Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Elizabeth Banks, Greg Kinnear, Steve Staiger, Fred Strother
Mark Wahlberg stars in the inspiring true story of a down-and-out 30-year-old bartender who overcomes overwhelming odds to reach his dream in the National Football League. Experience all the action and excitement through t... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
When An Eagle Soared
!Edwin C. Pauzer | New York City | 01/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Vince Popale is an out-of-work substitute teacher, and part-time bartender who arrives home to find his wife has left him taking everything. The only thing left behind is a note reminding him that he is a failure, a man who will never amount to anything.
The Philadelphia Eagles are as successful as this 30 year old, Italian-American from South Philadelphia whose sports career is nothing more than "tough touch" football with the boys in a vacant lot, and season tickets to watch the hometown team get their feathers plucked Sunday after Sunday. But his luck is about to change. The new head coach calls for try-outs for any fan that wants to make the team. Only one of the hundreds is selected. That one is Vince Popale.
His next challenge is overcoming the physical and verbal abuse of teammates who see him only as a publicity stunt. His support is a few friends, a father, and new girlfriend (who is a NY Giant fan). He has nothing but his heart, and an all-out desire to make the team.
As a die-hard Giant fan, I found it hard not to cheer for the Eagles in this movie, because it wasn't about them. It was about a man's personal triumph, and his desire to overcome everything that so many said he could never accomplish. This is the kind of story anyone would love.
Mark Wahlenberg turns in a fine performance of Popale. The cast is excellent. The story is uncomplicated, and it resembles the tale of Rocky Balboa, which was released as Popale's real-life star was on the rise. It shows how a team that resented him deeply came to admire and respect their special teams captain.
In addition to a special feature of making the movie with the real deal (VP), the viewer can see the movie in three versions with narrations in two of them.
Don't miss. This is a super bowl of football movies.
Kona | Emerald City | 09/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's 1976, and the men in Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg)'s neighborhood are having a tough time. They're either laid off like him or on strike. They do still have each other, though. They love their backlot football games, meeting at the tavern, and cheering for the Philadelphia Eagles, who have also had a lot of bad luck. A new coach (Greg Kinnear) comes to the Eagles and holds an open try-out. Anyone can come down and try for a place on the team. His pals urge 30-year old Vince to go, and the rest, as they say, is history.
You don't have to be a big football fan to enjoy this movie. Yes, there is plenty of hard-hitting action, but it's also about trying your best, sticking together, and having a good heart. The cast is excellent and the script really held my interest. We get to know and care about Vince and his friends, and their gritty neighborhood seemed real. A very muddy football game filmed in slow-motion is an especially good scene. Not only is this a good story, it's a true story, with a winning combination of action and emotion."
All but Giants fans will root for this one
H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 08/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A few days ago, I heard the real life Vince Papale being interviewed on a sports radio talk show (710AM) and he was personable and sincere enough that I decided right then and there to go see his movie when it releases. In the interview, he spoke quite eloquently of the tough times he'd undergone, his time spent with the Eagles (3 years) and the abuse he took from his scoffing teammates, as well as his relationship with Coach Vermeil. Vince matter-of-factly stated that he was the fastest guy on the Eagles team of '76. He also mentioned Mark Wahlberg in glowing terms, of how he and Mark bonded, and how Mark spent quality time playing with Vince's kid. Like Papale, Mark grew up in a rough neighborhood, so Mark, in his portrayal of Vince, pretty much was acting from close to his roots.
It's 1976 in Philly: the spectre of the Vietnam War still hovers, the energy crisis still looms, blue collar Joes are getting laid off en masse, and everyone's hair is just horrible. And, oh yeah, the Eagles suck. Invincible is the true life story of underdog Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg), who in 1976 lost his wife and found his school-teaching jobs dwindling, and was then toiling away as a 30-year old bartender. Meanwhile, to shake things up with the going-nowhere Philly football team, new head coach Dick Vermeil (Greg Kinnear) decides to hold open try-outs. Being a passionate, hard core Philadelphia Eagles fanatic and having played as a wide receiver in a minor league football team, Vince jumps at this chance - and impresses the head coach with his speed and his hard-contact hitting and, most of all, his heart. Vince somehow makes it on the Eagles roster as the oldest rookie ever (not counting kickers; but kickers don't count, anyway) without the benefit of a college football experience.
Invincible also parallels Vince Papale's struggles with Dick Vermeil's first baby steps as the coach of the Eagles. With the recent crappy history of the team, Vermeil immediately realized that something fresh was needed to lift up the spirits of the Philly fans, who absolutely expected nothing from the team that season. But, predominantly, this movie covers Papale's arduous trek starting from the against-all-odds open camp try out, thru the brutal training camp, to the regular season's opening game, where the Eagles get whacked by the powerhouse Dallas Cowboys, and, finally, to the Eagles' home opener versus the hated New York Giants, wherein Vince becomes instrumental in the Eagles winning Dick Vermeil his first game as the head coach.
This obviously is a star vehicle for Mark Wahlberg, and he brings to the table his compelling street-savvy, average guy grit and charm. He is genuine and heartfelt in this role. Gotta admit, it's been a while now since I thought of him as Marky Mark. He's proven to me, with 3 Kings, The Perfect Storm, The Italian Job, and 4 Brothers, that he's a steadily maturing actor who has some measure of talent and sensitivity. And his physicality comes in very handy in playing the rugged Papale.
Greg Kinnear, also another guy I'm starting to take serious as an actor (very good job in The Matador), capably captures Head Coach Vermeil's touchy-feely personality. Elizabeth Banks (Spider-Man 1 & 2, Seabiscuit) is nicely enthusiastic and spirited, very beautiful, and is a natural as Vince's love interest Janet. I had a blast with the sequence showing Janet clad in New York Giants wardrobe (she's a big Giants fanatic) entering the Eagles' home stadium amidst clamorous boos. Janet, who is not only sexy but is quite knowledgeable about football, is a guy's dream girl.
Invincible makes a point of never letting you forget about Vince's ordinariness and his fish out of water situation by throwing him in several scenes with his regular beer swilling buds as the film progresses. These mugs are rooting for him, yeah, but, at the same time, they want to make sure that he doesn't forget about them should he reach the big time. Meanwhile, Vince's dad is a blend of safe pessimism and hidden hope ("A man can only take so much failure"), leaving his buddy Tommy (Kirk Acevedo), his kindly bar boss Max (Michael Rispoli), and the lovely Janet to be the really steadying rocks in his life.
Ericson Core, first time director here and former cinematographer, does a great job catching the inner city "feel" of blue collar Philly with camera shots of the city's gritty, grimy streets, alleys, and dives. I bought into the realism of the movie's 1970's setting fairly easily. To watch Vince Papale jog thru the streets of Philly is to instantly think of another sports movie set in the same time, in the same city. Think boxing. The football scenes are fairly intense, with plenty of hard contact, with flesh getting pounded and bones being crunched. Just maybe there's too much slo-mo action.
In that interview, Vince Papale pretty much admitted that this movie didn't totally stay true to the facts, that some scenes were prettied up for greater audience consumption. What mattered, he said, was that Invincible did stay true to the spirit of his journey. I'm a sucker for underdog stories (coincidentally, Vince's nickname on the Eagles was Rocky), and knowing that Invincible is based on a true underdog story just whetted my appetite even more. Anyway, I just saw this film and liked it quite a bit. Still, I expect some criticisms to make the rounds centering on the film's too conventional plot and script, that maybe they're too trite and cliched. Me, I don't care. I love football, this is a football movie, and it's acted out with unaffected sincerity and great energy by the leads. Football season's just around the corner, but I figure I just got my fix in earlier.
Definitely One to Have on DVD
Lisa Shea | 01/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you've seen Rocky then you know the basic story here - but the brilliance with Invincible is that it's all true. Ironically, when the real life Vince Papale was just going through his transformation in the gritty streets of Philadelphia, Rocky had just come out - and some of his teammates and opponents would tease him by calling him "Rocky".
The brilliance of getting this on DVD is that you can hear the commentary track with the real Vince Papale giving his insight into what was happening throughout this time. The strikes were pulling the heart out of the locals. Vince's wife walked out on him. The Eagles kept losing. The people of Philly struggled on with a mixture of gut determination and faith.
Yes, it's a story of Vince - 30 years old, out of work, out of a relationship, making ends meet by tending bar, getting his one shot at a dream. But it's also the story of the whole area he lives in, how they are being beaten down and they still hang in there. Vince's neighbor invites him in and feeds him pasta. His dad and gang root for him every chance they can. Little kids make up jerseys with Vince's numbers on them.
It's funny how, for a sports movie, it actually is much more about the characters. My boyfriend loves football, but I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about the sport. We both really enjoyed watching this together. The soundtrack is gorgeous. The characters are gritty and real. They're not perfect - they're human with character and heart. As much as some Disney movies can feel very sappy, this one is encouraging without going overboard. These are real heartbreaks that happened - real obstacles that were overcome.
It's fascinating looking back to what football was like in the 70s. Vince explains that the team rooms really were that tiny - that the streets in Philly are narrow, the homes restrictive. The emotions and experiences were real. Mark Whalberg does most of his own football work here and takes some massive hits. The movie ends with clips of the real Papale and his teammates, turning their team from a losing one to a group that reached the Superbowl.