I didn't keep the original e-mail regarding the screening, but in the follow-up, they never mentioned doing any sort of review. Still, it only seems fair to write a few thoughts on the film since they (and Disney) were kind enough to hook me up with a night out.
I don't know if you could call this a compensated review or not, so, umm...insert disclaimer type language here, please. Cheers.
Mum drove down to watch the Evil Genius for us so Someone and I could have a Real! Grown Up! Date! Our second in fact. Um...are we going about this backwards, what with shacking up and getting knocked up before we started dating?
Whatever...on with the show...
We got to the theater rather early and wound up close to the head of the line. If you've never done one of these pre-screening/review screening things, a bit of advice - get there early. They always promise more passes than they have seats for so they're guaranteed a full theater. We were close enough to the head of the line that we got seats right where
Once we had our seats, I wandered to the concession stand and procured popcorn and drinks for a small fortune. Good thing the movie was free or I'd have had to take out a loan! What's in that popcorn, gold??
M'kay, I'll spare you my thoughts on the crowded theater...except to say the crowd was quite well behaved and no one smelled bad.
There's not much risk of spoiling the plot...the story's a matter of history. If you didn't know Secretariat won the Triple Crown, well...now you do.
Also, I called one facet while waiting in the concession line - it's a Disney film, so somebody's mother will be dead in the first ten minutes. I don't know why they do that, but it's almost a sure thing...someone's snuffing it in either the first or the last ten minutes in just about everything Disney's touched in the last decade or so.
I thought the writing was well done - good character development, especially the equine characters, without being overblown. You know it's well written when the story's a foregone conclusion and you still find yourself rooting for the horse and offering up an atta-girl to the owner. Good set/prop continuity, keeping true to the time period. Some pretty nifty camera work, with some interesting shots from between horses' ears and hooves and some lovely race scenes.
It won't be one of the mega-blockbusters of the season, but it should do solidly well. It has what a movie needs...good writing, good acting, an interesting story, a bit of humor, and a happy (if not surprising) ending.
I've decided that I wouldn't have been disappointed had I spent actual money on tickets...which, if you ever went to a movie with me you'd know, is high praise indeed. If you're looking to be entertained without any violence, bloodhsed, or general mayhen, Secretariat is a good candidate. I'll go with you if you're buying...