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gold2012
Dec. 26, 2011, 09:03 AM
WELL???

I didnt get to see yesterday, but heard it was amazing and make sure to bring tissues? And your opinion is.............

shea'smom
Dec. 26, 2011, 09:36 AM
I think there is a thread on every forum about this. Mixed reviews. I am afraid to go.

wolfmare
Dec. 26, 2011, 09:45 AM
I'm not reading any reviews- just going on my own gut. So...hush ye of little faith...

monstrpony
Dec. 26, 2011, 10:34 AM
I'm a little skeptical myself. Friends want to go, it's supposed to rain tomorrow, so we'll see ...

Not skeptical of the quality of the film, but whether or not I want to experience the story.

Prime Time Rider
Dec. 26, 2011, 10:43 AM
Bring tissues... beautifully filmed but sentimental. Both my husband and I enjoyed the movie, although I preferred Seabiscuit to War Horse.

Reagan
Dec. 26, 2011, 10:53 AM
I really enjoyed it. Yes, bring tissues for the end, but it is a happy crying, not sad. There are a few parts that make you cringe, but it is an incredible story. I would definitely recommend it :)

sunnycher
Dec. 26, 2011, 11:50 AM
We enjoyed it, bit gruesome in the fighting - but beautiful cinema-photography, and a good story...Lots and lots of beautiful horse flesh...

Xctrygirl
Dec. 26, 2011, 04:11 PM
Sad to say I thought Seabiscuit was a much more enjoyable dramatic movie with horses involved.

I liked War Horse, but I will forever thank my body for needing a trip to the facilities timed perfectly with the first battle scene. I heard enough in the thrumming bass from the bathroom to know that it was best I not return to the seat until the tempo and score lightened up.

During the next big battle scene I was huddled sideways into John crushing my ears shut with my fingers and eyes firmly closed. But then I am a wuss.

The idea of this story is fantastic. The book is epic. But the ideas and the printed word, and yes even the Broadway production never bring us face to face with ripping bullets and torn flesh. (equine and human alike) That part of the reality of war was very hard to handle for me. And no I have never seen "Saving Private Ryan." Duh!

The upswing is that they were wise to blend some great happy and comedic moments into the performance to balance the hard stuff. The conversations about what life is like in the trenches had me rolling.

I had brought a pocketful of kleenex but never used them. The trailers got me worse than the majority of this movie. I liked the movie but I was mentally unsettled all night. More kind of in shock at the elements of the plot and how it had likely happened for real not so long ago. And that reality kind of put me into a numb uneasiness. And that was with covering my eyes and missing the "worst" stuff. But then I prefer to think that we live in a world without this kind of violence, and maybe it's good for all us to have to face what "war" is. And if a horse leads us to a needed dose of reality about mankind, then so be it.

3 Hooves up (out of 5)

~Emily

airhorse
Dec. 26, 2011, 06:08 PM
How did you get a spare hoof?

Duckz
Dec. 26, 2011, 06:12 PM
It's definitely worth seeing. Bring tissues. I found a couple scenes in the beginning to be a little much (horse meets boy, horse loves boy, boy trains horse with the sheer power of his love, etc etc) but overall it was excellent. I really got sucked into the plot. Enjoy!

RiverBendPol
Dec. 26, 2011, 06:15 PM
If you want to sob, run right out and get a copy of SNOWMAN the Eighty Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts. Holy cow...opens at the New Holland auction, 1956. I was BAWLING in my bed last night and I hadn't even gotten through the first chapter. Fantastic story, total sobber.

Xctrygirl
Dec. 26, 2011, 06:59 PM
How did you get a spare hoof?

I dunno about you, but my horse has a 5th leg when we need it! :D (And I think he uses it for entertainment when he's alone) :lol:

~Emily

frugalannie
Dec. 26, 2011, 07:40 PM
If you want to sob, run right out and get a copy of SNOWMAN the Eighty Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts. Holy cow...opens at the New Holland auction, 1956. I was BAWLING in my bed last night and I hadn't even gotten through the first chapter. Fantastic story, total sobber.

Pol, rumor has it you'll weep reading almost ANY horse story. Comes with the granny territory, methinks. (Which is to say I find myself tearing up at certain Budweiser commercials.)

Haven't seem the movie and probably won't until it comes to the second run Art Deco house in our area. But a friend saw it on Broadway a week ago and RAVED about it (although she recommends many tissues for that as well). No...today it was Peter Pan 360 with the grandkids.

eventer_mi
Dec. 26, 2011, 07:43 PM
I'm with Emily on this one. The problem was that I read the book and hoped the movie would be more faithful to the story. It wasn't. I, too, cried more during the previews than during the actual movie, although there was a scene with barbed wire that I was weeping through. I didn't cry at the end, though. The cinematography was incredible, and the battle scenes were well done in that they implied the carnage and didn't actually show it (unlike Saving Private Ryan). The "training" in the beginning was a bit sappy and definitely unrealistic. The horse that played Topthorn (I realize that there were probably quite a few, but the one that played him when you first met him) was incredible - I was drooling and wanted to take him home. I thought the movie did a great job of showing the horrors of war on the local populace and the horses - not so good on the training bit. Go see it if you haven't read the book or watched the play. Know that you are watching a Hollywoodized version of the film if you have seen the play or read the book.

All in all, it was enjoyable, but I enjoyed Seabiscuit more. And I have mixed feelings about The Eighty Dollar Champion book - liked some parts, suffered through others.

tres grey
Dec. 26, 2011, 07:48 PM
It's a good movie! Like others, I rather go see Seabiscuit, but I'll give War Horse a solid B. The cinematography is absolutely stunning. There was a little bit too much cheese for me, especially the voice over whinnies, but overall a great film. Loved the plot and war viewpoints of the different characters by way of Joey.

3phase
Dec. 26, 2011, 08:15 PM
Just went and saw it and my Dad and I really enjoyed it!! Some of the scenes went on for a bit and there were some cheezy moments but the storyline was great! Made me cry for sure!

Becky Rocky
Dec. 26, 2011, 09:34 PM
I agree with the previous posts, when emailing my friends that asked if their mature 7 year olds daughers could watch the film I replied to both mothers, there isn't profanity or nudity, but think 'Saving Private Ryan' in war scenes before allowing your young 'mature' daughters to watch. The movie has many Hollywood moments, but it shows what these amazing horses endured during the war(s), there is a very sentimental story connected to one very special horse and those of us that have been fortunate enough to have that one amazingly special horse in our life (past or present) can identify with the love the main character has for his horse. Much is unrealistic when it comes to to the horse, but I don't begrudge any of it as it is a beautiful story with a beautiful message and I would recommend one and all to see.

chizzle
Dec. 26, 2011, 09:57 PM
saw it last night - definitely Disney-esque and as others mentioned the war scenes were a bit difficult - didn't need any tissues but did have a clear lump in my throat for a good part of the movie; I did leave wondering how many youngish boys will now sign up for riding lessons - as one message from the movie is that it is cool to be a boy and love horses and they aren't just for girls. It's a lovely movie and certainly worth going.

Hony
Dec. 26, 2011, 10:01 PM
I saw it yesterday and wasn't a fan. Way too melodramatic. I think the story had potential but in an effort to keep it PG13 it wasn't that realistic. If a horse went through three wire fences it would have a lot more than a couple scratches.

wildlifer
Dec. 26, 2011, 10:45 PM
I saw it today -- I have to agree, way over the top with the sentimentalism. I wish the cinematographer and director would have let the power of the story and the horses speak for itself instead of trying so hard.

Although I did learn that I have been working way to hard training my horses -- all I have to do is explain things in plain English and then demonstrate it for them myself and they will magically step right in and perform the skill I want!

It was a sweet story and the horses themselves were very lovely. The end shot was a direct steal from Gone With The Wind (we were waiting for Scarlet to run in and steal the horse!) which made me giggle a bit. I actually did not think the war scenes were that graphic compared to other films that deal much more directly with battlefield carnage. Although the barbed wire vs. horse made me shudder.

There were some endearing moments and a few wonderful lines, I'd give it a B for a good effort.

chizzle
Dec. 27, 2011, 01:38 AM
The end shot was a direct steal from Gone With The Wind (we were waiting for Scarlet to run in and steal the horse!) which made me giggle a bit.


right down to the gate and color of the sky = GWTW LOL - also took a line from Last of the Mohicans... "whatever it takes I will find you"...

and the next time I ride my horse on a windy day all I have to do is put my hands just so on his head and tell him the lesson for the day - no bucking :yes:

tle
Dec. 27, 2011, 10:27 AM
It was good and I'm glad I saw it... but also glad I went to matinee instead of paying full price at night. I think I went in thinking it would be more of a Black Beauty type story. Honestly, every time I started to get choked up, the shift of the movie threw me (usually a shift towards what was going on with the people). I didn't care for the editing at all.

By far the best scene in teh movie is where they're cutting Joey out of the wires. LOVED every second of it. (however as he was running through said wires, I kept thinking of the calf that Tristan in Legend of the Fall tried to get out of the wire and how well that DIDN'T work!)

Disney plus PG-13... just doesn't work for a movie focusing on the harshness of war. I'd also give it 3 out of 5 because it is beautifully filmed, mostly, and there ARE brilliant moments... but those are cut too short by the choppy editing.

JER
Dec. 27, 2011, 01:21 PM
I didn't care for the editing at all.

Interesting. Michael Kahn (who must be close to 80 now) has been editing Spielberg's films since Close Encounters. He's very classic in terms of style. I suspect they were trying to fit a lot in and had some time concerns.

My SO thinks he can talk me into seeing this movie because it has a horse in it. Yeah, right. Every time -- since Close Encounters, that is, which I love -- I emerge from a Steven Spielberg film, I'm filled with regret for those lost hours. I know I'm not with the majority but his sensibility is not mine. (The last one I sat through was Munich, which was a hodgepodge of cliches, bad accents and incorrect history, albeit with some lovely period 1970s European cars occasionally gracing the screen.)

:)

Lori T
Dec. 27, 2011, 02:36 PM
Saw it again on Christmas with my daughter who couldn't make it to the premier with me.
Since I knew what was coming, I annoyed her by cringing just prior to the scenes. It was a good history lesson for her...she had no idea that over a million horses died in WWI and that the Germans stole the food and livestock of the French.
I thought it was beautifully done, and I hope a horse movie wins some awards!

LazyTrot
Dec. 27, 2011, 02:40 PM
I got that book for Christmas and also cried my way through it.......but love it so far, am halfway done.

cranky
Dec. 27, 2011, 02:46 PM
I think there is a thread on every forum about this. Mixed reviews. I am afraid to go.

I'm afraid to go too. I can't even watch the trailers without losing it.

gallopinggram
Dec. 27, 2011, 02:56 PM
The trailers made me cry more than the movie did. The realism of the battles and war scenes were in very real contrast to the unrealistic training parts at the beginning. But I loved the movie, it was a good story and an even better reminder that war is NOT a good thing ever for any reason.

eventer_mi
Dec. 27, 2011, 05:27 PM
tle - that was the best scene! I loved the banter between the Brit and the German.

I, too, thought the Gone with the Wind ending was a bit over the top.

gottagrey
Dec. 27, 2011, 06:44 PM
After seeing nearly 30 minutes of previews - my thought was that some of the previews were worse in terms of violence than in War Horse and no doubt some video games are worse as well. Certainly not acceptable for kids under 10 but I think 11 and up would be okay - it is a kids book and Disney afterall.

3dazey
Dec. 27, 2011, 07:31 PM
Interesting. Michael Kahn (who must be close to 80 now) has been editing Spielberg's films since Close Encounters. He's very classic in terms of style. I suspect they were trying to fit a lot in and had some time concerns.

:)

JER, your comment about editing caught my attention because we went to see the movie today, and had to get there pretty early to get me & broken ankle situated before the crowd arrived. During all the paraphernalia they drop on you in the pre-movie stuff, I read the fun fact that War Horse is the first movie Spielberg has ever done that was digitally edited...apparently his preference was the old-fashioned way on a cutting-room table. So perhaps new technology does not equal better results?

I'm with the crowd that thought it was overly-sentimental and rough in the editing. I suppose if they ever made a movie where horses acted like horses really do, no one would go? It was just okay, wouldn't go see it again.

SevenDogs
Dec. 27, 2011, 07:40 PM
it is a kids book and Disney afterall.

In my opinion, a LOT of Disney movies should come with a warning label -- Old Yeller, Bambi, and Dumbo are three movies no kid of mine is ever going to see. Disney movies (particularly of yore) were the worst, so it is no rousing evidence of being appropriate for kids because it is a disney movie.

I have no interest in War Horse -- the horrifying parts are the true parts (or, certainly more representative of the truth). The "feel good" parts are the fiction. I am always acutely aware of the contrast in movies like this, and just end up haunted by the reality. The Pollyana ending does nothing to alter the historic reality that I already know. There is nothing entertaining about that.

ravenclaw
Dec. 27, 2011, 07:46 PM
Every time -- since Close Encounters, that is, which I love -- I emerge from a Steven Spielberg film, I'm filled with regret for those lost hours. I know I'm not with the majority but his sensibility is not mine. (The last one I sat through was Munich, which was a hodgepodge of cliches, bad accents and incorrect history, albeit with some lovely period 1970s European cars occasionally gracing the screen.)


Did you see The Color Purple? It was excellent. I kinda forgive Steven Spielberg for all his crappy movies because I love The Color Purple so much. :D

I'm not going to see War Horse in the theater. I have heard too many bad things about it....and the bad things are the type of things that I know will bother me. I'll wait until it's out on DVD.

The War Horse play is supposed to go on tour in 2012....I think starting in the summer. If it comes anywhere close to the southeast, I'll go. :yes:

Trak_Eventer
Dec. 27, 2011, 07:51 PM
I loved it! I am such a sap at heart, so it was right up my alley. It made me tear up multiple times, but happy tears.

Yes there were some violent parts, but not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. They could have made it a lot worse. I actually wish they would have made it R rated so they could include some more detail of the war.

I know a few people who told me it was too much for them. You do see horses die from being over worked, and COMPUTER made dead horses. However, it is PG-13 so I don't think it was too much at all.

I am going to see it again next week with a friend, and cannot wait to see it a second time!

JER
Dec. 27, 2011, 08:45 PM
I read the fun fact that War Horse is the first movie Spielberg has ever done that was digitally edited...apparently his preference was the old-fashioned way on a cutting-room table. So perhaps new technology does not equal better results?

I'm not sure what this means. Editing has evolved over the years, from Moviola to KEM (or Steenbeck, these are the flatbeds) to Avid (non-linear/digital video) to Final Cut Pro. Avid was already in wide use in the early 1990s. At that time, a big-budget film would usually cut on video (Avid) and film (KEM) simultaneously in post.

However, there is a cadre of renowned editors -- Dede Allen, Anne Coates, Michael Kahn, etc. -- who learned to work on the Moviola and continued to use it. Michael Kahn was still using the Moviola on Munich, which was about 2007 or so. It's an utter marvel to watch a master of the Moviola (Kahn is certainly one of them) in action. True craftsmanship at lightning speed.

Editing is about rhythms and taking the eye where it wants to go; a director-editor partnership like the Kahn-Spielberg one endures because they know each other's preferences and can work somewhat intuitively. I don't see how all-digital editing would affect that, especially as both parties would be re-viewing (and re-viewing) the film althogether and in various segments along the way.


I'm with the crowd that thought it was overly-sentimental and rough in the editing. I suppose if they ever made a movie where horses acted like horses really do, no one would go? It was just okay, wouldn't go see it again.

For a good equine movie, sit yourself down in front of Au Hasard Balthazar (http://www.criterion.com/films/455-au-hasard-balthazar), Robert Bresson's film about a donkey. One of my favorites.


Did you see The Color Purple? It was excellent. I kinda forgive Steven Spielberg for all his crappy movies because I love The Color Purple so much. :D

Oh dear. Not my taste at all. But then I'm not a fan of the book.

:)

purplnurpl
Dec. 27, 2011, 09:07 PM
just saw it.

Don't want to ever see it or talk about it again. I can't handle that stuff.
I thought it was just like Black Beauty acutally.
Horse born,
horse sold,
new owner
new owner
and back to original owner.

I cried from the first minute to the last minute.

I'm emotionally ruined now for 2 days.

I thought the horse/s were really nice and I was impressed with their feet! They had a really great farrier on set.

I'm hoping when it comes time for me to break Swain, if I just put the saddle on my back first to show her that it's not scary, she'll accept it with no questions asked.

Starhouse
Dec. 27, 2011, 11:13 PM
just saw it.

Don't want to ever see it or talk about it again. I can't handle that stuff.
I thought it was just like Black Beauty acutally.
Horse born,
horse sold,
new owner
new owner
and back to original owner.

I cried from the first minute to the last minute.

I'm emotionally ruined now for 2 days.

Agreed with all of this. For the record, I HATE HATE HATE war movies, war shows, war short series, etc. I only watched this movie because my husband really really wanted to and even he said he considered walking out a few times. The movie was more about the war than the horse at points. I would have been fine if they just called it "horse" and cut all the battle scenes out. :)

ltmac
Dec. 27, 2011, 11:47 PM
I saw it and loved it! I don't care what the critics have to say, I loved it. It was a heartwarming story, the cinematography was gorgeous, and it wasn't cheesy. I made sure to go hug my horse after it!

wolfmare
Dec. 28, 2011, 10:24 AM
I avoided this thread until I saw it for my self- I loved so much of it- don't understand war at all- loved the part where the enemies got together- but overall- it wasn't quite what I expected...A little too Disney for a five star from me- but it was about a horse, and some of the scenes were amazing.
Grateful for a horse movie of any kind- I am one of those people that will watch them over. :)

smay
Dec. 28, 2011, 12:31 PM
If you want to sob, run right out and get a copy of SNOWMAN the Eighty Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts. Holy cow...opens at the New Holland auction, 1956. I was BAWLING in my bed last night and I hadn't even gotten through the first chapter. Fantastic story, total sobber.

THIS!!!! ^^^^^ now THAT's a book!

Robby Johnson
Dec. 28, 2011, 01:17 PM
I loved Reagan's review earlier in this thread - I felt the same way. My favorite part were those super-hot British actors.

Lovin' a bloke,

Robby

Robby Johnson
Dec. 28, 2011, 01:20 PM
Interesting. Michael Kahn (who must be close to 80 now) has been editing Spielberg's films since Close Encounters. He's very classic in terms of style. I suspect they were trying to fit a lot in and had some time concerns.

My SO thinks he can talk me into seeing this movie because it has a horse in it. Yeah, right. Every time -- since Close Encounters, that is, which I love -- I emerge from a Steven Spielberg film, I'm filled with regret for those lost hours. I know I'm not with the majority but his sensibility is not mine. (The last one I sat through was Munich, which was a hodgepodge of cliches, bad accents and incorrect history, albeit with some lovely period 1970s European cars occasionally gracing the screen.)

:)

I began this thread thirsting for JER input and BOOM! it filled me with glee. I go back/forth on Spielberg projects. I loved Schindler's List, but the epic blockblusters I find lackluster.

Robby Johnson
Dec. 28, 2011, 01:22 PM
Did you see The Color Purple? It was excellent. I kinda forgive Steven Spielberg for all his crappy movies because I love The Color Purple so much. :D

I'm not going to see War Horse in the theater. I have heard too many bad things about it....and the bad things are the type of things that I know will bother me. I'll wait until it's out on DVD.

The War Horse play is supposed to go on tour in 2012....I think starting in the summer. If it comes anywhere close to the southeast, I'll go. :yes:

LOVE The Color Purple. Thanks for that reminder.

I loved the book and though I read it many years after seeing the film for the first time (I own it on both VHS and DVD), my heart got a bit lighter and I could see additional elements in the film that I'd not seen in pre-book reviews. I also found the surreal/whimsical elements in "Precious" to be almost comedic, though I'm not sure if that was a hysterical reaction to atrocity or not. :)

I may check out JER's donkey recommendation. I need something positive to change my perspective on these creatures.

deltawave
Dec. 28, 2011, 01:56 PM
Saw it with the family and my trainer last night. Bawled and sniffled through the whole thing. Even my son was weepy over Topthorn and the barbed wire, which I could not watch.

Y'all are way too high-minded about the merits of various directors--it all goes right over my head. I'm easily entertained and enjoyed the movie. Hell, I would have paid $10 just to see the opening scenes, as that countryside is my personal vision of heaven. :)

llevent
Dec. 28, 2011, 02:01 PM
I think it was ok. As others have said, the trailers were more tear-jerking than the actual movie. In fact, I did not really cry during this at all, though I thought I would.

Seabiscuit was better. Black Beauty was way better (ball my eyes out every time.) The cinematography was great and the horses they used were beautiful, however there were wayyy too many cheesy moments, even for a family movie. I went with 2 non-horsey friends, and was kind of embarrassed during the horse scenes at times.

I thought the war scenes were great-- not too graphic at all, and were probably my favorite parts of the movie. I really connected with the soldiers and found myself really thinking about what it was like to be in their shoes. Actually, those scenes were the only ones where I connected with characters and brought the movie back to a decent level.

So, yeah, overall, it is not a waste of time or money, but it could have been better. If you like cheesy movie moments, you'll love it, but they make me uncomfortable. haha

JER
Dec. 28, 2011, 07:08 PM
I may check out JER's donkey recommendation. I need something positive to change my perspective on these creatures.

Careful. Balthasar is quite a rough trip, emotionally.



Y'all are way too high-minded about the merits of various directors--it all goes right over my head.

Not exactly high-minded. More like a 20-year career. I would hope that you're equally well-informed in your workplace. :)

europa
Dec. 29, 2011, 10:52 AM
Sort of reminded me of the old movies in technicolor. I really enjoyed the film. It brought back lovely childhood memories of old horse movies. We haven't had one of those in a long long while and it was time. This is an instant family classic.

I do have to say having seen a horse run thorugh barb wire it was highly disturbing. I wanted to cut the horse free myself!!!

Vesper Sparrow
Dec. 29, 2011, 05:07 PM
I thought it was a simple but powerful antiwar statement, told from the horse's point of view, which gave it added emotional heft. From the point of view of factual horsemanship, a lot was incorrect. I disliked the garish colours in the last scene, too.

Despite this, I pretty much cried from beginning to end, as did my two non-horsey companions.

Toadie's mom
Dec. 29, 2011, 09:49 PM
Just got home from seeing it. I went knowing there were going to be inaccuracies that would be annoying to horse people, but it was pure, sappy entertainment. I wasn't expecting any profound message, or insightful new horse training methods;). S O and I both enjoyed it. WAY better than Secretariat (which isn't saying much I know), and I only went through about 1/2 doz. kleenex. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen just for the war scenes. Ok, you know exactly what I'm talkin' about:D