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ralphdl

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3 reviews in total 
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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A true Masterpiece, 19 June 2009
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this film in the theater when it was released and it has always stayed with me.

From the first scene that opens like a Danish or Dutch oil painting to the last scene when the father says goodbye to his son in the depths of winter knowing he will never see him again….this film is indeed a masterpiece.

Every scene is a painting and Max Von Sydow and Pelle Hyenegaard are perfect. The character actors, if in fact they were actors, were sometimes disturbingly authentic.

The story is simple. A father searching for a new wife to take care of himself and especially his son while at the same time struggling to survive in very difficult times made even more difficult by the relentless weather.

This is not an upbeat film by any means. It is, however, a triumph of spirit and the love of a father for his son and the son's realization that he has to leave and his father cannot come with him. A new life for the worn out father is not possible in the new world. He accepts that only his young son can have the chance that they cannot have in Denmark…he turns and walks away.

You will never forget this film.

30 out of 32 people found the following review useful:
Classic Gem, 8 February 2001
9/10

Yes, this film can be accused of being cliched and peppered with propaganda. It had it's share of critics even when it was released. It had the tall task of being compared to " Mrs. Miniver" but in the end it stands on it's own as a classic gem. To really enjoy and understand this movie (and truly, all vintage movies)you must place yourself in their time and place.. the context of the times.

I grew up hearing the stories of the hardships of the depression and WWII. My family was not as well off as the family in this film but the emotions were the same. If "since you went away" seems at times to be a little preachy, consider it a peak into a long gone America that we sorely could use a lot of today.

In the meantime, enjoy the wonderful acting, direction, lighting and beautiful score- and of course, the greatest goodby scene of all time! The train station farewell is a masterpiece by itself...get your kleenex!

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Video gamers need only apply (spoiler), 15 January 2001
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Video gamers and Martial Arts fanatics only need apply.

Perhaps the most overrated film since `American Beauty' was canonised `Best Picture of the Year' by the enlightened press. How anyone other than a video gamer could sit though this Sony Playstation plot and antics is beyond me. Credit must be given to the photography, authentic sets and locations that made this film visually bearable despite the inane story. The otherwise fine actors stumble along in a desperate attempt create a story that someone should care about

Apologists have claimed that this is a magical fantasy and that it must be appreciate it as such. Nonsense, there have been many wonderful fantasy stories. Stories you could Actually follow and really wanted to! and characters that you could care about..... Peter Pan, perhaps?

I could almost accept a world where everyone and their ancestors are martial artists and a couple of amazing leaps here and there, but the constant flying was beyond ridiculous. Not only was it overdone, it was done badly. Great, they digitally retouched the wires, however what about the peaks on the backs of the characters shirts where the wires were attached ?! Even though the wires were not showing in the treetop scene, they might as well have been there the way they the actors swayed back and forth.

Although this movie had the look and feel of `Ju Dou' and `Raise the Red Lantern' it essentially was just a kung fu movie with overly choreographed fight scenes and video game special effects. The most ridicules scene is after Li Mu Bai's fight with Jade Fox. He is mortally wounded by one of the many poison darts from the phalanx of darts shot at him by Jade Fox. He manages to deflect all but one of these, of course, with his super human sword play.

` There is an antidote,' says Jen `but it will take time to prepare it.'

There was obviously no time to waste so Yu Shu Lien offers `take my horse!' and away Jen gallops. Throughout the entire movie she has been flying over the tops of buildings and treetops and now 'away she goes,' to save Li Mu Bai's life...on a horse!

If this movie was a cerebral attempt at a Martial Arts movie, I'll catch some reruns of Kung Fu on TV. Maybe I'll just indulge in some down and dirty Bruce Lee films or Patrick Swaze in `Roadhouse'.(I hear it's on TV for the fifth time this week).

In the meantime, I think I'll play some Mortal Kombat or Final Fantasy IX with my 15 year old son and it won't cost me 17 bucks.