The American vs. War Horse
We watched two movies back to back recently.
The American stars George Clooney and was well reviewed with an average rating of three stars. We figured it would be a winner.
We were … wrong.
It was slow. Boring. We were never sure if Clooney was a good guy or a bad guy. Graphic sex and violence. Little to no plot. Did I mention boring?
We followed that up with War Horse. Neither movie was very recent but we had missed them in theaters and on DVD. After The American our standards for what we’d consider good were pretty low. But no worries, War Horse far exceeded even our modest hopes.
guys horses: check
Violence and sex: Violence check, no sex
What a difference. Characters, including horses, you cared about as well as an engrossing story.
Just for kicks I checked out the IMDb profiles of both movies. The American had one familiar name in the cast and crew credits. Our friend George.
War Horse had several familiar names. Stephen Spielberg. Kathleen Kennedy. Richard Curtis co-wrote the screenplay and I’m a big fan of his intelligent movies. I mean, his movies are intelligent. Not that he makes intelligent and dumb movies and I only like the smart ones.
Where was I?
My takeaway from these two movies is that sometimes you can take a chance on a tried and true favorite like George Clooney and be bitterly disappointed. You can also take a chance on a seemingly random opportunity, like a movie about a horse, and be pleasantly surprised.
It’s good to keep an open mind. You just may be surprised at what you learn.