15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
You'll really want to like this but....
, 7 April 2012
This review is from: War Horse [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Firstly, I've got to say that I'm a fan of Spielberg. I love most of his movies and he rates - for me - as one of the top directors out there. Saving Private Ryan, Minority Report, Jaws, ET, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List...the 5* AAA titles just keep on coming, and if Spielberg has showed us anything, it's that he can push the envelope and try to bring us something different, whilst educating (with some of his deeper movies) and entertaining (with everything else).
That might seem a bit long as a review intro, but context is everything here because I REALLY wanted to love War Horse. But I didn't...it was just "ok", and this was a major a disappointment given my expectations.
War Horse isn't a bad movie. It has lots of good ingredients (and good moments), but throwing them together Spielberg demonstrates all of the very worst parts of his directing. I know the book is meant to be superb as is the stage production, but it felt like something was missing from the movie. The problem was I didn't quite believe any of it, despite some of the action sequences being excellent and the cinematography breathtaking. I thought the ending was incredibly contrived and a complete cliche, with a big dollop of sentimentality that had me cringing.
Ok, so it's got plenty of "feel good", but really, Spielberg applies it a little too thickly.
BluRay-wise, it's a fantastic disc. Good use of surrounds, thundering bass and a video presentation which really does justice to the cinematography. 10/10 for the BluRay, and film is a close 7/10 for me. It's good cinema, but just doesn't quite work.
Would I watch it again? Probably, although not for a while, and I'd rather revisit some of Spielberg's masterpieces before War Horse gets a look in again.
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