Byeeee 2015

I was a shitty blogger in 2015. Again. But I promise I wasn't a slouch.

In fact, looking back at what I accomplished in the past 12 months it seems that I'll just have to admit that I enjoy making audio reviews more than doing written reviews. Still, I'll try to do better next year. No, I really will.

Although, one of the few posts I managed to write was mentioned by my favorite Oscar-blogger Anne Thompson. Pretty damn cool.

In 2015 I produced 138 episodes of my podcast I Kassen (in the box). Among my favorite reviews were: The double review of Kiss of Death from 1947 and 1995, The exhaustive Lost Highway analysis I did with my buddy Thomas, and the elaborate The Golden Child review I did all by myself.

For no apparent reason, here is a complete list of the movies I review in I Kassen.

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Action Jackson (1988), The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (1984), After (2012), Air (2015), American Sniper (2014), American Ultra (2015), The Andromeda Strain (1971), Antarctic Edge (2015), Antarctica: A Year on Ice (2013), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002), Barely Lethal (2015), Beauty and the Beast (La belle et la bête) (2014), Beetlejuice (1988), Best Seller (1987), The Big Clock (1948), Big Game (2014), Birdman (2014), Black Mass (2015), Black Sea (2014), Bordello of Blood (1996), Broken Arrow (1996), Bølgen (2015), The Cave (2005), Clear and Present Danger (1994), Cocoon (1985), Containment (2015), Cop Car (2015), Dannys dommedag (2014), Dark Was the Night (2014), Demon Knight (1995), Don't Look Back (Ne te retourne pas) (2009), Drop Zone (1994), Entrapment (1999), The Equalizer (2014), Everly (2014), Every Secret Thing (2014), Ex Machina (2015), F/X 2 (1991), Fant4stic (2015), Faults (2014), Firewalker (1986), The Flock (2007), Fortress, Fortress (1992), The Gate (1987), The Golden Child (1986), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973), The Guest (2014), Half Past Dead (2002), Harbinger Down (2015), Heaven's Prisoners (1996), Hoffa (1992), The Hole (2009), Horns (2013), Howl (2015), The Hunted (1995), Idealisten (2015), The Imitation Game (2014), Infini (2015), Innerspace (1987), The Island at the Top of the World (1974), It Follows (2014), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), John Wick (2014), The Judge (2014), Jupiter Ascending (2015), Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), Kiss of Death (1947), Kiss of Death (1995), Kung Fury (2015), Legal Eagles (1986), The Legend of Billie Jean (1985), Let Us Prey (2014), Liberty Stands Still (2002), Live from Baghdad (2002), Locke (2013), Lost Highway (1997), Lost in Space (1998), Lucy (2014), Maggie (2015), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015), The Martian (2015), Maximum Risk (1996), Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015), The Medusa Touch (1978), Momentum (2015), My Boyfriend's Back (1993), My Science Project (1985), Mænd og høns (2015), The Naked Jungle (1954), Night Moves (1975), The Night My Number Came Up (1955), No Way Out (1987), Panic in the Streets (1950), Passenger 57 (1992), Patriot Games (1992), The Peacemaker (1997), Point Blank (2010), Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990), Pressure (2015), The Ref (1994), Roller Boogie (1979), San Andreas (2015), Sharknado, Sharknado (2013), Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014), Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977), Spring (2014), The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978), Starry Eyes (2014), Stung (2015), Submerged (2015), The Sum of All Fears (2002), Supernova (2000), Survivor (2015), Terminator Genisys (2015), The Theory of Everything (2014), Time Lapse (2014), Tomorrowland (2015), Trancers (1984), Trancers II (1991), The Transporter Refueled (2015), Tusk (2014), U.S. Marshals (1998), Unbroken (2014), Vice (2015), Victoria (2015), The Visit (2015), Volcano (1997), Whiplash (2014) and The Woman in Black: Angel of Death (2014).

Phew! Also, for my work I wrote 722 short Blu-ray or DVD texts in 2015.

Oh, and I'm also one of those guys who got his childhood back when J.J. Abrams' wonderful new Star Wars film opened. It obliterated all memories of the prequel trilogy, and allowed us to fall in love with Star Wars all over again. I even bought some Star Wars salt and pepper shakers, just because I could.

That's all for now. Early in 2016 I'll post my stats and best/worst of 2015 blogs. So we'll talk soon again. Until then: Take care of yourself and have great new year!


Upgrade This: The X-Files

So The X-files is coming to Blu-ray. Finally we can get this wonderful TV-series in glorious high definition (HD). Truth be told, the show has actually been available for some time in HD on iTunes.

For a long time this show was rumored to be problematic, because it was produced before the prevalence of our current HD formats. All nine seasons were shot on film, but post-production was completed in standard definition (SD). Thus, in order for us to get a proper version of the show in HD any post-production image-manipulation would have to be redone. This includes every single visual effect shot, and possibly any shot with text, both the opening credits and the establishing shots throughout the show.

On top of the resolution problems there's the format issue.

Like I said, from the start the show was shot on 35mm film. It was apparently framed in a way so that the 16:9 aspect ratio could be utilized in the future, even though the first four seasons of the show were originally transmitted in 4:3, standard academy.

So, here we are.

While we wait for The Complete Series Blu-ray box set we can take a look at the VOD HD version of the show, and compare it to the original DVD release.

I've chosen one of my favorite episodes: End Game - curiously, and somewhat disturbingly, misnamed in the iTunes store (They call it 'End Games'),

The stats:
End Game
Season 2, Episode 2x17
Original airdate February 17, 1995

Disclaimer: These are not pixel-perfect, 100% completely accurate screenshots. They may not be a completely fair representation of the final product, when this episode make its way to Blu-ray. However, the images have not been touched up, or altered in any way.


These examples show the vast difference in resolution, plus they demonstrate how the re-framing from 4:3 to 16:9 looks:

Notice here how the text has been moved to fit the new framing:

Here's another example.

Let's look a little closer at this shot.

First, here the two versions have been placed on top of each other. As you'll notice, the widescreen version has lost image near the bottom, but gained some at both the left and right side. These discrepancies will likely vary from shot to shot, depending on the situation.

Finally, here is a blowup of the DVD image side by side with the HD image, so it's easier to appreciate the new clarity.


There's no doubt that the iTunes HD version represent a vast improvement in image quality. I'm a little more concerned about the framing issues. Even though the show was shot 'safe' for both 4:3 and 16:9, I find it hard to believe that both framings were given equal consideration for every single shot. I hope they framed for 16:9, and made sure the 4:3 frame was at least usable, but that seems unlikely too, when one considers that the show did not go to 16:9 transmission for FOUR YEARS.

I'm also curious about how the effects and other SD elements look in their upgraded versions. We'll get a chance to look at this in detail in December, when the complete super duper Blu-ray box arrives. I've already pre-ordered mine. I want to watch this show in the highest possible resolution.

And that's why they put the 'eye' in F.B.I....


The Danish Oscar Contenders

Thursday September 3rd, 2015 The Danish Film Institute announced which three films will compete to be the official Danish Foreign Oscar contender for 2015. That's the award show that take place February 28th, 2016.

And today they made their final choice.

I thought it might be fun to look at the options these films were picked from.


To compete in the Oscar race in the foreign film category the following rules must be observed:

A) The film must be shown to the public between October 1st 2014, and September 30th 2015.
B) It must not be in English (sorry Trier)
C) It must not have been shown on TV first.

Apparently there are no rules that state the film must be in the local language, just that it must not be in English. Kind of weird if you ask me.


26 feature films and 5 documentaries were eligible.

We can discard a few titles up front. Films aimed at children or even families won't stand a chance. Neither will colossal box office failures or critically ravaged films. So immediately we can get rid of these options:

The kid flicks

  • Albert
  • Antboy 2: Den Røde Furies hævn
  • Dannys dommedag
  • Familien Jul
  • Krummerne - Alt på spil
  • Min søsters børn og guldgraverne
  • Skammerens datter

Unseen or just hated

  • Comeback
  • Encounters
  • I dine hænder
  • Jens Munk NordvestXpeditionen
  • Rosita

The mainstream fodder

  • Fasandræberne
  • Klovn forever

The Documentaries

These are not completely without a chance, on paper, but realistically speaking documentaries are rarely picked for the foreign Oscar race, and they need a certain cachet to break that 'rule'.

  • Cirkusdynastiet
  • Ekstrabladet: Uden for Citat
  • Fassbinder: At elske uden at kræve
  • Skyggen af en helt


So, after getting rid of these weak contenders, we're left with 13 movies, which could conceivably be picked as an official Danish foreign Oscar entry.

Note: A film needs to sell more than 200.000 tickets to be considered a hit. Preferably more than 300.000 to be called a 'blockbuster'. Yes, we're a small country. Get over it.

Stille hjerte
Bille August (Pelle the Conqueror) directs this drama about a mother who plans to kill herself before she succumbs to an incurable disease. Her family gathers around her for an emotional goodbye during a weekend. A hit with critics and audiences. Was expected to be one of the three shortlisted films.

Tickets sold: 258.868

All inclusive
Two daughters take their mother to Malta to celebrate her 60th birthday, in an effort to cheer her up after her husband walks out on her. Lots of drama and sexy times ensues. Directed by insufferable 'comic' Hella Joof.

Tickets sold: 307.207

En chance til
Oscar-winning director Susanne Bier (I just threw up in my mouth a little bit) returns to her roots, but squanders home-field advantage with this tame drama about a cop who steals a baby from a junkie couple, to raise it as his own with his wife.

Tickets sold: 215.873

Based on the true story about Eik Skaløe, lead singer of the single-album acid rockband Steppeulvene, who in 1962 meets the girl of his dreams, only to commit suicide 6 years later at the age of 25. Ole Christian Madsen (Flammen & Citronen) directs. The movie was met with sympathy from critics, but largely ignored by moviegoers.

Tickets sold: 39.430

Mennesker bliver spist
National treasure, entertainer, writer, debater Erik Clausen directs and stars in this well-received dramady about a man who suffers from Alzheimer, and how his family suddenly realize how special he is, and how much they love him.

Tickets sold: 237.429

9. april
All-out good guy Roni Ezra (yes, I know him in real life) directs this straightforward war movie, about an often ignored part of world war II: The small group of Danish solders who took a stand when the Germans invaded. Unfortunately they didn't get the memo about us not putting up a fight. Largely well-received, though the general consensus was that it's not a terribly deep film. Would probably have done very well, if submitted to the Oscars.

Tickets sold: 241.391

The true story of driven investigative reporter Poul Brink and his search for the truth in the case of the 1968 crash of an American plane carrying nuclear bombs at the Thule base in Greenland. The film doesn't really work, but the story is fascinating. Audiences stayed away in droves.

Tickets sold: 44.718

Lang historie kort
The story about a group of thirty-something friends, their lives and especially their love lives, told in 8 chapters, each taking place during a party. Well-received by critics.

Tickets sold: 136.609

A historic drama about a young man's fight against slavery in 1836 on the Gold Cost of Africa. A gorgeous movie, but critics were divided about the quality of the story and the acting. One called it nature-porn.

Tickets sold: 72.705

Sommeren '92
Another true story, this one concerns the fairytale story of the Danish national soccer team who surprised everyone and won the European championship in 1992. It's also the story about the coach Richard Møller Nielsen and his controversial methods. Largely well-received and could have been an intersting choice for an Oscar bid, if anyone in the States cared about soccer.

Ticket sold: 197.050 (and counting)


Finally we've made it to the top, and the three movies shortlisted by The Danish Film Institute. They are:

Mænd og høns
Writer and director Anders Thomas Jensen created this so-called comedy about grotesque, ugly people doing stupid things. The cream of the crop of Danish actors dirty themselves up to play a group of brothers, and then not much happens. It's unclear what director Jensen is trying to accomplish, most of all to himself, all I know is that it doesn't work. At all. Seems odd that this distinctly un-Danish film should be picked to represent the country.

Tickets sold: 357.850

The Look of Silence
A documentary from American Joshua Oppenheimer, who also directed the morally dubious The Act of Killing, and once again the subject is Indonesia. I'm not sure how this counts as a Danish film by any stretch of the imagination, but there we are.

Tickets sold: 1.368

From director Tobias Lindholm, who also did the dull Kapringen, comes this story about the controversial war in Afghanistan, and one man caught up in its horrors, played by Pilou Asbæk. The subject matter alone would make this the ideal choice for an Oscar bid, not to mention the the fact that both foreign and domestic critics seem to love it.

Tickets sold: 45.829 (just released)


And the final choice is.... Krigen! Probably the movie with the best chance, but realistically speaking, we're not expecting Denmark to get a nomination this year, when the final five are annuounced. Oh Well....


Wait, This Isn't Out on Blu-ray? (part I)


You know the feeling, right?

You walk over to your Blu-ray shelf to pull down that classic movie you love so much. Then you pause, it dawns on you that it's not going to be there. You never actually bought it. Oh sure you have the DVD, probably the LaserDisc too, and maybe even the VHS tucked away in the basement somewhere, but you don't have the shiny new high-def transferred Blu-ray.

And then you realize the terrible truth: That's because it's not out yet!

This is a list of movies I desperately want on Blu-ray.

No reason to go into a long speech about why, I just want them. Now. No questions asked.



The Abyss (1989)
- Can you believe the DVD I have isn't even in anamorphic widescreen?!

Salute of the Jugger (1989)
- No, I mean a proper version, not the edited AND pan/scanned one released in Scandinavia.

Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

Pretty in Pink (1986)
- It's John Hughes! What are you doing?! Get this out on disc!

Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
- It's effing John Hughes! What the eff are you doing?! Get this out on effing disc!

Dragonslayer (1981)

Stakeout (1987)

Romeo Is Bleeding (1993)

Little Darlings (1980)
- It's Tatum O'Neal and Kristy McNichol being slutty! Come on!

The Thing (1951)

Year of the Dragon (1985)

Great Expectations (1998)
- Screw the Lean version, THIS is the one I want!

Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004)

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)

Nobody's Fool (1994)
- Paul Newman AND Jessica Tandy died making this (well, not really) and you can't give this a proper release? Come on!

Last Night (1999)

Spartan (2004)

Cast a Deadly Spell (1991)

The Gate (1987)
- As a general rule ALL 80's movies should be out on Blu-ray.

The Golden Child (1986)

Alien Nation (1988)
- The aliens get drunk on sour milk! Come on!

Solar Crisis (1990)
- Yeah, I know it's shit, but it's sci-fi, and I want it!



Oh, and you thought that was it? Noooooo! How about these?

The Gate II, Multiplicity, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Fright Night II, Remember the Daze, Crossroads, What a Girl Wants, Life as a House, Lost & Delirious, Threesome, Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Spice World, Dancing at the Blue Iguana, General’s Daughter, A Better Way to Die, Wind Chill and Wisegirls.

I want every single one of these, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Okay, maybe Spice World a little bit. Actually no, I love it.


Now, I don't claim to be perfect (not true, I claim that all the time), but on the off chance that any of these are available anywhere, PLEASE email me!

Oh, and as you'll notice I've called this part I, because you know there's going to be a part II, right? Those freakin' guys just won't release the blu-rays I want.