlton Heston drops by, freshly painted and tented for termites. Chuck’s the Football Commissioner and also in scenes from Ben Hur on Pacino’s big screen TV. Hey Al, didn’t you notice the commissioner looks just like that guy in Ben Hur?

Could it be…a conspiracy?


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