EV @ The Movies: Seabiscuit

This past Friday, my girlfriend went to see Seabiscuit, a movie about some kind of horse who was ridden by Tobey Maguire. Although I did not attend the showing with her, I feel that since she is my girlfriend and she witnessed the movie, it qualifies me to review the movie by default. Let's begin.

Apparently, this movie was based on a true story, and takes place during the time period in which Tobey Maguire was a champion horse rider. He was coached by Jeff Bridges, who in the movie can talk to horses using his special "mind meld" technique. This is the secret key to Tobey's success, and is also very neat to watch, as the film-makers conveyed the effect with 3D computer graphics and bullet time.

Anyway, the movie begins with Tobey and his wonderful horse Seabiscuit winning yet another race thanks to Jeff Bridges telling the horse to do so. But tragedy soon besets the team when Bridges is killed by a rival horse, who he tried to tell what really goes into dog food. This sets up the movie's main plot -- Tobey must avenge the death of his friend with Seabiscuit, while also looking deep within himself to discover his own soul, or whatever.

After that, the movie gets fairly boring; most of the scenes consist of Tobey saying, "Okay, we are going to race now, Seabiscuit," and Seabiscuit saying, "Okay, sounds like a plan." Seabiscuit cannot actually talk to Tobey Maguire, which was something only Jeff Bridges could do after a mysterious shaman put a magical curse on him (this happened in a series of flashbacks in the middle of the film) but they can practially talk due to their special bond and the nature of teamwork. Though they cannot actually talk, though, they still manage to win races, especially after Maguire is given his Spiderman suit, and is thus able to propel himself and Seabiscuit ahead of the other horses by shooting webs.

Finally, after much racing and kissing some girl upside-down, Tobey Maguire and Seabiscuit are ready to battle their main enemy, the horse who ate Jeff Bridges...Mr. Samson! The set-up to the race is very cool, with Maguire saying, "You're going down, Samson!" and Samson responding by saying, "I don't think so, Tobey Ma-loser!" As he says this, the camera zooms in on his mouth, which becomes rendered in 3D computer graphics. Then, the race is on!

I must admit, even though much of this movie bored me up to this point (had I seen it), the final race was exciting. Tobey Maguire and his horse what's-his-name started off like they always do, with Maguire blasting out webs from here until next Tuesday. But they were not aware of Mr. Samson's secret power, which is that he is actually a cyborg horse from the future! Consequently, his tail lifts up to expose a rocket coming out of his ass, which propels him to speeds unreachable by Tobey and Seabiscuit. Tobey trys bravely to attach on to Mr. Sampson with a web, but Mr. Samson goes so fast that the web pulls out of Tobey Maguire, and since Spiderman's webs are attached to his brain stem, he dies instantly. Seabiscuit also died too for some reason.

Shortly after this, the movie ended with a shot of the dog food factory and Mr. Sampson laughing manically, leaving room for a sequel. But though the makers were smart enough to build this open-endedness in, I am not sure how it would work, unless maybe the dog food could be spilled over Jeff Bridges' grave and seep down into the earth where his corpse is, and a little would get in his nose and remind him of Seabiscuit, and he would come back to life, and race Mr. Sampson as a zombie riding the ghost of Seabiscuit. But until that movie is made, we have to settle for this one, which was pretty shitty. Not recommended.

Overall Rating: F+

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