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War Horse Review


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#1 Westside Steve

Westside Steve

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 04:19 PM

War Horse
DreamWorks
PG 13 146 min

When Steven Spielberg puts on his directors hat itís a big deal. Most everything he adds his name to will be of merit but when he actually gets behind the wheel; look out.
WAR HORSE is his latest directorial project and easily the best film Iíd seen in 2012. Actually it was the first film I saw in 2012 butÖ
I think truly exceptional films need to be somewhat out of the ordinary and this one certainly is. Itís neither a BLACK BEAUTY nor NATIONAL VELVET clone but a complex and compelling tale of a man a family a war and a very unique horse.
To be honest that horse isnít all that unique but the situation ad twists of fate are. Though it might be an obscure reference I thought of Vonnegutís Billy Pilgrim unstuck in time. ďA victim of a series of circumstancesÖĒ

Actually Joey (the horse) is the catalyst for a lot of human relationships.
First an old drunk, barely able to pay rent on his farm is goaded into overbidding for the animal at an auction. His greedy landlord and other doubters ridicule the purchase of a seemingly useless work animal until his son finds a way to get Joey to cooperate. Then WW1 comes along and father and son are once again at odds and Joey is sold to the army. The farm is saved but the family is strained more than ever.
The horse finds himself in a myriad of trials and tribulations in and out of the control of the German or English army and a wide array of humans running the gamut from good to bad. It all comes together in the end in a truly unique climax both bittersweet and satisfying.
There are no extraordinary performances unless you count Joey himself, but the actors arenít the focal point.
One great thing about being powerful as Spielberg is that he doesnít seem to have to answer to anyone who may have tried to constrain the emotional impact of this film. And to his credit, though his ideas on politics and war can be seen theyíre not ham handed or preachy. The manís a pro.
Itís the beauty of the film and the gentle commentary on war and life that shine here that may not have come through under a lesser director.

A-

WSS

westsidesteve@aol.com

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#2 Zombo

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 02:23 PM

War Horse
DreamWorks
PG 13 146 min

When Steven Spielberg puts on his directors hat itís a big deal. Most everything he adds his name to will be of merit but when he actually gets behind the wheel; look out.
WAR HORSE is his latest directorial project and easily the best film Iíd seen in 2012. Actually it was the first film I saw in 2012 butÖ
I think truly exceptional films need to be somewhat out of the ordinary and this one certainly is. Itís neither a BLACK BEAUTY nor NATIONAL VELVET clone but a complex and compelling tale of a man a family a war and a very unique horse.
To be honest that horse isnít all that unique but the situation ad twists of fate are. Though it might be an obscure reference I thought of Vonnegutís Billy Pilgrim unstuck in time. ďA victim of a series of circumstancesÖĒ

Actually Joey (the horse) is the catalyst for a lot of human relationships.
First an old drunk, barely able to pay rent on his farm is goaded into overbidding for the animal at an auction. His greedy landlord and other doubters ridicule the purchase of a seemingly useless work animal until his son finds a way to get Joey to cooperate. Then WW1 comes along and father and son are once again at odds and Joey is sold to the army. The farm is saved but the family is strained more than ever.
The horse finds himself in a myriad of trials and tribulations in and out of the control of the German or English army and a wide array of humans running the gamut from good to bad. It all comes together in the end in a truly unique climax both bittersweet and satisfying.
There are no extraordinary performances unless you count Joey himself, but the actors arenít the focal point.
One great thing about being powerful as Spielberg is that he doesnít seem to have to answer to anyone who may have tried to constrain the emotional impact of this film. And to his credit, though his ideas on politics and war can be seen theyíre not ham handed or preachy. The manís a pro.
Itís the beauty of the film and the gentle commentary on war and life that shine here that may not have come through under a lesser director.

A-

WSS

westsidesteve@aol.com


I found it soft, and in the end ... boring. Spielberg's direction is, if anything, heavy-handed. Was not a fan of this movie.

Zombo


Spielberg can do that, no doubt. I suppose I was just in the mood for it that day.
WSS

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