The Lord of the Rings movies made me a huge fan of Viggo Mortensen. I was never much of a fan of his until late in the movie Fellowship of the Ring (when he tells Frodo he would have followed him to the depths of Mordor), when I realized that, with the right director and right material, the man is a magnificent actor. I even enjoyed him throughout The Two Towers, despite the focus on the battle of Helm's Deep (in the book The Two Towers, the battle of Helm's Deep lasts about 12 pages). And he's just great in Return of the King - it is his movie, after all.
So I've been debating for months - will I bother to go to Hidalgo (which is about horses, something I really don't care about) or will I not bother (though I'm now a Viggo fan)?
Ultimately, I love history. I was pissed off by the movie Elizabeth, despite the great performance by Cate Blanchett, because the history was just so wrong. At an amazing number of points in the movie, the historical facts do not correspond to the movie. So Elizabeth should never have been marketed as "a true story."
So I've decided to bypass Hidalgo. Movie studios should never promote a movie as "based on a true story" when it simply is fiction. I'd probably have gone to see the movie Hidalgo if it wasn't being promoted as "based on a true story." Oh, and the sand storm special effect looks so damned lame. Maybe I'll catch it on cable.
As a coda to this - my friend Laura may have seen the actors/production crew at the Hidalgo premiere: