Lilyhammer-Season One (2011)

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Released 6-Jun-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category TV Drama Series More…-Bloopers
Gallery-Concept Art
Featurette-Making Of the Theme
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 360:46 (Case: 362)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Geir Henning Hopland
Simen Alsvik
Lisa Marie Gamlem
Studio
Distributor
Universal Sony Starring Steven van Zandt
Marian Saastad Ottesen
Trond Fausa
Fridtjov Saheim
Anne Krigsvoll
Sven Nordin
Mikael Aksnes-Pehrson
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI ? Music Frans Bak


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Mob boss Frankie “The Fixer” Tagliano (Steven Van Zandt) testifies against the mob and is placed into the witness protection program. But he has an unusual request: he wants to be relocated to Lillehammer, Norway because he had enjoyed watching the 1994 Winter Olympics there on TV. He also figures that no-one in the mob would look for him in such an out of the way place. Arriving in Lillehammer, it does not take long for Frankie, whose new name is Giovanni Henriksen, to fall back into old ways; Frankie has his own method of persuasion and is not above a bit of violence, blackmail, coercion and corruption as he settles in and becomes the owner of a bar and nightclub. Along the way he woos single mother Sigrid (Marian Saastad Ottesen), forms a working relationship with the less than intellectual Lien brothers, Torgeir and Roar (Trond Fausa / Steiner Sagen), blackmails government official Jan (Fridtjov Saheim), reaches an accommodation with the local criminal gang and gets into property development. Having the suspicious Police Chief Laila Hovland (Anne Krigsvoll) as his neighbour does not help but Frankie finds it hard to lie low and, as it happens, the police suspicions about him are way off the mark. And the mob have not forgotten Frankie and when they get a clue as to his whereabouts a couple of inept hit-men (Tim Ahern / Greg Canestrari) are sent to take care of him.

     The first season of Lilyhammer is amusing but nothing new, except for the Norwegian locations which are used well, showing off the snow covered hills, dark forests, Norwegian countryside and Olympics’ remnants. A mob boss in another culture could have been interesting, but this fish out of water scenario is not the main plot point in Lilyhammer as Frankie easily gets to understand the Norwegian language, readily assimilates into the community, finds business partners and understands how business is done in Lillehammer; or rather Lillehammer seems to adapt quickly to Frankie’s way of doing business. Most of the situations Frankie encounters are contrived and predictable and the series lacks spark which can be put down to Steven Van Zandt, who stars, produced, co-wrote, was music supervisor and co-composer. As Frank / Giovanni (“call me Johnny”) Van Zandt is ok although this role is very similar to his Silvio Dante character from the Sopranos; it does not help that Van Zandt spends most of his time on screen scowling while his scenes with love interest Marian Saastad Ottesen lack any emotion or sparkle. Most of the other actors do what is needed, although most are bland except perhaps for police chief Anne Krigsvoll. However, Lilyhammer is amusing in parts and there is the occasional laugh to be had, such as Frankie and Torgeir putting an opponent over the Olympic ski jump to gain information.

     As well as the Norwegian locations, the highlight of Lilyhammer is the music. Van Zandt is a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band and is credited here as musical supervisor and co-composer; as the extra on this DVD indicates, he was very hands-on with the music of the series. The result is a score that works well; it is interesting and moody and is augmented by a number of familiar pop music songs.

     Lilyhammer: Season One brings together the 8 episodes of the first season, each episode approximately 45 minutes in length. Episodes 1-3 are on disc one, episodes 4-6 on disc two and episodes 7-8, plus the extras, such as they are, on disc three. There is nothing new or inventive in this series but it is amusing and fairly light hearted.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Lilyhammer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the original broadcast ratio, and is16x9 enhanced.

     Detail throughout the series is sharp and crisp. Colours are good although with the grey snow covered town and hills there is not a lot of colour to be seen, except during the last couple of episodes that occur in summer. Skin tones are natural, blacks solid and shadow detail very good. There is some motion blur against mottled backgrounds, but otherwise artefacts are absent.

     English subtitles are available from the menu. When not enabled, white subtitles come on to translate the substantial portions of Norwegian dialogue. They can be turned off if you speak Norwegian.

     The print is good and without issues.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448 Kbps, although there are substantial portions of Norwegian.

     Dialogue is clear and easy to understand. The audio is quite front oriented with effects and music occurring mostly in the front surrounds. The rears are used for occasional effects, such as train or car engines, and some music. The sub-woofer had little use, not that it was required.

     The original score is interesting and moody and is augmented by a number of familiar pop music songs. It was effective and gave good support to the visuals.

     I did not notice any lip synchronization problems.

    The audio was fine and did what was needed.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     The same promo for 100 years of Universal (2:24 minutes) plays on start-up of each disc. The other extras are all on disc three.

Bloopers (5:24)

     Goofs, stuff ups, clowning on set plus Van Zandt singing My Kind of Town (from episode 5) with scenes from the series interspersed.

Concept Art (1:03)

     Seven pieces of concept art play automatically with music.

Making of the Theme (2:59)

     Recording the series’ theme in Oslo with Van Zandt very much hands on.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     Lilyhammer: Season One will not be released in Region 1 US until December 2013. The UK version is a Region 2 / 4 release, identical to ours. Buy local.

Summary

     Lilyhammer is amusing but is hardly ground breaking, except for its location. Steven Van Zandt was fully involved with the project as he stars, co-produced, co-wrote, was music supervisor and co-composer but he is not really interesting enough in the principle role to make the series top notch.

     The video and audio are good, there are a couple of minor extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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