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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lapland Odyssey
The Lapland is a territory - frozen landscape, as it has been described - in northern Finland, in which "there are areas where the unemployment rate is 40%. In the winter, you barely see the sun. In the summer it doesn't go down, so people can't sleep and go crazy." You can't go wrong in making a movie about and under these conditions, and the hilarious and original...
Published 21 months ago by Carlos E. Velasquez

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3.0 out of 5 stars Finnish men doing their thing - drinking, carousing, chasing women in subfreezing darkness
Finland is the place for REAL MEN of the old stereotype - hard-drinking, hard living, soft on women, and generally spiritually lost. Things go wrong for them, as for us all, but they are out there in the subfreezing darkness of Lapland for months, in danger of frostbite and a very lonely death, simply if their car or snowmachine breaks down. Furthermore, they're...
Published 10 months ago by Mary McGreevey


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lapland Odyssey, January 9, 2013
This review is from: Lapland Odyssey (DVD)
The Lapland is a territory - frozen landscape, as it has been described - in northern Finland, in which "there are areas where the unemployment rate is 40%. In the winter, you barely see the sun. In the summer it doesn't go down, so people can't sleep and go crazy." You can't go wrong in making a movie about and under these conditions, and the hilarious and original "Lapland Odyssey" is a perfect example - a colorful - and I mean colorful -- Finnish movie.

Directed by Dome Karukoski, the film opens with a historical tree in the Lapland, from which several men throughout history have committed suicide by hanging themselves for assorted reasons, mainly because of bad luck. The narrative of each of these suicides is very funny and sets the tone for what is about to come. It turns out that, like in the US, all TV sets went digital in Finland in 2007, and to get transmission, you had to purchase a digibox. It is under these conditions that we go to Janne (Jussi Vatanen) and Inari's (Pamela Tola) household. Inari is not happy with Janne, who has been unemployed for a while, and she is justifiably loosing her patience. She instructs - orders, that is - Janne to go and get her a digibox so that she can watch "Titanic" on TV. If he fails, she will leave him. Being Friday night, it is almost impossible to accomplish such a life or death task. However, Janne enlists his buddies Kapu (Jasper Pääkkönen) and Tabio (Timo Lavikainen), and off they go. What follows is just funny and surreal, as these guys will face Inari's ex-boyfriend, the cops, vehicle accidents, Russian mobsters, snow storms... In short, luck is not on their side. But Janne is determined to get the digibox, no matter what.

"Lapland Odyssey" is not only funny, but the colors, due to great cinematography by Pini Hellstedt, give us an idea of the immense power of the solitude, the landscape, and the weather that the people that inhabit those areas have to endure. Awesome, just awesome. The DVD also includes "Burungo," a short film by Dome Karukoski, and booklet describing the film and an interview with the director. (Finland, Iceland, Sweden; 2010; color; 96 min plus additional materials)

Reviewed on January 8, 2012 by Eric Gonzales for Artsploitation Films.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very funny movie, January 3, 2014
By 
Joe Roberts (Gastonia, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lapland Odyssey (DVD)
While some of the events are predictable, the movie is overall a funny, well acted production. I just wonder how realistic the people and scenes were.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Finnish men doing their thing - drinking, carousing, chasing women in subfreezing darkness, December 18, 2013
This review is from: Lapland Odyssey (DVD)
Finland is the place for REAL MEN of the old stereotype - hard-drinking, hard living, soft on women, and generally spiritually lost. Things go wrong for them, as for us all, but they are out there in the subfreezing darkness of Lapland for months, in danger of frostbite and a very lonely death, simply if their car or snowmachine breaks down. Furthermore, they're inclined towards suicide when life and women fail them, after a lot of heavy drinking in advance.

I think that this is a film appealing to the few - men who like to laugh at other men in a pickle, women and men with a fondness for Northern climes and Scandanavia in particular, women who like to fantasize about being highly desired in a desolate and dark place, since the outside world is so impossible. To the latter category perhaps I can even take claim in my earlier days, wandering around Rovaniemi and Swedish Lapland, having adventures and a great time in general. I loved the feeling of the autumn there, the RUSKA time, when the leaves turn and the air is still sometimes warm - before the grisly winter sets in. The people seemed to be warm and sincere and hospitable. So in getting this film, I was hoping for a nice nostalgic look at a place I had loved (1980's).

From the start I felt that the story was stupid. I didn't mind the dark humor of showing the "swing tree", where local fellows often commited suicide for very practical reasons of life failures. Our main protagonist Janne is young, unemployed, apparently living off an employed girlfriend. The year is 2007 and the TV system requires all Finns to get a digibox to get television signals. She insists he goes and get one on a late Friday, since he's bone idle anyway.

This impossible odyssey with two other young drinking friends, equally lost and lonely in the icy darkness, becomes a simple story of drinking and its mishaps, along with efforts to get a new woman, and then the very sad attempt of a nerdy fellow to get the angry woman's body in bed - while her lame boyfriend drinks in the Digibox Odyssey.

One stupid thing after another, yes indeed! But remember, this is Finnish male entertainment, geared for their own tastes. This is their idea of funny, to see others get into nasty scrapes and near death and great suffering. Have you seen LENINGRAD COWBOYS? There you would see the same kind of insanity, only it takes place while driving across USA in a hearse, with beer.

On the positive side, the acting certainly seems real - men as I remember them up there. Then there is the scenery of Lapland winter including the Aurelia Borealis, which did fill me with a weird old longing as I sit here in conjected multikulti madness San Francisco where the sun never seems to stop shining.

If you get a DVD, then you can skip and fastforward through the boring scenes, i.e. the drinking scenes.

I personally love the sound of the Finnish language and enjoyed hearing them swear a lot, just as I recalled them doing in 1983.

The Irish Film Board was also involved, fancy that! Did they supply the whiskey?

Finnish women? Objects of longing, but peripheral to the real lives of these men, apparently. And so it should be, they think.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and unusual take on a standard genre, July 19, 2013
This review is from: Lapland Odyssey (DVD)
The genre is immediately apparent: it's a "three or four dumb guys spend a wild night getting into a series of ridiculous predicaments" flick, though in this case the guys are in Finnish Lapland, a wildly beautiful wilderness whose inhabitants endure some of the hardest climatic and economic conditions in Scandanavia. The film has the faults typical of its genre: much the the humor is silly, and some of the action scenes aren't very realistic. The film gains an interest beyond what's typical of its genre by the Lapland landscape's bleak grandeur, which is brilliantly painted by the cinematography of Pini Hellstedt, and by the acting of Jussi Vatanen, a leading Finnish actor whose performance at first may seem understated for a comedy, but who by the end achieves a Chaplin-like comic pathos. Those sensitive to feminine pulchritude will also appreciate the presence of the extremely fetching Pamela Tola as the female lead. The image quality on the Artsploitation Films Region 1 DVD is very good (it's a standard DVD which I watched on a Blu-Ray player,) though it would be worth while watching this on Blu-Ray if it ever is re-issued in that format, the better to appreciate the spectacular landscape photography. In Finnish with English subtitles. The DVD comes with an insert which gives interesting background information on the film and an interview with the director, though much of the text is in irritatingly tiny print. Advisories: occasional language, a couple of mildly explicit adult situations, but basically pretty tame for the genre.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoy the Finnish films, September 7, 2014
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An interesting (and strange film). I enjoy the Finnish films. They are unlike other films: definitely not Hollywood,

they do have that Nordic aloofness, and not as despondent as the Swedes
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just 90 min of going in circles., September 11, 2013
This review is from: Lapland Odyssey (DVD)
An unimaginative guy's booze, boobs and bravado flick. A loafer boyfriend is told by his girlfriend that he needs to get a cablebox so they can watch "Titanic" or she leaves so he and his two similarly goofball, loafer, less-than-responsible buddies drive what is suppose to be a couple of hundred kilometers (the actual times and distances make 10 kilos more likely) looking for a store or some other source that has the cablebox. Essentially the movie showcases the dumb slapstick mistakes they make at a level that would make a juvenile hyped. Made in 2010 and now being released in DVD so that tells you something.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars politically correct mainsteam..., March 4, 2013
By 
aferdman "olfu" (west pal m beach) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lapland Odyssey (DVD)
Yes, I buy Finnish movies for no other reason that I managed to stumble on Levottomat and it became my favored.
This flick, on other hand, trailing behind reality instead of giving us something fresh and imaginative. It started, hm, very promising with multiple suicides/ pun intended /, then jump to chewing well known reality without giving us real life, in short, carefully choosing facts that create politically correct smoke. However when smoke cleared the movie ended. On a top of insult anything close to words naked and sex are avoided at all cost. Avoid.
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Lapland Odyssey
Lapland Odyssey by Dome Karukoski (DVD - 2013)
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