Invincible appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. A release from Blu-ray’s early days, the transfer held up pretty well.
For the most part, sharpness seemed good. Some wider shots could be less than detailed, but overall delineation came across nicely. I saw no jagged edges or shimmering, and the image lacked print flaws.
In a world of orange and teal films, Invincible offered one of the orange and tealest – with an almost comical emphasis on orange, as that tint ran roughshod over the transfer. I couldn’t figure out why the filmmakers gave the movie such exaggerated hues, but the transfer reproduced them as designed.
Blacks looked dark and tight, while shadows demonstrated fairly good clarity. A few low-light shots became slightly opaque, but most seemed appropriate. Despite a few minor inconsistencies, this turned into a largely positive presentation.
As for the film’s Uncompressed PCM 5.1 soundtrack, it worked fine for the material. Music became the most dominant aspect of the soundscape, as the many 1970s songs filled the speakers well.
As for effects, these tended to focus on environmental material, though some football scenes opened up to a moderate degree. The surrounds never turned into a really active partner, but games brought out some breadth to the soundfield.
Audio quality pleased, with speech that seemed natural and concise. Effects showed accurate reproduction, and music appeared fairly lively and full. Nothing here stood out as great, but the mix achieved its goals.
When we shift to extras, we locate two separate audio commentaries, the first of which comes from director Ericson Core and editor Jerry Greenberg. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, recreating period details and sets/locations, cast and performances, effects, costumes and cinematography, editing, music, and connected domains.
Core carries the commentary, as Greenberg chimes in infrequently. That works fine, as the director gives us a good array of insights. The track devolves into praise more often than I’d like, but we still learn a lot about the production.
For the second commentary, we hear from Vince Papale, producer Mark Ciardi and writer Brad Gann. All three sit together for their running, screen-specific discussion of story/characters, sets and locations, and the facts behind the movie’s fiction.
For the movie’s first hour or so, we get a true snoozer of a commentary, as the participants do little more than tell us how great the film and all involved are. Once the story embraces the pro football side of things more, though, Papale becomes more animated and invested in the discussion, and he manages to produce some good insights into his life and career.
Even with those improvements, this never quite becomes a great commentary. Still, I like the parts where Papale relates his memories of life as an Eagle, so if you can hold up through the dull spots, some payoff arrives.
Two featurettes follow. Recreating “The Vet” goes for seven minutes, 28 seconds and includes notes from Ciardi, Core, effects supervisor Craig Barron, effects producer Chris Anderson, and inflatables supervisor Paul Foyder.
We learn how the production “rebuilt” the long-razed Veterans Stadium and bring the football scenes to life. Though short, this becomes an informative overview.
Becoming Invincible lasts 25 minutes, 40 seconds and features Papale, Ciardi, Gray, Core, Eagles Encyclopedia author Ray Didinger, former Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil, Eagles radio broadcaster Merrill Reese, former players Ron Jaworski and Dennis Franks, former Eagles GM Jim Murray, broadcaster Vai Sikahema, journalist Bill Lyon, executive producer Victor Constantino, daughter Gabriella Papale, and actors Mark Wahlberg and Greg Kinnear.
“Becoming” covers the facts behind the movie’s fiction as well as the tale’s path to the screen. We already get some of this in the commentaries, but “Becoming” still turns into a good summary, especially because we get to see a fair amount of vintage footage.
As much as I like the core story behind Invincible, the movie itself lacks much zest. While it tells the tale in a fairly respectable manner, it fails to deliver a rousing experience. The Blu-ray brings us pretty good picture and audio along with a moderately informative set of supplements. Invincible winds up as a mediocre underdog movie.