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83 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drama to Savour
When I heard that HBO were going to do a period piece about gangsters set in the prohibition era, a kind of Sopranos in spats, it was one of those ideas that was so good you wonder why it hadn't been done before.

Well the wait was worth it as this is adult entertainment at its finest. What you have is a multilayered sprawling epic about prohibition era Atlantic...
Published on 5 April 2011 by J. Duducu

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as my all time favourite Breaking Bad
Quite enjoyable. Not as good as my all time favourite Breaking Bad, so it had a lot to live up to. However, it certainly has potential and I am already into Season 2. I was surprised by how good Nuckie Thompson was as I don't normally like that particular actor.
Published 6 months ago by William Gardner


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83 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drama to Savour, 5 April 2011
By 
J. Duducu (Ruislip) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Boardwalk Empire - Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
When I heard that HBO were going to do a period piece about gangsters set in the prohibition era, a kind of Sopranos in spats, it was one of those ideas that was so good you wonder why it hadn't been done before.

Well the wait was worth it as this is adult entertainment at its finest. What you have is a multilayered sprawling epic about prohibition era Atlantic City. At the centre of the story is Steve Buscemi's "Nucky" Thompson a corrupt politician (rather than gangster) who has his brother as the local sheriff and his fingers in all the city's pies.

Nothing is perfect so if there's one grumble the period detail is a little too perfect. Every room, even the run down ones, seem to be dressed to within an inch of their lives and I am not sure anywhere was quite that pristine outside of a lab.

This is a character piece so the emphasis is on characterisation rather than action but that's not to say that there aren't wonderful action set pieces too overall though it's the three dimensional characters that makes it breath. There's the ice cold boot legger Chalky White (Omar from the Wire) a terrifying prohibition officer Agent Nelson all fire, brimstone and a simmering self loathing of his own weaknesses.

There are also great female roles such Margaret Schroeder the Irish immigrant who discovers her own inner strengths at the same time the viewers do and Gillian the most complex grandmother you are likely to come across.

There is a veritable rogue's gallery in the show who are all more unusual than the usual ciphers you get in the average TV shows.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ground Breaking & Exceptional, 5 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Boardwalk Empire - Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
This series is exceptional and better than The Sopranos. The central idea in The Sopranos is that the main character seeks help from a psychiatrist, something that does not really hold sway. The moral duplicity is already well accepted in the psychological world of the gangster and the individual who decides on this way of life accepts the life, the pros and cons. In Boardwalk Empire it is the secondary characters who are the most morally complex - the women, children and surrounding folk all knowing their world is unhinged, but still enjoying it and hating it in turns. The period detail and art direction is amazing and the character development is flawless. This is the best HBO since Six Feet Under and probably one of the best period dramas ever. The storytelling interweaves with actual political events (such as the call for and rise of women's suffrage) and pays due respect to The Great War and its aftermath in the wonderful characters of Jimmy and Richard. This is not to be missed and should be on the library shelves of anyone with good taste and a need, almost biological need, for great television. Class.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good beginning, 27 Sept. 2013
By 
RK - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
The idea of having a series set during America's prohibition era is a good one. The time period has lots of fascinating characters, a distinct style of dress and speech and is a genuinely interesting period of American history. The series boardwalk empire does a credible job of recreating the time. In addition the cinematography is excellent and acting is first class. In essence Boardwalk Empire has all the normal characteristics of a well made HBO series.

However, I did not feel the series deserved a 5 star rating for two reasons. Firstly some of the episodes are somewhat slow and lack the pace I would have expected from a series like this. The second and more influential reason is that the series lacks a single likeable character you can root for and consequently care what happens to them. The series definitely lacks a lovable rogue, a character you can hope turns out alright despite what they do.

Nevertheless Boardwalk Empire is a very good piece of TV and will definitely appeal to those with an interest in this period of American history.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stunning!, 12 May 2012
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This review is from: Boardwalk Empire - Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
I was not at all interested in watching Boardwalk Empire as I thought it would not appeal to me and that I wouldn't like it. How wrong I was...
This fantastic first season is filled with an excellent cast who play some fantastic characters in a deep and encapsulating story that deals with booze, money, politics, sex, lies, family histories and everything else in between! I recommend Boardwalk Empire Season 1 as it is a fantastic demonstration of what the Film/TV industry still has to offer! I also recommend buying Season 2 as it is equally as good as (if not better) Season 1 and definitely worth the money and time that will be spent watching this sublime television series!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 13 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Boardwalk Empire - Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Boardwalk Empire is a breath-taking series. Over the years, I have tended to avoid the vast majority of US tv series. However, when I read the provenance of this one I was intrigued - and when I commenced watching, hooked. The period detail is sumptuous, the casting phenomenal - but it is the story structure, how the protagonists relate to each other, that is 'four dimensional'. This series is so Shakespearean; I keep referring, in my mind, to Shakespeare's plays as I watch it, as I see the inclusion of so many characterisations and plots from them...
This is a superlative series. Undoubtedly, for adults to watch - unreserved recommendation!
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Roaring Twenties, 11 Jan. 2012
By 
This review is from: Boardwalk Empire - Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Prohibition and votes for women. I never linked the two before I saw this absorbing, clever show. It is suggested that women brought about Prohibition through Temperance Leagues for various reasons including ending poverty, hunger, domestic violence and gaining the vote.
There is much to be learnt here. We in the UK don't really here much about American involvement in World War One. Yet there are men shockingly disfigured and traumatised by their experience. Men that could never fit back into society, much like Vietnam vets. Some find a place in the underworld which blossomed with Prohibition.
Religion and race are examined and, of course, politics. It is a corrupt man's world with fat cats scratching each others backs.
So the breadth and depth of this series is what makes similar TV series more rewarding than a movie ever can be. With 12 hours you can build characters and plots to immersive and absorbing levels. I believe that we are seeing a phenomenon arising where people form such attachments to characters in movies that the sequel and part III are not enough. HBO recognizes this and is at the forefront of providing the remedy with 5 seasons of The Wire for example. Five seasons of The Wire AND IT WAS STILL NOT ENOUGH!
The most expensive TV ever does not actually guarantee quality, but, trust me - here it works. The Boardwalk of Atlantic City is resurrected with CGI and glorious sets and costumes. Steve Buscemi is delightful as a damaged but clever and generous man who sees life for what it is. Or is he a cold calculating murderer? You decide.
So, I would humbly suggest that you get on board this elevator at ground level and see where it takes you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully made series, 9 Feb. 2015
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
While it doesn’t have quite the depth, and emotional power of The Wire, Breaking Bad or The Sopranos, its epic view of prohibition era Atlantic City is a wonderfully acted and directed, beautifully production designed and photographed and intelligently written.

It takes a different tack than The Godfather or The Sopranos; it doesn’t focus on the gangster experience as the dark side of the struggling American immigrant dream, the outgrowth of trying to care for your family in a society that places material wealth above all. Steve Buscemi’s Nucky Thompson is already at the top, and he’d rather stay on top through political smarts and manipulation than violence when he can. He’s not an everyman, not a family man. He’s a loner who tried to bury his humanity when his wife died, and now focuses on growing his position as the real power in Atlantic City. He’s not obsessed with honor or codes. He’s more interested in being behind the throne than the focus of the headlines. A man of immense practicality. A charming, smooth, sophisticated businessman who happens to be utterly corrupt and utterly powerful. He’s a great anti-hero for now, when the villains of society are running the corporate-political machinery, not the neigborhood.

It’s also different from it’s predecessors in that its truly an ensemble piece. Nucky may be at the center, but we get to know a huge number of fascinating and well-drawn characters in surprising depth. The series is more mosaic than character study (one of the reasons it’s not really an emotional experience).

I resisted the show the first time through, because it lacked the kind of strange empathy that anti-hero shows like Breaking Bad and Sopranos traded in, But on second viewing, knowing that it was doing something closer to “Nashville” in it’s brilliant if distanced overview of a moment and place in America, I was able to be completely caught up and absorbed in its tremendous attention to detail, and richness of character
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5.0 out of 5 stars POSSIBLY THE BEST SERIES EVER MADE, 3 Aug. 2014
By 
E. Kelly "keypad" (Didcot,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Boardwalk Empire - Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
I bought series one because I'd noticed that Martin Scorsese was the executive producer. I could not remember ever seeing anything that Martin Scorsese was involved in that I didn't like, including his music documentaries on Blues musicians and even The Rolling Stones. He is, to me, a cut above the rest. So I took the plunge and, boy, was I not disappointed. This is so superb that I am totally hooked and will have to get all the other series' that have or are being made. I like steve Buscemi's acting as the kingpin of the whole political/criminal empire that he controls. His acting style for a fast thinking,quick witted,sharp,character in a harsh World reminds me of Humphrey Bogart.The notion that all humans have hidden agendas and desires except for innocent children, the naive, and the self deluded is pretty accurate in reality and is so well portrayed in 1920's USA in this fictional production, although I'd wager that it is not far from the truth about those times.
The sets are fantastic and Scorsese does his magic to portray everything so well, like a brilliant artist creating a richly detailed work of art. This really isn't serialised, run of the mill, ham acting with 'pretty boy' heroes and an unbelievable plot. This is premium grade stuff.

Eamonn
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jersey Coast, 17 Sept. 2013
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Boardwalk Empire - Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
'Boardwalk Empire' was created by Terence Winter. The star of the series is Steve Buscemi, who played Tony Soprano’s cousin, and he directed several episodes of 'The Sopranos'. Martin Scorsese, is the show’s co-executive producer. Steve Buscemi comes alive as Nucky, a larger-than-life, con man, who controls Atlantic City like a Mafia boss, with his sorted array of henchmen. Mucky does some good but it is all funded by corruption.

Atlantic City, at the beginning of Prohibition, and women are about to gain the right to vote. Mucky is the crime boss in his city, and it is his job to keep it safe from the rest of the mobsters. Jimmy Darmody, played by Michael Pitt is a protégé of Nucky's, and Al Capone, played by Stephen Graham, is an up and coming mobster. Alcohol and gunfights a plenty, women of all kinds flock to Atlantic City and Nucky.

The settings are glorious, the clothes and cars authentic, and it all adds up to one of the best shows on the air.

Recommended. prisrob 09-16-13
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars addictive and brilliant, 22 July 2012
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This review is from: Boardwalk Empire - Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
This is a great DVD, everything about Boardwalk Empire is brilliant, the twisty plot development, the characters, the style, and the acting (Buscemi is great) highly recomended and can't wait for season 2 on DVD
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Boardwalk Empire - Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2012]
Boardwalk Empire - Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2012] by Terence Winter (DVD - 2012)
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