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Blu-ray Review: Lavish Set For Steven Spielberg’s ‘War Horse’

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CHICAGO – Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” is a well-intentioned and well-made film that nonetheless comes off as a major disappointment both in the context of the filmography of one of our most important filmmakers and the potential of the storytelling here. It’s a technically strong film and so its strengths are amplified by HD and the Blu-ray includes a healthy quantity of special features but the movie is a disappointment.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

“War Horse” plays almost as if Spielberg is answering the critics who claim he can be too maudlin and overly sentimental with a film that REALLY fits both those criticisms. “War Horse” is an old-fashioned piece with remarkable technical qualities that still feels about as flat as a TV movie of the week when it comes to character, subtlety, and overall purpose. It’s a beautiful movie that never stirs the soul as much as one may admire the people who made it. The HD transfer of the Blu-ray release is admittedly stunning (the movie looks prettier than I remembered in theaters) and John Williams’ score was BUILT for HD audio. So, if you are a fan of “War Horse,” there’s little reason to complain about this release.

War Horse was released on Blu-ray and DVD on April 3, 2012
War Horse was released on Blu-ray and DVD on April 3, 2012
Photo credit: Disney

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. When they’re forced apart by war, we follow Joey’s extraordinary journey as he changes and inspires the lives of everyone he meets. Filled with spectacularly rich visuals — and complete with never-before-seen bonus — War Horse is a “Genuine Movie Masterpiece” (Rex Reed, The New York Observer) and one of the most powerful and moving stories of friendship ever told.

Special Features:
o War Horse: The Journey Home
o An Extra’s Point Of View
o A Filmmaking Journey
o Editing & Scoring
o The Sounds Of War Horse
o Through The Producer’s Lens
o War Horse: The Look

“War Horse” stars Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, Niels Arestrup, and David Thewlis. It was directed by Steven Spielberg. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on April 3rd, 2012.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

Paul B's picture

War Horse

Looks like a great set. Haven’t seen it yet but keep hearing “Should have had more war, less horse.”

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