What's with the name Ericson Core? Sounds like a Battlestations pilot name. Look at his son's name. Huh?
Against my better judgement, I went to see a movie in a theater. I was immediately annoyed by the lack of stadium seating and by the cigarette burns on the screen. The theater was also showing the movie in digital, but that showing started at 10:50PM and I was too tired to stay awake that long.
I might want to cringe when I see Disney making a film, but I shouldn't. I think they learned a lesson with Pirates of the Carribbean. A movie can look good and be written well even if it's not edgy Touchstone material. Disney did continue its long history of main characters with only one parent. In this case, it's a true story, but stilllllll. Do audiences feel more compassion automatically because of the lack of nuclear family?
The scenery of the film was great. I love the dirty feel of South Philadelphia. The streets were littered, the despair palpable. Even better was the point-counterpoint of the brilliant look of the scenes shot in the context of professional football: sparkling white-and-bright scenes full of clean hope. Thanks to the NFL for allowing this movie to be officially licensed, too. Seeing fake teams in a movie is as irritating to me as 555 phone numbers.
There is grit here, and it's depressing. The working class of America is on full display and it isn't pretty. There are those who want a hero but there are also those who want to pull every crab back down in the bucket with them.
Mark Wahlberg has the je ne sais crois to make this role perfect. I would say that his greatest feat as an actor is picking the right roles. Papale is not shown as a man of great passion, so Wahlberg's restrained acting range is perfect. He immediately drew me into caring about his character. His love interest, played by Elizabeth Banks, drew a mixed review from me: I wanted to like this shining star of a man's man's woman, but her performance did not always deliver. There were great scenes, like in the Eagles stadium wearing her Giants gear, that she nailed. She managed to be beautiful and the center of attention and admiration while being a complete pariah. But occasionally, such as in the bar reciting her favorite player's stats, when her lines seemed disjointed from the rest of the dialogue. It almost seemed as if the director reshot those lines and the original scene's feel was lost. Banks looked more like she was reciting than being.
Yeah, it's Disney, it's uplifting. But it's a true story and sometimes what a nation needs is a hero.
editor's note: oh, and now I'm totally stoked about football season.