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Blu-ray Review: WAR HORSE Is A War Movie For The Whole Family

War Horse arrived on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Download and On-Demand this week. I regret not seeing this film while it was in theaters, but luckily had the chance to review the disc this week. Steven Spielberg directed this Oscar-nominated Best Picture. This epic film takes place before, during and after World War I, and tells the story of a horse named Joey and his young trainer Albert (Jeremy Irvine).  When they’re forced apart by war, the film follows Joey’s on his journey as he changes and inspires the lives of everyone he meets. I truly enjoyed this.heartwarming tale of friendship, loyalty, courage, hope and persistence. It is the perfect film for audiences of all ages, and one that I am proud to add to my collection of favorite films that I own.

I love the relationship and bond that the horse Joey had with his young trainer Albert. Having grown up seeing movies like Benji and Benji Come Home, I was reminded of those relationships between the dog and it's owner. War Horse is a similar story, but told on a much bigger scope! The horses in this film touch so many peoples lives, and by the end they will have touched yours as well. War Horse is one of the most epic and touching war movies I have ever seen. Despite the miseries of war, there are a number of tender moments throughout this epic film. 
The horse and Albert's relationship overshadows some tremendous supporting performances by an solid ensemble cast. Peter Mullan (Tyrannosaur), Tom Hiddleston (Thor, The Avengers), Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Trek 2), Emily Watson (Corpse Bride), David Thewlis (Harry Potter films), and Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans). This is a veritable who's who of British actors, which adds authenticity to the story.
Spielberg is a legendary director and producer who is great with all types of films, but is wonderful with films with a huge scope like War Horse. His past war movies, Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan are equally grand. I love war movies, but there are not that many WWI films. War Horse does a good job of showing the terrors of trench warfare. It is interesting to see how much changed from WWI to WWII in terms of fighting tactics.

This is one of the most packed Blu-rays that I have in my collection. I was happy to see such an extensive selection of bonus features. If you are a film buff like me, and enjoy seeing inside the making of a movie you will love the 60-minute documentary called "A Filmmaking Journey". Spielberg takes audiences deep inside the making of War Horse in some cool never-before-seen footage. Bonus features include a special 60 minute documentary (named “A Filmmaking Journey”), created by Spielberg, that offers a never-before-seen inside look into the making of WAR HORSE and much, much more! I also love seeing anything about John Williams, since I grew up listening to his wonderful scores in many of Spielberg's greats. His work is perfectly highlighted along with that of editor Michael Kahn in a section called Editing & Scoring. One of my other favorite features is called "The Sounds of War Horse". I love seeing how sound design is done for films because it is often surprising to see what is used to make specific sounds. 

War Horse is Spielberg's most accessible war film for families to date. If you skipped this film in theaters for whatever reason, do not let it pass you by now that it is on Blu-ray and DVD. The sweeping cinematography, beautiful score, amazing cast and top notch production values make this a wonderful film. The colors on this Blu-ray are amazing. From the lush greens of the countryside to the harsh browns of wartime Europe, the colors will truly pop on your home theater.

 

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