Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Movie Stills

One of the roles that made Arnold Schwarzenegger so famous is now being taken over by an unknown, Jason Momoa. The film is set to be released 2011, and is plotted to be about Conan and his trek across Hyboria to avenge the death of his father. Typical story, but looks like some killer horses. I remember Conan the Barbarian as a very animal packed movie, so hopefully this will be the same and hopefully more horses.

The film is directed by Marcus Nispel who directed the Pathfinder which has one of my favorite rearing scene.

Movie Review


The grotesque and brutal film about a roman solders Centurion Quintus Dias struggles to get out from behind enemy lines, while being chased by the Picts, a nomad clan. The Picts have been taking out Roman soldiers one by one. Quintus escape puts him under the command of General Titus Flavius Virilus played by Dominique West (300, 28Days, Mona Lisa Smile) to once again go back after the Picts. The Picts are a savage bevy of people, that are expert trackers. When betrayal becomes a key character in the film it puts Quintus again back behind enemy lines, but now he is accompanied by 6 other men. The film traces these men and their journey to survive the harsh winter of the Scottish highlands and the Picts close on their tails.

Its a graphic film with lots of blood and epic battle scenes. The Roman soldiers on the run are on foot, but the Pict Warriors are on horse. The horses are all of some draft type. Very Scottish breeds, but what I really liked about the look of the horses was that they had that tether worn look. You know you have seen these films that have these beautiful Friesians and other majestic horses that we all love to see, but they look like they have gone through the grooming works. These horses are supposed to be in battle living in the woods. Most movies make the horses look so good you could lick whip cream off their neck. Not these horses they had full on winter coats and were dirty, it was very actual. In the film actress Olga Kurylenko plays Etain the betrayer and antagonist in the film. You have seen Olga in films like Hitman and she was the Bond girl in Quantum of Solace. She rides and fights in the film, however nothing too daring. She had some ample fight scenes, but on horse I was not too impressed. She rode a white draft looking horse, that probably could of been a Lipizzaner. He looked very lazy to me. The Roman soldiers of course rode the more sophisticated horses compared to the Picts. In the first battle scenes where there is a Pictish raid on the Romans, some of the actors that played roman soldiers where holding the horses in the scene while the key actors performed. I frown on stuff like that, because being in the business horse and riders are very capable of this. I can't say for sure but I'm sure there is a reason for the action.

The Film was directed by Neil Marshall who also brought you Doomsday and The Descent. The character of Centurion Quintus Dias is played by Michael Fassbender. You have seen him in films like in Inglourious Basterds as Lt. Archie Hicox, and 300. His next move is the young Magneto in X-Men: First Class.

I give it 2 1/2 hoofbeats. Go check it out!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Production Stills

Check out these new stills from the much awaited film Secretariat

Friday, August 6, 2010

Films in Production


Harbor Mist is becoming quite the star and has been on rising career high with in the last two years. Harbor Mist formally known as Mr.T is the star of the upcoming film Secretariat and played the race filly in Dreamer and has had many supporting roles. Rex Peterson is the Clint Eastwood of Hollywood's horse trainers and is Mr. T's owner and trainer. Rex and Mr.T are now working on a new film called Arthur, which is a remake of the 1981 film starring Dudley Moore and Jill Eikenberry. The film tells the story of a drunken billionaire playboy arranged to marry a wealthy heiress. The remake will star the beautiful and talented Jennifer Garner and the hilarious Russell Brand.

Harbor Mist has been on a role this last year really kicking it into high gear. Although Harbor Mist is a kick ass horse, he's no super horse and there are times where he needs a double. What most film makers and other people don't know is that horses need doubles too. Lizard is Mr.T's double and looks identical to him. The horse even fooled the script supervisor into thinking that Lizard was the hero horse. The picture shows the two stunt riders for the two actors on Lizard running the scene. Rex and the two horses have been filming for two days and the two horses alternated through out the days.
Jennifer is a naturally talented rider Rex commented. She was able to walk, trot, and canter with much control. The one problem however was her wardrobe. She had high heels on and Morgan Le Fay gown, which made it a little difficult, but Garner is a very athletic and talented person so she handled it with much ease.

The movie is set to release next year. Its directed by Jason Winer, who has had his directing chops in some popular TV shows like Modern Family and Samantha Who.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Up Coming Films

War Horse the movie

Steven Spielberg is the top dog in Hollywood making some of the most memorable and amazing movies of all time. His movies touched me as a child all the way from ET to Indiana Jones. Spielberg is back in the studio working on his next project that just happens to be about horses. I am so excited about this film, but I'm curious to see how it pans out. There has been the typical background horses in his film and of course the beautiful sequence in the Indiana Jones the Last Crusader where Harrison Ford rides the black horse along side the tank, but he has never done a horse film.

Spielberg is planning to bring War Horse the story about a boy and his young horse who is sent off to the Calvary in world war I. War Horse is the novel by Michael Morpurgo, and was adapted into the inspiring and heartbreaking London Play by Nick Stafford.

The play uses remarkably true to life puppets while the actors ride and perform with them. The play will becoming to Broadway in March next year with the film following close behind it. The movie will start principle photography soon. The story follows young Albert played by unknown Jeremy Irvine who travels to France to find his beloved horse that was sold to the Calvary to fight in World War I. Its a story of friendship, bravery, and a bond between a boy and his horse.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Movie Posters

Check out the new poster for Disney's Secretariat

Staring Harbors Mist, who starred in Dreamer as Sonador and made an appearance in Temple Grandin, will now play the amazing and legendary Secretariat. Harbor Mist is a 12 year old Thoroughbred owned and trained by Hollywood's A-list trainer Rex Peterson.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Best Animated Horses

Horses in films don't always consist of real flesh and blood, some of the best horses come as animated ones. Some of my favorites are listed below.
How could I not mention My Little Pony's. They're the greatest animated horse stars of all time.

The Hunchback of Norte Dame has Achilles, Phoebes horse. Achilles might be the horse star in the film, but Frollo's horse who's name is never mention, but in the commentary it's snowball, is a big black friesian. One of the greatest one liners is when Phoebes walks off screen and says " Achilles, heel. " Great!

The Last Unicorn is one of the films that is not from Disney, but is one of my favorites.

Hercules along with the Last Unicorn hold the title for mystical horses. Pegasus is Hercules right hand partner, and one of the best in Disney history.

Sampson in Sleeping Beauty helped the prince rescue the beautiful Aurora, while also being the stubborn old nag.

I couldn't leave out Bullet in Toy Story. Great Pixar horse.

Mulan and Kahn are a great team. Kahn is of course one of my favorites, well because he's black. Softy for blacks.

The Road to Eldorado has one of the forgotten animated horses. Altivo was Cortez horse, and walks of the ship in quite a cartoon frame then relaxes when he joins the two adventurers to find gold.

Last but not least, the all time best animated horse film of all time is Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron. Spirit embodied the true mustang, and the livelyhood of the wild horse. Narrated by Matt Damon and music by Bryan Adams, made a great film.

Let me know what your favorites are!!!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

LOST Question

My Only Unanswered LOST Question
(of course it has to do with a horse)

LOST is over and I'm truly devastated. Although all my questions about the entire show were answered I did however have one burning question. Who and where do that black horse come from. I have concluded my own explanation for it, but I guess I will never know the truth.

If your not a Lost fan then it is hard for you to even comprehend why I would desperately want to know this, and you will probably not really understand what I'm about to say.

Kate in one of the seasons is picking fruit in a tree when she looks up there is a black horse just standing there. This leads into one of the flashbacks showing her getting arrested, then the black horse is in the middle of the road causing The Marshall to swerve and she then escapes. Now when I thought that the horse on the island was a complete ma raze for her, Sawyer shows up and can also see the horse. Now since that episode the black horse never showed up again, and of course they didn't address it in the finale.

My conclusion is, like every other scenario on this island it just happened to be a coincidence. The man that worked for Dharma at the out post house had animals, he also had a little sorrel horse, so my only conclusion is that the horse came from there. But man what a gorgeous horse, I love the above picture of him with Kate. The horses name is Pearl, and lives in Hawaii. If you watch this episode, watch for the trainers hand in the top right hand side of the screen. Oops!

I guess this is something I will never know. Tell me what you guys think.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Brego Legendary Lord of the Rings Star undergoes Colic Surgery

Viggo Mortensen beloved pet and co-star was rushed to the Massey University Equine Hospital in New Zealand last week to have emergency Colic surgery. Veterinarian Ray Lenaghan, who is Brego AKA Uraeus caretaker and was also one of the accredited Vets on the Lord of the Ring Films, noticed the 22year old Dutch warmblood Stallion wasn't feeling well. While Viggo is off filming his movie Ray cares for the Horses and he noticed that Uraeus wasn't feeling well.

The horse turned out to have a tear in his bowel, which was making him very uncomfortable. Doctor and specialist Frederik Pauwels did a mid-line incision to find his small intestine to have a tear in his gut. They removed more then six feet of intestine to repair it. With a month of stall rest Uraeus will be fine.

Uraeus is a former sport horse sire and FEI-level dressage horse ridden by the late Lockie Richards. As most everyone knows Viggo purchased Uraeus who plays Brego and Kenny, the horse who played Hasufel. The two horses live with Ray and his wife Jane Abbott (who was Liz Tyler's stunt double on the white Lipizzaner) in New Zealand.



Based on the legendary Graphic novel of the mysterious Jonah Hex. The movie centers around a last resort gunslingin bounty hunter, who has been given an ultimatum that he can't refuse. His life and history as it appears is dipped with myth and legend. his only real human connestion is with the beautiful Megan Fox who plays the brothel, ass kickin chick, who has a history of scars as well.

You will expect tons of western horses in this film, but not your typical western with cowboys and Indians. Jonah Hex has a way of doing things and they aren't your everyday pistol shooting Cowboy. Head Horse Wrangler is the ledgenary Rusty Hendrickson. He has worked on a multitude of horse films all the way from Dances with Wolves to Seabiscuit. Look forward to a unique comic book western.

The Eagle of the Ninth
This is a film that I'm really excited for. Based on the novel of the same name, set in the dangerous world of second-century Britain. 20 years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire Ninth Legion in the Scotland Mountains, Marcus Aquila played by Channing Tatum, goes to solve this mysterious disappearance. His Father was the commander of the Ninth, so it seems to be more of a personal mission. This is a mission/journey film as Roman Knights enter into a world of savage tribes.

As horses go I have only heard of a little on the film, but there will be some fight scenes, and Channing will be riding and fighting. How I feel about that is undetermined. Until I see him I will not put it past him on his capability on riding, so we'll see.


Review coming soon

Will it disappoint?

Will Jake Gyllenhaal Delivery as an Equestrian?

Will the Black Friesian Measure up to the amazing Bucephalas?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Horse Film Review

Robin Hood
Vehicle Film

I'm going to say up front before I continue with the horse part of it and regardless of what the critics say this was a fantastic film. Coming from a film horse trainer and a script supervisor, I fell in love with it. Ridley Scott is a superb filmmaker, and painted a masterpiece with this film. Yes his other film are better, but man putting Russel Crowe on a horse is never a bad thing.

His masterpiece of course for me starts with the amazing equines in the film. This is not your typical Mythical Robin Hood story, its a real dictation of England and France and the altercations between them and how one man named Robin Longstride, formally known as Robin from the Hood, captivates his people and charges into battle with the men that stay loyal to him. Of course I believe European Films have some of the most beautiful horses, and of course Robin Hood should be a film carried by its horses.

Russel Crowe rides a beautiful Lipizzaner horse, from what I saw was played by 3 very specific and similar horses. I dab Russel Crowe one of the top riders in the film industry. He took my breath away literally...amazing ability. For those of us that do ride you might think that swinging a sword and holding a shield and having over 100 pounds of armour looks like an easy thing, well its completely not. Working with some of the top horse trainers in the film industry, they say its one of the hardest things to teach and only the truly talented can pull it off.

The lead white Lipizzaner was not the only stead to carry the film. Robin rides with three other guys played by Scott Grimes(ER) and Alan Doyle. The two of them rode two very exquisite Friesians. Little John played by a very funny actor Kevin Duran(LOST, 3:10 to Yuma) rides a buckskin Andalusian looking horse. In the beginning of the film the White Lipizzaner who belongs to King Richard runs free through the woods. I believe that this is not the hero horse (hero in film terms means the main horse or object used) that Russell uses, due to the smaller frame, he was basically the Liberty horse. Godfrey played by actor Mark Strong seen in films like Sherlock Holmes, The Young Victoria, and Stardust rides a beautiful Black Andalusian. He is a small horse but has some great shoots in the film. Mark Strong is also a good rider, and delivers a great performance as always. Of course there is the beautiful maid Marian played by the amazing Kate Blanchett, who Ridley displays as a hard working naturally beautiful women. She rides a very large bay Hanoverian looking guy, him and Kate looked great together.

Some scenes to watch for are of course the epic battle scene on the beach, but they have the French ships that invade the English shoreline and one of the ships has the soldiers and their horses. The camera gets low and shoots the horse jumping from the ships onto the ramp and into the water, it was such a cool shot. I really enjoyed a scene with actor William Hurt who works with a bay/brown Andalusian working with some different classical dressage moves. This is a very refined scene.

You can't make a medieval epic film that doesn't have some statuesque horses, its a given, but this one has moved up to one of my all time favorites. The actors delivered amazing riding abilities, the horses hit there marks and the tack and scenery looked stunning.

Check out more on the other animals in the film at Animals in Cinema

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Robin Hood countdown

On the heels of Robin Hood I thought I would bring you some of my favorite Knights and their trusty Steed's. Ridley Scott and Russel Crowe are teaming up again for the realistic story of Robin Hood. Robin Hood rides through the waves and rolling hills of Nottingham, on a gorgeous White Horse.

There are some great Medieval movies out there but the ones with that partner relationship between knight and rider are my all time favorites. Horse and rider charging into battle, with no care if they will come out alive, just completely devoted to one another.
Heath Ledger in a Knights Tale didn't necessarily ride into battle but he did have a very trustworthy stead that jousted with no fear. A Draft Mix that belong to a little girl played the hero horse to William Thatcher. From what we see on the film he comes off to be a very calm and laid back guy, I can't say the same for the other horses in the film that the production had quite a hard time with. The Bay draft had no double horses and did everything without a hesitation.

Although Heath Ledger played a more realistic character as William Thatcher, Viggo Mortensen plays Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and has an extremely motivated steed in Bergo. After production of the films Viggo had such a real connection with this Bay horse that he ended up buying him. On his days off him and the horse would just take off and ride for hours. The film portrays a mystical connection between him and the horse where Bergo finds Aragorn almost dead by the river. Bergo helps Aragorn up to save Middle Earth.

Another very mystical Horse that helps a Knight is Pegasus in Clash of the Titans and I'm talking about the more resent film where Pegasus is played by a black Friesian. Although the traditional Pegasus is in the original movie they hid the real horse and by putting a deco fake horse at such a distance there was never really a real horse there. This massive, breathtaking ( and yes he took my breath away) horse stole the movie for me. Even if Sam Worthington didn't get along with the horse they seem to have great chemistry on film. If we are talking about Pegasus we have to talk about Unicorns and there is one knight that used a unicorn into battle. Peter and the Unicorn from The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe charged into battle un tacked. Ice is the young Andalusian named that played the unicorn and Peter played by William Moseley trained hard to ride with no saddle and bridle. With time he pulled it off and Ice helped him along.

King Arthur and Lancelot are some names that pop into our head when we think about Knights and their horses, and there have been some fantastic films when it comes to that concept. First Knight staring Richard Gere and Sean Connery is a film that show a close bond between horse and rider. Richard rides a very thin almost Andalusian looking black horse. At one point in the film he whistles to him and he comes running from out of the woods. I love this film because it also portrays Arthur's love for horses, which is something I have always thought about him and how he admires his horses. King Arthur the film from 2004 staring Clive Owen as King Arthur, show some incredible riding from this round table of actors, and not one of them have ridden before. This is some of the most talented riding I have seen from any actor in a film. Clive rides a very high strung white horse that I feel gave a little character to King Arthur and his horse.

Alexander the Great has the most powerful horse of all time, the most legendry horse of all time. A horse that some say protected him till his death in battle. The great Bucephalus. Giant, black beast that only Alexander could ride. Alexander notice the horse was scared of his own shadow and in return consumed the horses trust. Colin Farrel plays Alexander and who I have proclaimed the best rider in Hollywood, because a majority of the battle sequence he is riding bareback with a sword and shield, amazing! Bucephalus is played by a powerful black friesian and what some say is an actual scene this horse really rears up in front of a giant elephant how is also rear up facing him.

Knights love their horses they are their way of conquering titles and fights. A good horses means everything. In Gladiator Maximus, he gets them taken away from him when taken in to the arena but he expresses his love for them and how he got them branded into his chest plate. In the beginning of the film he goes into battle with a gorgeous horse Brown horse, dripping with armour.

My favorite barbaric knight has to be William Wallace, who shows us his untamed equestrian talent riding into battle on his bay horse. Although he uses a couple different horses he is the bravest. All these knights are brave and their horses trust them with their life, and this is what make for such powerful bond and epic battle scene.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Horses to Watch Out For

Horses in Centurion

Violent battle scenes means daring horse stunts, and a film set in the breathtaking Scottish highlands means scottish breed horses.

Centurion is set during the war between Roman soldiers and Pict tribesmen during the 2nd century Roman conquest of Britain. Michael Fassbender stars as Quintus Dias, Roman centurion and son of a legendary gladiator who leads a group of soldiers on a raid of a Pict camp to rescue a captured general played by Dominic West. The son of the Pict leader is murdered during the raid, and the Romans find themselves hunted by a seemingly unstoppable group of the Pict’s most vicious and skilled warriors, led by a beautiful and deadly tracker (Kurylenko), who are hell bent on revenge.

From the stills it looks like some risky horses stunts, that I hope are done tastefully. What most people don't know is that to do a horse scene it is a thoughtfully choreographed thing. When it's not done properly and safly, that is when you start losing horses physically and mentally.

What gives me hope for this film is that if you look at the still below you can see a wrangler holding the horse while the actor delivers his performance. A camera can cut around that and make it look like the horse is in action and fighting with his soilder rider.

Neil Marshall is the Director, and he ahs Doomsday, the Descent, and now the Centurion.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Horses in Your Highness

I went to a screening of the comedy that will be released in October of "Your Highness." The film is set in Medieval times with some really remarkable horse actors. Its the story of two brothers played by James Franco and Danny McBride that set out on a journey to rescue the princess played by Zooey Deschanel. On their adventure they come across Natalie Portman, who joins them on their quest. The dialogue was great and very funny, and the actors fit their parts perfect.

The film is hilarious, but other then it being it hilarious, the horses were breathtaking in it. Tons of different breeds and colors. James Franco enters the movie on a gorgeous grey Andalusian. So beautiful and majestic, with his forelock draped in his face, he really fit the part. In the beginning scene Franco rides into the castle along with his knights. One of his knights played by Damian Lewis, who is a pretty big TV actor, rides in on a very angelic Black Friesian. This guy was a very thick Friesian, who had to be a stud due to the size of his body and neck. I thought this was a weird touch of film choice of horses for the two actors, because the Friesain towered over the Andalusian. But this was a comedy and James Franco played a very goofy guy.

The movie had some huge carriage scenes, but my favorite is an exquisite 4-up team of Freisians. It really took my breath away when they entered the frame. Later in the movie Damian rides his black Friesian through the woods after a 2-up team of Friesains galloping pull a very large carriage. How this horse moved was really refined and graceful. I could watched the whole movie over and over again if it was that horse gliding through the woods like he did in that scene.
Considering the movie was a real comedic mocking of the medieval times, it did some real justice to the steeds. I was thoroughly impressed!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Production Stills

Winter in Wartime

The movie centers around 14-year-old Michiel who becomes involved with the Resistance after coming to the aid of a wounded British soldier, near the end of World War II. With the conflict coming to an end, Michiel comes of age and learns of the stark difference between adventure fantasy and the ugly realities of war.

Looks like some great horse action scenes. This is the first look at the film; no trailer yet.