Secretariat (Blu-ray)

Behind every legend lies and impossible dream. Witness the spectacular journey of an incredible horse named Secretariat and the moving story of his unlikely owner (Diane Lane), a housewife who risked everything to make him a champion.

Disney is never one to shy away from an inspirational sports story and while this doesn't live up to the magic of Miracle, it has a lot of heart and explains the struggles Penny Chenery had to endure to be a woman in a male dominate world. I'm sure there were some liberties taken with some of the facts to liven-up the story, but that's not uncommon in Hollywood. Regardless, the performances are very good, especially by Lane and John Malkovich, who plays the eccentric Canadian horse trainer.

Video Highlights

  • AVC/1080p encode on a BD-50 disc
  • Varying black levels
  • Soft focus, especially on long shots
  • Close-ups are very detailed
  • Vivid primary colors, especially in the jockey's uniforms

Audio Highlights

  • DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack
  • Reference-quality dynamics
  • Impressive bass response during the horse races
  • Powerful score
  • Intelligible dialog

This isn't one of Disney's best efforts on Blu-ray in the video department, but that is most likely due to the principal photography which appears soft and filtered. The highlight of the show is the thunderous DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track which places you right in the middle multiple horse races.

Bonus Materials(All in HD)

  • Choreographing The Races
  • A Director's Inspiration: A Conversation With The Real Penny Chenery
  • Audio Commentary by Director Randall Wallace
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary By Director Randall Wallace
  • Secretariat Multi-Angle Simulation
  • Heart of a Champion
  • Music Video

I'm always a sucker for inspirational sports stories, and this is no exception. I knew the history of the horse called Secretariat, but I didn't know the behind the scenes story that helped him become a champion. If you're looking for a good family film with a lot of entertainment and a little sports history, put this at the top of your list. Recommended.

Release Date: January 25, 2011
Studio: Disney

Movie: 8/10
Picture: 8/10
Sound: 9/10

Review System

Source
Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player

Display
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)

Electronics
Integra DTC-80.2 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 power amplifier
Belkin PVA-PF60 power conditioner

Speakers
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer

Cables
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector

Acoustical treatments from GIK Acoustics

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