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Walt Disney Pictures scored a surprise box-office hit withInvincible, and the movie deserved its good reviews as a fine example of how above-average writing, direction, and casting can turn formulaic material into something special. And make no mistake, thisisa formulaic movie, with its real-life story embellished withRocky-like enthusiasm, and lovingly crafted with the same quality of working-class humanism that madeThe Rookiea similarly popular Disney hit. This time, the inspirational true story is that of Vince Papale, a down-on-his-luck substitute teacher in Philadelphia (played by Mark Wahlberg in a nicely understated performance) who was 30 years old, out of work, abandoned by his wife, and biding time as a bartender when he answered an open call for tryouts on the Philadelphia Eagles NFL football team in 1976. Going with his gut instinct, new coach Dick Vermeil (Greg Kinnear) rewards Papale's diligent efforts with a place on the team, andInvinciblecombines gridiron guts, low-key romance (as Papale meets his future wife-to-be, played by Elizabeth Banks) and blue-collar friendship in an underdog story that moves, with casual charm and abundant appeal, toward a rousing feel-good finish. Making good use of digital visual effects to recreate Philly's now-demolished Veterans Stadium, director Erickson Core (also serving as his own cinematographer) tackles this heartwarming assignment with intelligence and flair, spinning gold from what could have been just another routine sports movie.--Jeff Shannon
In-Vince-a-Bull Great uplifting story like the Bible's tale of Job about a guy who seems to have lost in all in hard economic times (that I lived through as well) and comes back to win it all--a starting spot in the Philadelphia Eagles.
The story line was great, the characters well developed. Vince Papale bulls his way through obstacles with stubborn tenacity--makes a name for himself, gets his life together, and the boy gets the girl. I don't know all the details, but he did in real life marry a lovely blond named Janet, so I think that part of the movie was accurate also. It really seems like a fairy tale story come to life.
My only regret is there was not enough about his play as a football player. I won't tell you the ending, but it is enough to make a football player smile.
One final note. I thought the sound track and film work were excellent. It is a DVD you will want to keep and watch again, unlike so many produced these days that you can only watch once. Worth a spot in your DVD collection. And a great gift idea for your football player friends.
Surprisingly accurate movie about 70's America. I am always a little apprehensive when a movie is made that attempts to portray a situation of the past that I have been witness to. Rocky was one. I lived in the neighborhood of Kensington where it was filmed and the characters and living conditions were very true. Now, we have this movie about a prayer to weekly amateur football and an unemployment epidemic that is EXACTLY what was going on during the early 70's, when we nearly suffered another great depression but somehow avoided it with only a severe recession. This film sets the mood and situations very well. It is well written and does not feature any explosions or car chases which is the standard formula of mindless movies of our currrent era. Invincible is about character and taking opportunity when it arises. It is about relationships of common working class people and DELIVERS on a great storyline about a down and out town that rose to group around a coach and players who became a legend in professional football. I still believe that another movie is waiting about the team itself and coach Vermeil. Like 'Legend in Granite" about the Packers under coach Lombardi, there is a another great story to be told. I must say, I was impressed and glad that someone took the time to tell the truth about these men and women who braved hard times and never thought that believing in yourself was a wasted effort. Wonderful, recommended, and tells the truth. Centered on Vince Papale, it is a wonderful individual story as well but is so much more than this.Excellent! "Invincible" is a class act on many fronts. Superb performances by the entire cast, but most especially Mark Wahlberg and Greg Kinnear add to this excellent film. In fact, I believe this to be one of Kinnear's finest performances. He had the subtle nuances of Vermiel down pat.
This is a film about Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg), who loses everything. His wife walks out on him, he loses his teaching job, and drives a clunker that needs a jump about every 20 feet. Yet, he has a passion to play football. From the backlots in Philadelphia playing hard with his working class buddies, you come to know very quickly that Vince's true love is the game.
Rookie head coach Dick Vermiel (Greg Kinnear) issues a call for open tryouts trying almost anything to rescue a dead-end team. Because of Papale's raw but obvious talent, he lands a job with the Philadelphia Eagles and the rest is history.
The movie itself is more like a 'snapshot in time' in the sense that it doesn't take us through a protracted space of time where characters are developed. It all happens in a brief span of time with the centerpieces of the film being Vince Papale and Dick Vermiel. But then again I realize I am somewhat prejudiced because I don't think that there is any movie about football that would be too long for my taste.
This movie isn't only for us who love football, but in a larger sense a story about grit, determination, and character-the triumph of the human spirit. Unfortunately films of this sort are almost unheard of these days. This is a movie I am glad to own and, I am sure will watch again and again. Hollywood? If you're listening, bring us more like this one!