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Invincible inspires football fantasy

Downtown Philadelphia is in decay. The factories shut down, labor union disputes run rampant, and the Eagles remain winless. To make matters worse, Vince Papale?s wife just left him, and he just lost his job.

Invincible follows Papale [Mark Walhburg] as he struggled through life in downtown Philly. Barely able to pay his bills, he worked part-time tending the neighborhood bar after the school fired him and runs circles around the other players in the neighborhood street football games, even though he only played one year of high school football.

Because of those instinctive skills, his friends urged him to go to open tryouts held by the Eagle?s new coach, Dick Vermeil [Greg Kinnear]. Reluctantly, he went to the stadium alongside hundreds of others determined for their 15 seconds of fame.

While Papale traveled to the stadium with no intention of making the roster, he became a town celebrity overnight, and a symbol to many of hope after the coaches selected him to attend training camp.

At training camp, Papale endured verbal abuse from the younger players on the team, physical abuse on the practice field and psychological self-abuse each time coaches announced revisions to the roster. As the final cuts loomed, Papale wondered if the support given to him by his friends was enough.

From the opening credits detailing the hardships of the downtown district, to one of Papale?s friends being afraid of fame and fortune stealing him away, Brad Gann?s script immerses viewers into a warm story of friendship, love, loss and football. First time director Ericson Core grabs your heart and does not let it go.

Core parlays the common fantasy many dream–to come out on top against all odds. Invincible takes this step one further when an average working man makes a name for himself and makes a dream in all of us come true.

One of the most memorable and funniest moments of the movie comes when Janet, the other bartender and a New York Giants fan, attends an Eagles’ football game in full Giants garb and sits in the all-Eagles section.

The story is based on the real life of Papale, who played only one year of high school football and ran track at St. Joseph?s University. While embellishments to his story were written, the story remains close to life.

Invincible, in the tradition of Rudy and The Rookie, is a wonderful, feel-good movie that the entire family can enjoy.

Invincible is playing at Edwards Fresno Stadium 21.

For more information about Invincible, go to the official movie website

For show times and ticket information, go to

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    Trevor BodiAug 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Wow, it looks like a project I want to eat!

  • M

    Mary HierholzerAug 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

    I’m glad you appreciated the cell I made with all the spices, Mr. McGowen! It was a fun project.