War Horse

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 2:26 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

War Horse
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, A Lot of Horses
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Kiddie Movie: Not too young even if they like horses, most of the story revolves around WWI after all.
Date Movie: My wife liked it and snuggled. It’s a winner.
Gratuitous Sex: Nope.
Gratuitous Violence: You do get some war scenes that showed the brutalness of trench warfare.
Action: The horse runs a lot.
Laughs: A few chuckles.
Memorable Scene: The scene where Joey ends up entangled in barbed wire started brutal and ended beautifullly, and all I could kept thinking about during it was the song Belleau Wood” from Garth Brooks.
Memorable Quote: Nothing stood out.
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Cool things about the Blu-ray: Lots of extras on how the film was made makes the combo pack a film-lover’s dream, especially since it skips the usually useless stuff like deleted scenes and a gag reel.

I was a little worried when my wife and I started watching “War Horse” because, after about the first five minutes, as they were setting up the relationship between Joey (the horse) and Albert (Jeremy Irvine), my wife turns to me and says sarcastically, “Oh, this is riveting.” I could tell she was bored, and there was over two hours of the movie left to go.  Thankfully things got much better.

“War Horse” takes us back to the early 1900’s, as World War I was about to break, horses were used to plow the fields, and you read books made out of paper by candlelight.  Young Albert sees a horse being born, and although not the greatest build of a work horse, there is a bond formed between Joey and Albert, much like most people would form to their pet dog, but the war is now here, and in those days horses were used for everything, from transporting troops and the wounded, to pulling the giant cannons, and the best horses were rounded up for use in the war. Joey was now gone, on his way to war, and Albert was sad.

So, we get the story of Joey, a horse that doesn’t look like the strongest but has the heart of a thousand horses and touches lots of life’s in many way.  We see Joey in battle, developing bond with a giant of a horse that most everyone thinks is stronger, helping a young girl discover life, yet all the while never forgetting Albert.

Okay, fine, “War Horse” is much more that that, as intertwined with the story of Joey is the family bond Albert has back home on the farm, a look at a young little girl and her grandfather, a glimpse of the brutality of trench warfare, and how an animal can make friends out of enemies, if only for a few minutes.  Yup, the “This is riveting” had turned into a wonderful story.

Wonderfully shot and what turns out to be a fantastic story, “War Horse” is the kind of movie that is probably better seen on the big screen to envelop you, but will do fine on your big screen, and will allow you to get weepy in the privacy of your own home (Yup, the ending is a tear-jerker in many ways).  So, get through the first five minutes of unrivetting-ness, and enjoy this 4 ½ our of 5 star movie in all of its horse splendor.

Now, Blu-ray wise, if you get the 4-disc combo pack, you get extras to keep you busy for hours, and if you have any interest in how an Academy Award winning Director constructs a movie, this is the combo pack for you. Among other features, you get “War Horse: The Journey Home” which gives you a round-table format of discussions about the film, the characters, and how things went from seeing a play and thinking it would make a great film to ending up on the big screen. Then there is “A Filmmaking Journey” which gives you a detailed look at Steven Spielberg’s creative process, while “Editing and Scoring” dictates how the film is put together. There isn’t the standard “Deleted Scenes” nor “Gag Reel,” which is probably better since generally those just add easy extras to a release, but if you ever just wanted to be that guy in the background of a shot, you get “An Extra’s Point of View,” a nice look at being, well, an extra on a film. Lastly, take the film with you because you also get the copy for your portable device. This combo pack is why you buy a combo pack.

A great story, a great film, and a worthwhile batch of extras when you buy the whole set, I am a little sad I didn’t see the movie on the gloriousness of the big screen, but snuggling on the couch and the both of you getting a little weepy with a great movie does have a niceness about it.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!!! L8R!!!