Saturday, August 26, 2006

Eagles Friday is a HIT!

Friday was a good day to be an Eagles fan. The first teamers did pretty well against the Steelers in a 16-7 win at the Linc. OK OK its pre-season, and I know the teams all play vanilla and the games are meaningless, but this week is usually the tune-up for the regular season, and the starters look ready.

As for Invincible, it was almost EXACTLY what I expected, a great feel-good sports movie. If you're a football fan, you'll love the movie. My prediction wasn't quite accurate though, looks like Vince Papale's life was swirling down the crapper in 1976 when coach Vermeil announced the open tryouts for the team. Other than that, getting prodded to seize the opportunity, the hard knocks, the need for inspiration (which comes from multiple sources, but most notably from his father, and a rejuvenating, muddy, "tank-lot" game in the rain with his buds from the old neighborhood) and the strategic feat to lead the team to an improbably win were all right on the money....what can I say...I've seen Disney sports movies before. While the movie did dramatize Papale's game winning play, they do a nice job at the end of the movie (before the credits roll) of showing Vince in action...and show the audience that he did in fact score a special teams TD against the Giants.

The movie does have some warts, like some of the stadium scenes are obviously F/x...the Vet is long gone, and the exterior Vet shots are EXCELLENT, but when they get to the interior shots and the backgrounds behind the live actors can be a bit, um, off... The movie does a good job with wardrobe and music to set the scene and recreate the feel of 70s. The most glaring error is a simple one...during the tryout, some of the Eagles fans break out in a modified Eagles fight song...sorry Disney, to my knowledge the Eagles Fight Song came into existence just a few seasons to be fair they don't sing the actual song, and I did NOT mind the nod to the fans, it just felt out of place...

The movie did an decent job of capturing the atmosphere of the Vet at the 700-level bleachers. For anyone who think Hollywood may have embellished someone who worked for Spectaguard and who did preseason assignments up there (before I wormed my way to a much better viewing position on the lower level) if anything they toned it down, way down...

Acting - Mark Wahlberg as a South Philly guy...ok, this is maybe the biggest obstacle for the movie to overcome, and, when you actually SEE Papale at the end of the movie, they obviously could have chosen someone a bit more, uh, ethnically comparable to Papale. Nor does Marky do a Philly accent very well....ok...if I wanted to, I could rip this aspect of the movie...but I don't want to...Wahlberg is likeable, while he does not exactly fit the role, the studio obviously wanted someone of even modest Hollywood recognition with which to try and have a decent draw and Wahlberg is sufficient for those purposes.

I give the movie Five (5) Cheesesteaks (with a soft pretzel on the side) for being a decent feel-good movie in general (not too cheesy, adequate acting, generally realistic) and a GREAT Eagles movie... say it with me E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!

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