Saturday, January 7, 2012

War Horse: Um... no :(

Well, after all the raving I and what seems to be the entirety of the movie world had been doing, I am sad to say that War Horse was, well... okay.

Was is cute? Yes. Was it memorable? Relatively so. Do I think it should win all the awards it's up for? No. Am I glad I paid for a movie ticket and a pretzel to go see? No. Probably should have waited for Blockbuster.

I actually went to go see it Thursday with all of my fellow barn bums. Which, I will add, it is quite fun to go straight from the barn in your breeches and polos and dusty tall boots to the movies! And out of the whole group, only two of us got really choked up (I think if I had not read the book, I might have too, although I did kind of choke up one scene, but I got over it) and most of us had a great laugh about the training techniques and gasped in unison at the horse running through six strands of barbed wire and then groaning that he didn't even get a scratch! But the training has since become an ongoing joke, along the lines of "just tell him what you want him to do! It really works!"

And teaching a horse to take a harness collar by both horse and human putting their head in at the same time? Let's just say ongoing joke number two is "Let's see whose nose gets broken first!"

The cinematography was beautiful. The special effects and CGIs were incredible. Kudos to the horse trainers, because those horses were quite well-trained and believable in their actions and even had some nice expressions going on, even if they were sometimes easy to tell apart. The riding was actually quite decent (especially the calvary charge scenes, the first one actually gave me chills because it was very realistic).

There was a lot of overacting. The plot was more hoaky than it needed to be (the ending especially made me want to gag). The training inaccuaracies were a minor qualm to me compared to the general sappiness of the movie.

I think Speilberg really could have done something with this. It had the potential to be like a Schindler's List with horses: something that really moved you and really made you think about the services horses have given us in times of war and beyond. But I personally feel Disney kind of messed it up. I could definitely see their involvement, and it made the movie not enjoyable to me. I cried more and was moved more by the trailers before the movie than during the actual movie!

Disney did the same thing with Secretariat, so what was I supposed to expect?

So, it looks like Seabiscuit will remain my favorite horse movie. Because it wasn't hoaky. Because Disney didn't meddle with it. Which I guess is hard not to do with horsey movies.

But movie did make the SNL skit 10 times funnier.

And as a friend said, "If the guy who directed the trailer had done the entire movie, then we might have something to talk about."

So, sorry guys. Maybe you'll like it more than I did. I'll just hold out for Red Tails and The Hunger Games for my potential movies-of-the-year (but please read the books first, I think I will always enjoy them more than the movies, because you get more from them! Same goes with War Horse! I will always love the book... not the movie.)


  1. I agree with you. The acting of the main guy (forget his name...he was THAT memorable...)was appalling.
    The one thing that really annoyed me was the condition of the horses. I mean, obviously they aren't going to neglect horses for the sake of a movie, but Joey stayed fat and shiny the whole way through. I can't imagine a war horse being fat and shiny. Especially when pulling artillery.
    I guess there were a few good moments, though...

  2. Told you it sucked.
    Hunger games <3

  3. I would never expect for underfed horses to show up in a movie, I'll leave the weight to my imagination. Dirty them up a bit, let their coat get a bit shaggy and unattended, and I can easily convince myself the horse is being neglected haha.

    I think if the whole movie was as good as that cavalry charge into the German camp scene, it would have been awesome.

    Yes, THG, definitely.

  4. I agree.

    The things that Spielberg changed in the movie (from the play and I assume the book), did nothing to improve the story for the cinema. He eliminated one of my favorite characters and story sequences and added in some very sappy substitutes. I found his changes to be clique and uncreative. Spielberg is good for action, but that is about it. I think that is why the best parts of the movie were the cavalry charge and the running scene at the end BEFORE the ridiculously overdone barbed wire nonsense. Oh well. The Black Stallion is nearly impossible to beat as my number one, so I guess War Horse did not stand a chance!

  5. You're the second person I've heard say this. I think I'm waiting for it to be on Netflix. LOL


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