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The ONE movie that should get you hyped for the Super Bowl


You’ve probably heard the news. And if you’re a hard core fan of football, you’ve probably been waiting for this day for months. I’m talking about the 52nd edition of the Super Bowl game.

The NFL champion will be decided today at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and i very harsh and cold weather conditions. Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots will fight to that trophy, but Justin Timberlake will provide the half time entertainment for the fans.

And yes…  there are many good movies that provide good Super Bowl hype and excitement, actually only ONE lives up to the reputation. Oliver Stone’s 1999 Any Given Sunday.

Why? Because it’s raw, relentless, adrenaline jacked, brutal version of professional football players, coaches and everyone around them. It portrayed the sacrifices they make on a day to day basis, the expectations that the fans and family members have from them, and what it means to be a professional player/coach in one of the most competitive football leagues.

Al Pacino was fantastic in the role of Tony D’Amato, the head Coach of the Miami Sharks, and Cameron Diaz was equally awesome as the club owner and General Manager – Christina Pagniacci. I loved their angry high charged and screaming scenes together, and you can clearly see the differences in their expectations, mythologies and ideas about running the team in general. James Woods was there as the sleazeball of a team physician, while Dennis Quaid and Jamie Foxx played two polar opposite teammates.

The former is the aging, injury plagued veteran in the team that has all the respect and the admiration from his teammates and fans but keeps postponing his retirement, while the latter is the talented/ambitious rookie that has been warming the bench for quite a while and is desperate to prove himself.

Oh, the director/co-writer and co-producer Oliver Stone is also in a supporting role as an announcer (commentator) at the stadium while Lauren Holly gives a chilling yet accurate portrayal of a trophy wife only considered with husband’s wealth and social status (and not his health). I never grew up with football, since I live in Southern Europe, but I have been following soccer (European Football) and most of the WAG’s (wives and girlfriends of football players) are pretty much the same. So i get that mentality.

Any Given Sunday is a beast of a movie, racking up with 157 minutes of runtime, and although some of the scenes, dialogue and characters feel unnecessary, the action scenes (the scenes with the actual football being played) are energetic. That is of course due to the modern and eclectic soundtrack, but also due to Stone’s high paced and dynamic camera work.

Any Given Sunday earned 100 million dollars at the Box Office, and although is not one of the most acclaimed Oliver Stone movies, it’s perfect to get you in a Super Bowl mood.

Awesome (yet useless) Any Given Sunday trivia facts:

Al Pacino’s final rallying speech for the team before the playoff game is based on a rallying speech real life NFL Coach, Marty Schottenheimer gave the Cleveland Browns during the 1989 AFC Championship game.

Al Pacino particularly relished his role as he found it a refreshing change from the usual cops and gangsters he often plays.

When Willie Beamen enters Tony D’Amato’s house, the movie that is on television 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.

According to Cuba Gooding, Jr., he met with Oliver Stone about playing the role of Willie Beamen but Stone turned Gooding down because he had already played a football player in Jerry Maguire (1996).

The word “fuck” is spoken about 117 times in the movie.

Al Pacino’s first film with Oliver Stone directing him. Stone had previously written the screenplay for Scarface (1983), starring Pacino, and the actor was set to play Ron Kovic in Born on the Fourth of July (1989), in an earlier iteration of the film that Stone did not direct, but was canceled when financing fell through.

One of three collaborations between James Woods and Oliver Stone, with the other films being Salvador (1986) and Nixon (1995). Woods was almost cast in JFK (1991) and Stone produced Indictment: The McMartin Trial (1995), which has Woods as main star.


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