Secretariat (BLU-RAY)


On Blu-Ray: 
Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Triple Crown trophy seen after the 3rd race is the actual trophy, not a replica. It was loaned to the production by the Kentucky Derby Museum, and was human-accompanied on the trip from museum to film set and back.

When Secretariat opened in theaters the first thing that popped into my head was Seabiscuit and right away I lost interest. From my perspective the films advertising campaign made the film look like yet another well moneyed character who takes a gamble on a 50/50 venture that could end in bankruptcy and put their children and marriage in shambles. In other words,  the advertising for this film was pretty poor. I reluctantly put the film into my Blu-Ray player and sat back expecting nothing only to find myself standing and clapping and hooting as Secretariat grabbed his first win on the track. Diane Lane’s portrayal of Penny (Chenery) Tweedy is tough yet vulnerable as she takes on the world, that includes both her husband and her brother. The film manages to carry both the story of a woman competing in a mostly all male business as well as a few choice character studies while remaining humbly formulaic and inspiring. I didn’t expect to like this film but by the time it was over I discovered that I loved this film.

For the most part Secretariat is a wonderful looking film. There are some minor hiccups in the presentation such as some soft spots that reveal a bit of grain and loss of definition. These are mostly wide out exterior shots that creep up every so often lasting just under a minute or so but not so often it takes away much from the overall quality of the film. Black levels, especially during low lit scenes in the film have issues such as a slightly red skin pigmentation, halos, and grain. While this may sound like a lot these issues are few and far between, when they do pop up, which lasts between a minute or two if that. The film has that freshly crept out of the theater look you’d expect on Blu-Ray offering up great clarity, vibrant color, and sharp definition. Audio is magnificently presented in a DTS-HD MA 5.1 that truly puts you in the middle of all the action offering up clear pathways for dialogue, music, and ambient sound.

Kudos to Disney for offering up a fantastic supplemental package for the film that is presented wholly in HD. Just under an hours worth of bonus features which include Director commentary is great. Other features include:

~Choreographing the Races - Discover How the Filmmakers Used Innovative Technology To Re-Create Breathtaking Races From Days Gone By.
~A Director's Inspiration: A Conversation With The Real Penny Chenery - Randall Wallace Sits Down With Secretariat's Owner As She Shares Astonishing True Stories.
~Secretariat Multi-Angle Simulation - Relieve Secretariat's Triumphant 1973 Preakness Run From Numerous Perspectives.
~Heart of A Champion - An Inside Look At Secretariat, One of the Most Famous Thoroughbred Horses Ever Known.
~Music Video - It's Who You Are by AJ Michalka.
~4 Additional Deleted Scenes.


AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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