It’s not even a slight exaggeration to say that Steven Spielberg is one of the most beloved filmmakers of all time, so the fact that we’re getting not one but two Spielberg-helmed film this holiday season is a treat indeed. One of those is War Horse, based on a classic children’s book by Michael Morpurgo. Due out Christmas Day, the drama follows the epic journey of a lovable steed named Joey who winds up on the front lines of World War I — and his beloved owner Albert (newcomer Jeremy Irvine), who never stops looking for him.

At a recent press junket in New York City, Spielberg, producer Kathleen Kennedy, and screenwriter Richard Curtis held a roundtable interview to talk about their new project. (Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski was also in attendance, but was channeling a “strong and silent” kind of vibe throughout.) Read the full transcription of the interview after the jump to learn what Spielberg saw in Irvine, whether he’ll ever do another World War I movie, and why Kennedy thinks the legendary director was “nervous” about tackling this story — plus, Curtis on why his teenage son believes War Horse is the perfect date movie.

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We’re getting into the full swing of the awards season for 2011, and this evening four organizations announced their picks for best achievement in film in 2011. The biggest group is the American Film Institute, which released a simple unranked list of ten ‘movies of the year,’ which includes Bridesmaids, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo and The Tree of Life.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association named The Descendants as best picture of 2011, while the Boston Society of Film Critics named The Artist best film of the year, which was also voted as the top film by the New York Film Critics Online.

Lists from all four organizations are below. Read More »

In the simplest, most literal terms, the very title of Steven Spielberg‘s War Horse explains exactly what the film is about. But as you’d expect with any sweeping period epic from a legendary Oscar-winning director released during prestigious movie season, the themes of War Horse run much, much deeper.

Normally, you’d have to watch the movie to find out exactly what those themes are. However, in the case of War Horse, DreamWorks has released a TV spot featuring stars Jeremy Irvine, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, David ThewlisEmily Watson and Celine Buckens helpfully explaining that what the drama is really about is “bravery,” “loyalty,” “humanity,” “what connects us,” and so on. Watch it after the jump.

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VOTD: Steven Spielberg Talks About ‘War Horse’

On Sunday there were War Horse screenings in New York and a handful of other cities, with Steven Spielberg doing a post-show Q&A in NYC that was simulcast to the other cities. I’m not sure how well-publicized the screenings were (I didn’t even know about the Atlanta one until it was over) and I imagine that most of you weren’t around to watch the live-streamed Q&A on the internet.

Fortunately, some of the Q&A session is archived and embeddable, so you can watch it below. Some of the best bits aren’t in this particular stream, such as the moment when Steven Spielberg said he has no plans to shoot live-action with digital cameras, which would seem to suggest he won’t make a live-action 3D film either. But you can get some of his statements, and hopefully the rest will be edited and archived as well. Read More »

Taking a page from Paramount’s campaign for Young Adult and the promo push for other ‘word of mouth’ movies like The Help, DreamWorks has avoided the festival circuit with Steven Spielberg‘s War Horse and taken the movie straight to the people. Some of the first screenings for the movie are taking place away from big metro areas in the US, and the first reactions are in. (The screening schedule is below, though it’s too late for tickets to most of them.)

The general response to War Horse seems to be quite positive, but most of the people who are chiming in are folks whose taste in movies we don’t really know, so some of the superlatives and criticisms might be taken with caution. We’ve rounded up a few below. Read More »

The marketing is starting to kick into gear for Steven Spielberg‘s adaptation of the book War Horse. Until recently we’d seen only one teaser trailer, but the poster arrived not long ago, and now there is a full UK trailer that shows more of the character of the film. This trailer relies far less upon the monologue from Niels Arestrup than did the first trailer, and it rings with a simple cry: “be brave!” Check it out below. Read More »

The past few hours saw a whole bunch of release date shuffles as both of Steven Spielberg‘s 2011 releases, The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse, got new US dates, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol will now open five days earlier than planned, but will only play in IMAX for those days, and Gangster Squad gets a 2012 release date that positions it for Oscar. Details on all four films, including some quotes from M:I director Brad Bird about the old-school thinking behind the IMAX plan for his film, are after the break. Read More »

‘War Horse’ Poster

Steven Spielberg‘s second movie of 2011, War Horse, opens right at the end of the year, on December 28. Accordingly, Dreamworks has been holding its cards close so far, with only one trailer released to show what Spielberg has done with the adaptation of Michael Morpurgo‘s novel and the stage play it spawned.

But here’s the first poster, showing Albert, played by Jeremy Irvine, with his beloved horse, Joey. The horse is sold and put to work as a calvalry mount during World War I, leading Albert to go on a mad run to France to recover his steed. The film also stars Emily Watson, Peter Mullan, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Niels Arestrup, Nicolas Bro, David Kross, Leonard Carow, Rainer Bock, Robert Emms and Patrick Kennedy. See the full one-sheet below. Read More »

Steven Spielberg’s ‘War Horse’ Trailer

The official movie trailer for Steven Spielberg‘s big screen adaptation of Michael Morpurgo‘s World War I novel War Horse has been released online. Watch it now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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It is the second day at CinemaCon, the Las Vegas based movie theater convention formerly known as ShoWest. This morning DreamWorks Studios held their presentation, showcasing footage and talent from Steven Spielberg‘s War Horse, Shawn Levy‘s Real Steel, Craig Gillespie‘s remake of Fright Night and the big screen adaptation of The Help. After the jump you can watch a video blog I recorded with Steve from Collider, giving our spoiler-free reactions of the footage screened.

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