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March 2006

Dreamer - Inspired By a True Story

By Kam Williams

Dreamer - Inspired By a True Story

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Cast: Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Kris Kristopherson, Elisabeth Shue, & David Morse
Director: John Gatins
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Rated:
Studio: Dreamworks Video
DVD Release Date: March 21, 2006
Run Time: 106 minutes
Rating: PG for a mild epithet.
DVD Features:
- Available Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
- Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Commentary by director John Gatnis
- "Who is Mariah's Storm" featurette
- "Filming With Horses" featurette
- "How to Groom a Horse" featurette
- "Meet the Dreamer Cast" featurette
- Deleted scenes
- Music video
- Commentary by director John Gatnis
- "Who is Mariah's Storm" featurette
- "Filming With Horses" featurette
- "How to Groom a Horse" featurette
- "Meet the Dreamer Cast" featurette
- Deleted scenes
- Music video
- Commentary by director John Gatnis
- "Who is Mariah's Storm" featurette
- "Filming With Horses" featurette
- "How to Groom a Horse" featurette
- "Meet the Dreamer Cast" featurette
- Deleted scenes
- Music video
   
   

Despite the transparent trajectory and unabashed sentimentality of a formulaic plotline, Dreamer is still a delight likely to enthrall young and old alike. Similar to Seabiscuit, the story recounts the exploits of a long shot turned into a horseracing legend with the help of rag-tag team of unheralded handlers who refuse to give up on each other or their beloved underdog. The movie is based on the adventures of Mariah's Storm, a promising, two year-old which fractured her left-front, shin bone in 1993. The game filly recovered from that life-threatening injury to race again, confounding the odds-makers on her way to a Breeder's Cup showdown a couple of years later against overwhelming favorite, Serena's Song.

Dreamer features an endearing performance by pint-sized Dakota Fanning, with Kurt Russell co-starring opposite as Ben Crane, a down-on-his-luck horse whisperer who is underappreciated by his bone-headed boss (David Morse), Palmer. The tale unfolds on take your daughter to work day, when Cale (Fanning) witnesses a race which culminates in a nasty spill involving her favorite steed, Sonador. Before Palmer can put the ailing equine to sleep, precocious Cale pressures her father to intervene on Sonya's behalf, convinced that the horse can be nursed back to health.

Her father is unfairly blamed for the broken leg and fired on the spot. As for severance pay, he gets the horse, and the balance of the picture divides its time between Sonador's rehabilitation to race in the Breeder's Cup and his caretakers' well-cultivated daddy-daughter relationship. Fine, old-fashioned, family-oriented entertainment.

Excellent (3.5 stars)