The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: DreamWorks - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 146 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French DTS-HD 7.1 High Resolution, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Emily Watson, Jeremy Irvine, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Kross, Eddie Marsan, Liam Cunningham
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Music by: John Williams
Written by: Lee Hall & Richard Curtis based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 3, 2012
"Separated by war. Tested by battle. Bound by friendship..."
“War Horse,” the Academy Award®-nominated Best Picture, is a story of incredible friendship, loyalty, courage, hope and tenacity. Based on the Tony Award®-winning play, and set against the sweeping canvas of World War I, this deeply heartfelt tale begins with the remarkable friendship between a feisty colt named Joey and his young trainer Albert (Jeremy Irvine). When they’re forced apart by war, the film follows Joey’s extraordinary journey as he changes and inspires the lives of everyone he meets. No matter where they go or what they experience both boy and horse keep forging ahead, driven by devotion and the hope of returning home.
Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo War Horse is an extraordinary journey of courage and friendship as seen through the eyes of one unforgettable horse named Joey and his miraculous journey to find his way back home. As a lover of human interest stories I looked forward seeing War Horse. Fictional or not it tells an inspiring and moving story of friendship, devotion and love between Joey and Albert. Anyone that has ever had a close relationship with a sibling, friend or pet, will appreciation the spirit of this film. While there are elements of War depicted in the film I wouldn’t classify War Horse as such. The narrative is essentially told through the experiences of Joey and follows his encounters after England enters the war. The context is emotionally stirring as it draws upon the humanity found in the story’s characters which is brought forth by their interaction with Joey and to a lesser extent, Albert.
I liked how the story was segmented which allowed a personal portrayal of the brief relationships Joey had during his journey to be realized and ultimately fulfilling. The story contains palpable suspense, enriching melodrama, and emphasizes our humanity even under the inhumane trials of war. War Horse is a bit on the schmaltzy side but it’s easy to get lost in the film’s thematic warmth, engaging visuals and timeless subject matter. Coupled with that, I enjoyed its epic scope, superb production value and wonderful assortment of characters as portrayed by a noteworthy cast of acting talent. The end result is a thoroughly entertaining and heartwarming film that touched my whole family.
The rating is for intense sequences of war violence.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
War Horse comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.5 Mbps.
Having not seen this film theatrically I had high hopes for this video presentation and Disney didn’t disappoint. Images have a resplendent quality with punchy contrast and high level detail. It obvious that Director Spielberg utilizes varying visual characterizes which can be scene specific to capture the look he wants. The period clothing leans more toward beige, gray and sepia tones that made many scenes appear to be less colorful. The earth toned colors found in the sweeping pans and vista views of the English countryside are vivid, rich in texture and look great in high definition. Flesh tones have excellent tonal delineation, with the fairer complexions appearing just shy of ashen while remaining lifelike. The dark grays, blues, greens and blacks that represent the film’s barren and war torn sequences are gradationally revealing with appreciable depth and contrast. Resolution is excellent as images have a visually satisfying and crisp dimensional quality that enhances perception in both close ups and wide angle camera pans. Sharpness is rarely called into question and any subtle variations appear innate to the photography. I found this to be a filmic presentation that yielded excellent picture quality with no signs of video related anomalies or artifacts.
The 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA surround mix is impressive and of reference quality. This soundtrack runs the gamut between subtle passages of spoken dialogue and music to thunderous, dynamically charged sequences that deliver opulent surround sound. Dialogue rendering is sublime. Detail is first rate which brings out the finely articulated nuance of background elements within the mix. Dynamics are demonstrative as the aggressive nature and power of charging horses, artillery fire/exploding shells and clapping thunder pulsates with superior authority and resonating deep bass transients. The lavish music score is carefully integrated into the sound design and sounds wonderfully detailed, acoustically transparent and three dimensional. Surround use is prevalent and achieves a high level of envelopment that is seamlessly blended to create a stable and detail rich sound field. This is an impressive audio/video presentation that took this home theater experience to a higher level.
- (HD) War Horse: The journey home – 19 minute roundtable featuring director Steven Spielberg, producer Kathleen Kennedy and member of the cast
- (HD) An extra’s point of view – 3 minute featurette
- (HD) A filmmaking journey – 64 minute documentary
- (HD) Editing & scoring – 8 minute featurette
- (HD) The sounds of War Horse – 7 minute featurette
- (HD) Through the producer’s lens – 4 minute featurette hosted by Kathleen Kennedy
- Bonus DVD of War Horse
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc of War Horse
Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo War Horse is an extraordinary journey of courage and friendship as seen through the eyes of one unforgettable horse named Joey and his miraculous journey to find his way back home. Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, War Horse is a thoroughly entertaining, heart warming and epic film that my whole family enjoyed. It comes to Blu-ray in a strong offering that includes an excellent technical presentation coupled along with a comprehensive supplemental package that features Blu-ray Disc exclusives. War Horse is highly recommended viewing and its release on Blu-ray Disc from Disney sweetens the deal. Enjoy!
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JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
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Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package