Blu-ray Review: War Horse

warhorse Blu ray Review: War Horse

The Movie Itself

War Horse is an engaging film, but don’t expect anything similar to Saving Private Ryan. The original novel was written as a children’s book, and Spielberg didn’t stray far from the feel of the original work. The feel of the film is almost fantasy-like, even within the theme of the First World War.

The film is mainly about the relationship between a teenager and his horse named Joey, and the journey that both experienced throughout Europe. Through unfortunate circumstances, the young man is forced to part ways with his horse, but not without promising a reunion in the near future. So, starts the journey of the horse and his many adventures. He meets many diverse characters, and even befriends another horse along the way.

There are scenes, or moments, in the film that felt rushed. I understand that it isn’t always easy to keep the length of the film within limits, especially when it’s a book adaptation. But, the horse’s journey seems too short at times, not establishing enough relationship with his different owners before moving on. That’s a minor complaint. Overall though, this is a beautiful family film (PG-13), the storytelling and the cinematography are both top-notch.

The Movie Itself: B

horse04 Blu ray Review: War Horse


The video transfer is amazing. No surprises here. Disney has been releasing top quality Blu-rays for awhile now, and this one is no different. The transfer truly honors the work of the cinematographer, Janusz Kaminski, as his amazing lighting of the film is beautifully displayed on my HDTV. The feel of the film is very classical, filmy, for lack of a better word. It’s very sharp and contrasty, but not “digital” sharp, it feels natural and dated. The blacks are very deep and gives the film an overall solid feel. The colors are very wet, wet green, wet brown, wet everything, and it’s beautiful. The skin tones also feel natural, no over-saturation or fake enhancements. Great video transfer!

Video: A

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The Audio is great, and there’s nothing to complain about. The original sound design is great to begin with, but topping that with an amazing transfer puts a smile to my face. My speakers were working full-time, front and center, back, left and right. The horses stampeding across the green fields, combined with John Williams’ classical-style music, provides for a great experience. The conversations are easy to understand, it’s very clear and sharp.

Audio: A+

 Blu ray Review: War Horse


– War Horse: The Journey Home (20 minutes)
– An Extra’s Point of View (3 minutes)
– A Filmmaking Journey (64 minutes)
– Editing and Scoring (9 minutes)
– The Sounds (7 minutes)
– Through the Producer’s Lens (4 minutes)

Overall, the Extras are solid. My favorite is the ‘Filmmaking Journey,’ as it dives into the production of the film, broken into different segments of casting, location, etc. It is very informative, and at over an hour long, one cannot ask for more. ‘Editing and Scoring’ was also fun for me as I’m always curious as to what goes on behind the process of editing and scoring of films, especially a Steven Spielberg film. The rest of the Extras are worth checking out, but most are fairly short, but informative nonetheless.

Extras: B+

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The weakest point of the Blu-ray are the Extras, which isn’t bad at all. But, everything else is top-notch. Okay, I had a few complaints about the film itself, but it is overshadowed by the great video and audio quality of the transfer. The storyline isn’t so bad to begin with. It’s just not Saving Private Ryan, and that fault belonged to my expectations. If one realizes (which I didn’t) that the film is an adaptation of a children’s book, then one would see why this is a good film.

Overall: A-


pixel Blu ray Review: War Horse

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