Okay, so why is ComicMix reviewing a football movie? Well, first of all, we’re a little more than just comics and secondly, it stars Captain Marvel himself, so there’s that.
Besides, it’s about a real-life hero, and who doesn’t love heroes?
Kurt Warner’s story is well worth exploring and the Lionsgate Home Entertainment release of last year’s American Underdog does a fine job recounting the story. For those unfamiliar, Warner was a star at Northern Iowa but spent four years unable to get signed by an NFL team. Finally, the Green Bay Packers signed but released him in 1994. He then played three seasons for the Iowa Barnstormers in the brief-lived Arena Football League before finally making it to the NFL with the St. Louis Rams. Once there, he led what has been dubbed the Greatest Show on Turn, culminating in winning Super Bowl XXXIV.
It’s a story about perseverance and support at home, in the form of his loving wife Brenda (Anna Paquin). Levi, at 41, is a little old to be convincing as a man half his age, but his enduring charm and charisma makes that easy to overlook. Together, they make a charming couple, and their scenes anchor the film’s emotional story. Brenda has a blind special needs son, Zach, and Hayden Zaller make a fine debut in the role.
Dennis Quaid, as Coach Dick Vermeil, leads a fine supporting cast that includes familiar faces such as Bruce McGill and Ser’Darius Blain. Best of all, Levi is reunited with his Chuck costar Adam Baldwin, who plays Warner’s college coach.
Directed by Andrew and Jon Erwin, better known for their Christian-themed movies, certainly are reverent here, avoiding some of the sport’s rougher edges. The film is inspired by All Things Possible by Kurt Warner with Michael Silver, and the screenplay comes from Friday Night Lights veterans Jon Erwin & David Aaron Cohen and Jon Gunn. They are supported by a strong score from Composer John Debney.
Make sure you watch all the credits since there’s some touching archival footage of Warner and Zach.
Available in Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD, the movie look strong with a fine 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, The high def transfer and rich color palette are nicely presented. The accompanying Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track works just fine.
The disc is packed with a fine assortment of Special Features, an above average collection including Audio Commentary from Directors Andrew and Jon Erwin and Producer Kevin Downes; “Inspired” (16:08), about the production; “Making the Cut” (13:45), about the editing; “A Coach’s Faith” (30:48), focuses on Vermeil and his biggest fan, Saturday Night Live’s Heidi Gardner; “New to the Scene: Hayden Zaller” (6:10); “Meet the Champion” (14:49), Warner himself speaks; “Behind the Game” (8:13); “American Underdog: Behind the Story” (3:39); and, Deleted Scenes (17:44), with and without director commentary.