April 30, 2014 – 6:08 pm | No Comment

This week features some great movies that will be opening.
The Amazing Spiderman 2 – perfect for any fan of the superhero genre.
Belle – A coming of age piece set in 19th century England
Beneath The Harvest …

Read the full story »
Movie Reviews

Horror

Famous Directors

True HollyWood Stories

Watch Now

Home » Movie Reviews

War Horse

Submitted by Richard on December 21, 2011 – 1:37 pmNo Comment

By Richard von Busack

ONLY Steven Spielberg could do what is done in War Horse. Only he could have authorized the expensive World War I re-creations: a sumptuous cavalry charge, with officers Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston (depicting military arrogance and Rupert Brook sensitivity, respectively). Only Spielberg could have achieved the harrowing camera pullbacks that display the mud and craters of the Western Front. But movies are more than war re-enactments. If Spielberg has enough clout to get away with serious historical buzzkill, he balances the death toll with barrels of sap.
Spielberg tries to gets around the callouses most audiences have developed against anti-war films by clapping a steel helmet on a horse. War Horse recycles the Black Beauty plot. One owner is kind, and Joey the horse gets oats and a warm blanket. The next owners (Germans, naturally) are cruel and sentence the beast to hard labor.
The film is bracketed by sequences of a rural Devon that, for unforgivable quaintness, always threaten to become John Ford’s Ireland. They also come with retina-cooking crimson sunsets not seen since Gone With the Wind. Peter Mullan plays the tippling pa who decides to show up his landlord (David Thewlis with fancy whiskers) by out bidding the rich man on a thoroughbred, when he should have purchased a plough horse. Ma (the luminous Emily Watson, made to look like a sack of spuds) scolds away. Their son, Albert (Jeremy Irvine), knows he can train Joey to save the turnip harvest.
Comes the war, and first the horse goes and then the boy. Joey passes from the British cavalry to an idyll on a French farm with an ailing little girl and her granddad (Niels Arestrup). Finally, the steed is put to the hard labor of pulling obscenely oversized cannons with steel-shod wheels up a steep muddy hill.
Spielberg uses everything he knows to make anew the rural Disney dramas Robert Stevenson used to direct in the 1950s. He uses novel angles: the sight of a firing squad, eclipsed by a sweep of a windmill’s blade, or the horse, loose and masterless, in No Man’s Land, an image recalling the maddened war horse in Henri Rousseau’s painting. The problem is ultimately one of a lack of economy. Spielberg couldn’t resist an embedded series of endings, each one more manipulative than the one before: the turns of the screw that fracture this film’s grandly produced but ultimately pure balsa-wood structure.

Popularity: 2% [?]

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

MovieTimes.com

Although updated daily, all theaters, movie show times, and movie listings should be independently verified with the movie theatre.
Contact MovieTimes.com for information or comments. Please read the MovieTimes.com Privacy Policy and terms of use. Enjoy the movie!
Copyright © 2014 Movie Times, Inc. Site Map | Site List | Google+

Help MovieTimes.com Fight Cancer

Partners: Ujena Swimwear