Excerpt: A young lad named Albert Narracott (Jeremy Irvine) takes on the task of raising and training a horse his father (Peter Mullan) bought at auction, naming the horse Joey. As World War I breaks out, they need to sell Joey to help save the farm, and so begins Joey's journey experiencing the horrors of war from both sides of the battlefield.
Excerpt: Movies rated PG-13 can be a real gamble. Some of them are on the edge of a 'R' rating. So I started watching War Horse hoping it would be on the lower end. Thankfully War Horse is on the lower end. I knew a movie placed in World War I was going to have some nasty war scenes. What surprised me is how tame Steven Spielberg made it. In fact there are various instances when the camera goes away for a death.
Excerpt: They don’t often make them like that anymore, but Steven Spielberg knows how. War Horse is a three-hankie movie if ever there was one. Based on a popular children’s book by English author Michael Morpurgo, and later made into a hit stage play (with life-sized puppets standing in for real horses), War Horse tells the story of Albert, a farm boy who grows attached to a horse his father buys to plow their fields.
Excerpt: Despite impending war, financial struggles, dead parents, thousands of dead soldiers, and slaughtered children, War Horse remains laughably idyllic. Those bright green pastures, smiles all around, and glowing sunsets are outright hilarious given the backdrop, wherein the horse actually finds means of communication. The horse understands human emotion better than most apes, a desperate, forced attempt to make the audience feel something for what is the lead character.
Conclusion: War Horse is expertly directed, well acted, and just beautiful to look at and when combined with the Adventures of Tintin , it represents one of Spielberg’s best years and shows his amazing range as a director. This is a stellar Blu-ray with pristine picture and sound quality and some excellent extras that make this release a very easy one to recommend!
Summary: It’s true that you can create a flawless film with great acting, amazing cinematography and even a compelling story and still not connect to audiences. Perhaps this was a project too close to Spielberg’s own passions. He still delivers the usual quality, but often our passions don’t translate well for the masses. The film runs over two hours. It could have been trimmed and perhaps should have been.
Conclusion: When it comes to movies he's directed and not merely produced, even a lesser Spielberg effort trumps the best work of many filmmakers. War Horse is far from greatness and the least deserving of last year's Best Picture nominees, but this sweet drama remains enjoyable to some degree with its handsome production values and a story that is essentially impossible to dislike.
Conclusion: War Horse may alienate many a modern filmfan, but others will declare it one of the best movies of 2011. It really just depends on how you respond to Spielberg's cinematic sensibilities, tearful and sentimental as they are. Fortunately, Disney's Blu-ray release won't divide audiences. With an excellent video presentation, a marvelous DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track, and a solid selection of high quality special features, War Horse won't soon be forgotten.