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
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
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):
The Pros: Well acted, nice cinematography, and an
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)