The Movie Waffler New Release Review - War Horse | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - War Horse

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson

They say you can't polish a turd but in bringing Lee Hall and Richard Curtis' awful screenplay to the screen Spielberg has applied liberal amounts of Mr Sheen to a steaming pile of horseshit.
We're talking James Cameron levels of character depth with offensively hackneyed dialogue. There's one excruciating speech from a French farmer about pigeons flying over the war that made me sick so hackneyed was it with it's metaphor. If Michael Bay had made this it would be little more than "Pearl Harbour 2".
Spielberg thankfully is the last of the great seventies generation of movie brats to still have his talent intact and here he's on fire. The problem with blockbusters today is that they aren't made by film-makers anymore, Hollywood would rather employ a music video director, a comic book artist, or worst of all a writer. Our blockbusters are no longer visual, just a hodge-podge of talking heads, rapid fire cuts, shaky cameras and awful CG. Spielberg shoots this movie like it was made by John Sturges in 1963. There's no visible CG, I'm sure it's there but you certainly don't notice it which is exactly how it should be. He rarely shoots in widescreen but when he does he's probably second only to John Carpenter in using it to his advantage. Rarely have the landscapes of Europe looked so stunning, shot beautifully by the excellent cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, and on film! Spielberg recalls the American vistas of John Ford in his shooting of rural England and France, if you asked Michael Bay who John Ford was he'd probably tell you he created the Model T! In contrast to the natural beauty of rural Northern Europe is the gas and smoke filled horrorscape of No Man's Land, it reminded me of Lucio Fulci's vision of hell at the climax of "The Beyond".
If you want to see a movie that actually looks like a movie I recommend this but just be prepared for some of the worst dialogue you're likely to hear all year.