War Horse

There are some directors who make good films for their entire careers. Most of the time filmmakers drop off at a certain point, falling into mediocrity and living off their previous accomplishments until their inevitable demise. I’m beginning to think Steven Spielberg is one such man.

Unlike his contemporary and sometimes collaborator George Lucas, who isn’t really capable of directing a good movie if his life depended on it, Spielberg has made some of the most timeless films in American history. He scared us silly with Jaws and Poltergeist (which was credited to Tobe Hooper but was helmed primarily by Spielberg), he made us think about the horrors of World War II with Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List, and he prophesized a dystopian future with his adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report. The list above is just a small sampling of Spielberg’s filmography, which is filled with box office winners and quality films and anybody who watches movies knows who the man is.

Spielberg’s films have a timeless, primal quality to them, touching on the base elements of what it means to be human. He’s able to tap into the consciousness of the human animal and touch us on some level or another – the primary quality behind his films. However, it looks like Spielberg might have lost his touch with War Horse: a film about a horse during the First World War (maybe it’s the Second World War but I’m not entirely sure). What I’m sure about is the schmaltz in this trailer, which makes War Horse look like the silliest thing I’ve encountered in quite a long time.

It looks like the plot involves a horse which is taken from its owner and used for the war effort. He traverses through battles and feels the pain of war, understanding the frailty of humanity and the barbarism of armed conflict. I’m not denying that horses are smart but I seriously doubt they can comprehend the intricacies of war; most likely they’re freaked out by the loud noises and carnage surrounding them. Nonetheless, Spielberg decided to give the horse a personality – as depicted in the trailer at 1:47 when it looks longingly at the camera. In essence, this looks like shit.

However, it’s possible the film can be salvaged by what the trailer depicts as a sexual relationship between War Horse and his owner. The way the protagonist looks at the horse from afar with bated breath and a lustful look in his eyes I’m pretty sure he pursues carnal knowledge with the mammal. If the movie’s good we’ll see a recreation of Two Guys, One Horse.

Here is the trailer. Decide for yourself if you think War Horse is worthwhile or just a prime example of Spielberg’s descent into mediocrity.

2 responses to “War Horse

  1. Do you know anything about horses? Really? Horses can bond to humans, just like dogs. Saying that someone who loves a horse wants to have sex with it is just sick. Do you have a dog or a cat that you love? Did it ever make you want to have sex with it?
    (Nor does it appear as if you know anything about war other than what you’ve seen on the screen.)
    Horses will do just about anything asked of them once they love and trust their owner. You can’t force a horse to charge into a battle. He does it because the person he loves asks him to.
    The trailer makes me DEFINITELY want to see this movie.
    You are really a sad and lonely person, aren’t you.
    By the way, the term is “bated” breath, not “baited”. Duh.

  2. Sorry it took me a few days to respond but I was moving up north for my new occupation euthanizing horses. Obviously you didn’t recognize the comedic slant contained within this post. I understand conveying humor is difficult and maybe I’m not that good at it; maybe you don’t have a sense of humor. I don’t have the answers to these questions but I can say with conviction that War Horse looks terrible. Maybe the film is excellent but the trailer makes it look like a SNL parody. That’s usually a bad sign.

    For the record, I don’t know much about horses. One time I tried paying a horse for a ride up to the store for cigarettes. He took my money, spit on my shoes, and galloped away laughing. Since then I’m very hesitant to trust horses. I understand you believe horses are very trusting but I question this since they were humankind’s slave until the car. They were used for transportation, labor, war, and so much more (where do you think the term “work horse” comes from?). I’m sure if horses were smarter they’d rebel against people and repay all the centuries of mistreatment. No wonder that horse took my money and laughed.

    As for war: I don’t have any experience with war. I live in the 21st century where America has a volunteer military and I have absolutely no interest in being a hired thug. Plus, I can make much more money being a mercenary. However, I am looking forward to the next phase in military technology and when I’m drafted to pilot a drone plane I’ll make sure to shoot a horse from a silo in Nevada just for you.

    Finally, thanks for the grammatical correction. Even though I’m smarter than a horse (and can escape a barn with my thumbs) I’m only human and make mistakes from time to time. The error has been corrected and I appreciate you pointing it out.

    Thanks for reading. =)

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