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9/10
Sighing of admiration
15 August 2003
What a fabulous drama-documentary! Very well done in all aspects and details. As I've never been interested in photography, Jacob Riis was unknown to me when I happened to see the program. In a matter of minutes I was captivated by his colourful and touching text, brilliantly brought out with every nuance by Peter Stormare, and those extraordinary photos. And such a GREAT idea to include pictures of today's "other half", that idea really made the message of Riis carry through to present day.

I've never seen a documentary like this. Absolutely 10/10 and I strongly recommend this program to EVERYONE!
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8/10
Smiles :)
12 May 2003
This film is so CUTE! During the wars Finns made many movies with low budgets to give people something else to think about. This movie is based on a novel by Simo Penttilä and tells about adventures of Finn-born General T.J.A. Heikkilä and his loyal companions in Middle and South America, imaginative country of Sierranueva. A bit of shooting, some beautiful women, 'exotic' sceneries (created by "Roy", who was awarded with Jussi-statue, Finnish Oscar), revolutions and lots of jokes one really can't translate into English - shame, as Simo Penttilä was able to use our language in such innovative and hilarious way no-one this far has been able to imitate.

You can find all possible stereotypes: latino-lovers and latino-crooks, hot-blooded latino women, blood-thirsty Indians and such, and of course these witty and trustworthy Finns to clear things out, but do not get angry with us, please... This movie may not be very good as such, but it sure made me smile so so many times! Wonderful piece of nostalgia, and of course Tauno Palo, heart-throb for several generations of Finnish women...
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9/10
I hope it makes you think
12 May 2003
Not many know of our wars. I really would love to see a movie made that not only describes the conditions and events that led to these wars, but also describes how our parents and their parents experienced the events both in the front and behind. I liked "Saving Private Ryan". I loved "Band of Brothers". But still, it's "Talvisota" and "Tuntematon Sotilas" that really make me feel the weight of war, the effect it has on human mind. "Talvisota" also brings forth the families who saw their fathers, sons, even daughters go to war, with pitiful equipment, maybe even carrying personal rifle as the army could not support them with much else than the blue&white coquards (or what it is called) for their hats. And it shows the pain those families felt when their menfolk came back in wooden caskets or crippled for life. It's also a fine story of personal courage of the ordinary guy, of friendship and loyalty. And of pain and fear.

See it.

And seeing some Russian war-films could also make you see the world a bit brighter. They have filmed some fantastic stories.
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9/10
Check it out
12 May 2003
This film is quite unique in Finnish movie history. And it also has been filmed during a period when old Lapland and some real Lapp culture could be found from Northern Finland. Not that everything is authentic, but anyway this film combines nostalgia with fantasy and even horror and treats the Lapp culture with at least some respect. And landscapes are definitely worth seeing! Hmmm... the only film I know where a human being gets transferred into reindeer! One should be careful where to look at!
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8/10
Quite happy...
1 April 2003
I was really pleasantly surprised to see this bit in video-store and as it gave the chance to see Stellan Skarsgård I gladly grabbed it with me. I had no expectations, which was good, so I didn't need to get disappointed. I laughed so heartily to the Säpo-guys, the contrast between them and Hamilton was striking and all those comments concerning Säpo I remembered from the original books made me smile. OK, this was so much more modest than "Hamilton", but entertaining in it's own way, and convinced me that Stellan Skarsgård really is a man to see in movies. That one little nuditity-bit made every woman in front of the telly sigh in astonishment! We really didn't expect it... LOL Anyway, he's a great actor also with clothes on. :) A bit slow, a bit modest, but enough humour and some action - I've used 90 minutes for worse.
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Circus (2000)
8/10
This and that and this and...
21 March 2003
There's seldom a movie which requires to be seen twice only because you're not sure if you have understood everything the first time... well, now I have experienced that also. The reason to watch the film was duo Hannah / Stormare, and they surely did fine performances both! Some scenes were absolutely hilarious and as I had seen John Hannah as Rebus before this film, it was a great reminder that he also has immense gifts for comedy! And all those facades Peter Stormare had as Julius, they were a pleasure to see! Famke Janssen was a new face to see and one I gladly see in other productions also. What comes to cast, I have no bad words to say. But what comes to the director/producer... the story jumps to and fro between past and present and scenes get damn confusing... you didn't know what it was you were seeing... Anyway, 8/10, not bad, but those points were only saved by the excellent cast and the fact that I think the original manus might have been pretty good. It was just spoiled by someone who wanted to be "unpredictable and innovative". Besides, after seeing the movie twice I still have the feeling I've missed something...
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8/10
Comparing to the series "Hamilton"
13 March 2003
Well... I'm glad I first saw the series... and sad that I gave up to my curiosity when I saw this cassette. This is not BAD. I've seen so much worse, made with bigger money even, but if I had seen this first I may not have wanted to see the series. All that was better in the film was the song "And then the tears came" which I do not remember from the series at all. OK, you can't push 3 hours of material into 2 hours-film. But: Why in the devil did they have to use WORSE takes of same scenes in the film? That is something I simply can't understand. But still Peter Stormare is good, Lena Olin is good, Yevgeni Lasarev is good. And Mats Långbacka was actually better than I remembered from the series. For you who blame Peter Stormare being one-faced, just for your information - there's much more to him in the series so try to catch that if you can. There's more to EVERYTHING in the series...

A fun quote: Chivartsev: "And this is Commander Hamilton from Swedish Intelligence." Hawkins: "Swedish INTELLIGENCE? There's a controversy in terms..."
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Armageddon (1998)
6/10
Something positive...
10 March 2003
Unless there were Peter Stormare and Steve Buscemi saving those American asses, this piece of burned billions would have made me fall asleep. Hail to Lev Andropov and Rockhound! They saved the points 6/10. Well, Billy Bob Thornton was OK and Liv Tyler as beautiful as usual...
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10/10
Love & hate-affair...
4 February 2003
This is one movie to see... with sickening story, director to hate, characters a bunch of losers, strange music, weird cast - and outcome a film that stays in your mind forever and ever... The story has been repeated so many times that I don't waste anybody's time with it. So: into the acting...

Björk/Selma: Björk was simply astonishing! So sensitive, frail and strong. A natural actor. I don't wonder she left the scene in the middle of the filming, I only wonder she came back!

David Morse/Bill: As I had seen him the last time in "The Rock", it took a while before I really recognized whom I was watching. In uniform again - and I bet this role required much more courage to take through! I salute him for the courage - I've wept for Bill and cried "Don't do that!" even though I'm a grown-up and know it's only a film...

Catherine Deneuve/Kathy: The chic femme as a factory worker? Oh yes - and convincing. I think I have to see her other films also!

Peter Stormare/Jeff: "Grab that woman into your arms and TAKE HER HOME!" I could not believe I was watching the man who did Gaear Grimsrud or even Julius in "Circus". Jeff is so sweet and shy, a regular teddybear - needing a good "encouraging" kick on the butt. I'm glad this role did not go to a 'young man' eager to gain name - the outcome could have been so different! For Jeff belong a couple of phrases that might well be added to "Memorable quotes": "Women and rust are the same" and Bill's reply to that, and later Jeff's comment on musicals: "I really don't understand musicals, you know, I don't suddenly start singing or dancing" - something like that! And Jeff & Selma on the train... simply so beautiful!

I hate the director, I hate the story, I despise the characters, I can't understand the music - and I love this movie.
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Hamilton (2001)
9/10
Mainly positive
28 January 2003
It was a sheer coincidence that I happened to notice this one from the telly. A lucky coincidence, as it made me interested about the man himself, Mr. Stormare, and now I've seen many fine performances by him in other movies. Carl Hamilton was a familiar man for me, I have read some of the books, and enjoyed them - not greatly at all times, but enjoyed anyway. I did not see movie "Hamilton", of which I am happy, because this series must give so much more to the viewer than the movie. I had no expectations about the series, so I was not disappointed, vice versa. So, Commander Carl Hamilton of the Swedish Army Intelligence starts the mission to prevent nuclear missiles being smuggled from Russia... with the help of the Americans, Russians, and finally Palestinians. All sorts of things happen and the story wanders from Stockholm to Murmansk, Washington and Libya... A pleasant surprise that the Russians were not all crooks, I actually got a very soft spot for Yuri Chivartsev (Yevgeni Lasarev)! And Mark Hamill got many extra points doing the role of maniac Mike Hawkins - he surely did not remind me of Luke Skywalker in this one! Good for him! The only role that was a sort of disappointment to me was of Åke Stålhandske, played by our Mats Långbacka - I would have wanted to see the robustness of Åke... but, on the other hand, I blame the manus for that, as well as of those blunders in the logics. For those who blame Carl Hamilton being stiff - have you REALLY read the books? What do you expect of a man who lives in a "safe" country, amidst people who have no idea what dirty and dangerous things happen, what hideous things he is forced to do so that they could also remain safe? He's NOT an "American" hero, luckily! I think that Peter Stormare did a convincing and intensive role and one memorable moment is when Carl tells his bride Tess (Lena Olin, smallish but effective role) about the events on Russian tundra and gets on the verge of breaking down. Also the tension between him and Åke is very well played by both participants. And dozens of little things, gestures, glances, slipping from good American-English into heavy Swedish accent when agitated, etc., they "betray" Mr. Stormare to be a very talented and skillful actor.

Well, OK... this could have been "more Swedish" but I suspect this is much more rewarding to see than the actual movie. There are some mishaps and blunders in the story and all the characters are not very convincing, but if I can enjoy this even though I'm from Finland and this is made by Swedes (mostly), I think it's worth seeing. So if you folks in other countries get the chance to see this series, be my guests and use the opportunity, but DON'T LET THEM DUB! Subtitles are a fine invention!!!
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