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Secretariat
DVD disk
Feb 23, 2011 By: J.A. Hamilton
Secretariat order download
Director:
Randall Wallace

Actors:
Diane Lane
John Malkovich
Dylan Walsh

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After her motherís death, Penny Chenery decides to take over her fatherís horse racing farm in hopes of carrying on his legacy. With the help of an eccentric horse trainer, an ambition crazed rider and an exceptional staff, Penny and her amazing horse Secretariat set out to do the impossible, to win the Triple Crown, something that hasnít been done in over twenty-five years.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Hollywood has always been fascinated by animals and what they can do, now Iíll admit that in some cases (this being one of them) there is an actual story to tell and enjoy but most of the time I find these movies to be dull and oh so predictable especially when they slap a ďbased on or inspired by true eventsĒ on the box. Now I never saw SEABISCUIT but I can imagine that it was rather similar to this flick when allís said and done; the horse and rider face incredible odds and win, the end. The same could be said of SECRETARIAT and thatís not giving anything away, it is after all based on a true story about pretty much the most badass horse to ever live and how he rocked the Triple Crown but even with such an obvious ending in plain sight, this flick still managed to keep me on edge with anticipation and thatís a pretty cool feat considering.

Despite where this film goes, I did find it to be rather dreary, especially for the first third of the film. I think it struck a nerve for me mostly because I grew up around a farm. My grandfather built quite an empire that also revolved around horses. He didnít race them per say, but pulled them. He raised, trained and pulled work horses and I saw it all, from the birthing (not quite the angels singing, circle of life situation theyíd have you believe. Thereís an awful looking blue sac that squirts out and explodes into a mess of goo you damn sure donít want to be anywhere near) to the training which is hard to explain but intriguing to watch and then finally the showcasing that can get pretty damn intense. Iíve also seen what happens when the person in charge passes away only to have the rest of the family swoop in like vultures picking away at it until thereís nothing left, so I certainly enjoyed Penny Cheneryís heart and ambition.

SECRETARIAT isnít chalked full of surprises but itís overflowing with heart, drama, determination and that never surrender ďROCKYĒ feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when everythingís on the line. I like that feeling and find that itís a rare occurrence these days. I certainly didnít expect to find that sort feeling here but it was welcome. The racing scenes were surreal and though I donít know much about horse racing, I canít help but think this film captures its essence rather well. The cast made for a good time with John Malkovich playing yet another eccentric role (he plays eccentric/crazy like the best of them) and Diane Lane delivering a magnificent performance. I was a little thrown by Lafayetteís presence outside of TRUE BLOOD but even he got the feel of the film down pat. That feeling is a good one and should be most definitely be experienced by all.
THE EXTRAS
Heart of a Champion: Here weíre told and shown how those closest to him helped raise Secretariat to be one of the greatest horses of all time, doing what most considered to be impossible.

Deleted Scenes: Thereís not much here (a slim four minutes) and though they donít add much depth I still feel when itís such a small amount like this they should have been left in.

Music Video: This is the music video built around the film ďItís Who You AreĒ by AJ Michalka.

Discover Blu-ray 3D with Timon & Pumbaa: This is the current commercial ad for Disneyís jump to 3D hosted by the boys from THE LION KING.

Dylan & Cole Sprouse: Blu-ray is Suite: A couple kids from the Disney Channel also weigh in on Blu-ray and 3D. Dang are they pushing this stuff hardcore.

Previews: There are also a handful of trailers.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
As true stories go this one is pretty special. Initially I found it hard to get pumped up for horse racing but this film is sneaky and before I knew it I was hooked. I think deep down everyone loves a good underdog story and if you happen to be one of those people, youíll love this one because trust me; this is an underdog story for the ages.

Extra Tidbit: If youíre a fan of ENTOURAGE, keep an eye out for Kevin Connolly.
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