Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

I was able to get some shopping done yesterday. I got some tax free clothes for me and the boys. I also found one of the books I had been looking for: Mother Tongue. However, the others I had to order online. I also found two Steven Pinker books I have wanted to read: The Language Instinct and Words and Rules. I am not much of a believer in internal grammars, but I think these books are worth reading. Especially since I don’t have the brain cells to read anything more complicated right now.

I saw Seabiscuit yesterday also. I had read the book and I knew it could not possibly be as good; however, I enjoyed it very much for its own sake. B even liked it, even though he had only gone because I wanted to.
If you like stories about underdogs, this is the one for you.

A just came to see me and hug me. He always cheers me up.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 3rd, 2003 06:42 pm (UTC)
Yeah, "Seabiscuit" is great. A really well, well done film, in all aspects. So glad you got to see it and enjoy it. It's a title I'm buying when it's offered on DVD.

Although I did find some of the closeups of the jockeys, presumed to be on the horses in the races, unrealistic, but, that's probably because I've raced horses at about the same speed and under worse circumstances, and can spot the lack of realism at certain moments that the average eye wouldn't notice -- like, the unnatural bopping of the horses' heads in front of the jockeys, indicating a mechanical object rather than a live one, underneath the actor(s).

But, the film wasn't made for the critical evaluation by jockeys, I realize. It's a fine, fine film.
Aug. 3rd, 2003 06:44 pm (UTC)
P.S.: horses heads do "bop" in front of you when you jockey or otherwise race at full gallop; just that they don't "recoil" in some regulated spring action as does a mechanical object, as what was used for most of the closeups in the film.

Thought I'd explain, since I did enjoy the film quite a bit.
Aug. 3rd, 2003 06:56 pm (UTC)
What did you think of the real jockey who played George Wolf? I tried to watch his scenes to see if he rode differently from Tobey Maguire, but I couldn't tell any difference. Of course, I know nothing about riding.
Aug. 3rd, 2003 07:25 pm (UTC)
I had, and still do, my eye on that fellow because he was so immediately recognizable, and still is, as a professional jockey (the one who portrays George Wolf -- I'll get his name in a minute, since he's a famous jockey and I'm curious about his screen performance, too).

You have to understand that Tobey McGuire is a professional actor and had never ridden much of any a horse, much less to appear as a professional jockey and on a horse racing forty miles per hour or so, for hours on end (they used, I believe, something like ten horses to sub as "Seabiscuit," so the horses ridden, in reality, were numerous and not dedicated rides for the various characters).

And that, McGuire is an exceptional actor -- very intelligent -- and apparently did incredibly well at "enacting" a professional jockey, despite not being one (he underwent similar training as do those who later become professional jockeys, though, also, from what I heard and read).

He's believable as a jockey to anyone with normal viewer approach to the closeups (McGuire is), as is the professional jockey, the fellow who enacted George Wolf, as an actor (he is surprisingly great onscreen, but he also portrayed his "real life" profession, so he wasn't so much acting as he was doing what he does best, only on cue, but he still provides a very impressive screen presence, so I was impressed, I really was/am).

I was visually distracted in several of the closeups of the actual race moments, however, since I was moreorless in that moment on those horses and was acutely aware of some unreality where there was the visual assumption of reality (the unnatural headbopping of the mechanical horses in some closeups).

So, my critique is undoubtedly far more persnickity than anyone else's might be. It distracted me from the realism of the race moments to such a degree that I lost literary momentum for a few scenes and then later had to reacclimate to the story underway.

But, again, my perception's is undoubtedly different than nearly anyone else's, except, perhaps, other people who've also raced atop a horse under similar circumstances.

About that jockey who portrayed Wolf, he's got great screen presence (so does McGuire). I took one look at that jockey, however, when he was first captured on screen and from his incredible stare alone, I knew the fellow was "real" on the horse.

From the technical feat involved in this film, however, I doubt that many people could ever do as well in filming both the real and the staged race moments, as was done in this film. It's incredibly technically well done, much less well enacted. The acting talent is just great.

I diverged from your question, I realize.

Aug. 3rd, 2003 07:28 pm (UTC)

Professional Jockey, Gary Stevens, III, portrays George Woolf in "Seabiscuit"
Aug. 3rd, 2003 07:48 pm (UTC)
Any difference in riding expertise between the two individuals was well compensated by their character differences and how the story was portrayed by the director (who did a great job, no doubt about it).

And, too, that professional jockey can easily diminish or even foil his own level of expertise, intentionally, to keep in line with the character onscreen (as per what's needed to realize his character), like, say, a professional dancer can more easily appear "clumsy" and inept, even, than someone with less expertise at dancing.

Same with any athlete. 'Cause, athletics isn't acting, but some acting requires athletics.

Aug. 3rd, 2003 07:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks for all the insight! I was impressed with the riding of Tobey and the acting of Gary Stevens. Although the fact that Gary was hot did not hurt. I loved the way he could joke while he was riding. Do jockeys really talk to each other during a race?
Aug. 3rd, 2003 10:51 pm (UTC)
I've never been a paid jockey in a track race, just that I've raced thoroughbreds in both track races for sport and in steeplechase, which is the same thing (to the layperson) as a track situation, but with a lot of shrubbery and water jumps along the way (much more difficult, too, for the jockeys and the horses).

Gary, yes, is a babe. I completely agree.

About the talking, I've heard a lot of yelling and expletives by various people in races, along the lines of "get the f*** out of my face!" or many variations of the same theme.

Most jockeys keep to their goal, however, unless someone's obviously trying to run you into the rail or similar dishonorable behavior. I've never had much time for anything verbal in a race, except, maybe, "go" and, oh, yeah, "whoa."
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )