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Boardwalk Empire - Season 3  [Region Free]
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All 12 episodes from the third season of the Golden Globe-winning HBO period drama set during the 1920s Prohibition era. Atlantic County Treasurer Enoch 'Nucky' Thompson (Steve Buscemi) sets up a bootlegging business, hoping to get rich. As he progresses in his venture he crosses paths with politicians and mobsters alike but his lavish lifestyle soon leads the federal government to grow suspicious of his activities. In this series, crime boss Gyp Rosetti (Bobby Cannavale) causes problems for Nucky's business, Eli (Shea Whigham) has difficulty adjusting to his new life after he is released from prison and Gillian (Gretchen Mol) tries to deal with a devastating loss. The episodes are: 'Resolution', 'Spaghetti and Coffee', 'Bone for Tuna', 'Blue Bell Boy', 'You'd Be Surprised', 'Ging Gang Goolie', 'Sunday Best', 'The Pony', 'The Milkmaid's Lot', 'A Man, a Plan...', 'Two Imposters' and 'Margate Sands'.
One of HBO’s signature shows, this one-hour drama series chronicles the life and times of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Golden Globe winner Steve Buscemi), Atlantic City’s undisputed czar at a time when Prohibition proved to be a major catalyst in the rise of organized crime in America. Picking up 16 months after Season 2 ended, Season 3 begins on New Year’s Eve 1922-23. The Roaring ‘20s are about to start; though the economy is booming, alcohol has become scarce, competition is fierce, and gangster violence is heating up. Amidst this backdrop, Nucky, whose marriage to Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) has become a sham after she signed away his highway windfall to the church, faces new competition in the person of Gyp Rosetti (new cast member Bobby Cannavale), who builds a new strategic bulkhead between New York and Atlantic City in an effort to siphon off Nucky’s alcohol business. The conflict brings out the best and worst in Nucky, who proves his brutal mettle in a series of violent encounters. New and familiar faces also undergo compelling metamorphoses as the 12 new episodes of Boardwalk Empire unfold.
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Arguably this is the most powerful season yet, with twelve episodes ever intensifying their grip - scriptwriters and directors adept at springing major surprises. As always, the cast is terrific. Steve Buscemi's Nucky veers from the heights to complete vulnerability, deserted by allies who regard him a risk.
This is by no means a one man show, all concerned with memorable moments. Relish, for instance, when bullied Nelson literally turns the tables, and when disfigured Richard heroically determines to rescue his young friend.
Not all is violence (although it does tend to dominate). Note the stylish extravagance of the New Year's Eve party, sundry evolving family emotions depicted in the Easter Day episode. Also to be savoured are the one-liners. (Example? Nucky thrusting money into someone's hand with the words, "Go buy a personality".)
Fine bonuses include a helpful fourteen minute summary of Season 2 (for obvious reasons, best watched first). The main directors interestingly reflect on what they achieved (a chance to see again key sequences). Martin Scorsese considers the latest developments.
With no signs of flagging, the series continues to recreate with style the decadent Twenties. Prohibition more than ever proves a ghastly mistake, many to perish as gangsters engage in a bloody battle for supremacy.
Season three focuses mainly on the storylines involving Nucky, Margaret, Gillian and Richard Harrow. Characters like Al Capone, Rothstein and Eli are still there but play a much smaller part within the series arc.
This series is a great addition to the first two, and the pace really steps up in the final three episodes where you don't know what will happen next. As usual my plan to watch only one episode an evening just didn't happen as I kept saying 'one more episode' and before I knew it the box set was completed in four days.
The blu-ray quality is fantastic, the menus are easy to navigate and there are plenty of features containing 1920s newsreels and documentaries if that interests you as well as the usual commentaries. The picture quality is as usual fantastic really taking you into the look of 1920s America.
If you've enjoyed the previous two series you won't be disappointed. I just now can't wait for season 4!
not for the faint of heart, nor for children for that matter - the sex & violence quota is always met and then some; there's some fairly brutal stuff here, artfully staged though it may be.
the look of it all is beautiful, beautfully shot and art-directed down to the last gritty, or glitzy, detail;
the cast is superb and exhuberant, anchored by Steve Buscemi who at times seems to be in "Stan Laurel as an evil mastermind" mode as the "you can't be half a gangster" prophecy from season one comes definitely true.
on the other end of the scale, you have this larger-than-life villain who verges on parody at times but is as scenery-chewing as they come (alla salute, Bobby Cannavale!). the same can be said for the two standout female perfs: Kelly McDonald as the resourceful, strong-hearted woman looking for a way to redemption, and Gretchen Mol as the high-class, manipulative maitresse with a mother's weak spots both deliver top-notch work here.
supporting roles are good throughout; it's so cool to find the Omar guy from The Wire as Chalky White here; and the Michael Shannon character is especially memorable, although he was way more integrated in previous seasons than he is here. the parable of the special-agent gone rogue has an impressive climax in this series, but he is almost isolated in a story of his own, making no major dent in the main storyline. still it's always interesting when he's around and somehow you feel they're having him bide his time for some later development in this Hbo epic.
altogetherm it's engrossing, high-quality, hardboiled Prohibition-era brew, but with a well thought-out human side.
you'll find it especially satisfying if you have a strong taste to begin with.