Home' The Tribune : January 18th 2012 Contents 14 THE TRIBUNE, JANUARY 18, 2012 That's ENTERTAINMENT
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Spielberg's latest offering
certainly pretty to look at
but of no great substance
M, 2 hrs 40mins
Reviewed by David Collins
When the most poignant part of a
film is the trailer for Titanic 3-D
playing beforehand, there s either
something not quite right with the
reviewer or not quite right with
For the sake of the next 300
words, let s assume the latter,
In Devon, England, Albert and
his parents eke out a living on
Not doing them any favours is
Albert s father who, in a fit of stu-
pid pride, buys a thoroughbred
instead of a proper working horse.
Albert names the horse Joey,
and they soon bond and become
Things change, however, when
war is declared in 1914, and Joey
is drafted into service in France.
Joey encounters both sides dur-
ing the conflict, trying to survive
and maybe even see Albert again.
With Joey s journey through the
war the main thread of the film,
what we get are a series of short
stories woven together into a
But, before the metaphors reach
critical mass, does it work?
A similarly structured film, Into
The Wild, was incredibly moving.
But with War Horse it doesn t
matter how many close ups of
those brown horse eyes we get
while John Williams score swells
majestic, if the main character of
the film cannot emote, it s always
going to be a struggle to engage
Not that it isn t pretty to look
at.Whether it s horses running
across green fields in England or
the still-bright eyes of soldiers
enduring the trenches in France,
Spielberg knows how to compose a
Though unlike more sophisti-
cated efforts (Saving Private
Ryan, Schindler's List), things are
a little too tidy here to be as com-
Certainly, most of the
performances are excellent --
particularly Emily Watson and
Peter Mullan as Albert s mum and
It s a shame the scope of the
film gets so large when in many
ways the more interesting
relationships are left behind on a
turnip farm in Devon.
Is War Horse a bad film?
In the end, it succeeds in being
very much like its main character:
determined, beautiful, but
ultimately has nothing to say.
Shirley Shapleski reviews Hugo
on page 17.
Slick Nickel to play at Marton festival
A regular: Roger Tibbs will release a new recording at the Marton Country Music
Laying it down: Slick Nickel
are in Marton this weekend.
American band Slick Nickel glides
into Rangitikei this week to head-
line the annual Marton Country
Hailing from Arizona, Slick
Nickel have been to New Zealand
before. On their website the band
says it plays traditional country/
Americana music coloured with the
ambience of blues and rock .
Overseas visitors also include
long-time supporter of the festival,
Allan Webster from Australia --
known as that awesome Aussie .
A newcomer to New Zealand and
the festival is Queenslander
The festival is at Wilson Park,
Marton, this Friday, Saturday
Phoenix from Feilding,
Oldogs from New Plymouth
and Shotgun from Napier will
provide backing for all the
artists during the festival.
Also performing is Roger
Tibbs from Wellington, who
has recently returned from a
successful tour of the United
States performing in Nashville
and Branson alongside some
of America s best.
Tibbs will be releasing his
new recording Mule Skinner
Blues at the festival.
He has appeared at all the
Two of the New Zealand
female singers performing are
Joy Adams from Hamilton and
Kylie Austin from Auckland.
These ladies are awesome
entertainers and are great
supporters of the festival,
promoter Anne George said.
They no doubt will add a
little bit of mischief to their
Also on the bill are Trevor
Stevens, Graeme McCardle,
Terry Moratti, Marton s Rain-
bow Ranch Girls, Jordan and
Kaitlyn Watene, Sean Pawson
from Feilding and Ann Pascoe,
Mrs George said.
On Friday, Broadway in
Marton will be reverberating
to the sounds of country music
from artists busking and vying
for a $100 prize.
The festival officially starts
at 6pm on Friday, but a meet
and greet jam session will be
held in the big marquee at
Wilson Park on Thursday
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