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Nordling Reviews Steven Spielberg's WAR HORSE!

Nordling here.

WAR HORSE is old fashioned, and I mean that in the best possible sense.  It wears its emotions on its sleeve, and there is no place for cynicism in that world.  It has obvious films like ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT and the films of John Ford and David Lean in its DNA, but the end result is all Steven Spielberg - WAR HORSE is an epic that has Spielberg doing what he does best.  He takes the audience on an emotional journey through World War I and out the other side, and the film very much feels like Spielberg paying tribute to the filmmakers he loved as a young man.  WAR HORSE is what you'd call an "old soul."  It's a film that could have been made - perhaps not with the technology but definitely with the heart - in Hollywood's heyday.  David Selznick would have adored WAR HORSE.

WAR HORSE is adapted from the Tony-winning play, as well as the children's novel by Michael Morpurgo.  The film opens with landscape shots of Devon, England, where the story begins.  We see young Albert Narracott (Jeremy Irvine) watch as a colt is born, and he is instantly taken with the animal.  His father, Ted (Peter Mullan) decides to buy the horse at auction - his friends try to talk him out of it, since the horse is a thoroughbred and not suited for farm work, which the Narracotts rent from their landlord Lyons (David Thewlis) - but his pride keeps him bidding against Lyons when he cannot afford it.  Ted wins the horse, but pays dearly for it, and his wife Rose (Emily Watson) is none too pleased when she hears how much he spent.

But Albert loves the horse dearly, and names him Joey.  It becomes obvious quickly that Joey is no ordinary horse - he seems to be working things out in his mind, and though he is skittish at first, Joey takes to Albert soon enough.  But the farm needs plowing, and Joey is simply unsuitable for the task.  The rent is due, and Lyons is waiting to pounce on both the horse and the property.  

Joey has a determination about him, however, and with coaxing by Albert, plows the stony Devon field for farming.  But a bad rainstorm winds up wiping out much of their crop anyway, and Ted is forced to sell Joey to the British cavalry just to pay the rent.  Albert is heartbroken, but swears that he will see Joey again, and Captain Nicholls (Tom Hiddleston) vows to take good care of Joey as he rides off to war with his friend and commander Major Stewart (Benedict Cumberbatch), who has his own beautiful black horse, Topthorn.  Joey and Topthorn bond as the war goes on, but when tragedy hits their masters, the two horses become little more than property in the German army.

The war takes its toll on everyone in it, and the events that transpire cause Joey and Topthorn to come into many hands, including two German brothers trying to escape the war (David Kross and Leonard Carow), a French grandfather and his precocious granddaughter (Niels Arestrup and Celine Buckens), and a German horsemaster who gets more attached to the animals he oversees (Nicolas Bro).  All the while Joey struggles to get back to his beloved Albert, who himself enlists in the hopes of finding Joey again.  WAR HORSE looks at World War I through the eyes of the people who lived it, as the world is irrevocably changed; the need for humanity to find common ground is still prevalent, and Joey touches many lives through his journey.

Where does this rank with Spielberg's other work?  I'm still digesting that.  The film can take its time in certain passages; Spielberg seems to be really enjoying his characters this time and he spends more time with some of them than he should.  But the cinematography is gorgeous - I always love it when Spielberg shoots in 2.35 to 1 - and Janusz Kaminski's work here is much different than what you might think, if you've seen his work on other Spielberg films such as SCHINDLER'S LIST of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.  It's shot very much in a classical film style, with long tracking shots.  I didn't notice many handheld shots in the film, even during the more chaotic war scenes.  The script, by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis, calls into memory earlier films from the 1930s and 1940s - WAR HORSE feels like it comes straight our of that era of filmmaking, and a different world.

John Williams' score?  I liked much of it, but it's omnipresent in the film.  There are very few scenes without score, and unfortunately it's used to accentuate the emotion of the scene more so than it probably needs to be.  However, it's a new John Williams score, and the WAR HORSE theme in the trailer is throughout in the film, and that completely works.  Williams knows how to pump a scene full of emotion better than any film composer alive, and I'll admit to getting teary-eyed at several scenes.

The acting is top-notch, especially from Emily Watson and Benedict Cumberbatch. The acting comes from a place before Method - it's very old fashioned in that regard, calling into mind films like THE QUIET MAN or even David Lean's work.  Jeremy Irvine, in his first film role, has a difficult job in WAR HORSE as the audience surrogate character; many will consider him too earnest and simple, but considering the context of his performance and his background as a boy growing into a man and inexperienced in the ways of the world, I thought he did well.  Some may not take to his character's complete lack of any kind of cynicism and consider it a shortcoming on Irvine's part, but Albert is very much someone who feels his emotions strongly and does not hold back in that regard.  How Spielberg gets his performances from the horses is nothing short of amazing.  These animals are asked to carry a heavy burden in their performances, and come through very well.

And then, there are those scenes where Spielberg puts his classic touch on them and those scenes burn themselves indelibly into my mind.  The way all the horses react when a companion is put down.  The horrors of trench warfare, and the terror of mustard gas.  A cavalry charge that's straight out of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA's assault on Aqaba.  The beautiful cinematography.  WAR HORSE is most definitely a Steven Spielberg work, and he pulls out all the stops to bring the audience into a time that hasn't been on film very much recently, and he does it with an elegance and a passion that can only come from him.  It's not a perfect film, but anyone who loves movies and Spielberg's work in particular really cannot miss this.  WAR HORSE is what movies are all about - transporting the audience into a world that will never exist again.  As for myself, I loved every moment.  For me, WAR HORSE is magnificent.

Nordling, out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 3, 2011, 6:05 a.m. CST

    so it's better than tintin?

    by zom-bot.com

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 6:25 a.m. CST

    feeble defense of "magnificent"

    by rogerdodger21

    it felt like you were ashamed to like this film so much. nordling, either let go and let the film wash over you and enrapture you or else don't use such extreme praise to sum up your view of the picture. there's no room for "unfortunately" and "some may... consider it a shortcoming" in "magnificent." in so desperately defending your wide-eyed, open-hearted opinions against cynicism, you give me doubt, and i'm a wide-eyed, open-hearted movie lover.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 6:33 a.m. CST

    good review...

    by Logan_1973

    But by Crom work on shortening your plot synopsises....jk....looking forward to this, its about time Stevie came back.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 6:34 a.m. CST

    Great review...

    by Sean1701

    I look forward to this. Films today seem to be too cynical and the editing too quick to make a lasting impression. Reading the credits, it looks like Spielberg got his old crew back. Thank goodness.

  • His over-riding classical Speilbergocity means I can swallow stuff (like washing the soundtrack in gloopy overscored strings and hanging far too long on that cheesy farewell look into the sunset type cliches) in his movies that would make me want to walk out of others. Really want to see this.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 6:38 a.m. CST

    Beastiality does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Nordling Reams Steven Spielberg's WAR HORSE! It's not a perfect film, but anyone who loves tugging a horse's todger until it explodes over their face really cannot miss this. As for myself, I loved every sticky moment. Magnificent.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 6:47 a.m. CST

    Release date?

    by BoyNamedSue

    This actually sounds good.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 6:48 a.m. CST

    Old Glue At War

    by David Assholehoff

    Should have been the title.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Love Spielberg, have no interest in seeing this....

    by the ageless stranger

    File it away with Flipper, Free Willy, Lassie, etc. When the 'Berg comes back, I'll be waiting.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 7:02 a.m. CST

    Wow you guys who hate animals are so cool!

    by menacingphantom

    Mmmmm. Psychopaths are sexy! People who pretend callousness to appear cool are even cooler!

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 7:21 a.m. CST

    RE: menacingphantom

    by ZodNotGod

    They just need to be shot... "It wears its emotions on its sleeve, and there is no place for cynicism in that world." YES! DAMN RIGHT! I HATE NEGATIVE PEOPLE!

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 7:23 a.m. CST

    He May Be an Old Master

    by Aquatarkusman

    But he's never mastered subtlety or not over-filming in relation to his own supposed personal master, Kubrick (think of the numerous long sections of Paths of Glory that didn't have any "tell you how to feel" music or weepy close-ups).

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 7:28 a.m. CST

    I'm too cynical for this flick.

    by FrodoFraggins

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Haven't seen any Tin Tin reviews?

    by Bass Ackwards

    It's been open overseas for a week or so now (maybe longer?) but haven't seen any reviews of that flick pop up yet?

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Mr Ed Goes To War

    by i_got_worms

    From the makers of Babe.

  • I bet he'd love this film.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Its going to be a good old fashioned Spielberg Christmas

    by D.Vader

    I'll get to see Tintin on my birthday (the 21st of December) and then War Horse less than a week later.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 8:15 a.m. CST

    weak art

    by nursey

    Spielberg has a personal fortune estimated to be in the 3.4 BILLION range. It would be nice to see him experiment more. This movie sounds like something he would have made 30 years ago. And this review really couches everything with qualifiers like "old fashioned" and "throwback."

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Horses are fucking stupid.

    by Ironhelix

    My grandparents raised quarter horses professionally, and I was around them all of my childhood years. When I see a movie that attempts to give them a range of human emotions, I just can't buy it. Having said that, I will see this if someone can confirm that there is any decent WWI combat action. The 'Berg can shoot a war scene.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Tintin and the English Reviews of Suck

    by Boxcutter

    The Guardian has run three reviews - all negative. The mocap thing.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 8:21 a.m. CST

    DOES THE HORSE DIE

    by James

    That would be sad.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 8:22 a.m. CST

    What the fuck is a TinTin?

    by James

    Who has time for this shit?

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 8:24 a.m. CST

    review Tintin

    by ripley2255

    I,v seen it last weekend in Belgium.I saw a beautiful movie to look at and i didn,t like it.I,ve read that there were three comics used for the movie and it shows.It was messy.Hope the English is good.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Benedict Cumbersnatch

    by James

    Nice fuckin name dipshit! Gee, I wonder if he's British, lemme check...YUP!

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Is Mr Ed in this?

    by scrote

  • My grandparents raised Appaloosa on the reservation professionally, and I was around them all of my childhood years. When I see someone who claims they can't see a full range of human emotions in them, I just can't buy it.

  • Will it be Lean twice removed?

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 8:35 a.m. CST

    I'll wait for the HOT TO TROT reboot

    by Spandau Belly

    Darker! Grittier!

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Here me now...

    by Marshal_Lannes

    ...and believe me later....This film is going to be huge. We'll be there opening night.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Can't wait.

    by blackwood

    I am tired of cynical films -- both those that wallow in our worst selves, and those seemingly made from a place of indifference. I loved CAPTAIN AMERICA -- big, unabashed, whole-hearted love. What could have been just another product on the superhero line turned out to be a cracking good adventure with a welcome sense of decency. I have high, high hopes for this film.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 8:49 a.m. CST

    TINTIN does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    The Dojo has indeed seen TINTIN. It's *pretty* good rather than knock it out the park good. For an animated film it certainly feels like Spielberg with many of his touches, a big action set piece on a vintage cargo ship and in a Moroccan town. The John Williams score has a RAIDERS type feel when its underscoring the action scenes but fails to bring much to the party in terms of memorable or hummable theme tunes. I personally think the best sequence in it is a flashback showing a torrid naval battle between two galleons. There are plenty of cool moments laced throughout, but the finale is underwhelming and the sum of the parts doesnt quite add up to magnificent (although Nordling here will give it his usual hyperbolic thumbs up no doubt).

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 9:06 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Chop, give it a listen and while you're doing so imagine they made a 4th RAIDERS movie. How awesome would that be... Oh wait.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 9:12 a.m. CST

    War is beautiful, war is hell, poor horsie.

    by justmyluck

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Did he died?

    by durhay

    welcome back old meme

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Do it now...

    by ZodNotGod

    Just give the beard another Oscar, long overdue. Reparations for for JAWS, RAIDERS, ET and Close Encounters... Four Masterpieces my friends, FOUR!

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 10 a.m. CST

    Mr. Hands would have loved this one...

    by Prometeo

    ...but some romances are too big for the big screen. :(

  • The review doesn't help with such phrases as "All the while Joey struggles to get back to his beloved Albert". But maybe the movie is really good,and maybe i will like it a lot when i finally watch it. I need a good Spieblerg movie after the bad taste caused by Crystal Skullfuck.

  • But who played the germans? Why is Nordling's review so centered on the english characters, and why only the english characters get actors named by name?

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Do they speak German and French in this?

    by whatevillurks

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 10:29 a.m. CST

    menacingphantom

    by AsimovLives

    Not everybody has a passion for cattle. Not everybody are cowboys. Blaming people for not having a love for animals is like blaming them for not having love for plants. Just because one doesn't love aniamls doesn't mean one has to be mean and psychotic to them. It's the job of the movie to sell the love that he kids and the horse have for each other. If people came out of the movie mocking it, it's not because people are mean and cynic but because the movie failed to sell it's own premise well. Easy, friend. Maybe the movie will work wonderfully, then it causes a craze in people, makig them buy horses and help the horse selling business. Until they fed up with them due to how expensive it is to own a horse and they all get sold the the glue factories. Probably the worst thing it can happen is this movie creating a fad.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 10:31 a.m. CST

    BLACK HORSE DOWN

    by Grace_Panda

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 10:37 a.m. CST

    blackwood

    by AsimovLives

    It doesn't matter if a movie is cynical or not, all it matters is that it's good. It's not the cynicism or lack of it that wil make it good, it's good filmmaking and good storytelling.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 10:39 a.m. CST

    When the only real praise you can give is for cinematography...

    by performingmonkey

    ...you know that's a warning sign. Tintin sounds similar - gorgeous to look at with a workable score but struggles in other areas. Personally I think the best is yet to come for the Tintin series. I'm guessing it WILL get the sequel and that Edgar Wright will have more involvement, as well as Peter Jackson although he's gonna be tied up for another full year.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 10:39 a.m. CST

    asimovlives: let me get this straight

    by menacingphantom

    you're standing up for quality and intelligence of comments like: "Old Glue At War should have been the title" and "So, I should grind this movie up and feed it to my cat?" Way to pick your battles!

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 10:42 a.m. CST

    asimovlives

    by Nordling

    Corrected article to list those actors you were talking about. And they were perfectly good as well. Thanks.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 10:49 a.m. CST

    asi, that's entirely true.

    by blackwood

    I'm just more in the mood for things that elevate, rather than tramp down. And, for sure, a certain about of cynicism can be enlightening, it's just that I feel too much the burden of depth on a really dour view of the human condition. There's worth there, but also here, in something like this, and I'm looking forward to it.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Does it have pregnant chicks getting banged?

    by MST3KPIMP

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Never bring a horse to a tank fight.

    by cookylamoo

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:14 a.m. CST

    It's easier to make a movie about a horse

    by gaygoonie

    Than a human. We're too complex for some.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:24 a.m. CST

    choppah

    by AsimovLives

    Renny Harlin ddn't survivced that. Look at where his career is at now, in a marasm of z-movies hell. Where he belongs, that fucking hack-ass.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:26 a.m. CST

    by aremisslake: "What the fuck is a TinTin?" A french name.

    by AsimovLives

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:30 a.m. CST

    nordling

    by AsimovLives

    Awesome. Thanks a lot, you were ace there. Good job. By the way, despiste all my criticisms of your reviews, i like you. You sound like a nice fella. Keep up.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:31 a.m. CST

    - old fashioned, in the best possible sense.. -

    by dahveed1972

    translation: if you're underwhelmed by this movie, its because your ability to experience childlike wonder has shriveled up and died. ill wait for more reviews, thanks.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:31 a.m. CST

    menacingphantom

    by AsimovLives

    No, i'm just going with the joke. I'm evil like that.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:35 a.m. CST

    blackwood

    by AsimovLives

    You can make a very astute and inteligent movie about human nature and still retain an optimistic view and make a movie with an optimistic view. However, in my experience, it's the movies of the cynical side who seem to be more truthful, or that are better. Blame me for the fact that my first experience with pure cinematic awesomeness came from the Kurosawa movies like RAN. He was hardly an optimistic, was he?

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:36 a.m. CST

    More cheesy heartstring-wrenching bullshit from Spielberg

    by OliverOnions

    what a surprise

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Tin Tin is *not* a French name

    by Mister Vertue

    It's just a name. The character is Belgian, as is the character's creator. But I suppose Belgian and French is just the same to you lot. Just like being American is the same as being Canadian or Mexican. Yeah, same thing.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:38 a.m. CST

    dahveed1972

    by AsimovLives

    I have retained my ability to experience childlike wonder quite well. It's just that lately i have had few oportunities to exercise it in movies, specially those from Holywood, if you know what i mean.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:39 a.m. CST

    The ignorance on this thread is astounding

    by Mister Vertue

    'Horses are stupid' from someone who claims to have spent time around horses. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I hope you become the next president of your country of origin.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:43 a.m. CST

    aremisslake

    by Mister Vertue

    Yes, Benedict Cumbersnatch (sic) is English. Well done. Well done. Your intellect is truly dazzling.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:44 a.m. CST

    asimovlives - re Kurosawa optimism

    by Nordling

    It depends on the film. I found IKIRU incredibly optimistic, although arguments could definitely be made for the other way, considering what happens in the office at the end. Same with RED BEARD. But yeah, RAN's pretty bleak. I'd say his outlook changed for pessimism pretty much after the failure of DODES'KA-DEN and his subsequent suicide attempt.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:47 a.m. CST

    This was a play?!? How do you pitch that idea?

    by impossibledreamers

    "I gotta' great idea for a stageplay, its about a horse in World War I." 'Ummm. A horse?' "Yep. And all these adventures he has all over Europe during the war." 'All over Europe?' "Yeah. France, Germany, England... all those places could be big set pieces. And there'd be battles, explosions, and armies..." 'On a stage?' "Can't you just see it? And the horse is kinda' like Rin Tin Tin. He meets all these different people and helps them out." 'On a stage? In a play?' "Yep!" 'Get outta' my office.'

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Pretty Horsey Goes to War: The Movie

    by Stegman84

    It may well be a decent-to-good movie, but I find that personally I just don't care. I feel like I already know every beat ahead of time, and there is just nothing that draws me to going out of my way to see this.

  • Hate horses? And you admit it? WOW. You are no better than a racist so just go hang yourself.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:56 a.m. CST

    If you can see the play this is based on

    by Mister Vertue

    Do it. You will *not* be disappointed Apart from those of you who prefer to piss their lives away playing on Xbox all day, or 'too cool' for theatre because going to the theatre means you're gay.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 11:58 a.m. CST

    brian cox as black beauty

    by Jaymie69

    DOG FOOD

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 12:02 p.m. CST

    impossibledreamers

    by Mister Vertue

    Wow. Not in the entertainment industry eh? If it can't be done on tv or in a movie, then it just can't be done at all? I'd pay for you to go and see the play just to watch your face. And with a name like 'impossibledreamers', your statement becomes even more sad.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 12:09 p.m. CST

    man_of_vertue

    by James

    No offense intended, ol' bean. I was only pointing out that British people have silly names, like Benedict Cumbersnatch and Humphrey Picklefucker. I think it's wonderful and I want to move there.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 12:12 p.m. CST

    This review seems to be of two minds

    by EjkoUSC

    Not sure how you can shell out a laundry list of qualms and then end the review by stating it was "maginificent". After calculating it all sounds like this movie was just 'aight'. But there is mucho pressure to like Spielberg films more than one might really. Apparently. I'll bet this belongs somewhere in Amistad/Always/The Terminal territory.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 12:16 p.m. CST

    The Terminal

    by James

    What a piece of shit that was.

  • When did people first start forgetting how to use the phrase "more so"?

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Saving Private Phar Lap

    by Phildogger

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 12:26 p.m. CST

    My Little Pony got his gun

    by Phildogger

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 12:29 p.m. CST

    The Atrociously saccarine trailer made me hurl

    by the_shitweasel_with_a_quizzical_brow

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Force Ten from the OK Corral

    by Phildogger

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 12:35 p.m. CST

    i saw it last night too,i felt same exact way

    by Avi Haviv

  • ok, I'll admit, that's the 2nd time I've posted that headline. Forgive me, but I love it.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 1:04 p.m. CST

    2 or 3 amazing set pieces. The rest will be dull

    by Knobules

    Sorry but that's the Steve we get these days. Even his mid career or whatever blockbusters had this flaw. Jurassic Park had majorly dull sequences. Old man eating ice cream and long sermon about nothing. Private Ryan.. Sorry gang but there are some prime bathroom break opportunities in that one also. I cant bash the guy anymore He gave us Raiders Jaws and CE3K. Pure magic on those bad boys.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 1:12 p.m. CST

    About time someone recognised the horse's sacrifice.

    by LORDOFLIGHT

    in history.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Horse's have had a real rough deal off people over the centuries.

    by LORDOFLIGHT

    Tortured, maimed and killed in the millions.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Hook is now on Bluray

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Not much more to add than that factoid.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 1:47 p.m. CST

    nordling

    by AsimovLives

    "I'd say his outlook changed for pessimism pretty much after the failure of DODES'KA-DEN and his subsequent suicide attempt." Indeed! Though shades of that could also be seen form his earlier movie, like THE BAD SLEEP WELL, HIGH AND LOW, RASHOMON, THRONE OF BLOOD, and even in SEVEN SAMURAI. Although in SEVEN SAMURAI the raiders are defeated and the peasants got rid of their troubles, it's still a bittersweet ending, and from the samurai point of view, a costly pyrric victory. But i agree with you in that, what might had just been cynicism from Kurasawa it practically turned into misantropy by the time of RAN. And from that feeling he made a masterpiece. For soem reason, i have always been able to connect more with such darker masterpieces like RAN then with IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE type. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE might be much more uplifting, but RAN feels more true.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 1:54 p.m. CST

    I Come in Peace

    by Bobo_Vision

    Trailer: <p> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8F92p1ept0 <p> Full Movie: <p> www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pCiw0XwFSE

  • I like to imagine Harry like a tough police captain from a 70's cop drama. "Damn it, Nordling, you're a lose cannon in this department! You're costing this website valuable BNAT surprise moments! If it were up to me, I make you watch "The Smurfs" from now until your eyes bleed blue or the first BNAT film starts, but lucky for you the Big Man, Tim League, likes you. But if you say one more GodDamn word about "Tintin" or God Forbid, "John Carter," you'll be back to typing every word I mumble like a damn court stenographer until your fat fingers fall off. Now get outta my sight!"

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 1:59 p.m. CST

    man_of_vertue

    by AsimovLives

    *sight* In case you are not aware yet, Belgium is divided into two cultures: the more french cultured belgians and the flemish/wallons. What divides them is the language they speak. Belgium is, mostly a bi-langual country. It's not exactly as simple, inthat there's parts of the country which speak other languages, like german, depending on the local border. But mostly, Belgians are either francophones or flemishphones (the flemish lnaguage is a form of dutch). The official languages of Belgium are thus French, Dutch and German. And historically, the frenhc language and french culture have been very predominant in Belgium history. I work in acourt, i once had to send a rogatory letter to Blegium, and the international protocol is that all official correspondence to the belgian justice is to be writen in the french language. Simply put, the francophone part of Belgium is dominant. In culture, in the amount of people who speak french in belgium, etc. This is why it's perfectly natural that a belgian comic character has a french name. OK, pal? He's a belgian with a french name. Nothing unusual about that, in fact, it's quite normal. There's some people you think mightbe french who are in fact belgian and you wouldn't get a clue just from their french names. Thank you for your time.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 2 p.m. CST

    YOU LEAVE IN PIECES.

    by MCVamp

    "How does it feel to be hunted?" "You tell me."

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Probably just wait until it is on the move channel.

    by DougMcKenzie

    Not going to theatre this one. Likely won't PPV it either. Maybe Rent DVD if nothing else available. The days of Spielberg movies being events are well over.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 2:06 p.m. CST

    man_of_vertue

    by AsimovLives

    And by the way, i'm portuguese. Can you find my country in the map? It's in Europe. West Europe. In the Iberic Peninsula to be precise, next to Spain, on the atlantic coast. Rougthly rectanguialt shaped, usually coloured green in maps in contast to the Spain's yellow. The big blue thing is the Altantic Ocean. I have to thank yuo for presuming i'm american. It must means my english, which is my second language after my native portuguese, must not be all that bad, for you to presume me being american. Thank you. I also did learned some french as well.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 2:07 p.m. CST

    by AsimovLives

    Are you a cowboy?

  • He and Sean Bean owns all the pussy in Britain.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 2:20 p.m. CST

    WWI was a graveyard of horses.

    by AsimovLives

    In the first years of the war, both sides still insisted on using cavalry charges, and the result was pure massacre of both men and beast. It soon became aparent that on the western front, cavalry would be use to fight this war. Cavalry fared better on the eastern front, where the war was mostly fought between the austrians agaisnt the russians, elped by man yother nations like germany (back then it had a direct borget with russia through poland) and the russian balkan allies. There was more room for cavalry action in that front, and still, it was a massacre as well. Very often what started as a war of movement also bogged down into trench war evne in the eastern front. It was in Messopotania and in Arabia and Palestine where cavalry mananged to make a difference in WWI. Lawrence Of Arabia gives a good portait of the importance of irregular cavarly action in that middle east scenario. The horse fared better there... if they could feed and water it, and if he kept freed from deaseases, that is. The benefit of the middle east theater of war from the trench war was counter ballanced by desease. It was epidepic, to the point more people died of that then of combat. Being wounded was a death sentense. The arabs from Messopotamia had a saying. "God created Hell, and then gave Messopotamia to the devil and filled it with flies."

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 2:22 p.m. CST

    "Hook is now on Bluray" To my complete desinterest.

    by AsimovLives

    If i never watch that movie ever again in my life... i'll not care.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 2:22 p.m. CST

    lordoflight

    by AsimovLives

    And many horses were treated much better then most people. In all history.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 2:24 p.m. CST

    zodnotgod

    by AsimovLives

    Are you a cowboy? Your love for horses is so... passionate.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Speaking of old war-horses...

    by Dasinfogod

    Congrats, Nordling. Yours is the only major positive review for WAR HORSE that Jeff Wells featured on his Hollywood-Elsewhere blog. I'm not the biggest fan of The Beard, but Wells' well publicized rancor towards Spielberg always smacked of a long-standing grudge for a personal slight or interview snub; nothin' to base that on, but it sure comes across that way when the venom flows... Glad you liked the flick and look forward to seeing it almost as much as TIN TIN...

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 3:25 p.m. CST

    It makes me laugh.

    by david starling

    Someone made a comment the other day about "keeping the dream alive" on the Hobbit report talkback, and how dare anyone could make comments and be so nasty. Just remember, these comments going on - in 20 years time on this site (if it still exists), they'll be made against Jackson, and Fincher. And no-one will give a fucking shit. Remember that.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Dear Man Of Virture - it's called sarcasm.

    by impossibledreamers

    There are have been many true amazing things performed on the stage and wow... I even know what Equus is... but if one were to see just this trailer and then be told - this is from a play - one's brain might have little issue wrapping around that. As someone who is in the process of producing a play into a film, I'm not lost on that fact. When we got the go-ahead from the author for the adaptation, I had to strongly think about how much did we want to ramp up the scope of our story since we were no longer limited by stage production aspects. My previous post was a joke that popped in my head as a playwright is trying to pitch the concept of something on the scale of War Horse. I guess you're just to used to batting down rants from middle schoolers.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 4:01 p.m. CST

    "WAR HORSE is an epic that has Spielberg doing what he does best"

    by Billy_D_Williams

    Thats the problem...how many more mushy, sacchrine lumps of sugar can we take from this man??? E.T. was enough for a life time, jesus, evolve beard, evolve! Do Interstellar. I wont be impressed even if War Horse is great because he already knows how to do these movies in his sleep.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 4:32 p.m. CST

    What a bizzare statement asimovlives.

    by LORDOFLIGHT

    Some horse's might have been treated better than some people......but many, many of them haven't been. Millions of them have been killed for people...........but I don't think you'll find many horse's have killed people throughout history....apart from a kick in someone's gonads to protect themselves.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 5:24 p.m. CST

    kidicarus

    by AsimovLives

    You are making a prety bad assumption. Why do you think that just becaue people beleive the world is mostly a crapsack place they have to be dour and sad? People can have happy disposiitons, even knowing the world is a sad place to live in. Those people might even put more importantce in friendship and savoursinf the little things in life then anybody who thinks all is jolly and happy and full of hope and takes the good things for granted. Where you learned about human natruie? From Holywood movies? Next you will say that people are atheists because they were pissed off at god that he let their favorite pet die when they were young and never grew out of it!

  • Holy shit, there'd be no stopping them.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 5:57 p.m. CST

    d.vader

    by AsimovLives

    That's like that part of Gulliver's Travels but on acid! Write that down, that's a story begging to be told. Post-apocalypse future where radiation causes mutantions, which turned horses as the alpha predators on Earth. And their favorite prey? Humans!!!!! Yeah!!

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 6:42 p.m. CST

    That relationship between the boy and the horse

    by The Fuck

    is really disturbing!!

  • Like in Munich which is probably my absolute favorite film from him. He removes the melodrama and sugar and goes right at the heart of the subject matter to create a truly harrowing and realistic portrayal of anti-terrorism forces doing what they do best--and then all the fallout that comes with it. Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan would probably be close behind Munich on my list but those two films suffer from being too damn melodramatic in two important areas, Schindler at the very end and Ryan with the book end segments of old Ryan at the cemetery. Remove those parts and those films are absolute perfect. We as an audience do not need to be prodded to bring on the emotion ourselves when the subject matter just calls for it. This has been Spielberg's both triumph and bane. E.T. works on that level because it is a coming of age film aimed squarely at the child in all of us. But the way War Horse sounds, that shit may be a big detriment.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 7:31 p.m. CST

    So it's a warm-hearted animal movie about Trench Warfare?

    by SmokingRobot

    I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that. I always consider world war 1 to be that moment in history when humanity proved itself unworthy of further existence.

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 7:31 p.m. CST

    I'd rather ride in a car than on a horse...

    by workshed

    ...I don't like the temperamental fuckers. I have my (genuine) reasons. Why wasn't the First World War fought with cars.?

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 7:45 p.m. CST

    I saw "Hook is now on Bluray" and read "Hook is now on Broadway"

    by CountryBoy

    I was like "You have GOT to be KIDDING me!"

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 8:18 p.m. CST

    How come nobody seems to love a "Boy On a Quest" Picture anymore.

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    "Usually they're simple morality tales. There's a good wrestler and a bad wrestler, whom he confronts at the end. In between, the good wrestler has a love interest or a small child he has to protect. Bill would usually make the good wrestler a backwards type or a convict, and sometimes, instead of a waif, he'd have the wrestler protecting an idiot man-child. The studio always hated that. Some of the scripts were so... spirited." Those who loathe the idea of "old-fashioned" are those habitually incapable of watching black-and-white films, at least ones that are not music videos. Or "Human Centipede II."

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 9:27 p.m. CST

    Wll Mr. Horse

    by HoweHatTrick

    did you like it? No Sir, I didn't care for it

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 10:10 p.m. CST

    does mr.hands make a cameo?

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    Just saying..............

  • Nov. 3, 2011, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Sounds as boring as fragging your mother's clit

    by Queefer Sutherland

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 12:56 a.m. CST

    War is not necessary

    by Jared Bond

    And I don't like anything that portrays it as a necessary evil that we just have to endure. The other side is always portrayed as cartoonishly evil. The only people who are actually that evil are the ones who are profiting behind the scenes.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Yes, I'm one of those people who worshiped Empire of the Sun

    by gotilk

    when it came out. Opening night. The four others I went with found it to be manipulative, melodramatic trash. How do you explain to 4 friends, a few of them very close, that they are shallow, cynical, tasteless asses? You don't. You just keep quiet. The level of hate for that film is almost offensive. Perhaps they have confused their response to the film with their opinion of it as art on some level? Just as I think many people didn't necessarily hate Eyes Wide Shut, but rather hated the way they FELT after seeing it. But instead of trying to understand that reaction they say it was *boring*, *slow* or *cold*, *detached*. I hope this is a return to that type of artistry from Spielberg. Not that his other films are not fantastic, many are. I just love a good period Spielberg film with its heart on its sleeve. The man doesn't know how to *manipulate* audiences. Not any more than an artist *manipulates* a feeling from an observer of a portrait. The man is good at eliciting emotions, and I can see how some would feel manipulated by that. But never because it didn't work, always because it DID. I find that response overly cynical. I refuse to let the child inside me die THAT much. You have to just go along for the ride sometimes, even if the ride isn't always a *fun* one. Sometimes they are sad, like a sad song, or scary, like a good horror film. When does a response become a manipulation? When cynicism has taken over your emotional life, or has become a barrier erected to protect you from pain. Sometimes breaking through that barrier is EXACTLY what a person needs, and is also why art of that kind can be so essential for life. In other words... WHY UMAD BRAH? lol nah.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 1:16 a.m. CST

    elgato73

    by gotilk

    But I will agree with you that Munich was a masterpiece. No question.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 2:47 a.m. CST

    I saw TINTIN last week

    by Gorgomel

    And it's a great movie. Spielberg managed to capture Hergé's work beautifully.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 3:26 a.m. CST

    Saw Tintin last week as well

    by Virgil_Bud_Brigman

    And it's amazing ! You're in for a great, non-stop, exhilarating ride, full of smart ideas in the action scenes, and brilliantly filmed. But whether you can get over the Perf Cap thing or not, depends on your personal taste. To me, they found the right balance between live action and animation, and it suits the books perfectly.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 4:39 a.m. CST

    for me

    by mick vance

    it's not really a speilberg movie unless i get caught jerking off in the back row of the theater. that was the best viewing of schindler's list i ever had...

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 4:57 a.m. CST

    I would'd been interested in seeing this movie..

    by Bourne Again

    if it starred 'Catherine the great'.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 5:33 a.m. CST

    elgato73

    by AsimovLives

    I so agree with you. I also rate MUNICH high in Spielberg's filmmography. I felt in awe of that movie. I gfelt like i was watching a new Spielberg, a newly reinvigorated Spielberg. I though i was seeing a renascence of his career. And then he made that stupid CRYSTAL SKULLFUCK shit. That movie disapointed me so much, and pissed me off so much, i now have quite a lot of reluctance to watch any new movie made by Spielberg, no matter the subject. I'm really pissed off! And once he used to be a god of film to me.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 5:41 a.m. CST

    workshed

    by AsimovLives

    "Why wasn't the First World War fought with cars.?" They actually tried. But two things went agaisnt it: 1- The trench terrain is a bitch for the cars of the time. Cars would be sitting duck targets for the pillbox machineguns and mortars. 2- The car technology of the time was, well, at it's infancy. The proof of that was that it took them until the end of the war to come up with operational tanks that could actually do the job that was required of them.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 5:47 a.m. CST

    gotilk

    by AsimovLives

    I worship at he altar of EMPIRE OF THE SUN. And i don't take kindly to those who trash it. It's one of my berserk buttons.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 6:04 a.m. CST

    bourne again

    by AsimovLives

    Wow, a history junkie! Nice reference there, dude! But that was actually just a smear on the queen by her enemies. What she really loved fucking was cavalry officers. The younger the merrier. She fucked them till she died of old age. It's good to be the queen.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 6:05 a.m. CST

    Has anyone on here ACTUALLY seen the stage play?

    by JAFO1412

    One of the most incredible pieces of work I've seen on stage. The puppetry was phenomenal. Found out a few days after seeing it that Spielberg had acquired the rights. Good fit. Looking forward to the movie.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Re: Kurosawa Optimism

    by Neosamurai85

    The thing with Kurosawa is that at the start of his career, he really was something of an optimist, while very much being a melodramatic realist. He fell in love with film through his older brother who was a benshi (provided live on stage narration for silent films as well as voices, commentary and cultural translation of foreign films) that exposed him to a great deal of world cinema. With talkie films, the need for the benshi died out, and combined with depression, his brother killed himself. Akira found his body. What is so notable about Kurosawa's early work is its focus on the struggle to be decent, optimistic, and find dignity in post-war Japan. Films like Drunken Angel, Ikiru, The Lower Depths stack futility high against the protagonists and not all make it, though in every occasion the effort is the point. Even Rashomon, takes a radical departure from the attitude of the short stories it's based upon with its humbling ending. An undercurrent of his work is its use of globalization in stylistic techniques, which made him butt heads with the isolationist censors in his country early on. You can see a sense of conflict in quite a few of these films if you take in the historical context of their content. However, the fact that he used American, English and even Russian techniques (and literary sources), is the least of his problems by the time you get to Ran. When television hit Japan, it changed the film industry completely. Why go to the theater when you can stay home and be entertained for free? TV was also way cheaper to make, than minimalist films, let alone blockbusters. While Kurosawa was coming up with bigger and grander epics, film budgets were being slashed and the industry was largely switching over to producing pornography. So, the filmmaker know for trying to instill dignity back into the Japanese identity, was forced to seek out foreign investors due to the popularity of TV and pink films. Like his brother, change was making him obsolete. Good times. Shortly after being fired from Tora! Tora! Tora! (and wasn't credited), Kurosawa tried to kill himself. When he did Ran fifteen years later, he may have been adapting King Lear (making it his third Shakespeare film), but at the same time he was embracing Japanese cinematography, using flat depth-less wide shots evocative of wall scrolls. It's a strikingly pessimistic gesture of conservative nose thumbing by Kurosawa at the country that was then leaving him behind for Western Culture after so many years of criticizing him for embracing it. (Apparently his first film only got released because Ozu praised it after the critics called it too English - i.e. treasonous). A few of the films leading up to Ran and all those that fallowed are referred to as his pessimistic phase (though I find Dreams to have quite the silver lining at times). Kurosawa was famous for saying that 'Hidetora is me,' and that the film was very much about all the betrayals he'd experienced in his life. Sorry that this is long winded, but the point I'm trying to get at is that pessimism in Ran comes from an intensely personal place for Kurosawa. The brutality of war he depicts (much like in Kagemusha five years before it) is VERY expressionistic. Neither he nor Spielberg are operating in the realm of realism with the great master's later films and War Horse. Both are works painting emotionality.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 8:16 a.m. CST

    That said,

    by Neosamurai85

    I just can't find much enthusiasm for War Horse. When I first heard about it, I thought it would be an adaptation of Traveller by Richard Adams, so... that was a let down. More than anything though, I hate the score, for all the reasons already given, that it's derivative, and also that it evokes so much of what I hated about so many 90s scores. I could imagine a film quite different from what the trailer suggests, but unless someone is practically setting out to ruin the film, I have a sinking suspicion that this will do nothing esthetically for me. Hope I'm wrong. It might make a decent kids film though.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Speaking of not optimistic films about war

    by Neosamurai85

    For all those who need a fix of darkness and haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend Ingmar Bergman's film, Shame (not to be confused with the NC-17 film coming soon). It's the anti-War Horse. :)

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 8:23 a.m. CST

    I saw the play.

    by jawsfan

    Well, I heard about it. And I saw some fleeting footage on the Interwebby-thing. But I'd bet a nickel it's better than the film, even if the film is good. Only love beats theater.

  • There's nothing wrong with the mo-cap, in fact it is used excellently and really does the characters justice. They mastered the eyes this time and get a lot of heart and emotion carried through there. Most of the reviews for the film are very good and it is amongst Spielberg's best "action / fantasy" films. Not too far a step down from Raiders. Sure I'm a Tintin fan, but I went with a bunch of people who were fans and a bunch who weren't (ages 3 - 55) and we all loved it. Great story (It's almost all Secret of The Unicorn, with trifles from 2 other comics to fit the characters in nicely. Some great dialogue, perfect casting, superb voice-work and some of the best action I've seen. It is very creative and the use of 3D is 1st class...This is the Spielberg that directed Jaws and Raiders, I honestly can't see what is not to like. Public reaction has been extremely positive too. With good reason I think.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 8:59 a.m. CST

    A few coments about this movie (which i haven't watched yet)

    by AsimovLives

    Maybe because of the scarcity of the plot points from the review (whcih i understand why, so not to spoil the story). But some things just rub me the wrong way about the movie. So this kid loses his horse to war. But he's so desperate to have it back, he enlists, so he has a chance to find it again. First of all, to wath branch he enlists. Certainly it's not the navy or the air corps, that's for sure. But does he enlist in the infantry or cavalry corps? Enlisitng in the cavalry does make sense, but finding the horse would still be like finding a neddle in ahaystack. Enlisting in the infantry for that porpose would just be an absolute impossibility. But here«s the thing: From 1915 foward, the cavalry units in the western front fough on foot because there just was no way for cavalry charges. The trenches went unbroken from Switzerland to the belgian coast. The cavarly units fought on foot like the infantry. To make thing worst, famish was a constant in the trenches. And whenever food suply run what, what do you think was the first thing they turned to? Yeah, the horses were the first to go. The moment the food suplies run out 8which was a constant in WWI), the first feed came from horse meat. On a side note, horse meat is delicious! Horses buying the farm to be used as meat food occured everywhere, from the armed forces to the civilians. It was cathastrophic for the horses. The horsey from this movie to escape from being chowder, he must have to meet some very contrieved circunstances, and just plain be incredibly lucky like hell. Lucky like hell. I wonder that, knowing what i know about WWI, and the ways the horse lucks out of being made into meat, it will not take me out of the movie. There's a certain amount of suspension of disbelief i can endure until things get ridiculous and take me out of the movie. And with good reason. It's oen thing to see a movie set in a fantasy world about elves and dwarves. It's another to see a movie about soemthign that really happened, and which was one of the most terrible events in the whole of human history, one of the lowpoints of our history. WWI is depressing by it's own nature. Light hearted melodrama set in this era just rings so false to me. That is one of the things that THE VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT did well. Even though it's a romance movie, even though it builds to a happy ending (of sorts) never once the movie forgets, and let us forget as an audience, the shit that was WWI. And never the movie goes whimsical or melodramatic, even in it's most lighthearted moments. I just hope that the movie proves differently then i fear. Because if there's something that rings very wrong for me is what is called the usual Spielberg melodrama aplied to WWI. It's just too damn serious for some melodrama about a boy and his oversized pet. Another thing: if the boy is old enough to join army, it means that at the very least he's 16. Back then 16 years old volunteers would be accepted (one episode of Young Indiana Jones TV series was about that). But at 16 of age, that's the age when definatly boys understand that the penis is for something more then just to piss, and that testicles have an actual function to them instead of just being two hanged sacks making company to the cock that hurts a lot when they are kicked. This kid will face the horrors of WWI, he's on the verge of adutlhood ant in the age when hormones are kicking in uncontrolable wild, the kid ses death and destruction all around him, and this kid will not suddently feel that, like, this french peasant girl who's ready for action might be a far more important thing to devote his attention then the fuckign horse he grew up with, when he just might die the enxt day? As in, sexual awakening and the imminent possibility of death will not distract this dude form his quest to find his horsey? Are you kidding me? The more i think about the move, the more creepy and kinky this shit looks to me! Bloody hell!

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 9:26 a.m. CST

    I've already got it stashed away, Asi

    by D.Vader

    Those horses have given me nightmares for years.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 9:44 a.m. CST

    d.vader

    by AsimovLives

    I imagined horses but with teeths like tigers... holy mother, it's a horrible!! You must be made of iron to survive such nightmares! Freddy Kruger aint shit on it!

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Yeah... I kinda liked Blood Creek

    by Neosamurai85

    A zombie hell horse is a pretty damn scary concept.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 11:25 a.m. CST

    This just makes me wonder..what has ever happenned to Carroll Ballard?

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    The Black Stallion is one of the most beautiful films I've seen. A double bill with Days Of Heaven would prolly make my eyes bleed from overload.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Not just a zombie hell horse, neosamurai

    by D.Vader

    A zombie Hell horse on FIRE!

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Yeah, Asi, that's pretty much how I always imagined them

    by D.Vader

    With sharp, tiger teeth, running down humans in fields and tearing them to shreds.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 11:58 a.m. CST

    I look very forward to this

    by thecheesegrommit

    Spielberg is a master artist and I enjoy his "paintings"...... That said I must finally comment on my beloved Ain't it Cool. Someone recently stated it has become more of the "off beat news" and reminiscing on past events. I regrettably report that I have moved AICN down three slots in my bookmarks because I just won't get Headline news here anymore. I now go to Latino Review which is always breaking the latest genre film news, then Superhero Hype, Dark Horizons and then our AICN. Don't feel bad Harry, you were my number one for over ten years. See you all over at the "Review"

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 12:51 p.m. CST

    does ms.beast make a cameo?

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    Just saying...................

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 1:08 p.m. CST

    The War Horse and his Boy

    by durhay

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 1:11 p.m. CST

    re: "DOES THE HORSE DIE?"

    by buggerbugger

    Of course the horse dies. Even if it didn't die on the battlefield, it would die later on at the hands of the starving French or Belgian civilians and turned into burgers, like the majority of the horses that survived the conflict. The horses didn't go back home to England, they got cooked.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 1:32 p.m. CST

    is tom green making a cameo in this

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    Just saying.....................

  • of "England's Pride quality canned meat" to a section of the warehouse, while the camera tracks back to find the warehouse lined with row after row of boxed meat. music swells The End.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 2:18 p.m. CST

    "the acting comes from a place before method" - so...bad?

    by WWBD

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 2:40 p.m. CST

    RE: wwbd

    by Neosamurai85

    No.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 2:42 p.m. CST

    The acting might suck though.

    by Neosamurai85

    But no.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Sentimental Spielberg

    by darthvedder81

    Complaining about Spielberg movies being "too sentimental" is like complaining about Hitchcock movies being too "suspenseful." Spielberg makes movies full of wonder and positive sentiment. So what? Like it or not that's his bailiwick, his wheelhouse, it's what he does. Plus he HAS shown a lot of versatility over his career, more than any other popular filmmaker. The same guy who directed Jurassic Park also directed Schilinders List—in the same year. Think about that for a second.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Anyone who complains Spielberg is too sentimental

    by Mattman

    has only seen about a third of his films, if that. Ignorant statement.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 4:17 p.m. CST

    openthepodbaydoorshal

    by AsimovLives

    BLACK BEAUTY is indeed very beautiful movie. Carroll Ballard made a movie in the 90s about sailboat racing starring Mathew Modine. It' a pretty lookig movie, and the boat racing scenes are gorgeaus and exciting. But the movie is not all that much. I think his career died after that.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Oh wait, Ballard also directed "Fly Away Home"

    by AsimovLives

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 4:19 p.m. CST

    I think that some people are saying that Spielberg can

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    pile on the sentiment to coma inducing levels on the rare occasion. See his Twilight Zone segment, Hook, Always...

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 4:20 p.m. CST

    d.vader

    by AsimovLives

    Too bad you are not a horror screenwriter, because i think your nightmare could make for a good horror movie. Tiger toothed horses!! The horror, the horror!

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Jon Snow played the lead in the original London production

    by The Goat

    Kit Harington's first big role. Even the Queen went to see it, but I think Kit had already left to shoot Game of Thrones by then.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST

    WWI deserves more movies

    by seasider

    It seems like there's a new WWII movie every week but there are plenty of worthwhile stories to tell with WWI as the backdrop. Spielberg has done his share of WWII subjects so it's refreshing to see him tackling a story that takes place during the great war. I'm a sucker for horsie movies so I'll definitely be in line when this one comes out.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 4:23 p.m. CST

    darthvedder81

    by AsimovLives

    There is a legit complain about Spielberg being too sentiment. Because he's at his best when not. Even the tear jerker that is EMPIRE OF THE SUN still mananges to be far more composed and restrained then all the other schmaltz epics he made afterwards.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 4:26 p.m. CST

    mattman

    by AsimovLives

    Too bad that is the second half of his career, meaning, the most recent. The one he's now. Many like me resent the schmaltz in spielberg's latest movies (except MUNICH, which had none of that), because before, he could make movies that delivered great emotional punches and impacts without the ned to go all melodramatic and schmaltzy. It's as if he's regressing instead of progressing. Once Spielberg's movie felt genuine in their emotions, now they feel manipulative and exagerated. It's quite dishearting.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 4:31 p.m. CST

    I disagree Asimov

    by Mattman

    I love post Jurassic Spielberg. Schindler's List, Private Ryan, Amistad, A.I., Minority Report, Munich, and War of the Worlds are all aces in my book. A.I. is a misunderstood masterpiece, in fact.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 4:34 p.m. CST

    seasider

    by AsimovLives

    I guess the problem is that it's nigh impossible to make a uplifting movie about WWI. Even if you make a movie where the protagonist survives in the end, it would still look phoney if he the ending was an happy pone, because nobody came out of that war unscathed. And as if the war had not been shitty enough, the soldiers came home to devastated economies, where famine and misery was the norm. And then the spanish flu hit, and killed more people then the black plague x 10. In fact, that was the worst epidemic in human history. And then fascism came. How can anybody make a WWI movie that is not a series of downers one after the other? You can't or else you would be cheatting in the most cynical and vile way imaginable. A WWI movie is the type of movie where the cynical thing would be to make a rosy happy ever after ending. That would be cynical, black hearted cynical, and phony like hell. It would be insulting beyond belief.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 4:36 p.m. CST

    WWI was a World War my country participated (we avoided WWII).

    by AsimovLives

    And it was a story of woe and sorrow.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 4:44 p.m. CST

    mattman

    by AsimovLives

    I agree about A.I. And MUNICH doesn't belong in a discussion about Spielberg's schmaltzary of his latest movies, because it's the notable exception. I love MUNICH. It's a different Spielberg we were used to. It's not like that hadn't been hints before that Spieblerg could deliver a moviem like MUNICH. But MUNICH is where all his best stuff form his later movies got condensed into one single entity. And it's magnificent. When i saw Munich for the first time, i was in awe. I was like "this is a new spielberg i'm watching, and it's great!" That was the Spielberg i want to see mor often. That is the Spielberg i want to see now. not one that is maing movies of us, and bringing back nostalgia flavours. No, i want to see the new spieberg that came with MUNICH. But it seems now that the Spielberg of Munich was an one-off. Too bad, because the Spielberg of Munich was the best he has been since Schindler's List, Spielberg's last movie which i felt completly satisfied from start to finish. I want mor eof Munich's Spielberg. Munich's spielberg is the one we should be having now. A new reinvigorated Spielberg. Instead of this weird chimera made of past misguideness nostalgia nonsense from a time that will never return. The Spielberg of yesterday is no longer. And his atempts to recapture that has been hollow and fake. It'«s better that Spielberg and the geeks too start realising that the Spielberg of old belongs to the past and is no more. THe proper real speilberg today is the guy who made MUNICH, and not CRYSTAL SKULLFUCK or TinTin or boys with horses or whatever.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Well what I like about Berg is he mixes it up

    by Mattman

    He doesn't get stuck in a rut. Much as I share your adoration for Munich, I would hate for every Spielberg film to be that way.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 5:19 p.m. CST

    mattman

    by AsimovLives

    "Much as I share your adoration for Munich, I would hate for every Spielberg film to be that way." I wouldn't. At least for a while, say 8 to 15 years, or 4 to 6 movies, then he would reinvent himself again. Basically this is my point: i want to see Spielberg reinvent himself. Not going back, because, frankly, it's not working. Spielberg is always at his best when his safety net if off. He himself admits as much.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Oh but Asi, I am a horror writer!

    by D.Vader

    Most of the shorts I've made have all been in the horror/black comedy genre! Believe me when I say that yes, I really DO have this saved in my back pocket for a future production.

  • Everyone told her not to bother, than WWII was in, and that it was actually fading away. But after War Horse, WWI might be the next big thing. I bet she's happy. Kinda like how swords and sandal epics faded away after Gladiator and others... ... but then picked back up with the inclusion of the supernatural and the Gods with Clash of the Titans and Immortals.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 6:02 p.m. CST

    A.I. is brilliant

    by D.Vader

    LOVE love love that movie. But we've had these debates before.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 6:03 p.m. CST

    "frankly, it's not working"

    by Mattman

    It's working for me, so I'm good. :) The Spielberg you want, you'll get every once in a while. He's never been one thing for any amount of time. His films have always been hugely varied in tone.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 6:24 p.m. CST

    d.vader

    by AsimovLives

    "Oh but Asi, I am a horror writer!" Cool! "Believe me when I say that yes, I really DO have this saved in my back pocket for a future production." Can't wait for when you finally put that to writing.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 6:26 p.m. CST

    mattman

    by AsimovLives

    Let's hope i get it more often, then. I already miss him, that Spielberg who made MUNICH.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 6:27 p.m. CST

    d.vader

    by AsimovLives

    The "AI is Brillant" needs to be brough up as often as it needs to be until the movie gets to be recognized for the great movie that it is. This is how overlooked movies get to become classics later on. Worked wonders for BLADE RUNNER and Carpenter's THE THING.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Carnivorous Horses and Spielberg

    by cushing1967

    First - fuck off with the carnivorous horses guys - seriously, I had a book as a kid that had the most gruesome picture of the Mares of Thrace (or Mares of Diomedes) and they terrified the shit out of me. I had nightmares about them. Sometimes they had clowns on their backs... And as for Spielberg - I love him but he has made, in my opinion, some missteps in his career and I have begun to lose interest in rewatching some of the films of his that I loved. As an example I hate the fact that the German that they let live in Private Ryan reappears at the final attack and is suddenly more 'comic book evil' than any of the Nazi's in Raiders. As another example I hate that he showed no compassion or humanity from any German character in Schindler's List. I thought the Pianist was a much better film in that respect. I do still like most of his films but some of his decisions make me a bit uncomfortable. Anyway - fucking carnivorous horses ...

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 6:40 p.m. CST

    In fact this was the picture http://tinyurl.com/6cf5b59

    by cushing1967

  • Hyuk hyuk!

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 7:58 p.m. CST

    one guy one horse

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    We all know what happens......we've all seen the clip on the net.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 8:32 p.m. CST

    WHERE THE FUCK IS EQUINAS WHEN YOU NEED HIM?! TALKBACK GOLD!!!!

    by Stuntcock Mike

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/33985

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 8:36 p.m. CST

    That's who I was talking about earlier, Stuntcock Mike!

    by D.Vader

    Thanks for being so Professional.

  • Nov. 4, 2011, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Patti Smith

    by Neosamurai85

    There. I said it.

  • Nov. 5, 2011, 9 a.m. CST

    cushing1967

    by AsimovLives

    Jesus Christ, that's some evil horses right there! Your childhood must haven't been unscathed.

  • Nov. 5, 2011, 9 a.m. CST

    alexdk

    by AsimovLives

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! That was hysterical!!!

  • Nov. 5, 2011, 11:19 a.m. CST

    then you should have gone with "black horse down"

    by menacingphantom

    Which is actually funny instead of being some sort of strained proof of ironic detachment.

  • Nov. 5, 2011, 1:04 p.m. CST

    asimovlives

    by seasider

    The things you mentioned are exactly why more stories need to be told about WWI. People (especially our youth) have to know about that war. It was an extremely bitter war that cost countless lives and changed our world in a lot of ways. That being said, I don't think movies about humanity, self sacrifice and dare-I-mention-the-word "hope" are necessarily out of place if they just happen to take place during WWI. In the case of War Horse, it's an untold story about how valuable horses were to the war effort, how many of them were killed or used by the enemy and how most of the horses that did survive the war were rewarded for their service by being sold off to butchers and slaughtered. I've read the book so I know how this story ends but just because a WWI movie has uplifting elements to it, does not mean they are misrepresenting or insulting the memory of those who lived and died in that era. Some might call that putting lipstick on a pig but to each his own.

  • Nov. 5, 2011, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Jesus dioxholsters_ghost, the very thought of......

    by Stuntcock Mike

    that poor cop having to drive Equinas in his post-coital glow with four gallons of Stallion chum up his caboose brings a tear to my eye. "I'm taking you to jail Mr. Equinas" "Officer, I've already been to HEAVEN tonight. And kindly have them hose out my insides first, if you please" "I'm too old for this shit."

  • Nov. 5, 2011, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Sorry Vader, posted without reading first bro.

    by Stuntcock Mike

    Every time I see anything on AICN involving horses my mind turns immediately to the gentle words of Equinas.

  • Nov. 5, 2011, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Looks saccarine and cheesy.

    by knowthyself

  • Nov. 5, 2011, 3:41 p.m. CST

    seasider

    by AsimovLives

    I agree with the need to tell WWI storeies to educate the general audiences, specially the younglings. I bet many of the younglings who don't know about WWI can't believe that thing actually happend, and happened the way it did. As for uplifting stories with happy endings set in a WWI framing device.... i do think it is putting lipstick on a pig, i'm affraid. Call me a depressive moody fella, but there's stories inwhich a happy ending is a cheap coup out and a way to undermine the aesop of the story. "Shit was bad but it turned alright right it stoped" is not a good way to tell people what happened during and imediatly after WWI. I know many people feel very sorry for the fate that befelt so many horses right after WWI, being turned to food to feed the hunger that came afterwards. But consider that without that, our greatgrandparents and greatparents might had not survived and we wouldn't be here. On a less serious note: horse is delicious! It's like cow but even better, more juicy.

  • Nov. 6, 2011, 1:36 a.m. CST

    Even if the horse didn't die in the book

    by proevad

    Spielberg would kill it. That's his cumshot.

  • Nov. 6, 2011, 3:24 a.m. CST

    I'm game...

    by Ryan

    It might be overtly emotional and an easy and obvious play by Spielberg...but it's Spielberg. He's good at this stuff and while I know horses aren't nearly as smart as Hollywood would have you believe, I think the flick looks good. Still, taking a horse into a war that was predominately fought in trenches? Kinda seems like a fail.

  • Nov. 6, 2011, 8:54 a.m. CST

    No reason to apologize, Stuntcock Mike!

    by D.Vader

    I'm glad another Professional such as yourself was able to find that talkback in particular and educate the rest of the folks here on the legend of Equinas.

  • Nov. 6, 2011, 6:58 p.m. CST

    AI is brilliant

    by Winston Smith

    One of his best films. I also liked Munich a lot. And I never really liked Close Encounters, but I think Jurassic Park really is a classic and not just some cool sequences. So I guess what I'm saying is, he's always had films that worked for me and didn't. His best def are, for me, Raiders, Schindler's List, JP, AI and Jaws. Minority Report is great too, despite a really weak and drawn out last act.

  • Nov. 6, 2011, 9:05 p.m. CST

    So does this get filed under...

    by Orbots Commander

    'good' Spielberg, like Close Encounters, Raiders, Schindler's List, Jaws and Munich? Or is it bad to mediocre Spielberg, encompassing Hook, Always, 1941, The Color Purple, The Terminal, The Lost World? The last out-and-out excellent Spielberg film that I can remember was Catch Me If You Can. Good flick, that; it still stands up fine when I come across it on cable. Also, the first hour or so of The Beard's War of the Worlds: excellent. After that, it devolves.

  • Nov. 8, 2011, 4:04 p.m. CST

    halfbreedqueen2, I share your A.I. love

    by Mattman

  • Nov. 9, 2011, 6:53 a.m. CST

    Benedict Cumberbatch

    by HamburgerEarmuffs

    Is not a real name.

  • Nov. 9, 2011, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Saw the trailer before IDES OF MARCH

    by Jason

    Pretty much spelled out the whole movie.

  • Nov. 9, 2011, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Spielberg has two speeds...

    by saultonofswing

    Mindless fun and serious schmaltz. This looks to be the latter.

  • Nov. 10, 2011, 1:42 a.m. CST

    Horses are boring.

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Hopefully this will tank.

  • Nov. 16, 2011, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Will SS emerge again as a Master of the craft

    by sapno_krei

    It makes me a little sad to fathom the idea that the best of Spielberg may have already passed. Sure, that's what I felt around the time of HOOK and ALWAYS, and then he went and made the massive hit JURASSIC PARK and Best Picture Winner SCHINDLER'S LIST. Could there be more bursts of greatness left in him? Will TINTIN and WAR HORSE be the ones?

  • Dec. 11, 2011, 5:47 a.m. CST

    See the play...

    by michael parness

    And then you'll understand how poorly conceived this film is. On its own its nothing but poorly underdeveloped characters clinging hopelessly to a horse. While I love horses, there's literally zero connection to human beings in this film. It evokes childish emotions from viewers simply because of images related to animals being killed. If you see the film, think about how many times you cry for the humans who are obliterated...chances are you'll start and end with zero since we're not attached to anyone but the horse. The play is magnificent, why in the world the filmmakers changed the plot and characters is beyond this viewer and such a tragic shame. If this film gets nominated for anything it'll further dilute the academy's reputation. Comparing this film to other great anti-war films is a travesty, its was Disney meets Black Stallion meets a non animated Zookeeper. Yes, it was that bad. Watch some great war films, even Speilbergs Saving Private Ryan which was flawed but at least had a grittiness this film sorely lacks. The music, the horse, unfortunately the characters are all bland and cheesey. 'Nuff said...a real shame for anyone who's seen the play as my final note...