Any Given Sunday

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 2:42 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Any Given Sundy
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Warner Bros.
Kiddie Movie: Nope. Very adult story line.
Date Movie: You make her watch football every Sunday, do you think you should force her to watch any more?
Gratuitous Sex: Some.
Gratuitous Violence: It’s about football – there’s some violence.
Action: It’s about football – there’s some action.
Laughs: A chuckle here and there.
Memorable Scene: Nothing sticks out.
Memorable Quote: Nothing sticks out.
Directed By: Oliver Stone

This may sound petty, but the main problem I had with “Any Given Sunday” was the fact that the football action sequences sucked. The story was alright, Jamie Foxx did a great job as the coming-of-age quarterback, and when does Al Pacino ever give a bad performance? But even though Oliver Stone is Oliver Stone, and maybe it wasn’t his intention to have cool football sequences, going to a football movie I want to see some good football. “Any Given Sunday” didn’t have good football.

The story kinda goes like this: Al Pacino plays a weathered coach, Tony D’Amato, brought up when football was history, for players, owners, and fans. The owner died and left the team in the hands of his daughter, played by Cameron Diaz, who believes the coach’s thinking is old and is hurting the team.

When coach loses his star quarterback, Cap (Dennis Quaid) to an injury and the youngin, Willie Beaman (Foxx) takes charge, you can feel the changing of the guard from old-time football to new-time football, and it’s too bad. But there is hope because Willie quickly learns that as much as football is about him, there is no “I” in “team” and without his team his life is shit. And who helps him open his eyes, you guessed it, Tony.

The story is kind of simple and shows how dirty and profit-driven sports has become, how it isn’t about the players at times (the painkillers and bad medical advice) but at times is still about the players (the painkillers and bad medical advice – kind of along the “what else am I going to do with my life, coach?” mentality). And it’s a good story, although kind of long, and that helps carry the movie, because, like I said, the action sequences went for an artsy feel instead of making you feel the hard-hitting sport that is football.

So this review is short. “Any Given Sunday” had a lot of potential, and a lot of that potential rested in the hands of Pacino, Foxx, and Stone. As a story and as an acting lot the movie was good. But it is a football movie, and with that comes one expectation – great football scenes. I wanted to feel the action. I wanted to cringe when players got hit. I wanted it to be better than “Inside Football” on HBO. I didn’t want a long, drawn-out, artsy shot of a football spiral coming at me. I got the spiral. That disappointed me and with that disappointment comes a 3 ½ stars out of 5.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 2:13 Long
A Blu-ray Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Michael Douglas, Shia LeBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Frank Langella
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Kiddie Movie: I don’t think they’ll get it, nor enjoy it.
Date Movie: My wife fell asleep during it.
Gratuitous Sex: I’d like to say it would have helped, but I doubt it.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Nah.
Memorable Scene: Nothing really.
Memorable Quote: None really.
Directed By: Oliver Stone
Cool Things About the Blu-ray The normal audio commentary stuff, conversation with the cast, and stuff that was left on the cutting room floor, among other stuff.

Yes, I will admit that I didn’t see the original “Wall Street,” at least I don’t think I did. I mean, that was 1987, I was just out of high school and wanting to be an engineer, so high finance was the furthest thing from my mind. What I do remember is that Michael Douglas was in it, and he was a bad man, and that is all. Yet here we are, 2011, I no longer want to be an engineer, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” is here, and as much as I want to be involved in high finance, and after even watching the movie, I think I cared even less about the movie franchise.

I do know that Shia LaBeouf is in this version. He’s Jake, a young whippersnapper on Wall Street, with desires of saving the world by helping a fusion energy source get funded, or something to that effect. He’s also in love, with Winnie (Carey Mulligan), who also happens to be Gordon Gekko’s daughter. Yup, that’s Gordon played again by Michael Douglas. Well, Gordon is getting out of jail for the bad stuff he did in the original movie, I guess, and as the firm Jake works at is on the brink of disaster, and his boss kills himself, Jake decides to enlist the help of Gordon, the old master, to set things right.

Gordon, of course, can’t easily be swayed, and what better way to get Gordon back into the picture than to try to get him and his estranged daughter back together, so there Jake is, trusting a snake like Gordon to help humanity, himself, and his daughter. And yup, you can guess it, Gordon is still up to his old tricks, even in this new, digital age that he isn’t very familiar with, but yup, there is some “awakening” by Gordon thanks to, well, I won’t spoil that.

Look, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” wants to play off of the market crash we just experienced, wants to have some heart and soul, and seems to want to send some kind of message, only I’m not sure what that message is, other than don’t trust Gordon Gekko. Michaell Dougles is great in his role, but I’m sorry Shia, you’ve’ already been typecast with the “Transformers” seriously so there isn’t any way I’m buying you as the go-getter Wall Street whippersnapper sometimes with a conscience, and sometimes without.

Sadly this movie seems like something just put together like “Hey, the markets collapsed, we need another ‘Wall Street’ movie to explain it all,” and in the end, I pretty much had forgotten most of it by the time the inevitable ending came about. I’ll give Michael Douglas a 3 star performance, dropped the movie some because Shia just is not the person for his role, and drop it a little more for the goofy “technology/internet” montages. With that it’s 2 stars out of 5 for “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” I really wanted more, and just didn’t get it.

The Blu-ray does have some extras that seem interesting enough, namely things like a conversation with Oliver Stone and the rest of the cast, some deleted scenes that are probably best deleted (but at least Oliver Stone might explain why since he also does some commentary for them), and some extra character analysis and Wall Street analysis. I was pretty bored with the movie, so I’m not going to lie and say I watched the extras because I didn’t, but I’m guessing that if you like the movie, well, they will give you some fun insight into the movie-making.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!