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A movie directed by Steven Spielberg

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'War Horse' 'Two Jews On Film' Have Dry Eyes Watching Spielberg's Latest Epic (Video)

  • Dec 18, 2011

By Joan Alperin Schwartz

Albert (Jeremy Irvine) a young boy, who lives on a rented farm in Devon with his mom (Emily Watson) and his dad (Peter Mullen).  Albert has a horse named Joey and Joey...is one awesome horse and the family couldn't be happier.  Until...    

WW! breaks out, and poor Joey is sold to the British cavalry and shipped off to France.  Luckily this reallynice British officer (Tom Hiddleston) promises the devastated Albert, that he will take wonderful care of Joey and do everything in his power, to bring the horse back to him.  In one piece of course.
But as luck would have it, the kindly officer is killed in battle and Joey, well...he goes on one hell of an adventure.

Joey becomes BFF with another horse...winds up fighting on both sides of the War...hangs out with asickly, young girl and her grandfather (straight out of Heidi) gets his horse-heart broken and eventually winds up...(Spoiler Alert) back where it all began.

 Sounds heartwarming, right?...Well, not that much.

'War Horse' directed by Steven Spielberg, is based on the award winning play of the same name.  The play is based on a children's book, written by Michael Morpurgo.

 This extraordinary theatre piece took over five years to put together, before it opened at the Royal National Theatre in London.  'War Horse' then went on to Broadway, where it won several awards including the Tony for Best Play and Best Director.

'War Horse' was dubbed the theatrical event of the decade.

What makes this play so incredible are the horses...Because they are life size puppets...Big enough and strong enough for the actors to ride.  On stage these puppet horses snort, gallop, walk, and rear up.  You can even feel them breathing.  That's how life-like they are.  

This is theater at its most powerful...And sadly, for me, 'War Horse' the film...is anything but powerful.
From Spielberg's heavy handed direction, to the endless close-ups, plus John Williams, overpowering score, 'War Horse' lacks everything that made the play so wonderful.  Maybe some plays should just be left alone...Not everything has to be made into a film.

'War Horse' reminded me of those bad movies that were so popular in the 50's and 60's, where every scene seemed designed to milk an emotion out of you.
Lastly, I know 'War Horse' is being marketed as a family film, but some of the scenes involving animal brutality are much too graphic for kids...and definitely for this adult.

This is another rare time, when John and I agree. Check out our video to see how many bagels we gave this film. 'War Horse' opens in theaters on December 25, 2011.

 Also the 'Two Jews On Film' will be on Popcorn Mafia this Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 1:30 PST.  You can listen on MyNDR.com and call in at 323-284-5532.
'War Horse' 'Two Jews On Film' Have Dry Eyes Watching Spielberg's Latest Epic (Video) 'War Horse' 'Two Jews On Film' Have Dry Eyes Watching Spielberg's Latest Epic (Video) 'War Horse' 'Two Jews On Film' Have Dry Eyes Watching Spielberg's Latest Epic (Video)

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December 18, 2011
When I saw the trailer for this, I was reminded of the animated "Spirit". John brought up an excellent point, I feel the same way with other films with animals...Like Mr. Popper's Penguins, the magic is the trained animals and CGI will not do it. Hm, I don't know. Maybe if I get really bored, I'll see it but there are more movies coming out. Thanks!
More War Horse (2011 film) reviews
review by . September 28, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
A long faced look at war
More recently as Steven Spielberg has become a more active producer, his directing credits are becoming less common.      In 2011 he produced the brillant Super 8, one of my favorites, directed by JJ Abrams, the creator, writer and occasional director of Lost, and the recent Star trek. Super 8 is a great nostalgia piece evoking the early eighties, a movie within a movie, and an homage to Spielberg's earliest movies. Spielberg also produced Cowboys and Aliens, a somewhat weird …
review by . June 24, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
** out of ****    Allow me, for a moment, to establish a few of my reviewer biases that I might not have already established in the past. What I like in a movie is entertainment, however it may be delivered; be it through a thought-provoking story, strong central characters, or a satisfying visual style. What I dislike is familiarity, simplicity (although sometimes I can let it slide), and ignorance. And now it all boils down to what a truly hate: forced sentimentality, the manipulation …
review by . July 18, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Were it not for war, many a man's needs would be unfulfilled.
War Horse - directed by Steven Spielberg   Starring - Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson and Tom Eddleson   Based on the 1982 novel by Michael Morpurgo      This WWI drama tells the story of a young man in the English countryside - Albert and a remarkable horse.      Albert was a boy when he witnessed the horse's birth and its early years of growth. Then the horse went on the market and, to Albert's amazement, his father-a farmer barely …
review by . December 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Three hours about a horse
WAR HORSE Written by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis Directed by Steven Spielberg Starring Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, Tom Hiddleston and fourteen different horses as “Joey”   The other day, I told a friend of mine that I had never in my life ever ridden a horse. She gasped in horror as if I had missed out on one of life’s most rewarding experiences. I’m not against the idea of it, although I can’t imagine horses enjoy that kind of weight on them for hours at …
review by . December 27, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         War Horse must have been a tremendous challenge for director Steven Spielberg, as the film is a balancing act between two of his well-established styles, namely overt sentimentalism and horrific depictions of war. On paper, this sounds like a recipe for disaster. On screen, it comes across beautifully. Don’t ask me how he made it work, because I have absolutely no idea. All I know is, like Spielberg’s own E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, …
review by . December 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
While talking to my friend about War Horse, he told me that he initially thought there was some deeper meaning to the title; it wasn’t until later that he found out that the movie is literally about a horse in a war. Any kind of serious discussion about the movie from that point on was impossible. This makes the review all that more difficult to write because Steven Spielberg takes his story very seriously. You know the one about a horse, in a war.      Steven Spielberg …
review by . January 19, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
In Dartmoor, England a teenage boy named Albert Narracott (Jeremy Irvine), watches in fascination as a thoroughbred colt is born. The baby horse is a beautiful animal and watching the equine run through the fields soon becomes Albert's new hobby. The day comes when the horse is taken to auction. Albert's father, Ted (Peter Mullan) comes to market to buy a plow horse, but when he sees the magnificent beast and spots his landlord smirking on the other side of the fence he ends up paying a …
About the reviewer
Joan & John Schwartz ()
Ranked #34
My husband (creator of the cult classic films FACES OF DEATH) andmyself (actress/screenwriter) are ex New Yorkers, see alot of films and usually disagree. So our friends decided that we need a review … more
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A WW1 Action Film Based On The Award Winning Play
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