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hilamonster

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7 reviews in total 
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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
thought-provoking although simplistic, 21 April 2001

The introductory half of the film can be seen as a comedy. It's funny and not very realistic. There is, however, a poignant undercurrent of criticism of the church, of the wealthy, and of narrowmindedness, showcasing people's ability to see only what they want to see. The second half becomes much more serious as Sonja encounters hostile and uncooperative people from her hometown.

Lena Stolze is very funny and charming as the younger, naive Sonja. But the shift between her young character and her old character is too abrupt. There is very little of the curious girl and more of the martyr (one scene suggests that perhaps she herself believes she is a martyr). In her last scene she takes a role completely different from either of these, and again, the change is abrupt (although this time it seems more justified).

The film seems too basic: Either the characters do or do not support Sonja, although some characters allow her to continue her activities only up to a certain point, and other characters lovingly disapprove of them. There is no real conflict for Sonja throughout the film because the people to whom she is closest support her ideas (though not always her methods). There is a lot of obvious malice in the townspeople's actions against her. Once Sonja obtains the necessary documents, her research seems very simple -- although it may have only been the director's choice to skip the laborious details.

The visual style will inspire some and annoy others.

This is worth seeing for the acting and the message that attitudes that seem past are very much a part of the present. But the comedic elements, excessive simplicity, and theatrical style of the film detract from its powerful message.

The Pirate (1948)
12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Unusual and endearing swashbuckler, 28 March 2001
9/10

This film is an exciting offshoot of the old swashbucklers (with song and dance to boot). Consequently it has the adventurous, romantic elements of the old films as well as hilarious parodies of them. Garland sparkles -- she is spellbinding in the number Mack the Black. Kelly is in his prime and complements her beautifully, especially in the (rather one-sided) fight scene. Both Garland and Kelly grow out of their protagonist boundaries into character acting. Excellent dance numbers, especially Be A Clown with Kelly and the Nicholas Brothers.

The Pirate (1948)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Unusual and endearing swashbuckler, 28 March 2001
9/10

This film is an exciting offshoot of the old swashbucklers (with song and dance to boot). Consequently it has the adventurous, romantic elements of the old films as well as hilarious parodies of them. Garland sparkles -- she is spellbinding in the number Mack the Black. Kelly is in his prime and complements her beautifully, especially in the (rather one-sided) fight scene. Both Garland and Kelly grow out of their protagonist boundaries into character acting. Excellent dance numbers, especially Be A Clown with Kelly and the Nicholas Brothers.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Will knock you out., 28 March 2001
9/10

The ideas are mature, the dance numbers are vigorous, and the music flows almost seamlessly from the dialogue. The movie is brimming with talent and is a pleasure to watch, especially for the individual characters and how they express themselves through song and dance (even Dolores Gray gets a few numbers). But even people who are not great fans of musicals might like this show for its humor -- it's a great musical, up there with An American in Paris.

11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Choppy but has good parts, 3 March 2001
5/10

This film is best-appreciated if seen as a series of skits and songs, a vehicle for the actors. It provides a chance to see Lucille Ball, Red Skelton, Virginia O'Brien and Zero Mostel in comedic action. Gene Kelly only does one solo dance number, but his agility as The Black Arrow foreshadows greater roles like that of D'Artagnan. And seeing Tommy Dorsey dressed up and dancing (or trying to) with the rest of the cast is delightful! There are funny parts as well as parts that presume themselves funny and come off as annoying, but the movie is fun to watch if you don't expect it to be a masterpiece.

Cover Girl (1944)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
a fun but typical musical, 12 February 2001
8/10

The most notable feature of this film is the chemistry between the actors, the sense of camaraderie in their dialogue and dances. This typical rising-star musical has an overworked plot, even for 1944, but because of the actors it's still fun to watch. Hayworth isn't even that much of a dancer, but she has a lot of 'inexperienced' charm that fits her character. Kelly plays his usual caring authoritarian role while Silvers provides plenty of self-deprecation and laughs. The movie can also be very serious at times. Not a must-see, but recommended if you like the actors.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Christine Baranski is hilarious, 12 February 2001
7/10

This version of Shakespeare's play is well-acted but not particularly exciting. The funniest performance comes from Christine Baranski as Helena. The 1999 and 1935 versions are more interesting than this sometimes long-winded production. Granted, this is a televised stage production whereas the others had the freedom of the cinema. But a lot more can be done with Shakespeare on stage -- as exemplified by the recently televised (1998) "Twelfth Night" and by countless live performances.