war horse

I saw War Horse last night with Melody.  I didn’t get to see this movie before last year ended, but I did get around to it.  It’s about a horse in England who’s bought by a rather poor farmer, but his son Albert Narracott (played by Jeremy Irvine) trains and bonds with this horse, Joey.  Then World War I hits and they have to sell the horse to the army to help pay for their farm.  The story follows Joey through this war.

The good; the horse, I’m sure they used multiple horses, but you care for this character.  That can be said for the other characters in the film as well.  From Albert and his family, you just get drawn in to their struggle and their family structure, it’s almost as if you’re growing up with Alby, even though you don’t see him for a good portion of the film.  Then there are the other characters, from the Captain that buys Joey to the young German Soldiers who find Joey, to Emilie and her Grandfather who also find Joey.  Every time Joey meets someone knew you’re drawn in to their world and honestly care for what happens to them.

John Williams scores this film, among others in Spielberg’s normal crew, and it’s great.  I just enjoy how the music carries you through the scenes and punctuates the grandness of things.

Janusz Kamiński does the cinematography, and boy are the images beautiful.  Almost everything looks like photo, but ya know, it’s moving in the frame.

Another good thing about this film is that there aren’t very many names in it, the casting was mostly unknowns, which really helped.

The bad; I have to put something here.  War Horse is based on a children’s book, and then based on a play, then adapted in to a film.  The movie feels like a play, granted it’s about two and a half hours long, but there are definite scene/act breaks.  The use of dissolves doesn’t help this feeling any, there’s just a very present sense that this was a play.  It makes me want to read the book to see where scenes where expanded upon.

Overall, an excellent movie.  Only Spielberg can put out two movies in the same month.  This is also Spielberg’s first digitally edited movie.  Go see this in the theatres, it’s one of those movies that was meant to be viewed on the big screen.

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