Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Midsomer Murders Set Two|
Actors: John Nettles, Jane Wymark, Barry Jackson, Laura Howard, Jason Hughes
Director: Peter Smith
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
As seen on A&E — MIDSOMER MURDERS — Set Two — What evil lurks beyond the well-trimmed hedges of Midsomer... — The cozy villages of Midsomer County reveal their most sinister secrets in these contemporary British television mys... more »
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Great set -- just make sure your player is set correctly!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Midsomer Murders series is probably my favorite contemporary mystery series, with great ensemble acting, charm and wit, picturesque settings and plotlines that keep you guessing until the final moments. One thing I appreciate is that the character of Tom Barnaby is allowed to be human -- showing his devotion to his family, his occasional frustration with his partner Troy, and letting him go down the wrong path in his investigations from time to time. And this set is also noteable for featuring one of the first appearances of Orlando ("Lord of the Rings") Bloom in the episode "Judgement Day," which just makes it that much more watchable.One thing to make sure of, though, is that your DVD player is set up correctly, as this is an anamorphically-enhanced presentation to accomodate those with widescreen television sets. Because widescreen televisions are becoming more and more popular, some players' settings default to "16:9 Widescreen" or "16:9 Anamorphic" (what it's called varies according to your player). If you don't have a widescreen set, and are watching on a standard 4:3 TV screen, here's what you do: go into your player's "setup" option (there's generally a "setup" button on your remote, or sometimes you can access these options via your "display" button), and look around the video-related choices until you find options labeled "16:9 Widescreen," "4:3 Letterboxed" and "4:3 Full Screen" (or a similar wording). Choose "4:3 Letterboxed." This setting basically tells your player that you're watching the program on a standard 4:3 TV set, and that you want to see the program letterboxed (the program was shot in a widescreen format, so you will see black bars at the top and bottom of the image). The 16:9 Widescreen option "squeezes" the image horizontally so that it fills the screen on all sides, and widescreen TV sets automatically "stretch" it back out to widescreen."
In Set Two, more interesting murders, more cosy villages and
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 07/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In this part cosy, part procedural mystery series, Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby's territory takes in the English county of Midsomer. All the little picture-perfect villages and small towns have a wide and varied assortment of English citizens, ranging from wealthy magistrates and high Church of England prelates to milkmen and shopkeepers, wives and lovers, thieves and...a lot of murderers. Barnaby (John Nettles), with his police sergeant, Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey), must apply all his experience, skepticism, persistence and unflappability to solve them.
For the record, Set Two's mysteries are: Dead Man's Eleven (beating to death, among other methods), set in the village of Fletcher's Cross; Death of a Strangler (man trap), set in Upper Marshwood; Blue Herrings (asphyxiation), set in Lawnside Retirement Home near Badger's Drift; and Judgement Day (stabbing and poison), set in Midsomer Mallow.
The charm of this series lies partly in its setting. Midsomer County is a very pretty place, green and cared for. The towns are tidy, filled with competent and knowledgeable tradesmen; the villages tend to have a few eccentrics and a lot of thatched roofs. This could be much too cosy except for three things. First, the performance by John Nettles. He's a fine actor who is completely at home in the role. Watching his Barnaby think his way through clever mysteries, unfailingly polite and unfailingly unintimidated, is a pleasure. Second, the mysteries themselves. This series has been going on through eight seasons. DVD sets are out for six of them so far. The mysteries are almost always real puzzlers; not flashy, but well disguised. They are consistently interesting and well written. They play fair with the viewer. The clues Barnaby discovers all have been there for us to find as well as for him. Third, the quality of the production and the actors. I suspect a substantial budget has been allocated for each episode. The series looks first-rate. The actors are first-rate, too, which is typical of British productions which find their way over here. Daniel Casey does a fine job as Barnaby's assistant. He respects his boss and is smart enough to learn from him. But he also can be exasperated at Barnaby's penchant for not sharing everything. And he occasionally gets put out when an apparently important car trip (Troy always drives them) turns out to be a trip for a bacon sandwich Barnaby's been thinking about. Barnaby's wife is played by Jane Wymark, and it's a pleasure to observe how much at ease the two actors are with each other. They play a long-married couple, still in love and with a comfortable kind of middle-aged affection for each other. All the actors do outstanding jobs, and there usually is a sprinkling of well-known names. In Set Two, which consists of four programs of about an hour and forty minutes each, there are Imelda Staunton, Hannah Gordon, Diane Fletcher, Phyllis Calvert (who was 85 when she starred here, and in the Forties was one of Britain's most popular actresses, Robert Hardy, Nigel Davenport and, at the start of his career, Orlando Bloom.
If you're in the mood for civilized British television mysteries, where the mean streets have more cobblestones than crushed beer cans, where the occasional drug user is not a grubby loser, where the chief copper has a happy home life and no angst to share with the viewers, Midsomer Murders might be just the thing. The mysteries are consistently well developed and puzzling, and the acting is solid.
The programs in each set do not reflect very accurately the order in which the programs appear in each season's series. It doesn't make any difference since each mystery is self-contained. The DVD picture is excellent. There are a few extras such as a map of Midsomer County showing the towns and villages, cast filmographies of the major players and a biography of Carolyn Graham, the author of the books the series is based on."
The murders continue in spite of good cops....
Dianne Foster | USA | 12/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Is there such a thing as a perfect English village? Just ask the average Anglophile and you are sure to find out the answer. Undoubtedly, the village is a Midsomer entity, where coppers Barnaby and Troy help maintain the status quo. What makes this series so delicious is that you can feel so cozy even while evil villagers creep about killing their neighbors. Barnaby's demeanor and Troy's earnestness put me in mind of Morse and Robbie at times, although Barnaby is much cozier than Morse ever was.
The `Midsomer' mysteries are a real treat for Anglophiles and provides hours of escapist viewing into a world that never was although we might believe it exists if we wish hard enough -- only you should never get to England and read a British newspaper, or view BBC-America's grittier dramas and newscasts.
I have purchased all four sets of the `Midsomer Murders' dramas and enjoy watching them fairly often. We will watch them many times in the future as they provide a reliable form of escapism - we don't play computer games or use other kinds of diversion - we rely on the English to entertain us."
I love the Midsomer Murders series...
Rayhne | Madison, WI USA | 08/23/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"....but I hate what they do to the DVDs. When I buy a DVD, I expect to get the entire show/episode but I am now watching DEATH OF A STRANGER on TV and there are scenes showing that are not on the DVD!!!! That totally ticks me off."