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Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Drama · Secretariat


None October 14th, 2010

A "sure thing" in horse racing might be great for gamblers, but not so much for moviegoers.

"Secretariat," a Disney flick about the thoroughbred that won the Triple Crown in 1973, is saddled with the challenge of dramatizing a sports story in which the ending is a matter of history. The filmmakers try wringing suspense where they can, but ultimately, the result is a bit like beating a dead you-know-what.

Can a well-known sports story make for a good movie? Of course, but that's where artfulness comes in handy, and "Secretariat," with its schmaltzy set pieces and wheezy dialogue, barely makes it out of the starting gate.

Diane Lane ("Nights in Rodanthe") is likable as Penny Chenery Tweedy, a Denver housewife who takes over the family farm in the wake of her ailing father (Scott Glenn, "W."). Penny's husband and brother urge her to sell the place, but this spunky gal is determined to make a go of it, especially with the arrival of a an equally spunky colt that Penny names Big Red. That colt grows up to be Secretariat, arguably the greatest racehorse of all time.

But Secretariat gets second billing here. Despite the film's title, director Randall Wallace ("We Were Soldiers") and screenwriter Mike Rich ("The Nativity Story") focus on Penny's stiff-jawed resoluteness in the face of sexist obstacles.

That's well and good, except that Penny is a forthright fighter from the get-go. She undergoes no change, and the success of her would-be champion is never in doubt. "”Phil Bacharach
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