We rarely go to the movies anymore for a variety of reasons, including a $9.50 admission fee. Our local theater maintains a monopoly and can choose what it shows. It is filthy to the point of having a musty smell. I have seen mice race across the floor looking for corn kernels! Even the staff has the look of needing a shampoo and wear shirts that need some laundering. I have tried the management with discussion; I have tried upper management with letters. So we watch DVDs, drive to Springfield for something special, or succumb to the local theater when we can find it maybe tolerable.
I wanted to see War Horse on the big screen because I thought the scenes would be worthy of the effort. Knowing Spielberg is a master with both visuals and story, I thought War Horse would be an eye feast and I wasn’t wrong. I got the bonus of hearing a musical score written by John Williams. The countryside and the characters were wonderfully picturesque in the film. Lighting and chosen camera angles were reminiscent of old movies where the shots showed the emotion of the story. Unfortunately, a lot of the story is war and that was dark, muddy and harsh-which war is. The scene where the horse is caught in barbed wire was hard to watch but powerfully done.
The movie was taken from a book, a young person’s novel, which is not unusual. The author wrote the book as anti-war, and Spielberg develops that theme quite well. There is NO glory in this war story, but it is a testament to love, even if it is love between man and horse. The scene where both sides stop the fighting and enemies work together for a few minutes to free the horse are reminiscent of other true stories of enemies temporarily stopping a war for a higher cause. Why can’t it last?
The previews at the theater were interesting that day in that a long line of garbage films were promoted before this nice family film was shown. Okay, so that is my opinion, but if we sit in front of stories about blood, gore, supernatural horror, and abject stupidity glorified by non-talents, why are we surprised civilizations mimics those behaviors? I believe in the power of story and want to see stories told where goodness overcomes evil, where people are decent, even if flawed. Maybe humanity would then mimic those stories and the world would be a better place to live.***********************
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