Wednesday, March 5, 2014

War Horse: A Tale of Bravery and Magnificence

            Still no word on a completed guest post about superheroes (JESSE!  THESE PEOPLE ARE WAITING!) so how's about a review of a movie sans the Broadway show?  For this post, it's the (optional) theme song of the full War Horse Soundtrack.

            If anyone's ever heard of War Horse, they might think of the Broadway show, with the amazing puppets, and the brilliant actors making it all seem so real.  But the movie is just as spectacular!  You get all of these great shots where even the scenery gets to be the star of the show, where these 6-star actors (out of five, mind you) make your wildest dreams come true, and you are just taken on the journey, like a spirit witnessing the miracle of a horse surviving World War I, that many people thought was the War to End All Wars.  It was utterly brilliant!

            Not very many people realize that Steven Spielberg directed this movie much like Vincent Van Gogh created his paintings; he used the skies of Devonshire to his advantage, the moors like a landform just waiting to be used as a backdrop for an epic movie, he used the landscape to its advantage, the surrounding areas as part of this great beautiful story, and it seems that he sees it all in his mind and just HAS to make it real.  It all came together very beautifully as a work of art that tells this war story, this journey of a horse from birth to war to home again, who is a character in and of itself, that had to be trained to run into battle instead of away from danger.  In fact, Tom"Loki" Hiddleston, who played Captain Nicholls in this film, was witness to how Spielberg directed and constructed shots for the film; it might be a lot of hard work to other directors, but it was like "water out of a tap for him," because it would just flow with ease.  If I couldn't make it as a director for my Polar Vortex film, then I probably would've co-directed with Spielberg, because he's just.  So.  Brilliant!

            The acting was incredible, the horses were probably trained extremely^2 well to act properly, in the way that was just not only natural, but also like they are also the stars of the film, having to bear many a rider from many backgrounds on their backs.  And what's also great, having ridden horses myself until my teen years, is that they never had one shot in the film be of the horses taking a piss or a shit.  I'm serious, it isn't fun to have to wait around for the horse to finish their business for me to continue with dressage riding.  BUT(T)!  Squirrel moment aside, they were beautiful and they deserve their own stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and knighthood in the UK.  Of course, the knighthood will be up to Her Majesty.

            I have to spoil it a tiny bit.  Because there is just this one beautiful scene, one where I will not reveal where it lies in sequence of the film lest I spoil it for everyone who didn't watch it but SHOULD….  It's a scene where you're on the moors of Devon, and the skies are awash in the fiery sunset glow of the sun.  It's so beautiful, like the skies are awash with flame, and everything is lit in the firelight of the sky.  You can't help but just go, "Oh….my….GODS!  Someday, this HAS to be the setting for a photo shoot!"  (Heh, you might not go "PHOTO SHOOT!"  But, I confess that I actually did.)  But it was just so beautiful, like Spielberg's version of Van Gogh's Starry Night, with the color temperature thermostat set to warm!  All those oranges and yellows just giving it the right sense of amazing jaw-dropping BEAUTY!

            I also have to admit that I did not realize that it was a book FIRST…  I would LOVE to see the Broadway show for sure, but now I have to find the book and read it!  Because Mama always told me to read the book first!  However, I don't think Spielberg could do the book any more justice than he already did!  He did excellent with the firing squad scene, with the shot construction and execution, Tom Hiddleston did excellent as Captain Nichols, Benedict Cumberbatch was wonderful as Major Jamie Stewart, and it was just the right amount of jaw dropping beauty mixed together with emotions and storytelling and character AND DELICIOUS CHEEKBONES!!!!!  Even I would nominate this movie for every Oscar category, including made-up categories I'm still trying to come up with for @midnight's Hashtag Wars!