"War Horse", the movie--SOOO Disappointing. =( - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 59 Old 12-27-2011, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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"War Horse", the movie--SOOO Disappointing. =(

Just saw it yesterday. I expected it to be like "Secretariat", or "Sea Biscuit," so DD and I took kleenex--ya know, for "Niagara Falls".) Instead Speilberg gave us "Horse Fantasy Land" and World War I "Fantasy Island."
There was literally no montage to show how long it took for "Albert to train "Joey" (the title and main character) to get him gentled, trained to saddle and willing to plow the rock-filled bottom-land. The script indicated one month of training. When the army bought him Joey was trained to a saber and tilting for a brass ring just by racing towards it. Not at ALL bothered by a scabbard at his side, or the noises, or the "dress to the next horse,"... His BFF was this black horse. They settled dominance in about...2 minutes, with no fighting, then they were biffles, 'til death do them part.
Instead of a heartwarming scene, Speilberg had Joey running, scared to death by a tank--I'm pretty sure he'd seen them before--through "no man's land", littered with barbed wire. We, the audience, get to cringe as he smashes through 2 barbed wire fences, only to be tangled up by the 3rd fence. When the British and German soldiers cut the wires, he only has one--yes, one small gash on the RF leg.
As a drama the story draaaaagggggsss. We don't get to see enough of the little French girl, "Emilie." She hides the 2 horses upstairs in her bedroom to keep the German army from retrieving them, only the ride over the hill to the next property...where they are obviously encamped--couldn't she hear them...? jmho about this character...
YES, WWI was muddy and dangerous--significant use of barbed wire and mustard gas. It was THIS war that F. Scott Fitgerald wrote about and THIS war that turned the US isolationist. I don't think that the British Cavalry would have ridden into the woods chasing after the German encampment. Their officers were trained to previous war tactics--they were NOT that dumb!
Several times in the story the writers resist the obvious, which is when the two horses change sides, they WOULD HAVE BECOME officers mounts and NOT relegated to pulling an ambulence or killing themselves pulling a 2-ton gun up to the top of a ridge. (We are told that this uses the horses up like kleenex. I guess the kleenex in my hand made some sense at this point in the movie.)
At the end of the war after (again, miraculous Fantasy Island) Albert calls him with his special bird call (5 times!!!!--twice, then the injured horse should have hobbled over to him--overly dramatic) and the horse, who is going to be shot bc of the scant barbed wire injuries--"Tetanus, you know"--goes racing off to Albert, the Army won't let his officer purchase him and give Joey to Albert. Good gracious.........the MINUTE the war was over everything became surplus!!!!!
Even the ending, Albert aboard Joey walking and trotting up to the family (rented) farm at sunset, the reunion is forced, and the only one with any class is the horse who played "Joey".
BTW, "Joey" is described as a TB several times. I guess our friends in the UK can place the breed--I'm guessing "Cleveland Bay" bc of the build--but the head and ribs are not TB.
DON'T BOTHER.
One more thing--my daughter is disgusted how Hollywood likes to make EVERY ANIMAL into dogs. The ONLY animal that loves and dies for you is your dog. I KNOW that my Arab liked me but he would NEVER have mourned for me after my death, like my dogs would. Just sharing.....
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Last edited by Corporal; 12-27-2011 at 02:41 PM.
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post #2 of 59 Old 12-27-2011, 02:51 PM
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I don't want to see the movie in the first place. Hollywood makes things how they want it to be. I'm tired of movies that are made about novels and books because the movies rarely (notice I said rarely!) come even close to the original plot line in the book. And another reason I won't allow myself to watch it is because if I can pick so many things out that are wrong in the movie trailor, I won't be able to sit through the movie without commenting on everything. I have problems with watching movies because I pick every little wrong detail out in it.

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post #3 of 59 Old 12-27-2011, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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"Sea Biscuit" WAS a good film. You could overlook the small flaws bc it was character driven.
I was Hoping that this film would erase the sickening interest in the play, "Equus."'=
Oh well....U of Illinois fans are STILL waiting for an epic film about Red Grange...
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post #4 of 59 Old 12-27-2011, 03:00 PM
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I haven't seen the Seabiscuit movie yet. I've watched the documentary and the Secretariat movie, those were good.

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post #5 of 59 Old 12-27-2011, 03:03 PM
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I couldn't get through Secretariat and Seabiscuit was nothing like the book...

Fury wasn't anything like the book either...

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post #6 of 59 Old 12-27-2011, 03:09 PM
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What's Fury about?

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post #7 of 59 Old 12-27-2011, 03:14 PM
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Sorry. Fury is a movie and series of books about a boy (I think he was an orphan) that lived on the Broken Wheel ranch, actually, he may have lived with his dad.

I meant Flicka.

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post #8 of 59 Old 12-27-2011, 04:32 PM
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Anyone waiting for a truly realistic horse movie is looking for a pipe dream, and completely unrealistic themselves. Non-horse people are not interested in how long it takes to train a horse, or any of the other little things we horse people scoff at. They're interested in an exhilarating and emotional/moving movie.

Quite frankly, if your entire review on the movie is "it sucks" only because it wasn't IDENTICAL to real life, it's a pretty crappy review. No horse movie is realistic, deal with it.
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post #9 of 59 Old 12-27-2011, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, MM, I don't expect that much realism vis a vis realistic horse training. It wasn't really a terrible film, just mediocre. Speilberg is slipping. He used to produce films like "Goonies" and even "Amistad" had some good points to it. I thought my review of this film was pretty good--just wanted to discourage any on the forum for wasting their movie money, concession money ($20 for popcorn and soda) on this film.
My horse training comments are for this forum, and not for FB.
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post #10 of 59 Old 12-27-2011, 07:04 PM
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I'm not looking for a truley realistic horse movie but I want to see one that is believable and if it's based on a book, then stick to the story line! That's my beef...

I LOVED National Velvet... I loved the TV series the Black Stallion (the movies were boring for me). Shoot, I loved the Saddle Club!....

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