The first of the two football movies I saw recently was Invincible. This is a film about Vince Papale’s unlikely journey from 30 year old bartender to a player on his beloved Philadelphia Eagles in the National Football League. Keep in mind that as a lifelong Dallas Cowboy fan, there is no love lost on the Eagles.

invinceds432.jpgMark Wahlberg, as usual, delivered a great performance that was 100% believable and the fact that it was a true story made it even better. The surprise of the film was Greg Kinnear’s portrayal of a first-year Dick Vermeil. Not only is Vermeil one of the true class acts of the NFL, Kinnear did a great job of getting that across.

If you are a football fan that grew up in the late 70’s, you will love this film. If you are a film fan, you will love this film.

RATING 9 out of 10

wearemasrahslldsd323.jpgNext up is We Are Marshall. Boy was I surprised by this film. I expected an inspirational story about a small football program I expected courage and heart to overcome size and talent. I expected the feel-good formula from start to finish. I got all of that and more.

In addition, I got great acting by Matthew McConaughey (yes he can do that when given a good script.) I got an excellent character portrayed by Ian McShane (Deadwood.) I got amazing performances by relative unknowns like Anthony Mackie and Kate Mara. But it was more than the acting… it was the story.

I was not aware of the tragedy that is at the center of this film. I was surprised that I had never heard of it, but there it was. The writers took what must be an unimaginable situation and were able to make the audience understand it – if only a little.

As with Invincible, I recommend this to football fans and film fans. Heck, you even get to see Matthew Fox doing his standby “Jack’s sad” routine. (Sorry, even with red hair, I couldn’t get past seeing the Jack character from “Lost” every time he was onscreen.)

RATING 9 out of 10

Who would have thought? Two teams I never followed… both wear green… both true stories… I didn’t know the story behind either one. Oh yeah… and I loved them both.