Remember that girl in middle school? No, not "One-Eyed Olivia." We're talking about the girl who owned a horse, and we're positive you remember her because she made sure everybody in fifth-period lunch heard about her damn horse at least twice a week. Perhaps not every middle school in Texas had such a fortunate brat, but we're betting that many were acquainted with such a girl whose family owned such a ranch and whose horse had such ribbons in its well-maintained mane. Bitch.
All right, fine, we were a bit jealous. Who wouldn't want to have a horse? More often than not, it's a girl's dream pet, and even the burliest guy can't deny wanting to sweep a girl off her feet while riding a stallion in that Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves style. So, sure, horses are cool, but living in suburban Dallas makes horse ownership a bit tricky, and, for most people, the daily grind makes frequent trips to a ranch in East Texas less than convenient. So how's a Dallas horse nut supposed to get a fix of equine obsession without renting The Horse Whisperer? Forget crusty old Robert Redford; head to the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History Omni Theater starting Friday to check out Horses: The Story of Equus, a large-screen dedication to the grace and nobility of horses.
The worldwide scenery and copious nature-lover scenes of Horses are held together with a plot as follows: Three horses are sold in auction on the same day, and we watch each animal's story unfold in semi-Tarantino fashion; that is, each story is repeatedly interrupted by the next, but no ears are lost. The first horse toils to gain fame as a racer. The second changes owners' hands until landing a stunt-horse gig in the movies. The third escapes from its owners and roams free in the countryside. We hoped this would be followed by, "Together, they join forces and fight crime in cybernetic armor," but no such luck. Through each story, the well-bred beasts are given the Baywatch treatment with oodles of close-up, slow-motion shots. Rednecks who think barnyard animals are "nature's candy" might get a bit too excited watching horses jaunt about in silky slow-mo on the really, really big screen, but if you're sane, you'll appreciate the horses' grace tenfold on the über-detailed IMAX format. Heck, the horse footage was good enough for director Michael Caulfield to fall in love and purchase the three stars for his own stable. We hear McG tried to do something similar with the three stars of his Charlie's Angels remakes, but that doesn't seem as wholesome a rumor. At any rate, this movie is quite a change of pace from the usual IMAX fare of, um, flying in a helicopter above a city. If you can withstand the Incredible Journey-esque plot, you'll find a gorgeously filmed tribute to equines, and the kids'll get an educational treat between the lovely shots. Still, make sure your sons and daughters don't get too caught up in the movie. Otherwise, they might start bragging about the movie during fifth-period lunch, and then our kids will have to dump your kids in the trash can outside the cafeteria bathroom.