I saw Secretariat, a Honey Bandit update… and OKC…






My mother has a wonderful ritual.  She buys movie ticket gift cards and sends them to us.  I love that!  Not only do we have a great excuse to go to the movies, but I get to pick what we see because my Mother sent us the giftcard.  Yippee!

So, yesterday, I chose SECRETARIAT.

THE SET-UP FOR ME

Now, for me, SeaBiscuit (the movie)  would be a hard act to follow.  It was so beautifully shot and it sucked my tearducts dry.  I was exhausted after that movie  — yet smiling.  I immediately went out and bought the DVD and I vowed to love Jeff Bridges, the awesome cinematography and that horse – forever.

In fairness, SeaBiscuit came out on the heels of the book of the same name.  Since the book was a crossover book that everyone read, it created a stir among movie goers and had a bit of a jump on the marketing than the movie Secretariat.  People were waiting for the SeaBiscuit movie but no one was really waiting for Secretariat to come to theaters.

Actually, I was waiting because I saw a trailer waaaaaaay back in March.  I kinda wondered why the movie hadn’t appeared in theaters and figured it was some Studio mayhem or bigwig argument.

So when I knew that Secretariat (the movie) was opening, I cued up and was really eager to see it.  I was hoping for another SeaBiscuit, which was really unfair of me in hindsight.

ARMCHAIR CRITIC

My opinion…

As a producer, I was not loving the direction of Secretariat.  I thought the start was slow, the drama wasn’t really punched and the editing was bland.

As a horse person, I thought that no one on the crew had ever met a horse before.  Sorry to be so blunt but C’mon… they zoom the camera into the horse’s eye and he is supposed to be thinking something profound but all I saw was the actor-horse wondering what that big lens was doing in his face… and if it held treats.

The fact that the horse was displayed from a non-horse person perspective really told me that this movie was about the people (the person) and not the horse.

Having said that, I also know that many hands dip into the movie-making world and who knows what high powered person(s) had their way with this film…  I know that often there are so many compromises made to please all the muckymucks that the original concept can be lost in the mire.  You never know how many battles are won and lost over creative difference and money matters.  Sometimes the people responsible for the money are making creative decisions or the creative decisions are made based on Box Office.

Forgiving what may have happened behind the scenes, for me, I think the lack of intensity in the landscapes failed to  draw me in… it felt more like a character study instead of an historical piece.    It just didn’t wow me in the “gawd that was beautiful” or “OMG that horse is incredible” way.  I wanted bigger vistas, prettier scenes and gut gripping emotion that pulled me into the soul of that horse and made me run along with him.

Watching Secretariat win by 31 lengths was like watching the final of USA vs Russia

Instead, (In My Humble Opinion) I felt we got a really good look at the costume and set design of the 70s.  We got a great performance out of Diane Lane and a few others (the groom is very good).  But, I think the storyline became a smaller picture about Diane Lane’s character instead of the big idea of this magnificent racehorse who was claimed by losing a coin toss … the family farm was dependent upon the ingenuity of its owner …  and the incredible talent of this champion race horse.

However, the horse racing shots are worth seeing in a big, wide screen.

After all, most of us were too young or too busy starting our lives/careers to spend much time caring about Secretariat back then.  We missed the significance, or at least I did.  Watching Secretariat win by 31 lengths is like watching the US Hockey Team beat Russia.  Truly a marvel.  For that alone, you need to see it on the big screen.

ANYONE IN/NEAR OKLAHOMA CITY?

The Morgan Grand Nationals is being held right now in OKC.

I have a horse showing.  He’s there.  I’m here.

My trainer tells all the other owners that the reason I never appear when my horse is showing is because I always think I’m bad luck.  This is true.  But mainly I don’t go because it is really expensive for me to fly around and watch him.  It is tough enough to get him to shows…

Anyway, the shows I have attended were fun as long as my horse wasn’t in the class I was watching.  If my horse was showing, I looked like an advertisement for Alka Seltzer.  So, I don’t go.  I wait for the phone call — which is what I am doing right now, as we speak.

Razzo

But, if any of you are able to go to the Morgan Horse Grand Nationals right now in Oklahoma City, please go to the ‘Illahee’ barn and hug my horse, Bellorazzo (Wrigley’s older brother).  Tell them that I sent you.

NEW PHOTOS OF HONEY BANDIT (who now has pneumonia)!

I received these photos in my inbox.  Maybe many of you have seen them already since at least one has been passed around on FB.  Anyway, it appears that Honey Bandit is improving except today, Monday, HB was brought in because he has developed pneumonia…  Luckily, Palomino noticed right away and HB is on antibiotics.  Everyone hopes they caught it soon enough.  He seems to be a bit better already and his temperature is lowered.  And, he seems responsive.  So, hopefully, this is one trauma he may pass through quickly.

Honey Bandit is much improved!

Palomino tells me that before he contacted pneumonia, HB has been up and around for longer recently.  This week, he has been more active with Patches and even had a buck or two in the fun and games!  She says HB is still uncoordinated and takes headers too often for her comfort, but he is definitely stronger.

But he still has a looooong way to go...

If HB recovers well, Palomino hopes to bring him up to Sacramento for the protest regarding the Wild Horse and Burro helicopter round-ups on October 23rd.  Since HB is a prime example of what shouldn’t be happening but is… she wants to bring him as the poster boy if he seems strong enough to make the trip.  He won’t be taken out of his trailer.  He would attend, and hold court, in the parking lot.

Sleeping with Mom...

I will be there.  So, if HB does come up, I’ll take pics and tell you how he looks.  Remember that Honey Bandit is our Bucket Fund Baby for the month of October.  Let’s help him with his pneumonia and all the extra care and feeding that he needs on a daily basis, if you are moved to do so.

Honey Bandit... Our Bucket Fund Baby for October!

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The October Bucket Fund will benefit Honey Bandit, the most neglected BLM mustang baby who is struggling to survive.  To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate to this incredible foal,  please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)

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2 comments have been posted...

  1. Maggie

    I watched Secretariat’s races on TV and cheered him on. What a great horse. My horse (Secret Navajo Tomahawk) is a relative of Secretariat. On the top side no less. He can run like the wind. The kicker is…..he’s a big, goofy Appy, lol. Good luck to your horse, wish I could see him, he’s not far from me. About an hour.

  2. Rosemary

    I followed Secretariat and saw all of his races as a late 2 yr.old and all his 3 yr.old races. I was 17 yrs.old in 1973. My parents let me skip school to do it and I reported on it for my English and Journalism classes and grades as a senior in high school. Luckily I had a very progressive high school. Our high school marching band also represented Penna. at the Kentucky Derby Festival Parade that year which was a bonus for me. It still to this day was one of the highlights of my life and I am so glad I was able to do it. I got to be in the prescence of GREATNESS up close and personal. After his win at the Belmont I witnessed grown men most of them hardened racetrack rats,sports reporters,and spectators young and old cry. That race was and remains to this day for me anyway a day when time stood still, the air was electrified and every person who was there either already believed or knew what was about to happen and what the outcome would be.We all were humbled and in awe of what we witnessed and would likely never see again. There is a famous photo called “A Look Back” . It is shot from the home stretch as Ron Turcotte glances behind him and it shows the entire empty track. One of the sports reporters near me was yelling at his comrades “he’s running for himself, he’s seeing how fast he can really go,Ronnie’s just along for the ride ” as the Big Red horse kept finding another speed . He was running his own race that day and he did it effortlessly.

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