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WAR HORSE 
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Post WAR HORSE
Click here for the review of War Horse

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Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:43 am
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Post Re: WAR HORSE
"Call it "lesser Spielberg" and put it alongside Always and Hook."

But those, along with "1941", are considered to be Spielberg's weakest efforts. Maybe a better example would be to put it alongside, say, "Empire of the Sun" and "The Terminal"?


Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:59 pm
Post Re: WAR HORSE
ck100 wrote:
"Call it "lesser Spielberg" and put it alongside Always and Hook."

But those, along with "1941", are considered to be Spielberg's weakest efforts. Maybe a better example would be to put it alongside, say, "Empire of the Sun" and "The Terminal"?


There's a growing group that considers Empire of the Sun one of Spielberg's best movies. Pioneering that movement being, of course, Slant Magazine. I still need to see it, I have no interest in Always or returning to Hook.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:41 am
Post Re: WAR HORSE
JJoshay wrote:
ck100 wrote:
"Call it "lesser Spielberg" and put it alongside Always and Hook."

But those, along with "1941", are considered to be Spielberg's weakest efforts. Maybe a better example would be to put it alongside, say, "Empire of the Sun" and "The Terminal"?


There's a growing group that considers Empire of the Sun one of Spielberg's best movies. Pioneering that movement being, of course, Slant Magazine. I still need to see it, I have no interest in Always or returning to Hook.


Catch Me if You Can is one which seems to be garnering an increased degree of respect. And I think War of the Worlds has a good shot at improving its reputation; it really is an inspiring piece of work. I think A.I. is permanently stuck though.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:02 am
Post Re: WAR HORSE
I managed to see both of Spielberg's films, and the experience was very very underwhelming. Besides the impressive animation and sound, "The Adventures of Tin Tin" was nothing special, I would award it 2.5/4.
Finally "War Horse" is just plain bad. 1.5/4.
Didn't see this coming at all.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:33 am
Post Re: WAR HORSE
Just got back from this. It's a great movie, an awesome revision of Anthony Mann's Winchester '73. Easily the best of 2011, and I honestly can't see anything beating it out for best picture except maybe Midnight in Paris, but that would be pretty strange.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:50 pm
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Post Re: WAR HORSE
MGamesCook wrote:
Just got back from this. It's a great movie, an awesome revision of Anthony Mann's Winchester '73. Easily the best of 2011, and I honestly can't see anything beating it out for best picture except maybe Midnight in Paris, but that would be pretty strange.


I also think it's a terrific film, and it will be my best of 2011 too, so I'm glad we agree. However, I have to call you out on your Anthony Mann love here, because in its premise (following a horse through its various owners) the movie is much more similar to the novel Black Beauty (written in 1877) than WInchester 73, so calling it a "revision" of Winchester 73 seems a bit much.

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Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:56 pm
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JamesKunz wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Just got back from this. It's a great movie, an awesome revision of Anthony Mann's Winchester '73. Easily the best of 2011, and I honestly can't see anything beating it out for best picture except maybe Midnight in Paris, but that would be pretty strange.


I also think it's a terrific film, and it will be my best of 2011 too, so I'm glad we agree. However, I have to call you out on your Anthony Mann love here, because in its premise (following a horse through its various owners) the movie is much more similar to the novel Black Beauty (written in 1877) than WInchester 73, so calling it a "revision" of Winchester 73 seems a bit much.


They're undeniable cinematic cousins. One explores the increasingly darker side of man, the other an increasingly humanistic aspect.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:03 pm
Post Re: WAR HORSE
It's undeniably well constructed, shot, edited, etc ...but it just didn't work for me. I wouldn't label it boring, but several times (both with intentional homages Spielberg was making and with unintentional ones), I was wishing I was watching something else that it reminded me of.

I certainly understand what people like about it, and I'll acknowledge that nothing about it signals the type of movie that I personally am going to love/get a lot out of. But even for this sort of film, I think it's second-tier. I'm not one that's jaded to being moved by sentimentalism, but the tear-gong was just sounded too loudly by Spielberg here. I wanted to be caught up in it much more than I ever was. Spielberg's always called attention to himself a bit too much for me, but here it just seems a tad forced at times. I get that it's old-fashioned on purpose and I believe Spielberg comes to his directorial choices honestly, but I couldn't follow him there in this story. It's handsome and watchable, but for me, nothing more, and I certainly can't imagine ever returning to it.

Let me stress again that this just isn't my type of film. I think it will be loved by many, although I don't think it quite goes down as a classic. I do think it competes hard for the Big Oscars.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:40 pm
Post Re: WAR HORSE
Quote:
Spielberg's always called attention to himself a bit too much for me,


Everything you said is certainly understandable, but I'm not sure about this specific statement. Compared to Scorsese and Tarantino, for instance, I'd say Spielberg's personality is often subtle. I think while those other two aren't satisfied unless their personalities show through, Spielberg just wants to be a great showman. War Horse lived up to my expectations as a tour-de-force production and a great piece of storytelling. I think as far as Spielberg's career goes, it's exemplary without being completely outstanding. It's not Munich, that's for sure. To be deeply honest, I was little bit more blown away by Tintin.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:06 pm
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Post Re: WAR HORSE
MGamesCook wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Just got back from this. It's a great movie, an awesome revision of Anthony Mann's Winchester '73. Easily the best of 2011, and I honestly can't see anything beating it out for best picture except maybe Midnight in Paris, but that would be pretty strange.


I also think it's a terrific film, and it will be my best of 2011 too, so I'm glad we agree. However, I have to call you out on your Anthony Mann love here, because in its premise (following a horse through its various owners) the movie is much more similar to the novel Black Beauty (written in 1877) than WInchester 73, so calling it a "revision" of Winchester 73 seems a bit much.


They're undeniable cinematic cousins. One explores the increasingly darker side of man, the other an increasingly humanistic aspect.


"Cinematic cousins" is fine. Calling it a "revision" was too far. I'm very quick to jump when people claim "X is just a version/rip-off/revision of Y."

More to the point though, I'm just glad I'm not the only person who walked out of the movie saying "Wow that was amazing." Right on MGames

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Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:11 pm
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MGamesCook wrote:
Compared to Scorsese and Tarantino, for instance, I'd say Spielberg's personality is often subtle. I think while those other two aren't satisfied unless their personalities show through, Spielberg just wants to be a great showman.


I don't disagree with what's said here. I should have been more specific in that it's more a taste thing of what Spielberg (sometimes) does that just doesn't work for me. I think the Grand Showman is his style -- when Schindler's came out, many were struck by how much he let the material speak and didn't feel the need to thrust his personality and style into areas where it would have been inappropriate. I agree that Tarantino is guilty of this to a fault at times. I think Scorsese is more guilty of returning to the same themes then the same techniques but I don't disagree with your sentiment.

MGamesCook wrote:
War Horse lived up to my expectations as a tour-de-force production and a great piece of storytelling.


The bolded part I have a minor quibble with in that the story was just a tad too much for me and I didn't buy it emotionally. But I see what you're saying and certainly agree with the rest of it.

MGamesCook wrote:
I think as far as Spielberg's career goes, it's exemplary without being completely outstanding. It's not Munich, that's for sure.


Munich is my favorite of Spielberg by far. There's flaws (such as the over-use on the reflections), but everything about it spoke and worked for me as I was first experiencing it and it has grown in stature in my mind.


Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:24 pm
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Shade wrote:
Munich is my favorite of Spielberg by far. There's flaws (such as the over-use on the reflections), but everything about it spoke and worked for me as I was first experiencing it and it has grown in stature in my mind.


If Munich is your favorite Spielberg, then you don't like Spielberg. I don't say that to be a dick, but rather because Munich is the anti-Spielberg film. It has no uplift, no children, no thrill-ride type scenes, no emotions...it's really an odd work for him. I respect the hell out of it, and think it should probably have won Best Picture in a just world, but can't quite bring myself to actually like watching it.

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Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:30 pm
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JamesKunz wrote:
If Munich is your favorite Spielberg, then you don't like Spielberg. I don't say that to be a dick, but rather because Munich is the anti-Spielberg film.


I don't think your being a dick at all. I agree with you and that's sorta my point: not a lot of what Spielberg does gets my cinematic jollies off. For the reasons you state it makes sense to me that that's my favorite of his.


Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:47 am
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Post Re: WAR HORSE
The TV spots for this film have been making it look like the most disgustingly gushy Oscar Bait imaginable, more like an SNL parody of Spielberg's worst qualities than a real movie. Is the film really like that, or did they just say "fuck it, regular Joes aren't going to see this, let's start pandering to the Academy"?

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Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:47 pm
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Post Re: WAR HORSE
Jory wrote:
The TV spots for this film have been making it look like the most disgustingly gushy Oscar Bait imaginable, more like an SNL parody of Spielberg's worst qualities than a real movie. Is the film really like that, or did they just say "fuck it, regular Joes aren't going to see this, let's start pandering to the Academy"?


This is exactly what my family and friends say whenever they see the preview. It looks absolutely dreadful and I fear that when I see this movie it will be tainted by the horribly saccharin trailers.


Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:26 pm
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Jory wrote:
The TV spots for this film have been making it look like the most disgustingly gushy Oscar Bait imaginable, more like an SNL parody of Spielberg's worst qualities than a real movie. Is the film really like that, or did they just say "fuck it, regular Joes aren't going to see this, let's start pandering to the Academy"?


Well whoever does these TV spots does the same thing for Clint Eastwood's films as well. Each new movie he releases they try to make it look like "Oscar Bait".


Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:50 pm
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Post Re: WAR HORSE
Just that this today and I thought it was an excellent film, but maybe not quite Best Picture material. I thought the cast was very good, particularly the young French girl. In terms of production Spielberg + co. are making the technical side look easy at this point.

I thought Spielberg also did an excellent job at not presenting the Germans as cartoon characters, particularly in light of some of his past productions. Finally, Joey was a remarkable animal, and I hope his trainers got paid handsomely because this movie falls apart without Joey's acting ability.

I did find weaknesses in the film, but I felt that they were relatively minor. While the cast was very good, due to the nature of the film, the long gap between the parts of Albert's story did weaken the human emotional center of the story. I am not sure that could have been avoided.

The other element that bugged me was Williams' score, which sounded very "familiar" to me. I felt as though he mined his own past a bit too much, but not as shamelessly as James Horner did during his Patriot Games-Braveheart-Titanic arc. Other than that I did not find a great deal to fault.


Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:03 am
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Post Re: WAR HORSE
I didn't find it entirely successful. I didn't care for Jeremy Irvine's performance, which is what will give the picture the complaints of schmaltziness; Emily Watson, on the other hand was fine as his mother. I liked a number of the other actors, including the young captain, the girl and her grandfather, and the horse trainer. There were some powerful scenes, such as the horse facing tanks then escaping into no-man's-land, and an earlier one where we see the moment where calvary charges became obsolete. I wonder what the kids in the audience felt about that one. There's one moment when a cannon is dragged to the top of a rise, and you see the shell holes full of water where a lot of soldiers drowned.

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Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:25 pm
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Post Re: WAR HORSE
thethirdcoast wrote:

I thought Spielberg also did an excellent job at not presenting the Germans as cartoon characters, particularly in light of some of his past productions. Finally, Joey was a remarkable animal, and I hope his trainers got paid handsomely because this movie falls apart without Joey's acting ability.

.


Well there are like 14 Joeys, but I assume they're all top-notch :)

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Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:08 pm
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