(Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, et al / 4-Disc Blu ray+DVD / PG-13 / 2012 / Touchstone-Disney)
Overview: From legendary director Steven Spielberg comes the epic adventure War Horse, a tale of incredible loyalty, hope, and tenacity. Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway play, and set against the sweeping canvas of World War I, this deeply heartfelt story begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and his young trainer Albert.
DVD Verdict: Once in a while, a truly magnificent movie comes along. This is one of them. Like any great Spielberg film, 'War Horse' is a roller coaster ride that will take its viewers from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. Just like E.T. and Saving Private Ryan, this movie has the ability to make you laugh one minute and then put a lump in your throat the next. The imagery, musical score, and cinematography are second to none.
If you own a horse or love horses, this movie may be difficult to watch at times because it can be quite stirring. As difficult as some scenes are to sit through though, I'm grateful for them and their ability to expose the cruelty that mankind has inflicted on horses. In many ways, this movie seems to honor the contributions of the horse and the contributions of our soldiers.
Best of all, it is one of the few movies that actually appreciates horses and portrays them as something other than veterans of the race track. The only other movies I can recall that attempt to accomplish this are The Black Stallion, Black Beauty, and Gallant Bess.
'War Horse' does an excellent job of exposing the many horrors of war that the soldiers and horses both faced. It has all the unique elements of World War I such as no mans land, poison gas, tanks, and machine guns. All of which were a novelty before World War I.
Historically, this movie seems to be very accurate. Interestingly, this movie doesn't take sides in the war. Through the eyes of Joey, we see humanity and cruelty in both alliances of the war, the Allies and the Central Powers.
Kudos, Mr. Spielberg for doing your homework, putting your heart into this endeavor, and delivering an exceptional movie! This film does what all good movies should. It gives us characters to care about, an involving story, it shows us a time and place that's hard to imagine, and it stirs something inside of us. [MC] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Blu ray Special Features of:
Blu-ray(TM) Feature Film + Bonus
Through The Producer's Lens -- Producer Kathleen Kennedy Shares Photos She Took During Filming
DVD Feature Film + Bonus
Digital Copy Of Feature Film
War Horse: The Journey Home -- Discover How This Extraordinary Film Came To The Screen With Steven Spielberg, The Production Team And Cast
An Extra's Point Of View -- Experience The Shoot From The Perspective Of A "Background Artist"
A Filmmaking Journey -- Join Director-Producer Steven Spielberg For An Unprecedented Look Into The Making Of War Horse, And Learn Why The Film Was Both A Filmmaking Journey...And A Journey Of The Heart
Editing & Scoring -- Steven Spielberg, Editor Michael Kahn And Composer John Williams Discuss The Film's Editing And Music, As Well As The Secret Of Their Forty-Year Collaboration
The Sounds Of War Horse -- Sound Designer Gary Rydstrom Explains The Movie's Sophisticated Sound Design