Norwegian Ninja

dvd_if a tree falls

Welcome back to our weekly look at new DVD releases coming to a virtual shelf near you! Lots of good stuff this week worth a rental at least and possibly a buy depending on your tastes. My own interests have marked five titles as Buys including two TV shows. Merrill Barr may suspect I’m doing so strictly to spite his recent bout of ridiculousness where he claimed TV shows on DVD are pointless, but I’m not. They’re just damn good shows. This week’s releases include In a Better World, Wrecked, Norwegian Ninja, True Adolescents, The Perfect Host, and more. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. If a Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front In 2005 federal and state law enforcement agents across the country conducted simultaneous arrests of past and current members of the Earth Liberation Front. The men and women were charged with a series of arsons that had occurred throughout the Pacific Northwest over the previous decade. This insightful and balanced documentary explores the case from both sides with a focus on one of the defendants, Daniel McGowan. There’s no question of guilt or innocence, but instead it’s the charge of terrorism they face that fuels the debate. Should these fires (in which not a single person was killed or injured) be comparable to 9/11 or the Oklahoma City federal building bombing? It’s thought provoking and challenging, and proves that there aren’t always easy answers when […]


Norwegian Ninja

The winner of the Best Picture Oscar earlier this year, The King’s Speech, hits DVD today, and in an odd bit of congruence so does Gulliver’s Travels. This of course means the two films cancel each other out. Luckily there are several other titles to choose from including another fist-slapping winner from Donnie Yen (Ip Man 2), a compelling documentary about geometrically shaped fish (Square Grouper), a hilarious movie about the loss of a child (Rabbit Hole), an incredibly sad adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels, and more! And don’t forget that sequel to Street Kings you’ve been waiting for… Plus, if you see anything you like, you can click on the image to buy it directly from Amazon. Don’t worry. We can’t track what you buy, so you can snag Gulliver’s Travels without being mocked. Norwegian Ninja I’m not usually a fan of historical films because they’re often incredibly bland and lacking in truthiness, but this absurdly entertaining movie from Norway deftly avoids that trap. The true story of Arne Treholt involves him being convicted of spying in the eighties and sentenced to two decades behind bars, but the even truer story is that he was actually the leader of Norway’s secret defense force made up entirely of ninjas. Yes, really. They fought the good fight through the use of mad ninja skills, their love for animals, high tech gear, and a camp “protected by feng shui.” The film is lovably low-budget as evidenced by the excellent use of miniatures and […]



When you hear the word ‘ninja’ what country comes to mind? If you answered ‘Japan’ I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this but you’re quite obviously a racist. But if you said ‘Norway’ than you’re already one step ahead of the rest of the world in their understanding and awareness of perhaps the most elite fighting force ever assembled (in Norway). It’s the true story, in a manner of speaking, of Arne Treholt, a Norwegian diplomat who was convicted in 1984 of high treason and espionage. The story ends there as far as most people are concerned, but the “truth” is actually far more interesting. And ninja-fied. Check out the trailer below, and prepare yourself for the best movie ever made about Norwegian ninjas.



In the midst of the Cold War a Norwegian diplomat, Arne Treholt, was convicted of treason against his country for selling secrets to the Soviet Union in the early ’80s. This is true. Not necessarily that he sold secrets as his conviction and twenty year prison term suggests, but just that he was convicted.

In 1992, after serving 8 years of his prison term, Treholt was released and to this day continues to plead his innocence regarding any treasonous activity. This is true.

In 2010, Norwegian filmmaker Thomas Malling made a film depicting the events precisely as they played out back in the 1980s in which Treholt was in fact the leader of a professionally trained black-ops group of ultra-human ninjas. This is true. Not necessarily that Treholt was a ninja mastermind, just that Malling made a film about Treholt being one.


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With the exception of Gentlemen Broncos, we were spot on with our Must See Films of Fantastic Fest 2009 list last year. While we’d love to take the credit for it, the truth is that it’s Fantastic Fest that came through with a large slate of winners from the weird world of genre. Fantastic Fest is the movie festival for movie lovers, and as the FSR Death Squad assembles yet again, we’re gearing up to attack the event with a renewed fervor by shining the spotlight on the films we’re anticipating the most. We’re pleased to have Adam Charles, Robert Fure, Brian Salisbury, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius (led by the slightly inebriated and deep fried Neil Miller) comprise the Squad this go ’round. As for the Must See movies, this year, we’re enlisted four members of the Squad to choose 5 films each, and the result is a list full of blood, Hong Kong action, gritty Santa Claus stories, geriatric Kung Fu, Dystopian societies, ninjas from Norway, slasher follow-ups, mental trips, creepy clowns, and little girl vampires. A truly sprawling feast for the eyes and ears. Hopefully you’ll be sitting next to us, but if not, we aim to make you feel that way with our coverage. It’s time to get excited. Here are the 20 films that have got us running to the famous Alamo Drafthouse for Fantastic Fest 2010.

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published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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