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|Index||139 reviews in total|
Really enjoyed this film. Went with my almost 13 year old son who is
just starting his first participation in organized football in school
and I think the film really inspired him.
No the film does not focus on the Eagles professional sports organization. So if you're looking for a film that does that, you're probably going to be disappointed.
The film focuses on our hero and to a large degree his neighborhood friends and what it was like for a 30 year old bartender who only played organized football in high school and how he showed up one Saturday at an unprecedented open try out for a professional football team and how he was selected....not selected to join the team automatically.
No, he was only selected for a spot to possibly be on the team. It took a few weeks of being with the team and surviving 'cuts' until he was actually part of the team.
The fact that he did make it, against all the odds, is certainly your classic fairy tale come true.
Disney manages to show rough guys from a rough part of Philadelpia and rough professional football players realistically without ever having to utter one profanity on the screen or use gratuitous violence or vulgarity to do it. That's an accomplishment Disney should be proud of.
Honestly, as a movie buff, it's been a long time since I've gone to the movies where I was able to stay engaged throughout the running time of the movie.
The movie isn't pretentious nor does it take the easy way out in telling its story of rough blue collar characters-by employing vulgarity, overt sexuality or excessive violence.
It relies on tried and true methods like a good storyline, taking the time to establish a good foundation in the beginning of the movie, letting the audience get to know the characters involved and then when the bigger more dramatic moments come it doesn't need to rely on over the top special affects to get the audience involved.
That being said, the actual professional football game scenes are well done with just enough special affects to give the audience the feel that these actors really were on that playing field playing the game.
I really can't say enough about this movie. When all the hype fades away on other overly marketed & bigger budgeted movies, it will be a movie like this one, that you'll reach for over and over again in your personal movie library.
And while we're at it, hats off to Mark Whalberg for a sensitive, well acted portrayal.
After just seeing "Invincible" I must say thumbs up! Way to go that finally after 30 years this true story is brought to the big screen. Call me bias or partial because I'm an Eagles fan, but the story of any underdog making an NFL team makes you happy. 30 year old bartender and part-time school teacher Vince Papale who finds life a struggle from his wife leaving him, to problems paying his bills he finds only one hope that is to escape thru his love and passion for the Eagles. Papale a season ticket holder and sandlot football star decides to give himself a shot at a better life in 1976 when newly hired coach Dick Vermil decides to hold open tryouts. Papale has the odds stacked against him, but thru his will and determination to make it, because no one ever expected him to do anything he prevails! Papale lands a roster spot as a special teams player a blue-collar guy doing blue collar work on the field. The scenes and background of this movie, especially the way Veterans Stadium is shown is sketchy and unbelievable, but the story is true and touching. Vince Papale played for the Eagles for three seasons, well acted and done by Mark Wahlberg who showed enthusiasm with this role. Also Greg Kinnear is great as legendary head coach Dick Vermeil, overall a great movie of an underdog that leaves you smiling at the end. I hope more real-life NFL movies are made about players, because "Invincible" sets the standard.
First off - I'm biased. Let me get that out of the way first. I grew up
in Center City Philly during the 70's and am a life-long Eagles fan.
So, I was pretty excited to see the movie to get juiced for the
upcoming 2006 Eagles season while also hoping to relive Philly life
The movie starts by giving us some background on the plight of the 1975 Eagles (a pretty bad team) and Vince Papale (a man pretty down on his luck). Little did both the team and Vince know their fortunes were about to change with the arrival of Dick Vermeil, the new head coach of the Eagles.
The basic need of any biographical movie is that it MUST establish a relationship with the audience in order for us to be emotionally connected to the movie. I would say that Invincible only does a "so-so" job with this. For example, I recently saw "Walk The Line", if that movie does one thing well is it makes us really care about Johnny Cash and June Carter. On the other hand, Mark Wahlberg's version of Vince Papale keeps us at a distance while offering only limited insight into what really makes Vince tick. It doesn't help that the script keeps Mark's lines to a minimum. This doesn't seem to jive with the real Vince Papale, a very high energy man who always has something to say. On the other hand, Greg Kinnear does a GREAT rendition of Dick Vermeil. He really nailed Dick in personality and mannerisms.
The best part of the movie are the visuals. The movie does a great job recreating Philadelphia life in 1976, what it was like to be an Eagle fan in the 70's and 1970's NFL life before the mega-millions contracts and cushy locker rooms with every amenity imaginable. These aspects of the movie, I thoroughly enjoyed.
However, there were a couple noticeable misses in this recreation. There was no mention at all of the 1976 Bicentennial in the movie. This was a pretty big miss since the entire city was wrapped up in the celebration. Another thing that puzzled me was the "woes us" attitude from the Phiilly fans in the movie. This really wasn't the case in Philadelophia at the time. Yes, the Eagles were bad, but the Phillies made the playoffs that year, the Sixers went to the NBA finals behind Dr. J, and the Flyers had just won two Stanley Cups. While I'm on the portrayal of the Philly fans, some of it was a little over the top. When the Eagles are losing by several touchdowns late in the game, everyone doesn't stay to boo, and we certainly don't threaten other fans to stay. I laughed at most of it because I knew it was more caricature than real life. But I know there are people out there who think thats how Philly fans really are. From me to you, it's more myth than fact.
Overall, I'm giving the movie 7 out of 10. But, if Vince Papale were a Giant, I'd only give it 6 out of 10.
I just came from and advanced screening tonight and it was an
entertaining feel-good movie. The movie is based on a true "local guy
makes good" story, and quite entertaining (although after searching
online for Papale, it appears that they may have taken a bit of
dramatic license with some of the details). The story telling and
acting were good. I think Kinnear's presentation of Dick Vermeil (I
remember seeing Vermeil on the local T.V. a lot back then) was
outstanding. Mark Wahlberg gave a credible performance as a determined
underdog here, he seems to be maturing as an actor, and from what I
could tell was in good physical condition to play this role. Kirk
Acevado and Mark Raspoli put in good supporting performances as
(sometime) supportive friends and relatives. The movie is an O.K.
family movie if you don't mind a bit of swearing and sports/football
violence (tackles, blocks and those sorts of things).
I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, and can remember the atmosphere in my home town and, to a lesser extent, Philadelphia at that time. The decline of manufacturing, labor disputes and unemployment/hardship on workers and their families was well presented. My recollections of the Eagles were that the team was pretty weak and the fans being very vocal in their disappointment (this is a Philadelphia tradition for all their sports, it isn't just reserved for football). Among my favorite scenes is some neighborhood football that brought back some memories (although our games were a bit less brutal). There are a number of funny scenes in the movie and quick one-liners (which I won't spoil here).
Not just for Philadelphia Eagles fans, but for all sports fans who love a great underdog story. Watching this film, I was transported back to the gritty streets of South Philly in 1976, watching the impossible dream unfold for a guy down on his luck, but determined to change his life with his love for football -- and for his favorite team, the Eagles. Mark Wahlberg did an excellent job playing the improbable hero Vince Papale. The supporting cast is also very good, with a great turn by Elizabeth Banks, who believes in Vince's dream of making it in the NFL. It shows that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. A film for the whole family to enjoy!
Both Mark Wahlberg and Greg Kinnear are such naturals in delivering
their characters. When in fact, from the production notes, Wahlberg
went through actual football training/coaching, being there with the
team for every play and practice, gaining insight into his portrayal of
a real living person. Both met their inspired 'hero'. For Kinnear, he
received confirmation when Vermeil's son indicated that he got his
father's mannerism/cadence spot on. The operative word here is
'genuine,' caring and intensely so. They worked hard preparing and
learning to correctly portray the two NFL notables.
Papale and Vermeil - they needed each other (or fate brought them together). In a way, both are in the same boat: struggling to gain confidence by the rest of the team. Against all odds, they did it and won over the rest of the South Philly Eagles team and the PA fans. Yes, it is inspirational. Yes, it's been told before. Why so different? This film being NFL sanctioned is the more earnest in getting it right in every respect for authenticity. The shots of the different plays and athletic moves get up close and real with a trained acting team and augmented sound design.
Double duty as director of photography and director of his debut feature film, Ericson Core, faithfully puts us in the year 1976 recreated. The Jim Croce song that started the film "I Got A Name" is reminiscently catchy and hints at the personal struggles of Papale. With Sara Knowles ("Gattaca") production design, Susan Lyall ("Mississippi Masala") costume design, vital Football Coordinator Mark Ellis ("Miracle") who studied/choreographed the plays and moves for specific film shoot, and having Vince Papale and Dick Vermeil as consultants at hand, Brad Gann's script and a strong supportive team of producers, all made "INVINCIBLE" unarguably a worthwhile film to see.
I went into the cinema with no expectations - feeling fortunate to see Wahlberg and Kinnear both in one movie. I find the film heartwarming (a tearjerker for me, too). It encourages roots: remember the buddy friends, neighborhood community and parents who'd stand by us. The tenacity to not give up - keep trying, focus on task at hand - doing your best is no failure no matter what others may think. The integrity of one's character and believing in oneself is not easy to sustain in hard times. Support system close to you is important: Papale has Janet's encouragement and Vermail has his wife's timely reminders. We need such spirits genuinely emanated in films like "Invincible."
Greg Kinnear came a long way from the remake of "Sabrina" opposite Harrison Ford. His diverse roles in "As Good As It Gets" opposite Jack Nicholson, "Auto Focus" opposite Willem Dafoe, "The Matador" opposite Pierce Brosnan, and "Little Miss Sunshine" along with an ensemble of talents, demonstrated how vastly skillful he's become. Mark Wahlberg can be underrated - it's almost all him in "Boogie Nights", funny fantastic in "The Big Hit", quietly solid in "The Yard" (opposite James Caan), 'funkily' good in "Rock Star", smooth action in "The Italian Job" remake, gritty action in "Four Brothers" - he holds his own in a wide variety of complex and challenging roles, be it "Three Kings" or "I Heart Huckabees".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Never underestimate the power of a good story, decent acting and a
great soundtrack. That's what Disney's "Invincible," starring Mark
Wahlberg and Greg Kinnear, brings to viewers. The studio has made some
decent sports entries, including "Remember The Titans," and last's
year's golf film, "The Greatest game Ever Played," so they know their
"Invincible" is the biographical tale of down-on-his-luck Vince Papale (Wahlberg), who is a pretty fair street football player in Philadelphia in the mid-1970s. He is also a substitute teacher, but when he loses that gig, is forced to tend bar part-time.
Meanwhile, his team, the NFL Eagles mired in several seasons of last-place finishes (making the franchise the joke of the NFC East) hires a new head coach, Dick Vermeil (Kinnear), who decides to hold an open tryout for players. It's looked upon as a joke, and hundreds of untalented and out-of-shape clowns show up at Veteran's Stadium for the event, even Vince (who never played college ball and is sure he is not good enough to get a second look). On a fluke, however, he is the only walk-on allowed to go to training camp.
Meanwhile, he becomes sort of a neighborhood celebrity, and develops a sweet love affair with his boss' cousin, Janet (Elizabeth Banks, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," the TV series, Scrubs"), a die-hard New York Giants fan.
He impresses Vermeil enough to make it down to the final cut, but what happens after that, you'll have to find out yourself.
Wahlberg might be a tad bit small for an NFL player (he's much smaller than the real Papale), but he is appropriately well-built; and his low-key performance gives real pathos to his character.
It's Kinnear, however, who steals the picture. I must admit, when he first appears on screen, there are a few giggles; but he eases into the role of the harried skipper (whom many did not expect to last the year) and does a tremendous job.
Lastly, since the story takes place in 1975 (the year my old favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals, won the NFC East), you would expect the soundtrack to blast some high quality tunes. In this respect, the film does not disappoint. Tunes from The Who, Jim Croce, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Canned Heat, Edgar Winter Group, Grand Funk Railroad, Rod Stewart, Elvin Bishop, Rare Earth and others, highlights this movie-going experience.
A bit sappy, at times, but overall, a nice little biopic that is one of the more inspiring movies of 2006.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Despite Mark Wahlberg's reputation as a person, i am a fan of his films and his work, and he didn't disappoint me in Invincible. The film had a way of bringing my age home, since i remember Vince Papale, how bad the Eagles were, Dick Vermeil and of course, the infamous Tom Landry, so this film was nostalgic for me. I recall the music of that time too, and, thankfully, i didn't notice any disco. I expected to see an inspiring football film, and for the most part, it was. But it had something else i really wasn't expecting, which for me was the essence of this film, and that was, camaraderie, support, atmosphere, and friendship. I was happy to see Michael Kelly too, the seeming A**h** who turned out to be a courageous, self-sacrificing guy in Dawn of the Dead (remake).I am not a fan at all of Ericson Core's other projects, with the exception of The Fast and the Furious, and i noticed that he was the cinematographer as well as the directer here. He did a good job. There were certain touches which i appreciated, such as the sequence where Vince was driving around trying to find some inspiration. He saw a young boy playing football with his number, 83, taped on his back; and he saw his friends playing football in the mud, a long-held tradition amid the backdrop of unemployment, strikes, and hard times in a working class city with gutsy people. One could argue that yes, this film was very formulaic. But the film was "inspired" by a real person; a son of Philadelphia; the city's biggest fan. I feel the film could have used another five minutes or so at the end, for a less abrupt denouement; but perhaps it was because Invincible was about courage, determination, the American dream, family and friends. Those aspects came through very well, even in spite of Papale's life-long struggles with self confidence and esteem. I'd recommend this film for most people. Not just football fans.
I gave this film a 10 rating which is highly unusual for me. But, upon
reflection, I could find NOTHING wrong with it. The actors are
perfectly cast. The musical score is great at transporting you back to
the day. The scripting is wonderfully low-key and seemingly true to
life. There is no overwhelming sentimentality, yet there is also no
unnecessary violence or foul language. In short, it's perfect.
Wahlberg can consider this one of his shining moments. As can the rest of the cast. I'm not even a football fan. But, after reading strong reviews, especially about Wahlberg's performance, I took a chance and went. On my "Mom's night out." I was thinking "If this stinks, then I've wasted a night that won't come around for another week or two." I came home and told my husband "Honey, we've got to see this football film together." He looked at me as though I'd lost my mind. If they made more sports films like this one, then I'd go. I'll be buying the DVD. For the whole family.
I was very pleasantly surprised as to how good this movie was. I haven't seen a movie this good all year. It is a great story not only about Vince Papale but also Dick Vermeil's first season as coach in Philly. Growing up in South Jersey and seeing many Eagles games as a kid, Disney did an excellent job making you feel like you were in Veteran's Stadium in the mid-70's. The stadium announcer even sounded identical to the one at the old Vet. This is a story line every bit as good as Rudy and in my opinion, better. The shots of the city of Philadelphia are good. You will not be disappointed by this one! I went into the movie thinking that I wouldn't hate it but I wouldn't love it either, but I was wrong, it was much better than I would have thought. And it is extra special for an Eagles fan, but great for all football fans.
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