DVD Review: Dreamer - Inspired By a True Story (Widescreen Edition)
Release Date: March 21, 2006
Distributor: DreamWorks Video
· John Gatins
· Kurt Russell
· Dakota Fanning
· Kris Kristofferson
· Elisabeth Shue
· Luis Guzman
· Freddy Rodriguez
· IMDb: Dreamer
· Cinema Spider: Dreamer
by R.J. Carter
Published: March 23, 2006
Ben Crane (RUSSELL, "Poseidon") is a horse trainer for a real jerk of an owner. When he recommends against a horse running, the owner ignores the advice. The result is that Sonador (Spanish for "Dreamer") falls, and spiral fractures her ankle. Normally, this would be cause to put a horse down, but Ben is reluctant to do it right away, since his daughter Cale (FANNING, "War of the Worlds", "Coraline") has accompanied him to the track this day. An argument ensues, and Crane is fired. As part of his payout, he demands the horse and gets her.
The idea is to nurse Sonador back to health in order to breed her -- she is a champion thoroughbred, after all, even if she can't run. But even the most generous of discounts makes for a stud fee that's higher than Crane can afford. Crane's father (KRISTOFFERSON) steps in to help financially, which provides the first move either of the Crane men have made to heal a long-standing rift between them.
Alas, the dream is cut short before it can begin: Sonador is infertile. Crane has wasted his money and his dreams, and the only part of his farm he hasn't sold off is now being foreclosed on. When Cale overhears a distraught Ben complain to his wife that if Cale hadn't been with him that day he'd have put the horse down and still had his job, it drives her to run away with Sonador.
But when Ben walks into the barn and surprises them just as Cale has mounted, Sonador spooks -- and the race is on! Chasing after them in his truck, Ben rescues Cale from the runaway filly. And when he later has the horse examined, he finds the spiral fracture has completely healed.
Ben Crane races to catch Sonador while young Cale clings
for dear life to a Dreamer who wants to run!
He enters her in a small claim race, in which she shows. But he doesn't expect that anyone would put in a claim on a horse that broke her leg, and is shocked when Sonador is sold out from under him -- and Cale in inconsolable until he gets her back and signs 51% of the ownership over to her.
Cale is a savvy student of horse-racing for a kid. Before Ben knows what's happened, she's found a way to get Sonador qualified for the Breeders' Cup, forcing Ben to find a creative way of coming up with the $120,000 entry fee.
"Dreamer" is one of those films where you know the ending before you even put your money down for the experience. However, knowing doesn't prevent the urge to stand up and cheer in your own home as more than one dream is fulfilled in this work that is destined to become a classic for horse-lovers everywhere. With lots of heart, charm, and straightforward style, this film earns its way into the family winner's circle.
John Gatins narrates "Who is Mariah's Storm", with actual footage. Dakota Fanning joins him with the horse wranglers to show the behind-the-scenes work that was done with the several thoroughbreds that star in this film, especially the various horses that played the parts of Sonador throughout the film. After a brief introductin by the stars, viewers get a featurette that walks them through a girl's guide to grooming and caretaking of horses. The deleted scenes are shown in the same widescreen format as the film, not the oft-used full-screen cuts. Contemporary Christian singer Bethany Dillon provides the music video, "Dreamer", set to clips from the film mixed with shots of the singer performing in a stable. And, of course, there's the filmmaker's commentary track which can be turned on where Gatins walks you out of the gate all the way to the finish line.
"Who is Mariah's Storm?" (5:06)
"On the Set: Working with Thoroughbreds" (11:05)
"Taking Care of Horses" (5:35)
"Meet the 'Dreamer' Dream Cast" (17:00)
Deleted Scenes (6:07)
"Dreamer" Music Video: Bethany Dillon (3:23)
TVG: Trackside Live "Dreamer" Segment (8:56)
Previews on this disc include "Over the Hedge" and "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit". You can also select previews of "Madagascar", "Shark Tale", "Shrek 2", "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron", "Just Like Heaven", "Nanny McPhee" and "The Adventures of Brer Rabbit". The setup menu allows for audio to be set to English Dolby Digital 5.1, 2.0, or French Dolby Digital 5.1, with optional subtitles in English, French and Spanish.