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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Secretariat Blu-Ray Review

Secretariat (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)I actually enjoy watching the Triple Crown, Belmont Stakes and you know... the other one.  Why?  Horses are fun and cute.  However, I do hate the way that they are worked to death, but my own personal demons aside, I went into this movie looking to learn a little about a famous horse.  And it was mildly like watching the History Channel... but not even as close to as fun!

Diane Lane plays Penny Chenery, mother of three. When her mother passes away and her father suffers a stroke, Penny flies to Virginia to save the family ranch. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s about to strike gold in the form of a new foal that miraculously stands merely minutes after being born.  Penny has no knowledge of the racing world, but forms a small team to help groom Secretariat into the horse that famously won the Triple Crown, breaking records that still haven’t been beaten to this day. She also faces adversity – sexism, and the struggle of not being with her family as her children grow up .

Those issues are not as deeply delved into as the story of the horse itself. Secretariat was a remarkable horse who won pretty much everything.  Unfortunately, this film does not do Secretariat the justice he deserves and instead of being an interesting back story, it is way too long and boring.

Blu-Ray features:

Disney has always made the most of the Blu-ray format, making Secretariat look and sound phenomenal. This Blu-ray is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio with booming sound.

Special Features:

Heart of a Champion - The cast talks about what a great horse Secretariat was and all of his accomplishments. (14:56)
Choreographing the Races – The same guy who cast the horses in Seabiscuit, that other horse racing movie, cast the horses for Secretariat. (6:27)
A Director’s Inspiration: A Conversation with the Real Penny Chenery – By far the most intersting extra on this disc, director Randall Wallace (We Were Soldiers) sits down and gets reactions on scenes from the movie with the real Penny Chenery. She has some great stories to tell and she thought they were captured well in the film. (21:12)
Audio Commentary with Director Randall Wallace
Music Video – AJ Michalka “It’s Who You Are”
Secretariat Multi-Angle Simulation: Jockey – Michael Smith, an actual jockey, give insight into what his job entails (3:43); Reporter – Brad Free, who writes for the “Daily Racing Form”, talks about his job and how he picks the winners of races (5:09); Historian – Dennis Mills, the CEO of MI Developments, talks about designing racetracks (3:35); Spectator – Michael Calderone, CEO of Horse-racing Simulations, talks about his passion for horse-racing (4:14)
Actual Race – Footage from the actual race in 1973, when Secretariat won the Triple Crown. That year, he made the cover of Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated. (2:12)
Discover Blu-Ray 3-D with Timon and Pumbaa (4:23)

Family Time Factor:  Kids will find it boring, adults may want to watch it as a date movie, but will not probably find it that interesting...

MOTR Grade: C-

Secretariat is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray!!!

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