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Empire Admin -> War Horse (6/1/2012 5:08:45 PM)

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spike2006 -> In three words; Nice – Gripping - Emotional (6/1/2012 5:08:45 PM)

Set in Devon just before the start of The Great War, War Horse follows the journey of a horse called Joey. He is bought at a local market by Ted Narracott (Mullan) who out bids his landlord (Lyons) with whom he is already struggling to pay his rent. It is therefore imperative that the horse can assist in the day to day running of the farm. Albert (Irvine) takes on the task of training Joey and soon they build up a remarkable friendship between boy and beast.
Spielberg shot the film in Devon over the summer months in 2010. However, I can’t help but feel he had an issue with lighting the set. Perhaps the British ‘summer’ didn’t give him the light he was searching for. There are a number of occasions on the Narracott farm where additional lights and reflectors have given some scenes and overly warm feel. It is not since Minority Report that I have questions Sir Stevie’s abilities where he underexposed the film to facilitate in creating a more futuristic feel, which didn’t work!
Perhaps he wanted the extra lighting on the farm in order to create a contrast between the scenes at war. This is achieved however, at the expense of overly lit unnecessary scenes.
Joey is sold to the British Army at the outbreak of the First World War much to the dismay of Albert who by now and a strong relationship to his horse. He is however assured by army officer that if he can he will bring Joey back to him.
Joey is taken across mainland Europe and ends up in the hands of the Germans and then a young French girl. All the time he has Ted’s regimental pennant attached to his reins which was given to him by Albert. There are two wonderful scenes in no mans lands, one of which is reminiscent of the Christmas Day football match. These scenes are powerful and are brilliantly executed by Spielberg. War is a difficult subject to portray in a family film but I feel that Spielberg was on the money with this. Not actually hitting the Saving Private Ry




spike2006 -> In three words; Nice – Gripping - Emotional (6/1/2012 5:08:53 PM)

Set in Devon just before the start of The Great War, War Horse follows the journey of a horse called Joey. He is bought at a local market by Ted Narracott (Mullan) who out bids his landlord (Lyons) with whom he is already struggling to pay his rent. It is therefore imperative that the horse can assist in the day to day running of the farm. Albert (Irvine) takes on the task of training Joey and soon they build up a remarkable friendship between boy and beast.
Spielberg shot the film in Devon over the summer months in 2010. However, I can’t help but feel he had an issue with lighting the set. Perhaps the British ‘summer’ didn’t give him the light he was searching for. There are a number of occasions on the Narracott farm where additional lights and reflectors have given some scenes and overly warm feel. It is not since Minority Report that I have questions Sir Stevie’s abilities where he underexposed the film to facilitate in creating a more futuristic feel, which didn’t work!
Perhaps he wanted the extra lighting on the farm in order to create a contrast between the scenes at war. This is achieved however, at the expense of overly lit unnecessary scenes.
Joey is sold to the British Army at the outbreak of the First World War much to the dismay of Albert who by now and a strong relationship to his horse. He is however assured by army officer that if he can he will bring Joey back to him.
Joey is taken across mainland Europe and ends up in the hands of the Germans and then a young French girl. All the time he has Ted’s regimental pennant attached to his reins which was given to him by Albert. There are two wonderful scenes in no mans lands, one of which is reminiscent of the Christmas Day football match. These scenes are powerful and are brilliantly executed by Spielberg. War is a difficult subject to portray in a family film but I feel that Spielberg was on the money with this. Not actually hitting the Saving Private Ry




Private Hudson -> RE: In three words; Nice Gripping - Emotional (8/1/2012 10:52:24 AM)

I have a good feeling about this movie and think this could finally be a return to form for Spielberg, who really hasn't made a real Spielberg movie since the double whammy of Jurassic Park and Schindler's List. (A.I. was an excellent movie but very un-Spielberg like, probably due to Kubrick).

Don't want to get into a spoiler argument, but if that horse dies I will bawl my eyes out. But it is Steven Spielberg so I am hopeful.




Cameron1975Williams -> I hope Spieberg still has atleast one five star film left in him. (9/1/2012 10:46:33 PM)

Maybe Lincoln will be it.




Bighousewill -> RE: War Horse SPOILER ALERT (10/1/2012 5:05:15 PM)

SPOILER ALERT. I read the book over last xmas so I can read this review without worry of spoilers but if you haven't read the book or seen the play basically this review is packed with spoilers right to the end. Oh and the conversation with the Geordie and the German in no mans land when trying to save Joey(as revealed in this empire review) well in the book he wasn't a geordie but he was a Welshmen from the valleys and he says that the war would've been better settled over a game of rugby.




J_BUltimatum -> Average at best (10/1/2012 5:20:45 PM)

While the film looks awesome and the war set pieces are fantastic, it is let down by a very slow and poor narrative. I enjoyed the book when I was young and could connect with characters in the story. However, I did not feel this with this adaptation and was extremely shocked with the ridiculously poor English accents (by British actors!?) which were on display. Spielberg's finest years are definetly behind him and perhaps he should stick to producing from now on...




stupidfathobbit -> Biggest disappointment since Tim Burton's POTA (12/1/2012 1:52:08 AM)

Awful. Agree totally with J_BUltimatum. Was really looking forward to this one after seeing the trailers but was bitterly disappointed.




Timon -> RE: Average at best (12/1/2012 2:28:07 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: J_BUltimatum

However, I did not feel this with this adaptation and was extremely shocked with the ridiculously poor English accents (by British actors!?) which were on display.



I don't understand this. British actors couldn't do English accents...?




Timon -> RE: Average at best (12/1/2012 2:28:24 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: J_BUltimatum

However, I did not feel this with this adaptation and was extremely shocked with the ridiculously poor English accents (by British actors!?) which were on display.



I don't understand this. British actors couldn't do English accents...?




JIm R -> RE: Average at best (12/1/2012 2:44:08 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Timon


quote:

ORIGINAL: J_BUltimatum

However, I did not feel this with this adaptation and was extremely shocked with the ridiculously poor English accents (by British actors!?) which were on display.



I don't understand this. British actors couldn't do English accents...?


maybe couldn't do 'regional' accents is what is meant by this, possibly ?




Bighousewill -> Cinematic (13/1/2012 5:39:19 PM)

Cinematic but adapted quite heavily from the source material at least two characters missing, SPOILER ALERT one minute Joey has tetanus deemed too severe to treat and needs to be put down two minutes later all better, not like the book at all. But as a piece of cinema I dare you not to be moved almost to tears how War is waste and all. Four and a half stars.




Qwerty Norris -> RE: Cinematic (14/1/2012 12:53:25 AM)

Mini review...

Takes forever to get going & really feels like a drag until the stuff in the trenches occur - resulting in one excellent & poignant scene.

Overall pretty decent - and that's largely thanks to the last 40 minutes or so.

3/5




Super Hans -> RE: War Horse (14/1/2012 8:11:03 AM)

War Horse walks into a pub.  Barman says "why the long film?"




Super Hans -> RE: War Horse (14/1/2012 8:11:08 AM)

War Horse walks into a pub.  Barman says "why the long film?"




Qwerty Norris -> RE: War Horse (14/1/2012 8:31:32 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Super Hans

War Horse walks into a pub. Barman says "why the long film?"



[:D]




bobbyperu -> Sentimental drivel - (14/1/2012 9:42:00 AM)

Spielberg is just not capable of taking a subject like war without being heavily sentimental -





Elegy -> Rather Good. (14/1/2012 9:16:34 PM)

Not bad at all, better than lots of people are saying. I think the scenes with the two german brothers were unneccesary, but apart from that an excellent film. Bravo Spielberg!




Scruffybobby -> RE: Rather Good. (15/1/2012 4:04:17 PM)

War Horse is an old fashioned epic that feels about 50 years out of its time. It's beautifully shot, lushly scored and unashamedly sentimental. If you go into this film with an ounce of cynicism you're likely to hate it. Go in with an open heart and mind though and it will sweep you up and away in its hugely moving story.

It's full of stunning images and enthralling sequences and it doesn't feel like the near 2 and half hours it runs for.  It's not all loveliness though - there's death and danger all around and the battle sequences have a real intensity - although never quite as brutal as Saving Private Ryan. It also lacks the flying blood and limbs but Spielberg does serve up some haunting images of the aftermath of battle - a field filled with dead men and horses  a captured trench full of the dead - that stick in the mind

There are a few niggles - we never really get to properly know the characters that we encounter through Joey except perhaps Albert and at times the whole thing is in danger of being just a little bit too earnest and tipping into self parody. Thankfully though it never quite does.

Stirring, heartfelt and sentimental. They don't make them like this any more - except they do.





Hungrymark -> RE: Sentimental drivel - (15/1/2012 6:04:13 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: bobbyperu

Spielberg is just not capable of not being heavily sentimental -




Edited.




mackey -> RE: Sentimental drivel - (15/1/2012 7:06:59 PM)

Saw this at a packed cinema today and although it was a bit slow moving at times I thought it was enjoyable for the most part. Sentimental for sure but there were some excellent moments throughout and the horrors of war were cleverly portrayed to keep it (mostly) family friendly. It wasn't quite as moving as I'd expected but there was alot of blubbering from the audience I saw it with.




Emyr Thy King -> RE: Sentimental drivel - (15/1/2012 7:52:29 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Hungrymark


quote:

ORIGINAL: bobbyperu

Spielberg is just not capable of not being heavily sentimental -




Edited.


Awkardly put way of saying "Spielberg cannot help but be heavily sentimental".

Edited for double negatives.




jimmynew -> In need of heavy editing (16/1/2012 10:13:47 AM)

SPOILERS. Completely agree with Qwerty Norris in that the film saves itself with the last 40 minutes in the trenches. A film does not need to be littered with unnecessary vignettes to clock up a two and a half hours long running time so that it can be counted as 'epic'. I understand that the idea of the german boys and the french girl were to show how war affects both sides (and credit for actually getting german and french actors for these parts) but these scenes could have been edited out to make a leaner film that concentrates on just the boy's relationship with the horse and give it more emotional impact. As a result, it is becomes hard to invest in these characters knowing the scenario may shift in 20 minutes. Some scenes are really given dramatic weight such as the trenches and the early cavalry charge but the scene where the tank corners 'War Horse' really is just laughable.




Frank Comiskey -> FLASHMAN (17/1/2012 10:46:32 AM)

I tried to log a few words about this picture yesterday, to no avail, so let me try again;

Spielberg makes this seem effortless, but it is hugely complicated; to make a compelling adult-friendly film for kids, (what Marty failed to do on Hugo) with a pitch-perfect measure of wartime horror, featuring a central character that neither talks, nor has internal thought, and is neither animated not animatronic, and to convey profound humanity with sincerity, (despite some outragous contrivance) takes no-less than utter genius.

It reminded me of The Truman Show, in that it seems dead-easy to do, but is actually a narrative nightmare.

It looks like The Artist will win everything this year, but I am afraid that, having already seen A Star is Born & Singing in the Rain, I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate this film's greatness; a few nice 'self-reflexive' moments, otherwise, hammy & shallow; symptomatic of our age, I guess.




Frank Comiskey -> FLASHMAN (17/1/2012 10:46:37 AM)

I tried to log a few words about this picture yesterday, to no avail, so let me try again;

Spielberg makes this seem effortless, but it is hugely complicated; to make a compelling adult-friendly film for kids, (what Marty failed to do on Hugo) with a pitch-perfect measure of wartime horror, featuring a central character that neither talks, nor has internal thought, and is neither animated not animatronic, and to convey profound humanity with sincerity, (despite some outragous contrivance) takes no-less than utter genius.

It reminded me of The Truman Show, in that it seems dead-easy to do, but is actually a narrative nightmare.

It looks like The Artist will win everything this year, but I am afraid that, having already seen A Star is Born & Singing in the Rain, I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate this film's greatness; a few nice 'self-reflexive' moments, otherwise, hammy & shallow; symptomatic of our age, I guess.




Ciaran McDaid -> SPIELBERG'S MASTERPIECE (18/1/2012 1:16:42 AM)

Spielberg's finest masterpiece since Saving Private Ryan




Jamemily -> (18/1/2012 2:10:32 PM)

Glorious sunsets and fairy tale Devon villages do not a great film make, however in the hands of Spielberg they become as engaging as the titular horse of the story. War horse is a very simple tale that has magnificent cinematic scope. Who better to bring large scale to the large screen than Spielberg. However this feels somewhat like Spielberg on auto pilot, to the point where you forget he is directing during a slow building opening act that is more "All Creatures Great and Small" than "Saving Private Ryan". The film picks up and engages the audience more once the horse is sent to war and this is where Spielberg comes into his element with a number of expertly crafter action scenes and Spielbergian moments, the two Germans who open their tent to see the British troops charging towards them, is straight from the Jurassic Park school of "Oh God" moments.

However there is nothing new here in the battle scenes. If you are expecting the goryness of Saving Private Ryan you will be left very disappointed, however there is a tenseness to the scenes such as the scene that shows the troops readying to go over the top into battle. You are left however wanting more.

The stand out scene of the whole film is when a young British soldier and a German soldier team up to help the stricken horse caught in barbed wire on No Man's Land.

Despite TF's protestations I didn't find the score over intrusive and is Spielberg's way the film looks sumptious with breathtaking cinematography and scenery. Yes it is sentimental to the hilt especially if you have any affection for equine creatures. The rather OTT Gone With the Wind ending was possibly an unnecessary post script.

An enjoyable evening's entertainment but would look to Spielberg to step up further for the upcoming Lincoln.




Jamemily -> (18/1/2012 2:10:34 PM)

Glorious sunsets and fairy tale Devon villages do not a great film make, however in the hands of Spielberg they become as engaging as the titular horse of the story. War horse is a very simple tale that has magnificent cinematic scope. Who better to bring large scale to the large screen than Spielberg. However this feels somewhat like Spielberg on auto pilot, to the point where you forget he is directing during a slow building opening act that is more "All Creatures Great and Small" than "Saving Private Ryan". The film picks up and engages the audience more once the horse is sent to war and this is where Spielberg comes into his element with a number of expertly crafter action scenes and Spielbergian moments, the two Germans who open their tent to see the British troops charging towards them, is straight from the Jurassic Park school of "Oh God" moments.

However there is nothing new here in the battle scenes. If you are expecting the goryness of Saving Private Ryan you will be left very disappointed, however there is a tenseness to the scenes such as the scene that shows the troops readying to go over the top into battle. You are left however wanting more.

The stand out scene of the whole film is when a young British soldier and a German soldier team up to help the stricken horse caught in barbed wire on No Man's Land.

Despite TF's protestations I didn't find the score over intrusive and is Spielberg's way the film looks sumptious with breathtaking cinematography and scenery. Yes it is sentimental to the hilt especially if you have any affection for equine creatures. The rather OTT Gone With the Wind ending was possibly an unnecessary post script.

An enjoyable evening's entertainment but would look to Spielberg to step up further for the upcoming Lincoln.




francociolfi -> War Horse - O.K. for kids!! (18/1/2012 4:17:43 PM)

We were very disappointed with this film - we expected it to be more gritty and far less clichéd. Young girls who are into horses would love it though, it was much like a twist on the 'Black Beauty' storyline it was easy to guess what was going to happen next and had the most obvious and expected outcome. Adults only watch it if you are taking the children - it really should be a U rating!"




evil bill -> RE: War Horse - Classic Spielberg (18/1/2012 8:26:04 PM)

Now i'm not a big fan of Animal films,like Black Beauty or Babe,but reading up on this i thought well if there right and this is another Spielberg masterpiece,it's a must see.Well  it's well directed as you'd expect from Steven,and has a sort of David Lean epic war films feel to it,IE Lawrence of Arabia in that it's long winded,and tends to drag on in places.But it has stunning visuals,stunning cinematography and top-notch acting,with a superb script,again very David Lean in look.It also has a excellent score from  John Williams which is as memorable as his best scores of the past few decades,one for your collection if your nuts on John.

Overall though this is Stevens take on WW1,it is his style that in the end we see across the screen,and yet Masterpiece to me is too strong term for this fine film.It is classic Steven Spielberg,very watchable and even moving in places,even close to tear jerking,as it follows the story of a brave young man who embarks on an odyssey to look for his lost horse.It also shows how awful the first world war was,yet with out the Gorey excess of Saving Private Ryan,and surprised me how much it avoided taking any side.Instead it reflects on how useless war is,and how in the end only love can win,which is in my eyes a typical Spielberg film.Think ET except it's a horse,with a small dose of Private Ryan,and a large dose of David Lean,and you got an idea of what your in for.




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