Thursday, August 31, 2006

Movie Review: Invincible

"Invincible" stars Mark Whalberg as 30 year old Vince Papale circa 1976. Papale is a South Philly boy who has lost his job and his wife. New Eagles coach Dick Vermeil has signed on with a terrible team and announces open tryouts as a way to stir excitement for the coming season. One of Papale’s buddies talks him into trying out and enormously improbable hometown guy actually makes the team. I hope that I’m not giving away the movie, but it is an actual story.

Let’s take a moment and look back at 1976… The Cold War is raging, Gerald Ford is President and has lost handily to the massively incompetent Jimmy Carter. The Olympic Summer Games open in Montreal amid real concerns of terrorism from the 1972 Munich Games. To our shame, North Vietnam and South Vietnam unite to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The economy is starting to tank and trade unions are working diligently to destroy American industry. Big blue collar towns are really starting to feel the pain. In Philadelphia, the Eagles recent record was:

1972 Eagles 2-11-1
1973 Eagles 5-8-1
1974 Eagles 7-7-0
1975 Eagles 4-10-0

People look for positive things when times are hard (and seem like they’ll get harder) and Papale was the guy that helped Philly get through theirs. This happened 30 years ago, but it is timely in the current time of uncertainty.

Who doesn’t love an underdog movie (except the critics of course)?!? I don’t give a shit what anyone else says, I’ll take a positive, uplifting, and inspiring story over a Syriana any day. I don’t just recommend the movie, I plan on taking my son this weekend and buying it as soon as it comes out. I’ll put it on my shelf next to Rudy and Cinderella Man.