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Tuesday, September 02, 2003
SEABISCUIT: A GOOD MOVIE BY A NOSE...

Seabiscuit is a good film - particularly for those peope who say they don't go to the movies anymore because, "it's all garbage." This is a film which - except for two or three profanities - has no garbage. It is good storytelling about a group of beings (three men and a horse) who each need healing and who find it through working together for a common goal. It is very well-produced with beautiful cinematography, solid performances and a well-written script. This is the rare film that I am going to recommend to my parents...enough said?

From a storytelling standpoint my primary quibble is the use of the narrator, and still photos periodically throughout the film. It feels as though the filmmakers think people are too stupid to know about the ravages of the Depression, and so have to keep interrrupting the story to give us a history lesson. I found this particular voice over artist, David McCullough, particularly distracting as it is the same fellow who was the voice of the Civil War series by Ken Burns. I kept expecting a shot of Gettysburg in between all the dustbowl remembrances.

And then, I wish the film had given us more horse time. The storylines belong almost entirely to the three fellas, with the horse losing screen time by a few lengths. I wanted more shots like one finds in Black Beauty and Black Stallion where the horse gets the close-up.

But those are just quibbles. This is a lovely, entertaining film and is a good place to land in the vast sea of cinematic medicroty which has been the summer of 2003.