Directed By: Oliver Stone
Written By: John Logan, Oliver Stone
When we started this blog back in March I had hoped that by the time we reached this film on the movie rack that the ridiculous NFL lockout would be over. I am a huge NFL fan, and this lockout has been difficult to endure. I would personally like to stick it to them when they come back and take a stand to not watch any of the games. That would be pointless though and who the hell would I be kidding anyway? I couldn’t avoid it, I need football and the lack of an offseason has been driving me nuts. I hope that the situation will be resolved soon, it’s disappointing to see what greed is doing to the sport. This movie however is one of my all time favorites because I love football so much. I usually don’t like movies about football or other sports, they tend to all be the same, but this one is different. I watch this movie annually during NFL preseason every year, I hope that I will be able to do that again this year come August.
For a long time Oliver Stone was my favorite director, and he still is to some degree, but this was his last great film. This was the cherry on top of a great portfolio, it was all downhill after this, but I think this was one of his best. Oliver Stone has an incredible mind and the vision and ability to transition it onto the screen. This movie is star-studded, fast paced, gritty, and awesome. It portrays the game well on several different levels, it captures what super stardom can do to someone, and it tells an excellent story. Oliver Stone had a great quality in getting spectacular performances out of his actors. This movie is no different, Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, Aaron Eckhart, Matthew Modine, and even Charlton Heston are all great. Stone somehow manages to get them all a lot of screen time as well throughout the movie. Stone brought in several real current and retired NFL stars to play roles in the film too. Lawrence Taylor, Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas, and Terrell Owens just to name a few, LT played his role exceptionally well. Stone also puts himself in the middle of his epic football movie, as the play by-play commentator, I admire that. Best place to be for a true football fan, I think it says something about him.
I say that it was all downhill for Oliver Stone after this movie because his next film, Alexander (2004), was apocalyptically bad. I followed the production of that movie for over two years letting my anticipation build and I have never been so disappointed in a movie. I haven’t seen anything Stone made since actually, but his magic was gone by then, it didn’t matter anymore. If you have an opportunity to see this movie I think you should definitely see it. On second thought, if you are a football fan at all then go out of your way to get it and see it. It’s a great movie.
I am a really big football fans and I usually like Oliver Stone’s movies but this one just doesn’t do it for me. I know Ryan loves it and I know a lot of other people who love it as well but I’m just not a fan. Also, just a note. I have always heard people talk about how big the penis in that one scene was, I didn’t think it was that big.
NEXT MOVIE: Apocalypto (2006)