Share this article

print logo

Say cheese Philly heroes have their day in new releases

In 1976, the city of Philadelphia was inspired by two heroes. Rocky Balboa and Vince Papale were hard-working, blue-collar underdogs who fought against the odds to realize their dreams.

Thirty years later, both of those men -- one a legend on screen, the other a legend on the football field -- remain an inspiration and a part of mainstream pop culture. Rocky has returned to the big screen for the sixth time in "Rocky Balboa"; Papale's true story was brought to the big screen in "Invincible" ($29.99, Buena Vista).

In "Invincible," Mark Wahlberg plays Papale, the 30-year-old Philadelphia Eagles fan who attended an open tryout with the team and earned a roster spot. (Papale was "the physical manifestation of every fan," says Ray Didinger, author of "The Eagles Encyclopedia.") Greg Kinnear plays Eagles coach Dick Vermeil.

Bonus features include commentaries with Papale, director Ericson Core and others. The feature, "Becoming Invincible: The Story of Vince Papale," lets us meet the man behind the myth through interviews with Papale and teammates including Lackawanna native Ron Jaworski. A nice touch is the use of actual training camp and game footage, especially when it's juxtaposed with similar scenes from the movie.

Papale, who now looks like a younger version of actor Philip Bosco, was a handsome bartender who never even played college football when he tried out for the Eagles. "The guys on the team thought I was a publicity stunt," Papale says, against footage that shows him a lone figure on the Philadelphia bench.

But the guy had talent. "You could see right away that he could run," Vermeil recalls. "Of the group, he stood out the most so I brought him into camp."

*Kinnear also stars in "Little Miss Sunshine" ($29.98, Fox), the adorable, sad, touching and hilarious story about a dysfunctional family on their way to a child's beauty pageant. Toni Collette, Alan Arkin and Abigail Breslin also star.

The DVD includes audio commentaries by co-directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, four alternate endings and a music video.

*"The Black Dahlia" ($29.98, Universal) is director Brian DePalma's adaptation of James Ellroy's best-selling novel that was inspired by the 1947 brutal murder of aspiring actress Elizabeth Short.

Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart, Scarlett Johansson and Hilary Swank are members of a cast that must have looked good on paper, but doesn't always work on screen.

Bonus features include the fascinating "Reality and Fiction: The Story of The Black Dahlia," in which Ellroy discusses the Short murder, his book and the murder of his own mother when he was only 10. "Elizabeth Short was the symbiotic stand-in for my mother," Ellroy says about Short whom he calls "a tormented, sweet-natured, love-starved little girl."

*Super beauty and actress Uma Thurman was the title character in the romantic comedy "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" ($29.98, Fox). Thurman stars opposite Luke Wilson in the story of a guy who thinks he's found the perfect gal -- until he learns she's a superhero. Extras include deleted scenes, a music video by Molly McQueen and an extended shark scene sequence.

***

Coming Tuesday

"Airplane: Don't Call Me Shirley Edition" (Paramount), "Artie Lange's Beer League" (Echo Bridge), "Beavis and Butt-head Do America: 10th Anniversary Edition" (Paramount), "Dora the Explorer, World Adventurer" (Paramount), "Drake and Josh Go Hollywood: The Movie" (Paramount), "Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Bueller Bueller Edition" (Paramount), "Glory: Special Edition" (Sony), "Love's Abiding Joy" (Fox), "Martin: The Complete First Season" (HBO Home Video), "Pretty in Pink: Everything's Duckie Edition" (Paramount), "School for Scoundrels" (Weinstein), "Snakes on a Plane" (New Line/Warner), "Some Kind of Wonderful" (Paramount).

***

DVD EXTRA

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S: ANNIVERSARY EDITION: The stylish romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn includes a commentary by producer Richard Shepherd and such featurettes as "It's So Audrey: A Style Icon" and "Brilliance in a Blue Box." ($14.99, Paramount. Available Tuesday.)

e-mail: truberto@buffnews.com

There are no comments - be the first to comment