Feb 9, 2011
The Wild Stallion
Apparently this movie was ready for theatrical release in 2006, but someone realized that it was horrible and therefore shelved it for direct to DVD release in 2009. I'm fairly positive this movie insults the intelligence of eleven-year-old girls everywhere.
It starts off with Hanna talking about the majesty of wild horses and so forth, which naturally degenerates into a love letter to a wild black stallion who is myth, ghost, or possibly a Kentucky Derby winner named Dark Cloud who, for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, escaped a train wreck and somehow wound up in Utah. Why a Kentucky Derby winner was on a train, or near a train, or passing through Utah remains unclear.
But that's not important right now, because Hanna is talking about how she is leaving her Cleveland home for a month to take pictures of wild mustangs in Utah. Her father has some job to do and plans to dump her off with some old flame of his on the way. The old flame is Mattie, who intends to dump Hanna off on the neighbor girl, CJ. CJ is a typical country girl who, randomly enough, is a fan of etymology.
Enter secondary plot line! Morgan, the deputy sheriff, is illegally rounding up wild horses for some guy named Novak. At one point he whips out a .45 automatic, needlessly cocks it, and rides off to round up horses. Everyone's all...whoa. What the hell? Who needs a handgun to round up horses? So we're helpfully informed that Morgan clearly has anger issues and apparently shot six horses after something hit his rage button.
So, Hanna gets dumped at Mattie's ranch. The first thing Mattie does is drag her out to some field and accosts her desire to take pictures of the horses. The horses are special! Just who the hell is she with her camera and her youthful ignorance/vigor or whatever! Mattie wants to see your portfolio! And the thing of it is, Hanna has a portfolio and she just whips it out of her backpack and hands it over for Mattie's criticism, which she gives her unflinchingly. It was amazing. Mattie scoffs at the pictures and says that there's nothing alive in these photos! They are lonely and boring! Explain yourself!
Perhaps not shockingly, all the photos are these glistening black and white urban landscapes that no eleven-year-old would ever appreciate, much less be able to compose or develop. That was hilarious in itself, but then Mattie keeps haranguing Hanna for some deeper meaning for her wild horse picture taking and finally Hanna's like, "DUDE, I just want to take some pictures."
But that's not all. About five minutes later, while sitting on the porch with CJ, Mattie starts in on her secrets that may or may not involve hampering the federal government's attempts to round up the wild horses. And she's all, "NOW YOU KNOW MY SECRETS. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE GRAVITY OF THIS?" Then she finally lets CJ show poor Hanna where her room is.
Eventually CJ and Hanna finally go out to take a look at the horses, during which there's this weird conversation about shooting film versus digital (I cannot believe this is happening) and the black stallion pops out of nowhere. So pictures commence and they run back to tell Mattie about it and she classically overreacts. The stallion is worth more than...every wild horse put together! And all the gold in the world! And every abstract meaning and moral you can apply to the wilderness! Not even that! He's worth more than those things! All of them! Combined! And then she orders Hanna to not develop her film, because lord knows someone is going to see it and run off to catch the stallion because he is this super special.
Meanwhile, two ranch workers are diligently tormenting the ranch cook. I don't know why there was a ranch cook, but I mainly saw their antics as very odd attempts at flirting.
So, Novak decides he wants Morgan to take his 45 automatic and go round up the black stallion. Because his company is testing drugs on wild horses (yes, really) and he'd really like the black stallion to stand as the symbol for this company. I'm pretty sure he didn't get the irony in this, but I'm sure if this had happened in the real world people would be mocking him for his stupidity right about now.
Blah, blah, blah. The girls somewhat tame the black stallion by tying carrots in trees, which is at least a new approach to gentling a wild stallion in five minutes. I'm pretty sure there was a daring rescue at some point...I kind of started zoning out. Then everyone got what was coming to them, the black stallion ran off free and wild, and Hanna's dad came back to ferry her to Cleveland.