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Thursday, January 19, 2012

MMM Movies: Warhorse

by Saint Mark (bio)

"If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." - Joseph Smith (13th Article of Faith). I believe this includes movies. - Saint Mark

So there I was. Date night with the Misses. Dinner at Outback (because we received an awesome gift card from brother and sister-in-law. Two gift cards, actually. They didn't communicate very well on that one. But I digress.) Dinner at Outback but which movie to see? I was leaning toward Sherlock Holmes II but my wife said some critic bemoaned it as the only film not to see this holiday season. She wanted a chick flick, but my estrogen level wasn't high enough to compel me to sit for nearly two hours and suffer the ignominy of the men-are-stupid-but-we-women-put-up-with-them-for-who-knows-why? trope. So, what to do?

Out of nowhere arrives Warhorse. He swoops us up and rides off into the theatrical sunset. No, this isn't what really happened. This is the film version. What actually happened was that I begrudgingly agreed to watch a movie about a horse and was pleasantly surprised.

Don't get me wrong, equestrianphiles. I like horses. I used to have a few growing up. One was named Seabiscuit and it bucked me off into a pile of tatertots I later learned were not tatertots. Furthermore, as a health care assistant at a treatment center, I rode ponies with the young women and enjoyed the peace that comes with the rhythmic gallop of open Western spaces and miles of sagebrush. But, I am not necessarily drawn to movies about horses. What's there to watch? They eat. They gallop. They watch you with that sheep eye. They are nothing like that cool canine-like horse in Tangled, and why? Because Maximus in Tangled is actually a big, white dog! But I digress.

Warhorse was actually a pure and powerful film. The ma, as the Japanese say, or the space that Spielberg expertly utilizes to capture the emotion of the scene, pulled me in and I got that there would be a life-long connection between the boy and his horse. Although the movie seemed forced at times and you could tell that the actors were acting and not being the parts, the epic arc of the story with the backdrop of World War I (seriously lacking representation in the canon of film, I feel) was sweeping and dramatic and wonderful for anyone who goes to the movies to see another world, another time, another experience. Finally, when the Gone With the Wind closing scene ended, I was shocked to find tears on my cheeks. My wife was right. I was wrong. Warhorse truly was a great date night choice.

Has anyone else seen Warhorse? What did you think? Why haven't you seen it yet? Do you feel the same way about horse movies as I did?

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