It’s been a while since there has been a worthwhile feel-good movie released into the theaters. Last ones that come to mind are “Rudy,” “Lucas” and who can forget, “Rocky.” “Seabiscuit” doesn’t count.
Interestingly enough, the plot of Invincible follows amazingly close to “Rocky.” A Philadelphia son, down on his luck (no money, no wife, no skills) gets a chance of a lifetime, when he is signed to play special teams on the Philadelphia Eagles (instead of boxing the heavyweight champion). Even more amazing is that both movies are based off of true stories! Vince Papale in Invincible and Chuck Wepner in “Rocky.” That’s basically where the similarities end, yet has made it awfully easy to review.
The good: The acting. Mark Wahlberg as Vince Papale has come a long way since showing his briefs for Calvin Klein ads. Even though I will always see him as Dirk Diggler, he definitely played this role well. Of course the role wasn’t overly difficult to play, but nonetheless, it was done well.
The plot. I don’t care if you are a mass murdering douchebag, everyone has some room in their heart for an underdog movie. Everyone. Invincible is a good rags-to-riches story.
Realism. The movie hits the pulse of the true Philadelphia fan. They simply love their teams to the very end. Oh they might hoot and holler about how bad they play and about how expensive their shitty seats are, but game after game, the stands are ALWAYS filled. And as said previously, Mark Wahlberg came across as a likable, real individual.
Now for the bad shit.
The rest of the acting. I’m not necessarily trying to say the other actors sucked dick, rather I’m saying there wasn’t any other real acting parts to be had. Although Greg Kinnear spent time with Dick Vermeil to get his mannerisms down, his part wasn’t all that impressive. Everyone else in the movie was relegated to a minor bit-part. The film needed more support from the cast.
The plot. Although, I like a good rags-to-riches movie (especially a true one) and I mentioned it as a positive, it’s been done before. And quite frankly, it’s been done better (see opening paragraph, minus “Lucas”). These types of movies will always be compared to the ultimate loser to winner movie: “Rocky.” And with so many similarities between them, Invincible doesn’t stand a chance.
Even saying that, this movie will still give you a warm feeling inside. It will still put a smile on your face, when you realize that sometimes lightning can be caught in a bottle and the little man can overcome great odds. It ain’t no “Rocky” or shit it ain’t no “Rudy” either, but it can hold it’s head high among those movies. And it will definitely get you laid if you watch it with your significant other.
September 11, 2006 @ 10:19 am Nashtradomus
Let me make one thing CRYSTAL clear before I review this movie. I hate the EAGLES! Getting beyond and over that one particular issue, this movie was pure joy of seeing a dream being realized. Even though the theme is over ridden with cliches and predicatble theme, Disney was bound and determined to make this into a movie.
Since I noted in Mr.Catena’s review that most of the good points mentioned albiet the mention of Marky Mark’s jockstrap. I would have rather mention his rise from lead vocalist in the boy band New Kids On The Block to a certifiable actor. Just to mention few scenes which got me pumping.
Scene-1: Open tryouts, it starts off with no flair, just showing pure speed of Papale as compared to others. Soon followed by able to receive the ball. The scene ends with a classic, it does not matter when it comes to guys asking each other there ages.
Scene-2: Papale gets to know he is a Eagle and the scene transcends to where he tells his buddy at Veteran’s Stadium parking lot. There wasn’t a lot of drama to it, but you could feel the exhilaration that the director Ericson Core made it felt through.
This movie is raw, gritty with many shadows and a tint of smoke. It also shows football as a sport is chaotic and exciting at the same time. Although there are times where the movie was a little slow paced which I rather not mention.
Finally, I have to give it up to what might be Oscar-winning stuff. The sound design and editing is dead-on amazing. This movie just sounds great, especially during the games where groans, tackles, boos and cheers all feel organic and surrounding. It adds to the elements already to the story and allow us to surrender to this movie’s power.
All in all, this movie is just great. No ifs, ands or buts. Everybody needs their heroes.
I rate this movie A.
September 11, 2006 @ 10:55 am General Disdain
Good to see you return to the living, Nashtradomus – it’s been awhile since you graced us with your presence.
For the most part I agree with your thoughts on the movie, it is well made. However, it is not on the level of Rocky or Rudy; two movies that get my highest marks (in your case an A).
Oh yeah, Mark Wahlberg was part of Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch (he was obviously Marky Mark) not a member of The New Kids On The Block – that was his brother, Donnie Wahlberg.
September 11, 2006 @ 11:12 am Nashtradomus
Well you know I could run away for a bit but could not resist coming back to grace this site again just to see you twitch at my rebuttals.
As for this movie reaching upto Rocky or Rudy, well just so you know I did not make a comparison between these movies. This movie by itself stands out to be A grade simply for what it is made up of.
You are right anout Marky Mark and the Funky bunch but I tend to disagree when you say he was never part of the band “T.N.K.O.B” He was one of it’s original band members but backed out of it because if squeaky clean image of the band and that it did not gel with his rap sheet reading few felonies to his credit.
September 11, 2006 @ 11:53 am General Disdain
My point is an ‘A’ caliber movie of this type must pass the Rocky and Rudy tests. Invincible, albeit a good movie, doesn’t rank with them.
Granted Mark Wahlberg was recruited by his brother as an original member of T.N.K.O.B. but he quit soon thereafter before the group actually made any albums or did any appearances. Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch followed several years after the rise of the T.N.K.O.B., so I don’t think it had anything to do with his rap sheet . . .
September 11, 2006 @ 12:27 pm Nashtradomus
We could go on at this for another 50 postings with no recourse. My good sense says to pull out, but then I always know that you want the last word which I just don’t want to hand it out to you.
Your notion on an “A” calibre movie to pass Rocky or Rudy opinionated to your standards. Not that I say they are any less, but to perceive that they should pass through to make an A grade is purely your perception. The only thing I could possibly agree is that Rocky and Invincible has very many similarities including it being filmed in the same city. That does not mean it has to be below or above par based on Rocky or Rudy for that matter.
As for the latter comment whether the choice to leave T.N.K.O.B based on his felonies or not is moot. At this point, I leave that as questionable and no way of proving one or the orher is true.
September 11, 2006 @ 12:50 pm General Disdain
Nashtradomus, surely you can agree that Rocky and Rudy are the two top movies for the sports, rags-to-riches genre. There can be no argument there (you have seen them both, haven’t you?).
Knowing that can you really say Invincible is in their league? Did you cry during any part of the movie? Jump up and down at the climax of the movie? Probably not. If you didn’t do those things for Rocky or Rudy, then you are a zombie, my friend. A fresh from the grave, flesh eating, have no feelings zombie.
September 11, 2006 @ 1:15 pm Nashtradomus
Either, I’m not making myself clear to you or we seem to be talking in different euclidean levels. I had clearly stated that I’m not comparing Invincible to Rocky or Rudy. I rated the movie “A” simply because how it was made and also considering in the recent releases this was a worthy sporting movie to watch. Given there are similarities to Rocky and Rudy does not warranty that I have to base my judgement, if Invincible have to cut it with respect to Rocky or Rudy as you simply have started to set the threshold.
By the way did you cry after watching Rocky?
September 11, 2006 @ 2:44 pm General Disdain
To answer your last question first: I shed a tear for both Rocky and Rudy. And I’m proud to admit it!
We obviously disagree on the overall rating and how it was reached. However, we can both agree Invincible is indeed a worthy watch and that you are a blood-sucking zombie.
September 11, 2006 @ 3:00 pm Nashtradomus
I can send you a box floral (preference?) smelling pink colored Kleenex before you go for the premiere of the upcoming Rocky.
I agree with you on the disagreement.
May 6, 2009 @ 12:09 pm Butter Bundi
sweet grading system hahahaha
May 1, 2010 @ 10:32 am ego
you all discussed about if wahlberg was one of the new kids or not but no one noticed that the short form is nkotb and not tnkob!