Invincible (2006)

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Released 2-Apr-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-With Vince Papale, Producer Mark Ciardi and Writer Brad Gann
Audio Commentary-With Director Ericson Core & Editor Jerry Greenberg
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Becoming Invincible: The Story of Vince Papale
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 99:45
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ericson Core
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Mark Wahlberg
Greg Kinnear
Elizabeth Banks
Kevin Conway
Michael Rispoli
Kirk Acevedo
Dov Davidoff
Michael Kelly
Sal Darigo
Nicoye Banks
Turron Kofi Alleyne
Stink Fisher
Michael Mulheren
Case ?
RPI ? Music Mark Isham


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Invincible is Disney's latest 'inspired by a true story' feel-good sports drama. In the same vein as The Rookie and Remember the Titans, it chronicles the unlikely rise of 30 year old Vince Papale from unemployed teacher and moonlighting bartender to a special teams player for the Philadelphia Eagles in the National Football League.

    Set in mid 70s Philadelphia with a sombre Mark Wahlberg cast as Papale, the film shows the economic turmoil the city was in at that time. Unemployment was rife, labour strikes were affecting many local factory workers and the once pride and joy of the city, the Philadelphia Eagles were at rock bottom of the NFL.

    Along comes a new head coach (played well by Greg Kinnear) who announces open tryouts for the team to boost team and supporter morale for the new season. The only successful applicant is Papale, and much of the film focuses on his quest to overcome the difficulties and hardships he has faced in his life, to make the cut in the team, gain acceptance from those around him and become the oldest draftee into the NFL.

    Sounds syrupy and clichéd right? Well, it is but the film succeeds on a few levels. Firstly, it's a true story that seems to stay pretty close to what actually happened. Isn't every guys dream to shed the shackles of his everyday existence and leap into professional sports? Well this guy did it! The other area where it impressed is that it is actually one of the few films that all members of the family can enjoy. The true nature of the story gets adults interested and there is nothing in the film that you would have to worry about explaining to the kids. In short, a Disney family film that doesn't alienate any member of the family.

    To top it off, the film has some of the best sports action I have ever seen. There is one scene where Wahlberg gets tackled unbelievably hard. In the bonus featurette it is actually explained that the stunt man mistimed and he wasn't supposed to tackle Wahlberg, but instead took him out. Wahlberg, not missing a beat, got up and kept running. Papale joked that he never got tackled that hard in the NFL.

    A feel good, family friendly drama.

    Highly recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The feature is presented at 2.35:1 and the disc is 16x9 enhanced.

    Overall this is a pretty solid transfer, but it is not perfect.

    The picture is relatively sharp. As a lot of the Philly based scenes showing Papale's back story are dark, fortunately shadow detail is good. Some of these scenes can be a little grainy, but nothing too bothersome.

    The colour doesn't fare so well, it's not so much of a transfer issue as much as filmmaker's choice (I think, not having seen it at the movies I cannot comment conclusively.) But a lot of the film's scenes showing Papale's pre-NFL life use yellowish/earthy coloured filters to darken the atmosphere. In  short, it's over-used and gimmicky. The murkiness of those scenes took me out of the film and perhaps caused me to more harshly judge the transfer than I might have otherwise. In scenes where this filtering/darkening effect were not used colours look natural and quite nice, however other shots had a stained yellow look about them that is anything but flattering.

    There were no film artefacts, but there were some minor aliasing issues in some of the backgrounds of the outdoor stadium shots.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio track is a better than average Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s) track.

    Dialogue came through clearly, which for a dramatic film of this type is very important. Audio sync was fine too.

    The surrounds didn't get too much of a workout but when they did they were immersive and added to the film. For the most part the surround use was quite subtle, but when required it kicked in. It was especially good in the stadium crowd sequences. I felt like I was right there in the stadium watching the games live.

    Music added a lot to the film and when used came through the surrounds to good effect.

    The subwoofer was used minimally, but given the type of movie this is that's fine.

    There are also two English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) commentary tracks.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

Audio Commentary with Vince Papale, Producer Mark Ciardi and Writer Brad Gann

    Papale is the main contributor and it's pretty obvious is loving life. He's still literally pinching himself that his life has been made into a major motion picture. A very interesting and enjoyable commentary.

Audio Commentary with Director Ericson Core & Editor Jerry Greenberg

    More technically focused, but still interesting to listen to.

Featurette: Becoming Invincible: The Story of Vince Papale (24:36)

    Papale is such a likeable guy I wish this featurette was twice as long. Interviews with the cast, Papale, his NFL contemporaries and crew make this the type of featurette you wish was included on more releases.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

        Identical to the US release so call it a tie.

Summary

    An inspiring and enjoyable film the whole family can enjoy.

    The video is decent, but the colour is painful at times.

    The audio is quite good.

    Two commentaries and a great featurette round out a nice disc.

    This film didn't do so great at the box office, but hopefully it'll find its audience on DVD.

    Check it out!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPioneer
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

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