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Far away from the German original!
I bought this DVD as I read on IMDb that this is a remake of the German movie "Konrad oder das Kind aus der Konservendose". It was made only two years after the original movie. Well, we know that it is a bad American habit to make very early remakes, once they find an interesting European story, and prevent their own audiences from seeing the original. Technically this DVD is well made, the quality is good. The actors, including the child actor playing Konrad, are also good standard what you would expect on TV. In fact it is like a typical American daily soap, no more, no less. I know from my experience as a language teacher, that it is sometimes difficult, to translate humour, but the movie-makers could have tried harder! The German original is much funnier. You should also compare this movie to the original book by Austrian author Christine Noestlinger.
>>>SPOILER<<<: One scene near the end really puzzled me: in the American remake, Konrad is taken back to the factory and has to be freed by his new friends. There is an Orwellian scenery slightly reminding of "1984", on a simpler basis though. But what has that scene to do with Noestlinger's story? >>>SPOILER END<<<
She never intended to write a chilling utopian novel but a funny, witty children's story about friendship, parents and their problems, etc. So at this point the American film loses points. I cannot recommend this movie.
A nostalgic sci-fi movie of the time when they did not need cheap action.
I just read the other comment. I myself watched it on East German TV in the seventies. Now it came out on DVD in Germany, with a German soundtrack provided by the former East German DEFA. I still hope for a new Russian Release with the original soundtrack and subtitles. Great nostalgic sci-fi movie. It certainly is no piece of propaganda of the old regime. You have young people with dreams as the spaceship crew. It is a very quiet movie, the heroes being adolescents sent on the long way to Cassiopeia. But something goes a bit wrong ... no I will not tell you more. At least if you know some German, you can now watch it. As I know the Russians, they will probably have it out again on DVD pretty soon.
Hänsel und Gretel (2005)
A new movie made after the well-known tale by the Grimm brothers.
Decades ago, when as a child I received my first volume of Grimms' fairy tales while being ill for several weeks, I "travelled" through a whole new world of stories the Grimm brothers had collected about two centuries before. Reading these stories myself, I formed my own images of each in my mind. "Hänsel und Gretel"(German title) became one of my favorite tales which I re-read often. In Germany, these fairy tales were filmed in the fifties but are forgotten nowadays except for among movie collectors. Later on followed several cartoon versions from different countries which rather frightened children instead of entertaining them or even their families. In the eighties, feature film versions from other countries followed, but now at last a new German release grabbed my attention when I noticed it being advertised on the "Kinderkanal"(Childrens' Channel). I was positively surprised when seeing this movie! Filmed in nearly untouched forests in Thuringia in south eastern Germany, with excellent but up to now relatively unknown actors, this movie is a good example of modern German releases for children and the whole family. The two little actors playing Hänsel (Johann Storm) and Gretel (Nastassja Hahn)play exceptionally well, i.e. it is not an exaggerated theater production, but the children remain themselves and play very naturally. The witch (Sibylle Canonica) is not an ancient woman, a horror figure, but a friendly woman at first who turns evil the next day after luring the children into her house. Claudia Geisler and Henning Peker as Hänsel's and Gretel's stepmother and father also act well the poor people who seem to not be able any longer to support their children and therefore abandoning them in the forest. The whole movie follows closely the original and well-known story. This excellent cast together with the beautiful landscape in Thuringia truly brings back the magic which I discovered and experienced as a child while reading this tale.