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  Film Reviews: Need a Nap? Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron  

Wednesday, February 26
Need a Nap? Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
Last year, Dreamworks hit big with its first major animated film. You might remember “Shrek” provided you haven’t been in a coma the entire time. I mean that movie was funny and entertaining and even had a message about learning to love you, no matter what you looked like on the outside.

So why do they follow-up with Spirit? I understand that it had all the potential of an interesting cartoon. First, it involved horses, so you clench the under-ten female crowd right off the bat. In order to rope in the boys, you add some Indians, a little action and the US Calvary. Then, just in case you’re worried about the soccer-mom crowd, you throw in five bazillion Brian Adams songs.

Maybe it’s the Brian Adams songs. It’s a theory I’ve been mulling over, but really he’s sung theme songs for Kevin Costner’s “Robin Hood,” for “Don Juan DeMarco” and for Kiefer Sutherland’s “Three Musketeers.” The Brian Adams song stamp doesn’t exactly scream “GREAT!”

But still, this is a film about a horse played by Matt Damon. Not that the horses talk. NOOOOOOO – they do voice-over. Really, this was the thing I kept grappling with throughout the entire film. Spirit was a great wild mustang and all. I could have dealt with the horses not talking. In fact, that would have been a great thing – to capture the emotion and resolve of a wild mustang that can’t be broken through facial expression and action. But no, someone at the studio got all smart and decided voice-over would explain why the horse didn’t talk.

I guess the idea of Little Creek telling the story was simply out of the question.

I really don’t know what else to say about this film, as it fell so short of anything that it should have been. A story about one of the last of the wild mustangs as America began to build the railways that would destroy the Old West was a fantastic idea. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with what appears to be a story written over a weekend with a plot so contrived that even Evan Marriott found it to be a little too much to believe.

But at least you’ll have the Brian Adams songs.

The Usual:

What It’s Worth: You will receive many karma points for the endless viewing that young nieces, cousins and daughters insist on so they can watch the horses. In that sense, there is no way to measure its value so it must be worth nothing (I’ve gone Zen already!).

Annoying Theater Goer: We did a PPV again. Must go with dog, but annoyance of dog was slightly more pleasant than annoyance of film.

Main Reason To See This Film: You insist on seeing all Oscar-Nominated films.

Main Reason Not To See This Film: There are so many better films out there.

MPAA Rating: G

Nudity: No.

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