Wednesday 30 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

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
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
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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