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H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Happy, Happy aka Sykt lykkelig [Blu-ray]


(Anne Sewitsky, 2010)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Maipo Film

Video: Magnolia Home Entertainment



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:02:49.153

Disc Size: 21,092,361,041 bytes

Feature Size: 18,694,158,336 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.93 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 24th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio Norwegian 1746 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1746 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)



English (SDH), English, Spanish, none



• US Trailer (2:05)

• International Trailer (2:04)

Magnolia adverts

BD-Live, Bookmarkable





Description: Family is the most important thing in the world to Kaja. She is an eternal optimist in spite of living with a man who would rather go hunting with the boys, and who refuses to have sex with her because she "isn't particularly attractive" anymore. Whatever. That's Life. But when "the perfect couple" moves in next door, Kaja struggles to keep her emotions in check. These new neighbors open a new world to Kaja with consequences for everyone involved. And when Christmas comes around, it becomes evident that nothing will ever be like before even if Kaja tries her very best.



The Film:

The tangy Norwegian comedy "Happy, Happy" is a romantic lark about optimism and infidelity that begins each of its many-chaptered stories with four Norwegian guys outfitted in what look like a series of bad wedding suits and singing gospel tunes.

The gospel singers' presence makes no real sense, but their performances are so zesty and the lyrics do sort of set the stage for what will happen next, that you're kind of happy, happy every time they show up.

Excerpt from L.A. Times located HERE

The title of “Happy, Happy,” the debut feature of the Norwegian director Anne Sewitsky, presumably refers to the facade of garrulous cheer thrown up by its obsequious central character, Kaja (Agnes Kittelsen). A schoolteacher who lives in the snowy countryside with her glowering husband, Eirik (Joachim Rafaelsen), and young son, Theodor (Oskar Hernaes Brandso), Kaja is compulsively chipper until the moment her composure crumbles, and she collapses in tears.

Kaja has reasons to be miserable. One of the nastiest moments in this comedy of cruelty is her husband’s brutal rejection of her advances as they lie side by side in bed. “You’re drunk,” he sneers. “You don’t care what you wear. You don’t take care of your body. All you do is beg.”

Excerpt from New York Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Happy, Happy appears quite modest on Blu-ray from Magnolia. The Blu-ray disc is single-layered and, either due to the production of the transfer, does not represent a dynamic HD presentation. There is frequent noise in the darker sequences and the overall image is flat - leaning more to video than film. More a consequence of the film production itself - but the image can be soft with an almost purposeful attempt to steer away from a glossy, pristine appearance. Aside from Agnes Kittelsen's beauty and the snow covered countryside - there isn't much to extol on the visual front. On the positive this Blu-ray seems consistent and despite the middling bitrate may be a decent representation of the original theatrical appearance.














Audio :

Audio comes in the form of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1746 kbps in original Norwegian. As lossless tracks go - I wouldn't say it is anything remarkable. The quartet music interludes are wonderfully toe-tapping - add a score by Stein Berge Svendsen. So the uncompressed track is tight and clean but I didn't notice abundant depth or range. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

Essentially bare-bones with only a US Trailer (2:05) an International Trailer (2:04) and some Magnolia adverts. The disc has an untested BD-Live functionality and is Bookmarkable.



Happy, Happy has many positives - none as glowing as Kaja (Agnes Kittelsen) who reminds me of Sally Hawkins' character 'Poppy' in Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky. Finding joy in all that life throws at you... is adorable. But life is not always a paradise no matter how much positive energy you hurl at it. This is where the comedy comes in. Unfortunately, the film and modest bare-bones Blu-ray don't stand out on any level for a recommendation.

Gary Tooze

January 13th, 2011



About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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