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Customer Review

15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 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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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Apr 2012 09:31:26 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Apr 2012 09:32:41 BDT
Mark Barry says:
Having watched the film last night - I agree with a lot of what you're saying - especially the truly cheesy dawning of a new day sequence at the end of the film - I thought I was watching Gone With The Wind and someone was going to say "tomorrow is a new day"

The rest of my family enjoyed it - thought it was a good film rather than a great one...

It should also be emphasized that the cinematography is gob-smacking - but at times feels so 'picture-postcard' that it's annoying...a set up for the horrors of the trenches to come...

Like yourself I felt the 'manipulation' a little too much...wish I'd 'felt' it more...

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 14:19:09 BDT
MrGrumpie says:
I agree with all of the above. Sadly, the film version suffers from the fact (in my opinion) that the main character is a horse, and the "people" are just passing through all the time. I'd actually quite like to see the stage version as I think it could be alot more powerful.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 18:25:14 BDT
Actually, the line you are trying to quote is: "After all, tomorrow is another day."

Cheers!

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2012 22:59:46 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Apr 2012 23:05:05 BDT
To reviewer Smurfin: It's called War "Horse" isn't it, not War "people and by the way there's a horse playing a major character part".

Posted on 30 Apr 2012 23:03:55 BDT
Another syrupy movie from America and cringeworthy at times. Why do the American directors feel the need to say so much in so many words instead of a tight script, in this case with that gooey ending.
I guess they have to show how clever they are at being laborious. Another example The Hunt For The Red October, which concluded well, but they then added that gooey scene at the end which ruined its plausibility.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 May 2012 20:57:55 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 May 2012 20:58:25 BDT
MrGrumpie says:
And your point is? I still didn't rate the movie, and it misses the mark in so many ways.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 May 2012 22:51:34 BDT
Thanks for asking! Sad, that you are sad about a movie entitled War "HORSE" should have a horse as the main focus. So sad.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 May 2012 23:10:29 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 May 2012 23:12:39 BDT
MrGrumpie says:
Resorting to insults is rather pathetic. Nothing wrong with having the animal as the main focus, it just wasn't done that well.

Bizarrely it appears that you didn't like the film either, but obviously for (some) different reasons to me.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2012 04:08:56 BDT
I apologise if I did not not read this correctly, to quote from Smurfin: "I agree with all of the above. Sadly, the film version suffers from the fact (in my opinion) that the main character is a horse, and the "people" are just passing through all the time." But I've cut and pasted the sentence from 9th April, "Smurfin says".
byeBye

In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2012 11:21:17 BDT
MrGrumpie says:
This month's Empire sums it up nicely: "The problem is built in: the film's only throughline amidst the madness of war is the horse, Joey, and unless one is a horse-lover who ascribes Joey fully human characteristics, he doesn't offer enough glue to stick it all together".

That said, they still give it 4 stars :)
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