War horse? Really? Say it ain't so...


I mean, I read the synopsis of this movie and have to ask, "Is this for real?"

A boy enlists in WWI to find the beloved horse that his alcoholic dad sold to the British military.  That's it?  I lost my dog once in the woods for several hours and found him howling in a concrete ditch but does that make an epic motion picture?  Okay, I get it.  He goes on all sorts of adventures and into combat for the sake of getting back his fucking horse.  

Without a doubt I can understand the deep affection and attachment one can have for a pet.  Sometimes it can far outweigh the love of friends and family especially that of a longstanding childhood pet.  But I just don't understand how you could make a full length movie about a boy looking for his horse.

When I heard the buzz about War Horse and Steven Spielberg's name tied to it, I assumed the horse would be metaphorical but the title says it all.

I always had a little crush on Mr. Spielberg.  Yes, I find him physically attractive but that obviously isn't all.  He's incredibly bright, a visionary filmmaker and when I've read interviews he's humble about his many achievements and seems like an all-around good guy.  His movies directed to an adult audience like Jaws, Schindler's List, and Saving Private Ryan aren't his focus.  He's all about the wonder of being a child.  All those alien, sappy movies he makes are all about us old, hardened adults who have lost our sense of magic experiencing it through child's eyes.  I get it.  I got it the first time.  He's got about a thousand rugrats and I understand some of that goes with the territory but he's been doing this for years.  So of course he's going to jump all over two of the things he does so well epic (ahem, I mean war) movies and movies about recapturing that love and essence of boyhood.  I know people love him for that sentimental shit but count me out.

A nice, intelligent young man once told me that when he was riding his horse was the only time he felt truly free.  I couldn't identify in the least and politely smiled.  This does not make him weird per se.  There's a whole culture of people who just adore horses and for the life of me I can't see why.  They are massive, skittish and made of pure muscle, thus incedibly strong.  Many people claim to have loving relationships and deep bonds with horses.  These- most often- women grew up wanting a pony and probably got a chance to go horseback riding in summer camp.  If they were priveledged enough, they got training in equestrianism and possibly owned their own horse.

So all those people who love those emotionally manipulative (Oops! I meant heartwrenching) movies that are family friendly are in.  Animal lovers are mostly in.  The horse fanatics will be storming the theater in droves.  It's the skeptics who plan on dragging themselves to see it because of the award buzz or Spielberg is tied to it that will probably invite me along.  

They will say something like, "Come on, I hear it's actually good."

I'll save you the trouble as if this post isn't blunt enough.  No.  Nope.  Hell to the no.

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