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Seabiscuit will win your heart by seven lengths!  Into the stretch, it's Seabiscuit galloping ahead as one of the best films of the year.




The Masked Reviewer

A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a horse of course...that is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Seasbiscuit!  Sadly, this horse doesn't talk back.

Based on the book "Seasbiscuit", which, in turn, is based on the horse named Seabiscuit, Seabiscuit has nothing to do with the sea, or biscuits.  It's all about horse racing.  And people.  It's a movie about horse racing and the people that race horses.  And the people who watch the people who race horses.

This adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book deals with more than just horse racing.  While horse racing is of limited appeal to Joe Everyman, the story deals with interesting characters and does a great job of showing how Seabiscuit (the horse) became an icon for many people during the depression era.  Seabiscuit is kind of like Rocky with four legs and better elocution. 

Fine performances were given by Jeff Bridges, Tobey Maguire, and Chris Cooper.  The Masked Reviewer is beginning to think that this Chris Cooper guy is good.  He could act his way out of a paper bag, no problem.  Also submitting a fine performance was first-timer Gary Stevens (playing rival jockey George Woolf).  He played a short man very convincingly.  Rounding out the good performances was William H. Macy as the amusing "Tick Tock McGlaughlin".

For this role, Tobey Maguire lost a lot of weight.  The Masked Reviewer mentions this because, thanks to people like Robert DeNiro and Renee Zellweger, actors who put on weight are applauded for their bravery and fine acting ability.  The Masked Reviewer puts on a few pounds and no one has anything nice to say (except for the guy behind the counter at Wendy's, who's always friendly).  Actually, since Tobey Maguire lost weight for the role, he'll probably be scorned by the acting community.  He's probably just anorexic.  He should get help.  But, the good news is, he'll have to gain weight for his next role, and then he'll be eligible for an Oscar(tm). 

The horses give good performances in the film as well...the Masked Reviewer isn't just saying that because the horses wear masks, either.

The film does go for the cheap emotional sappy stuff, but it does it well.  It's touching at times, and it's hard  not to root for the little horse. 

The Masked Reviewer did a bit of research about Seabiscuit (the horse) because he hasn't yet read "Seabiscuit" (the book).  An interesting history can be found here for those who want a bit of background.  But be warned!  The history of Seabiscuit gives away which races he won.  The Masked Reviewer wouldn't want to give away who won the big race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral.  However, the facts in that article seem to run contrary to some of the facts in the movie.  So, you horse racing detail nitpickers may want to do more research. 

According to the movie, 40 million people listened to the Seabiscuit/War Admiral race on the radio.  It's safe to say that more than that many will see the film.  But will Seabiscuit see any of the money?  Nooo. 

Without having read the book, you can easily follow everything that happens in the movie.  You can tell that large hunks of the book were skipped and greatly abbreviated for the film, which is hard to believe becase at nearly two and a half hours long (!), Seabiscuit (the movie) seems like it could've shown the entire lifespan of a horse in real time.  It doesn't drag, though, and the film got the reaction from the audience that it was going for, including an outburst of applause.

The film is an interesting historical perspective as well as a traditional "beat the odds" story of personal triumph, though that triumph is for more than one person (or animal), each in their own way.  If you like horses (in other words, almost every woman and some men), you'll like Seabiscuit.  If you like stories of people (and animals) overcoming their difficulties, you'll like Seabiscuit.  That's not to say that they win all the races...maybe they do.  Maybe they don't.  But they do try.  And you'll find it hard not to root for them.  Of course, it was kind of sad when they sold Seabiscuit to the dog food factory at the end...oh, is that giving away too much?  Just kidding!  Relax. 

The music is by Randy Newman.  For those people that think that information is important, that information will be important. 

Seabiscuit will win your heart by seven lengths!  Into the stretch, it's Seabiscuit galloping ahead as one of the best films of the year.  Seabiscuit is a thoroughbred winner.  No one will be making glue out of Seabiscuit


Expectation from the Title: When Aquaman decides to leave the Justice League of America and open his own bakery, he finds that his superhero powers just aren't enough to keep his flour dry. 

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  Pretty horses.

The Pros:  Well acted, nice cinematography, and an uplifting story.

The Cons: At 2.5 hours, it's a long time to sit in a theater seat.  No gunplay.  There weren't any compelling (or naked) female characters.


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