25 October 2010

Secretariat (2010)

I'll give a lot of leeway for movies about subjects I really enjoy. Comic books, action movies, teen dramas, and certain types of sports movies. The problem with the latter is that they usually suck, especially when the "inspired by a real story" gets the Hollywood treatment and the facts are adjusted to fit a conventional story arc. Most of the time, I end up wishing that I should have just watched a documentary and read some websites.

After our summer of going to the horse races, Ashley and I just had to watch Secretariat. Sadly, we were misled as the title of the film should have been, "Secretariat's Owner: The Story of Penny Chenery." The majority of the film focused on Diane Lane's struggle to keep her farm from financial ruin.

What I wanted from this film was insight into the training and characteristics that made Secretariat such an outstanding racehorse. Instead I got a poorly executed human drama. Neigh. The horse scenes were well shot though, and whatever horse they used to play Secretariat was absolutely beautiful. Next time around, just give me more horse stuff please.

Secretariat captured the Triple Crown by winning the 1973 Belmot Stakes in record fashion. Critics doubted that he could race longer distances but Big Red blasted the competition by thirty one lengths. Apparently this is the most watched horse race in history, so you should probably watch it too.

There have only been eleven Triple Crown winners, the last one being Affirmed in 1978. Now you know.