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Cracker: The Complete Collection

Robbie Coltrane    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 159.99
Price: CDN$ 88.69 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Cracker: The Complete Collection + Prime Suspect: The Complete Collection + The Last Detective: Complete Collection
Price For All Three: CDN$ 257.19

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Product Description

Robbie Coltrane turns in what the Daily Telegraph calls "the performance of his life" as the brilliant but overbearing forensic psychologist Dr. Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald. A police consultant, Fitz analyzes the twisted psyches of the worst psychopaths. But his arrogance and sarcasm antagonize his fellow investigators, and his gambling, alcoholism and other vices torture his family. This collector's edition follows the deeply flawed but fascinating character through all eleven compelling mysteries. Set mostly in the gritty urban millieu of Manchester, England, Cracker stands as on of the British television's most acclaimed crime series.

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Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Jan. 5 2011
Excellent British crime series. However the price for this on AMAZON.CA is ridiculous. You can buy this for a fraction of the price (eg about 25%) from AMAZON.CO.UK as long as you have a region-free dvd player (like the OPPO 83 or 93). If you dont believe me, check out the price of the UK version of Cracker (which comes with far superior packaging) on the UK web-site.

In general, if you watch a lot of UK series, it is well worth investing in a region-free dvd player and buying the series from the UK. You typically pay about 25% to 33% of the prices you would pay if buying from AMAZON.CA
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and fantastic Dec 10 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Bought this DVD set without knowing anything about the series, other than reviews/recommendations on Amazon. Very glad I did. The lead character is multi-faceted, flawed and entertaining, as well as perceptive. Great stories, great acting. If you enjoy British crime drama, you won't be disappointed in this series. It is an interesting mix of drama and dark humour. Enjoyed it immensely!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracker: The Complete Collection Aug. 8 2009
The dark, amazing world of Cracker is a must for any murder-mystery fan. It's full of gritty drama and black humour.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cracker: The complete collection Sept. 15 2011
I love the item purchased.Packaging was well done. I appreciated all your e-mails concerning the ordering and shipping of the product.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  42 reviews
79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Have Always Loved This Series March 17 2009
By Stephanie De Pue - Published on Amazon.com
"Cracker: The Complete Collection," is our first opportunity to acquire all eleven of the riveting mysteries in the highly-praised British television series of crime dramas. It comes as a deluxe set of ten disks that includes all three series of the long-running British mystery (1993-95), two standalone TV movies, and a 45-minute behind-the-scenes retrospective documentary. It runs approximately 22  hours all told, and also includes, thank goodness, and thank you Acorn Media Group, subtitles for each episode: it would, otherwise, be rather difficult for us on this side of the pond to make out the Manchester accent, as that handsome, ethnically diverse northern English city is where the series was largely filmed, and the actors encouraged to utilize its hard-on-the-ears accent. The series has shown here on the A & E network, and on BBC America: it was made by Granada for broadcast over the independent TV stations (ITV) in the United Kingdom.

Jimmy McGovern (The Street), a hugely talented writer who has traveled far on, and from, his Celtic working class Liverpool origins, created the series and wrote several of the strongest episodes. The series stars the very large Scottish Robbie Coltrane, who took his stage name in homage to the American jazzman John Coltrane; he was better-known at that time as a comic actor (Nuns on the Run, I believe, is where I first saw him, playing with Eric Idle). Coltrane made the role of Cracker, Edward Fitzgerald, a brilliant but deeply flawed forensic psychologist, who frequently worked with the police, his own; and his extraordinary work in it made him famous. He has gone on to play in Ocean's Twelve,GoldenEye, and as Hagrid in the Harry Potter films. Coltrane is volcanic in "Cracker," and there are those who will say, like "The Philadelphia Inquirer," that it is his greatest role.

Mind you, Coltrane plays Fitz as an abrasive, egocentric man, addicted to alcohol, cigarettes and gambling: the character drinks a bottle of scotch a day; smokes 50-60 cigarettes, and keeps his family in constant financial turmoil with his gambling. Coltrane is backed in this series by an excellent supporting cast: Christopher Eccleston (Heroes, Doctor Who), as DCI David Bilborough; Geraldine Somerville (Harry Potter series), as DS Jane Penhaligan; and Barbara Flynn (The Beiderbecke Affair), as Fitz's long-suffering wife, Judith.

In addition, the producers have gone out and hired some of the best actors around - and a lot of Celts-- for guest star spots. The often-seen Irish actors Adrian Dunbar, and Susan Lynch each carry an episode, he as Kelly in the first, "The Madwoman in the Attic," a story of railway murders based on a real murder that took place in a train en route to London in the early 90s. She, Lynch, carries the second episode, "To Say I Love You," as Tina; both are powerful performers in powerful stories. The veteran, well-known character actress Beryl Reid also shows up in this second episode, as Fitz's horse-playing mother. The intense Scottish actor Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty - Fully Exposed Edition), as Albie, a skinhead, carries the fourth episode "To Be a Somebody," so well, people are still talking about it. The almost-equally intense English actress Samantha Morton carries the fifth episode, one written by Ted Whitehead rather than McGovern, "The Big Crunch," as a teenage schoolgirl too naïve for her own good. The lovely Fleur Bennett carries the ninth, "True Romance," as an achingly vulnerable young woman: she too, I believe, started in comedy, or at any rate I saw her first as Mavis Moulterd, country-girl/straight-woman to John Inman's Mr. Humphries in the early 90's Are You Being Served? Again! (The Complete Series)

McGovern's scripts are tight, cunning, and fast, no leisurely British exposition here, and capable of continual surprises. Whitehead's are very good, but not quite. Paul Abbot's scripts are fine, but not in the same stratosphere. In Abbot's 9th episode, "True Romance," we suddenly get a left-wing; anti-Thatcher outburst of the sort that could quite ruin McGovern's final script included here, the 2006 standalone, "A New Terror," for a lot of people. There is also a 1996 standalone, "The White Ghost," nice script by Abbot, set in that fascinating and beautiful, tropical, oriental and British city, Hong Kong, in that fraught time shortly before its July 1st, 1997 handover to the Chinese.

Granada certainly didn't stint on this series; it's lavishly filmed, with plenty of cars and people in the urban streets, auditoriums and nightclubs full of students. Direction was excellent, from Antonia Bird and Michael Winterbottom, among others. The music, from a number of talented men, also adds to the mood. The Hong Kong mystery really gives you an eyeful of that great city. The series won more than 25 major awards, including two BAFTAs for best drama series, and three for best actor for Coltrane. Many critics, including one at "The Boston Globe" consider it the best made-for-TV-mystery or cop series. And me? I won't lie to you: I have always loved this series.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy addition to mystery and crime drama DVD collections March 14 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Winner of more than 25 major awards, including BAFTAs for best drama series and best actor, Cracker: The Complete Collection is a DVD set of the enthralling British crime drama about Dr. Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald, a forensic psychologist with an uncanny ability to divine the motivations of psychopaths. At the same time, Fitz is driven by his own self-destructive compulsions - scotch, sex, and gambling, and his personal arrogance makes him barely tolerable to his co-workers. A 45-minute bonus special feature "Cracker: Behind the Scenes" enhances this dark saga of the nightmare side of urban life. Cracker: The Complete Collection is a worthy addition to mystery and crime drama DVD collections. 10 DVDs, approximately 22 1/2 hours plus bonus, full screen and widescreen, subtitles.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In a drama, darkly..! July 31 2011
By RIJU GANGULY - Published on Amazon.com
Let me clarify certain things at the very outset:

1) This is NOT a POLICE PROCEDURAL, neither is it a series involving the events & emotions that someone in the line of fire has to go through in the process of nabbing the bad guys and helping the good guys.
2) This is NOT a series where one sees the protagonist evolve into someone better; the protagonist here (Dr. Fitzerald, a brilliant but pathologically unlovable psychologist) remains the same nasty, caustic, egoistic, self-centered, gambling, hurting genius who can see through the criminal minds, but can not feel the torture that his nearest & beloved are going through.

Now that I have managed to write that stuff out (a "catharsis"?), I can write what this series are:

1. The stories (esp. the first couple, and a few in the middle, except "Best Boys") are gripping.
2. Relationship between Fitz and Penhaligon (a beautiful Police Officer) and Fitz & his wife, and the literally cracking tension that is felt in the scenes involving them would put any soap-opera to shame any day, and yet would remain dark & grim, since there is usually a murder or rape at the backdrop of this drama.
3. Some of the subject matters, like the gradual descent of an old-styled copper into someone truly bad simply because he had failed to prevent something that he could have done, the social tension, impacts of war & terrorism devastating the matrix of human mind, are visceral and very-very grim, making viewing of this series an uncomfortable, yet compulsory task.

Thus, I rest the case. If you appreciate a good drama with top-notch acting from all, watch this series. If you are looking for something more realistic and yet with a dark hue, I would recommend Prime Suspect: The Complete Collection, after you have watched this series because it is still superior to most other stuff flooding our TV-s now.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime drama at it's most real and dramatic ... May 31 2009
By Timothy Green - Published on Amazon.com
Being old enough to enjoy the series the first time round, couldnt help but purchase all of what is on DVD on Cracker after watching the first series again ... What it brought to me was the quality of how some producers, actors etc. are able to bring realism to the set and maintain amazing characters at the same ... Coltrane has his own qualities, and is obviously an actor very rarely rivalled on TV drama, and has this asset of dragging the audience into the character he plays, and despite being this large, common, drinking and smoking machine, only seeks sympathy from the watcher, and certainly gets it ... Another nice thing about the whole series, is that although maybe shocking in the first couple of series, the quality of themes, acting etc. never fails and for this type of drama surely will always be hard to top such an act ... Hopefully in the future Mr Coltrane will seek to return to give us one or two more feature films to enjoy! ... Oh, just a comment on the above, supposedly watched by our American brothers and sisters, the accent is also hard to follow in certain hollows in the UK too ... TimCracker: The Complete Collection
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, well worth the money Sept. 8 2010
By The Onedin Line Lady - Published on Amazon.com
If you loved Prime Suspect & Inspector Lynley series you will love this, you can see that HBO and Showtime got some of their series ideas from this show. Robbie Coltrane is great. Don't waste your time on the USA series which is not the same.
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