Star – Steve Buscemi
Genre – TV Series > Crime Drama
Run Time – 8 x50 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – USA
Awards – 54 wins & 164 nominations.
Golden Globes –1 win & 4 nominations
Emmys – 20 wins & 57 nominations
Amazon – £14.99DVD £17.99 Blue Ray
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It’s always sad when a big American boxset TV series comes to an end. Martin Scorcese and writer Terrance Winters big, brash and expensive 1920s mob drama lasted 5 solid seasons over just four years and wrapped for me this week with the final thrilling season on DVD. It didn’t set the Golden Globes a light in that time with just 4 nominations and one win, that for Steve Buscemi’s tour de force lead as corrupt Atlantic City major and mobster Enoch Thompson, but the HBO crowd loved it. Alec Baldwin was first choice to play Thompson, apparently. But the Primetime Emmys did get it and it got a bucket load of gold every season. Going up against classics like The Wire and Breaking Bad in the Globes it was always tough to gong but it’s been a monumental time for American television as movie actors and studios moved back to TV to produce some of their best work. I only have the final season of House of Cards on the ‘to do’ list and I’m hoping Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom and True Detective fills the void of Boardwalk and Breaking Bad.
Writer Terrance Winter always calls the actors before recording the series when a big character is going to be killed off and so lots of calls to be made for the final season. The concept of the show is a construct of the times around the beginning and the end of prohibition on the East Coast of America and real life gangsters, lawmakers and characters of the era with some fictitious ones and situations thrown in. For the final season Winter and the team of writers have chosen to fill in the missing pieces of Nucky's story by showing him growing up in Atlantic City through flashback as the backbone to the tumultuous conclusion.
Steve Buscemi as Enoch "Nucky" Thompson
Kelly Macdonald as Margaret Thompson
Michael Shannon as Nelson Van Alden
Shea Whigham as Elias "Eli" Thompson.
Stephen Graham as Al Capone
Vincent Piazza as Charles "Lucky" Luciano
Michael Kenneth Williams as Albert "Chalky" White
Paul Sparks as Mieczyslaw "Mickey Doyle" Kuzik
Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Valentin Narcisse
Gretchen Mol as Gillian Darmody
Ben Rosenfield as Willie Thompson
Ivo Nandi as Joe Masseria
Brady and Connor Noon as Tommy Darmody
Christiane Seidel as Sigrid Mueller
Margot Bingham as Daughter Maitland
Patricia Arquette as Sally Wheet
• Marc Pickering as young Enoch Thompson, 1897 (4 episodes)
• Greg Antonacci as Johnny Torrio (3 episodes)
• Oakes Fegley as young Elias "Eli" Thompson, 1884 (3 episodes)
• John Ellison Conlee as young Commodore Louis Kaestner (8 episodes)
• Paul Calderón as Arquimedes (7 episodes)
• Boris McGiver as Sheriff Jacob Lindsay (6 episodes)
• Domenick Lombardozzi as Ralph Capone (5 episodes)
• Nolan Lyons as young Enoch Thompson, 1884 (5 episodes)
• Anatol Yusef as Meyer Lansky (5 episodes)
• Michael Zegen as Bugsy Siegel (5 episodes)
• Ian Hart as young Ethan Thompson (4 episodes)
• Giampiero Judica as Salvatore Maranzano (4 episodes)
• Maya Kazan as Mabel Jeffries (4 episodes)
• Matt Letscher as Joseph Kennedy (4 episodes)
‘Nucky’ is out in Cuba with girlfriend and speakeasy owner Sally Wheet (Patricia Arquette) cutting a deal with the Havana major to legally import rum and spirits to Florida. He anticipates prohibition is nearly over as the new decade begins and wants to go legit. But he is always a target and someone tries to whack him in Cuba, saved by his ruthless Cuban close protection guy, Arquimedes (Paul Calderón), somewhat handy with a machete.
Another man handy with whatever is to hand is Albert ‘Chalky’ White (Michael Kenneth Williams), the once owner of the black side of Atlantic City, alongside ‘Nucky’, escaping from prison and out for revenge to kill Dr. Valentin Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright), who tried to take over Atlantic City so to introduce heroin, and helping to kill his daughter in the process. Margeret Thompson (Kelly Macdonald) is also back in the story and when her boss kills herself at her brokers after the 1931 stock market crash and exposed with her involvement in now deceased Jewish gambler and cad Albert Rothstein’s share scams. Mrs Rothstein would like the proceeds of the gains from Mrs Thompsons account and so Margeret needs to call on her husband to fix it.
Back in the States, Nucky wants to know who put the hit out on him, retired mob boss Johnny Torrio (Greg Antonacci) suggesting a ‘sitdown’ in New York with number one suspect Brooklyn boss Joe Masseria (Ivo Nandi) to straighten things out. But it’s a set up and the restaurant strafed with machine gun fire as the two hit the deck. Back in Atlantic City he learns that he and Masseria stand in the way of the ‘Seven Families’ running the East Coast and "Lucky" Luciano (Vincent Piazza) is putting the hit out on behalf of them.
Capone (Stephen Graham) now owns Chicago but hasn’t paid his taxes and so the FBI looking to bust him down, having their own man on the inside. The lugubrious Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon) is still in Capones employ doing bag collection and muscle whilst Thompsons shamed brother Eli (Shea Whigham) is now a drunk and laying low from both Capone and Nucky. Willie Thompson (Ben Rosenfield) is all grown up and working for the state prosecutors to bring all the bad guys down.
Through all of the eight episodes we constantly flashback to Nucky junior (Marc Pickering) early life in Atlantic City, first working as a bellhop at the New Haven hotel, then as a young sheriff (Nolan Lyons) working his way into the nefarious ways of the city, why Nucky is the man he is today and about to face his redemption, or, indeed, downfall as Luciano’s boys saddle up to take Atlantic City for the final showdown.
So it’s allover and a really good final season. It’s not as violent as normal as most beefs between the bosses have been settled and Nucky looking for an out. It’s clever by Terrance Winter to run that as a third dimension narrative as it sets up the final series nicely and helps to close a few storylines in a satisfactory way. Like the Sopranos and Breaking Bad it’s tempting for the writers and producers to leave a few ambiguous endings to certain characters so the spin off series is always on the cards. Lucky Luciano with his lazy eye proves an excellent foe for Thompson to end it all and some nice little twists around the corner from forgotten enemies with seething vendettas. It doesn’t end up a simple case of each of the big characters getting whacked one-by-one. The fact there was only 8 episodes to the normal 12 in the boxset hinted that this would now be a blood bath and done with style and pathos. Cast & crew and the punters have invested in this and want the right endings.
Although it is a construct of the times they do use the correct gangsters from the prohibition era and roughly what they did in history, be it the timeline non linear and so not all in the same place at the same time. Stephen Grahams Capone is terrifying as ever and the Italian mobster’s horrendous clichés, exactly what we want. But the show is ruled by Buscemi’s towering man alone performance and his delivery allows other actors around him to enhance their characters and performances. The twentysomething Nucky is slightly distracting with his comedy teeth and I’m not sure why someone didn’t pick up on that. Yes Buscemi has bad teeth but not like that.
On the whole good stuff and sad that it’s all over, even though the series was getting a bit samey. But now that it’s gone I realize that’s what I liked about it. Like Tony Soprano and Walter White I’m going to miss these guys. We all love an antihero. My favorite TV series is the West Wing, enseamble cast TV the key for me to make these boxset works. If a lot of characters are three dimensional and interesting then they are less vulnerable to being dropped from the show and when they are with a slug in the had it’s a huge shock. There has been a lot of that on the Boardwalk. And for the final series every creak of a door or starring eyes below a large menacing hat may mean the and for the biggest characters of all, making this a tense and thrilling crescendo.
===Recent American boxsets you must see===
The West Wing
Curb Your Enthusiasm.
House of Cards
Imdb.com –8.6 /10.0 (129,324votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 89% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 83% critic’s approval
-Scouting the Boardwalk-
Looking at locations in the series.
-Scouting the Boardwalk-
More location stuff.
-Scouting the Boardwalk-
The Wrap – ‘Boardwalk Empire is ruthlessly, irredeemably brilliant’
The Cube –‘It's well within the realm of possibility that Winter and company can pull off an affecting conclusion to the series, but as the end approaches, the degree of difficulty is higher than ever’.
Livewire –‘In general, the 1920s and 30s are such an underexplored period in television that all of the historical and cultural touches scattered throughout give the show a patina of freshness’.
Time Magazine –‘It's natural for Boardwalk Empire to focus its last season on its star, but-as admirable as Buscemi's restraint is in playing the ghostly gangster-Nucky's strength has always been bringing out the more interesting characters around him’.
TV Guide –‘There are still pleasures to be found in Boardwalk Empire, but it's definitely time to wrap - and enjoy a good stiff drink as a reward’.
Rolling Stone –‘No other show on television says so much about its world through sight and sound alone’
STAR GOLD -Is it genuine GOLD ?
STAR is one of the most renowned brands in Asia and has a real good footprint in UK.STAR Gold is the channel which caters to viewers appetite for Hindi movies and comes under the big banner of STAR network.
I got STAR gold through Sky and made sure the entertainment bundle includes this. The channel has been named as GOLD as it believes that Bollywood movies has its stem deep rooted in old classics and this channel presents them before you. However off late I have also seen movies which are just released around 2 to 5 years back.
There are interesting segments like 'Blockbuster of the Month' which are normally from the mega Bollywood hits collection. STAR GOLD has another important fragment called Superstars Thursday which brings in movies of your superstar like -Amitabh,Sahrukh,Dharmendra and the list goes on as Bollywood has never been short of Superstars.' Sunday Popcorn' is another area where STAR brings in remarkable movies. With most of the movies screened at prime time you can really enjoy them at ease.
I would say the picture quality and voice clarity is definitely there for most of the movies but what bothers me is the genre of movies and repetition. STAR GOLD has failed to impress me as it keeps on playing the same movies over and over each week.
I found STAR GOLD in India quite rich in collection however it is not the same in UK.I would also like to note that if STAR GOLD has to establish a stronger hold on Asian population in UK it has to maintain the rich heritage across the border not only in India. Remake and regional dubbed movies might add to the repository of STAR GOLD but it will not gain wider acceptance.
I wish someone from STAR would read my review to improve their service in UK.