December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

February 10, 2012

War Horse (2011)

When it’s over, the horse is the true star of the show.  Director Steven Spielberg does a wonderful job at telling the story from the perspective of Joey, the horse that goes from the ploughing fields to the battlefields of WWI.  Sold into the army and separated from his owner, Joey sees and learns the hardships, devastation, and brutality of war on his fellow horses as well as on the humans that ride them.  I found this change in perspective captivating and refreshing, because it offered a different perspective of war, one I don't think as an audience we often see – through the eyes of animals.  In many ways, this film is a coming of age story for Joey - from pony, to work horse, to war horse.  I thought the cinematography was fabulous, thanks to Janusz Kaminski’s keen eye for lighting using a grey palette to emulate despair and the bleakness of war.  The film not only looked believable, but it also successfully pulls you in emotionally, like the scene where Joey becomes tangled in barbed wire in the battle at No Man’s Land.  My heart just went out to Joey, because he had come so far and endured so much, it was hard seeing him suddenly be taken down by barbed wire.  Working with animals on a set is never an easy task, and Spielberg skillfully made it look effortless.  I really enjoyed every minute of it.  Definitely one of Spielberg’s better films.

My rating: 4 out of 5

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