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on July 7, 2004
This film has many of the qualities of an epic: exceptional production values & cast that place it in the same class as "Braveheart" or "Gangs Of New York". I see no reason why it would not be appropriate for kids, either. Like "Cold Mountain", another epic, I feel this movie is meant to be enjoyed without too much analysis. I particularly enjoyed Jeff Bridges' performance, having just watched him in a very different role in "Masked and Anonymous" in which he plays a Woodstock-era reporter. His promotional tours on behalf of a Sea Biscuit-War Admiral matchup are effective. Toby McGuire is also quite good as the troubled,hard-luck jockey, blind in one eye, who spends his off hours spinning foreign tall tales with his jockey friends; so is the humorous radio reporter and also real-life jockey Gary Stevens. The movie's first hour is filled with quite a bit of Depression-era history which adds to the bravura of the film, as do the later Mexican segments. It is perhaps historically inaccurate to portray Seabiscuit as an underdog, however, he was equal in size, I have read somewhere, to War Admiral. The movie, however, emphasizes that the trainer takes hard luck cases like Seabiscuit, who was lazy, and turns them into winners. has pointed out the numerous anachronisms in the film; they claim,for example, that a statue of Seabiscuit is clearly visible in the Santa Anita Raceway segments, and that the starting gates used in most of the races are historically inaccurate ; I doubt this would be much concern to the average viewer. One possible trouble with these Hollywood epics this and the others mentioned above is that they are pure escapism, that in all likelihood the eras portrayed in these movies were not so glamorous as they are portrayed, except perhaps for a select few. You can perhaps excuse Nicole Kidman's glamourous portrayal in "Cold Mountain" because her character was from a big city--Charleston.No matter how you cut it, despite humble beginnings and even despite the tragic loss of a son, a successful racehorse owner's life is a privileged one.
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on June 28, 2004
Having read about Seabiscuit and having been a racing fan for a number of years, I thouroughly enjoyed this movie. I especially thought that Gary Stevens did a wonderful acting job. The racing scenes were quite realistic and the special effects were wonderful. I also liked the bonus features as they gave the viewer an even better idea of what racing was really like. The scenes out at the farm were beautiful and the soundtrack delightful.
If you haven't read the book, this is one of the few cases where I think it might be a better idea to see the movie and then read the book. The book is a bit more detailed and throws the reader into the era better than the movie.
This story is a bit of a fairy tale but back in the 20's and 30's, the world of racing was not like it is today. Jockeys had it really hard and some of that is lost in the translation to the screen. Even today, a jockey's life is not easy and I recommend viewing the documentary "Jockey" as a follow up to this to all interested parties.
My few complaints about "Seabiscuit" are as follows: I happened to see a scene at Santa Anita and lo and behold caught a glimpse of the statue of Seabiscuit that is really there today and wasn't when this movie takes place! I guess the average viewer wouldn't know that but it did insult the intelligence of the true fan!
Secondly, jockey's didn't ride in the same position back then as they do today. Today, the stirrups are so short as the jockey appears to sit on his heels. Back then, knees weren't bent as far, they rode more like a cowboy then a jockey. This should've been corrected as we all know that Gary Stevens could probably ride a horse in any position and do it well!
Thirdly, I didn't feel like it was in the 30's. The Sting did a much better job of giving that aura. This movie did not.
All in all, I did love it!
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on March 14, 2009
It is not only the story of this magnificient horse, it is the story of courage and determination of many persons in a very hard time of this last century.
It is a true Story and it is make you thinking on yourself too !!!
How we been react in the same situations.

Buy this will never see the horses, the same way.
I have was very interesting for me.
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The story begins by showing the American dream. Henry Ford is building cars and inventing the assembly line. It appears that prosperity is something everyone can achieve and optimism is high. Then, the depression hits. Where people once owned cars for pleasure and convenience, for some, their car may be their only remaining possession.

Charles Howard (Bridges) is a man who started with 21 cents in his pocket and turned it into what most would consider a successful business. He owns a big house and his wife and son seem to be happy. That changes in an instant the day his young son decides to take the car for a spin and ends up being killed in the resulting crash. Howard's wife leaves and he's left behind to rebuild his life.

This is the story of unlikely success and second chances. Howard finds new love when he encounters Marcela (Elizabeth Banks) and eventually remarries. He also decides to invest in a horse. His trainer is Tom Smith (Cooper), who has been written off as crazy by most people. His jockey is Red Pollard (Maguire), who has a temper, a history of losing, and has never been considered good at what he does. Howard spends $2,000 on Seabiscuit. The horse has good breeding, but is undersized, apparently lazy, and not likely to become a winner.

Each of these damaged characters gets a second chance in life. We see Smith training Seabiscuit. The horse is unruly and will only let Pollard ride him. Howard knows nothing about racing, but he's a loyal owner and believes in his team of misfits.

As you can see, there's nothing remarkable about the story so far. But something makes us root for Seabiscuit. The race sequences place the viewer right among the action. It looks and sounds so real that you'll feel as if you are riding one of the horses.

The live action is broken up occasionally with black and white photographs depicting people who grew up in this era. It made me think of people no longer with us. They all had lives, hopes and dreams. You can see some of that optimism in their smiles.

The film is good at a making you reflect on the past. One major story thread involves Howard's attempts to set up a match race with Triple Crown winner War Admiral. People desperately want to see the two meet, but War Admiral's owner is against the idea and doesn't consider the challenge worthy.

The film leaves out a lot of historical details and focuses on a few races rather than Seabiscuit's entire career. As a result, some of the events did not occur exactly as suggested. But it doesn't ruin the story if you watch it without knowing the full history.

I won't reveal any more of the plot. The acting is very good, as you would expect from actors of this quality. Bridges and Cooper are particularly effective. If you avoid films about animals because you don't like to see them get hurt, no horses die at any point. Two suffer injuries, but it's essential to the plot and ends happily.

Seabiscuit captured the nation's imagination in the 1930s and represented hope when people needed it most. The story is inspirational and is one of the best sports films I've seen. Any Oscar hopes were crushed by Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, but it was nominated in seven categories.
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on May 3, 2004
MOVIE REVIEW: When this came out, my Mom really wanted to see it. I on the other hand did not, but being the nice son I am I took her to see it... Man I am glad I did!
Taking place through about twenty years, Seabiscuit tell the true story of finding hope in the least of all places. Jeff Bridges plays Charles Howard who made his riches off the automobiles before the great depression. Tobey Maguire plays Red Pollard, a jockey seperated from his parents ate the age of 15. And last Chris Cooper plays Tom Smith(he is the only character that did not loose money or family due to the depression) he lost his happyness when roads took over the plains of the west. The First act of the movie shows these three characters lives, and how they all meet. The second act shows the underdog seabiscuit rise to fame, through thick and thin.
This is a story of a broken down horse fixing the lives of three broken down men. It is one of the best movies of 2003, that will inspire you to achieve more in life. I highly recommend this movie. I rate it 5 out of 5.
VIDEO REVIEW: Presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, the colers and details are perfect. The way DVD's are meant to look(note I took off a 1/2 point because their were 2 sparts where th backround blurred, these scenes were quick and harly noticable). I Rate it 4 1/2 out of 5.
SOUND/AUDIO: The dvd only features Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. It sound great but the omit of the DTS track drags the points down. I rate this 4 out of 5.
Extras: First off, I think, the packaging is one of the best in dvd history. You get a 35 pg booklet, with a nice 2 disk set holder, with 4 cards inside it. The case is real hard cardboard feeling(wont bend easily, thats real good). As for the extras their are alot, but only two must haves. The commentary is excellent, and the true story of seabiscuit is fantastic. All the others kinda seem all similar. All in all its a good mix off extras. I Rate this 4 our of 5.
OVERALL: Since Amazon can not show halfs, I will rate this 4 out of 5, However I rate this 4 1/2 out of 5. You should definitly watch it.
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on March 6, 2004
When I first saw the previews I knew I had to see the movie. I was not disappointed. In fact it was the greatest movie I had ever seen. Period pieces such as the Great Depression is not an easy thing to capture. The filmakers did an awesome job with this film about a racehorse who may have been smaller than most thoroughbreds but still had a strong heart. Seabiscuit was the shining light during an era of sadness for many. This little horse became a hero in history.
Tobey Maguire did a terrific job in the role of Red Pollard who may have been blind in one eye but he still did not let that stop him from competing. When paired with Seabiscuit the two helped each other through their limitations and the two shared a very special bond. Man and horse became not just a team but friends as well. In my mind Maguire should have gotten an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
Jeff Bridges also did a great job as Charles Howard who accepted Pollard's and Seabiscuit's limitations and believed in them. Bridges showed Howard as a compassionate man with a kind heart despite some of the setbacks in his own life.
Chris Cooper also did a good job as Tom Smith the horse whispering trainer who was a bit tough but also had a great belief in Seabiscuit. Smith was unconventional when it came to horses. He didn't believe in lives being thrown away and had a gentle way with horses which Cooper seemed to show.
Though he wasn't in every seen, Gary Stevens also did a fine job as Pollard's friend and fellow jockey George "The Iceman" Woolf. For those who don't know, Gary Stevens is a real jockey. In fact a Hall of Fame award winning Jockey. Stevens was probably the only one who really could play Woolf so it was a smart move to have him in the film.
Lastly, we get to William H. Macy who played the outlandish, comical radio host "Tick-Tock" McGlaughlin. Though he was the only character in the movie who was not based on a real person, director Gary Ross definately wrote this with role with Macy in mind and it was a good fit.
In my mind, the Oscar for Best Picture should have gone to Seabiscuit and it should have gotten wins in the other categories it was nominated in. Forget Lord Of The Rings: ROTK! Seabiscuit was an even greater movie and a must buy. I bought the DVD and it was money well spent. Definately this was a 5 star film with a great cast, sound, costumes, and all the other ingredients that went into it. It beats all the other films out there by a great many furlongs!
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on March 6, 2004
Three men and a horse, all born with incredible talent and Heart, (with a capital "H"), and all hit by life's hard knocks, prove that indomitable spirit can overcome crippling odds. Real winners may just be losers in disguise, looking for the opportunity to overcome adversity and show their true colors.
This actual story of the race horse Seabiscuit and his owner, trainer, and jockey is set against the background of the Great Depression. It is the ultimate feel-good movie. Film writer-director Gary Ross effectively portrays how the actual Seabiscuit and his saga had a galvanizing effect on America's "everyman," hit hard by hard times, as the down-and-out racehorse became the hopeful parable for their lives. Many of the film's scenes are juxtaposed with black and white still shots taken during the depression era, beautifully illustrating the period, and the tone of the characters. The use of a narrator also lends an air of documentary authenticity to many of the newsreel-like sequences.
The cast is excellent. Toby Maguire shines, as usual, in his role as the bruised but not beaten jockey "Red" Pollard. Tom Smith is wonderful as Seabiscuit's enigmatic horse trainer. Mr. Smith's lines may be few but he lends an extraordinary presence to the role and the movie. Wealthy and successful businessman Charles Howard, played by Jeff Bridges, is a man with vision who pulled himself up by his bootstraps only to be thrown by personal tragedy. He bought a loosing horse on the word of a down-and-out trainer and hired a half blind jockey to race him. These characters become inextricably bound as, together, they undergo the journey of a lifetime. William H. Macy, as the fast talkin' radio tipster, and his blonde female sidekick, are show stealers.
Seabiscuit somehow manages to avoid lapses into corniness, and against all odds, an equestrian film about an undersized, bad-tempered horse goes for the money and competes successfully with some of the years best films. Highly recommended!
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on February 29, 2004
Although I like horses, and have been to a few local horse races, neither are subjects I'm particularly exited about.
As a voracious reader, the book held little or no interest to me. But my husband saw the movie when he was out of town, loved it and highly recommended it.
I first bought the book and had barely started it - but was enjoying it - when the opportunity came for me to buy the DVD. We are in our mid 50s and are not ones to watch TV late at night. We are also not huge movie-goers or renters. We put this in at midnight and I was completely enthralled from the beginning. Not only that but afterwards we were wanted to know more and watched several of the bonus features, finally giving up and going to bed at 3:00 AM.
This was such an enjoyable movie - one about second chances not only for a broken horse but for three broken men. I highly recommend this movie especially for those who are tired of the sex and violence which sweem to run rampant in many films today. I am now off to finish reading the book.
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on January 22, 2004
I did not want to watch this movie. I mean an old story about some horse? Didn't sound like my kind of movie. But it was a family gathering and I would have been considered rude if I had left, so I stayed and reluctantly started watching.
WOW...I am so glad that I did. This story of a heartbroken (rich) father, an excentric horse trainer, a lonely but persistent jockey and Seabiscuit (the little horse that could), will break your heart first and then raise your spirits! Even if you don't consider yourself a history buff, and you don't like horses, by the end of this movie you will be at the edge of your seat yelling "GO SEABISCUIT GO!!!" I don't know quite how they did it, but this movie will reel you in.
Perhaps it is Tobey Maguire and his beautiful smile and incredible acting. He makes you feel lonely, and hurt and skeptical, but then courageous and hopeful and brave!
Or maybe it's the way Jeff Bridges plays the heartfelt, nice "father figure" who never gives up on Seabiscuit or Maguire. Whatever it is , it works.
Watch this movie, you will love it!
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on January 20, 2004
Laura Hillenbrand's book "Seabiscuit" is a story of men and animals rising to the top. They overcame odds,obstacles, and enemies to become champions in their time. Charles howard started out as a bicycle salesman and rises to the top of the Buick Automtive company. Tom Smith goes from a broke traveling horse trainer living in stalls to a world class trainer living in the lap of luxary. Red pollard is a broke, lonely, struggling jockey, but becomes a famous rider later on in life. Seabiscuit is an out-of-control stakes horse, but becomes one of the most famous and lucrative horses of all.
All these individuals had the odds stacked against them. They worked hard and never gave up, even when things looked grim. Everyone doubted them because things never seemed to go right for them. Injuries, weather, and weight made other doubt these individuals even more. Team Seabiscuit was an underdog; they took their blows and kept going. Thin was the "American Dream", picking yourself up and rising to the top. They went through a trial-by-fire and thrugh that fire was made a champion.
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