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Ok film with some feel good moments- the horse steals the show? not really... you will enjoy this-
This is almost a standard issue Hollywood type movie but it is a good one of its kind. The photography is wonderful, and the actors are all well chosen. It is a somewhat fanciful story about WWI and how horses were used. It attempt to be both touching and sad and it mostly succeeds.
Spielberg could have surfed and cruised, instead he is driving deep.
Spielberg always makes me cry. And I am happy to. Back when I was a kid and now that I am a kid. The adapted screenplay by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis walks the standard reliable route with an incredibly engaging pace that is actually boosted by the premise itself. Covering multiple short stories that packs an emotional punch in every single one of them, the makers found it easy and helpful to place these shuffled cards into narration with rich details and overview perspective to the bigger and the smaller picture. Yet, I didn't find myself buying to any of those tourist spots genuinely up till Steven Spielberg, the director, came in and added his final magic touch.
And it is not his selection of the cinematographer, background scorer or the choreographer of the film, but the awareness that he invests in each scenario. This story was also told in a theater as a play and Spielberg's translation of that play into the screen that makes it look like a play is the unsung triumph of all. Watch how carefully in all the stages, he makes us, the audience, a witness of that part of the storytelling.
You start feeling like you were present the whole time when it went down. Tom Hiddleston giddy up about Benedict Cumberbatch's views on the horse, Eddie Marsen's secondary concern fabricated as the first one and Niels Arestrup's weather debate with his granddaughter, not only these elements help move forward the storyline nice and smooth but puts some personal weight and unfathomable price to it. For a film to jump from one character to another, I was looking forward to see how Spielberg is going to make us fall into this world, he moved towards his best asset, he personified, he animated the common factor, the Warhorse.
While a bit too sentimental and old-fashioned for its own good, Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the Michael Morpurgo book shines through thanks to great performances, grade A cinematography and an emotionally gripping storyline, which, in some respects, makes it even more poignant than the source material.
War Horse is the best film of 2011. It's a solid friendship story with the horrors of war thrown into the mix. One of Spielberg's best.
War Horse goes in my top 10 worst movies I've ever sat through in my life. In all honesty, I only made it an hour through this movie, but because of that wasted hour, I want to sue Steven Spielberg to get my hour back.
I don't get it. Maybe it's because it's not for me to get. My girlfriend suggested this horrible movie and I gave it a shot because I kind of like her. Because of her horrible suggestion, she is here too fore banned from a suggesting any movies for at least the next month.
If you are considering watching this movie, whether it is to prove me wrong or because some person you are in a relationship with suggests this movie, it is my opinion that you politely decline. Instead, drink bitter beer, walk through fire ant country barefoot, stick your finger in a rat trap - either of these would be far more enjoyable than War Horse was as a movie. I gave it half a star because... Well, I didn't finish the movie and there is half of a star on a 5-star scale chance that it could have turned out to be worth the absolutely boring first hour, but I doubt it.
I really did feel much in this movie. Kinda bland and boring. The human characters were pretty bad. Cinematography was the only saving grace for this boring movie.
The later period of Steven Spielberg's directorial career has produced technically well made but largely forgettable films that hardly stand up to the greatness of Schindler's List (1993), Empire of the Sun (1987) and countless other greats he produced in the 20th century. War Horse stands out as one of the worst examples of his new milquetoast aesthetic as it feels like a perfectly fine film while watching it but is obviously very derivative of other better films and it doesn't have any staying power. I saw this film for the first time in history class, where I suspect most will witness it first, and even at that time, as an eleven year old, I was underwhelmed and having it seen it again my view on it has not changed.
Albert Narracott, Jeremy Irvine, has a deep love for his horse Joey and is saddened when his father sells the horse to the army in 1914 due to the outbreak of World War I and their family's financial problems. He eventually enlists to serve in the army himself in 1918 but still misses Joey who is owned by the Germans at this point and has had multiple different owners. Narracott and his beloved horse are eventually reunited after both narrowly escape dying at war but is threatened by the fact that Joey is bought by a mysterious older man.
The entire film is technically proficient as the battle sequences are filmed with precision and feel epic in scope but passion and interest is missing from the film. We feel very little for the characters we spend time with as is the way with many of the protagonists of latter day Spielberg productions. Nothing in particular could be singled out as really letting down the film as everyone appears to be putting in a lot of effort but the film feels strangely undercooked as the directors, writers and actors seemed to be on autopilot relying on tricks they had used before to great effect. Although Saving Private Ryan (1998) was not my favorite film I appreciated the fact that some attempt was made to flesh out the characters where here everybody feels rather lifeless and flat.
Like many films within his oeuvre it also feels frustratingly emotionally manipulative as it attempts to bring tears to your eyes at moments that haven't earned that reaction. The overwrought John Williams score, which still received a Best Original Score Academy Award nomination, tries to push you at moments when you are left cold and after a while this makes you actively resentful of the film. The villains in the movie also feel very Spielberg-ian as they are little more than stereotypical Germans but I still felt as though they could have been so much more and it was disappointing to watch a great opportunity just slip out of the grasp of a talented director. Many films create the sense of being less than the sum of their parts and this is one of those as so many talents are involved in the film from Richard Curtis to Janusz Kamiński and you want to see so much more from people capable of creating the charming Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) and heartwarming The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007).
The performances underwhelm a little as Irvine is acceptable as a leading man but doesn't measure up to Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun and Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). It's sad to see a brilliant actor like Emily Watson resigned to playing a role that gives her nothing to do but play the stereotypical firm but fair British mother. I can understand why this film received no Academy Award nominations for it's performances but I only wish that this lack of recognition had extended to the rest of the highly unremarkable picture.
If you want to see great Spielberg films watch A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) and Minority Report (2002), both of which are curiously underappreciated. I will admit that war films are not my favorite genre in the world but I would call Paths of Glory (1957) and The Deer Hunter (1978) essential viewing in that they contain more creativity in three minute sequences than this film contains throughout it's running time.
Several charming vignettes of foreign life around the Great War, but a detailed odyssey of an animal's life back and forth with human tenders on both sides of the conflict is too great a stretch to credulity, and in the end fails to deliver.
Kinda weird film bc most of it was family friendly minus about 20 minutes of no man's land battles with lots of violence. You can tell Spielberg directed it and does a good job as usual, it just seemed to be lacking some plot or substance. It was just a little too uncomplicated and stereotypical. It passed the time, but won't be revisiting. For a movie about the love btw a human and their beloved horse I think it could've been more touching.