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Private Eye Vares: Episodes 1-3 (2012)

Antti Reini , Eppu Salminen , Anders Engström , Lauri Törhönen  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Private Eye Vares: Episodes 1-3 + Private Eye Vares: Episodes 4-6 + Fog and Crimes: Season 3
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Product Details

  • Actors: Antti Reini, Eppu Salminen, Matti Onnismaa
  • Directors: Anders Engström, Lauri Törhönen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MHz Networks
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2013
  • Run Time: 276 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00B62ER0U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,815 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

In Finnish with English Subtitles Private investigator, ladies' man, hard-drinking pub regular: Jussi Vares is a hero whose laid-back nonchalance belies a rock-hard determination to solve the case. Created by bestselling Finnish crime author Reijo Maki, Vares radiates all the vulnerability and loneliness of a man who may not have found his place in life, but can pretty much do without it. He comes with a rogues gallery of friends which Alanen, the disgraced priest who owns the bookstore, the writer Luusalmi who s managed to scribble one successful book in his life include the ex-con Antidote, whose underworld connections come in handy, and pretty blonde cab driver/exotic dancer Anna. His outward appearance alternates between scruffy - necessary to gain the trust of lowlifes he needs for information to cleaned up useful for gaining the attention of ladies he s got his eye on. Set in Turku on Finland's southwestern coast, the quirky Vares features cases that run the gamut from intimate family score-settlings to big-time Russian Mafia trouble.

Episode 1: The Kiss of Evil - Vares is hired by a grieving mother to investigate the unsolved murder of her daughter, Kerttu. The fact that Kerttu's best friend went missing a year earlier seems suspicious to Vares, who uncovers a second murder and some very unhealthy family ties...

Episode 2: The Girls of April - Ten years ago, three fun-loving female students vanished one after the other. Although no bodies were ever found, the entire nation was convinced that they had been killed. Journalist Ruuhio hires his friend Vares to pick up the investigation, but his timing couldn't be worse.

Episode 3: Garter Snake - A distinguished lawyer suspects that his wife is cheating on him with the lounge pianist Lobo. Vares keeps tabs on the pianist, but what he finds out propels him into the midst of a really messy affair involving drug deals, a prison break and pornography.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB FINNISH DRAMA SERIES April 4, 2013
By sabu
This Finnish private investigator series is absolutely stunning. The three separate episodes are well written and acted. If you enjoy the Nordic Noir type of dramas we've seen the past few years then this series will be another one to sink your teeth into. Vares may be scruffy looking but he's constantly digging into every facet of each crime while sparing no one's feelings. Can't wait for the next set of episodes
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the 60's still live in Finland June 2, 2013
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Jussi doesn't buy into BS from either end of the spectrum. He may look like a drowned rat, but he's one cool dude. And just when I think I have him pinned (wriggling on the wall) he does something dumber or smarter than he should. If you've noticed that every single crime show of the past 20 years features cops (since when are they the good guys?) and miss (or missed) the private eyes (scum of the earth--Jussi even tails adulterers now and then), Vares is the antidote (no pun intended--if you watch the series you will understand). Weird, wild, dark--and definitely for adults only. If the novels (and the movies) are this good, I need to take them in as well. Definitely not just another Nordic thriller series.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Defnitely different. July 19, 2013
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This series took a little getting used to and, in fact, if I could find a three and a half rating I would apply it. However, I have erred on the side of liking it. If you are looking for "neat and tidy" plots, go back to the "Midsomer Murders !!" This is definitely not for those who like to walk and chew gum at the same time as one has to pay attention ! The episodes are somewhat convoluted, but eventually come together satisfactorily. As far as the character of PI Vares is concerned, I at first did not like him, but came to realize that the whole series is "different" as is the main character. His connections in his town are definitely in tune with his personality !! Will buy the next episodes and would recommend the series as worth a try.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting series!! June 8, 2013
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Every episode is complicated and intriguing. Acting is superb. This is the first time I've ever watched a Finnish series and I'm impressed by this detective story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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I'll admit it first, as a bit of a disclaimer. We got hooked on Borgen (not Nordic Noir but made by Danmarks Radio which made The Killing) and loved the American version of The Killing. That led us to track down the original Danish version of The Killing, Forbrydelsen, and to broaden our search to find more Nordic Noir. We of course found The Bridge (again, Danish version) and we were hungry for more.

Vares was one of the ones we picked up, more because it was "related" and less because we checked reviews and the like. As a result, we've sort of learned that not all Nordic Noir is created equal (it's not that bad).

With Vares, we've got the Finnish entry to the Nordic Noir field. Vares is a private eye and the character plays out like a pretty typical one as well: scraping the bottom of the barrel to make ends meet, taking on cases that sometimes start as your typical domestic flavor case only to having him stumble into something bigger.

Vares himself hangs out in a pub with friends and is tapped into the various parts of the underworld of the city of Turku. Each episode is effectively a movie (usually running about 1.5 hours) and follows a case or set of cases that are related.

You've got all the usual trappings of a cliched private detective novel here. There's a voiceover, the PI is hard on his luck, etc. You start to expect him to call women "dames" next. Still, and maybe this is just a personal thing for me, there's something about watching a procedural set in a city in a different country with a different language and culture permeating all aspects of the drama. Even so, while we generally enjoyed the episodes, by the last one, we weren't quite as enamored as we were with the DR dramas.
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