THE PLOT THUS FAR
Boardwalk Empire is a dramatized retelling of how Atlantic City became a hub of drinking during Prohibition. Steve Buscemi’s Nucky Thompson is a mid-level public official, which affords him the money and influence to import alcohol and keep his operation a secret. The first two seasons of the show focused on Nucky’s relationship with Jimmy Darmody, an emotionally fragile World War I vet who grew up under Nucky’s tutelage but was unsure of his place in Nucky’s organization. After one too many betrayals, Nucky had him killed. After Jimmy’s death, Boardwalk Empire became a show about the history of organized crime. Viewers get to see major players like Al Capone, Charlie Luciano and Meyer Lansky before they came into their own. The aesthetic of the show is perfectly ’20s, and producer Martin Scorsese’s influence is seen in the intelligent mob narratives and interest in anti-heroes.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“Boardwalk Empire” makes me believe that Terence Winter really wanted to remake “The Godfather Part II”. Unfortunately, you can’t give the Corleone treatment to this diverse of a cast. Someone’s past is always short-changed, as we spend too much time dwelling on the central Atlantic City crew. It’s not fair, but it’s what happens.
The push to make the fifth season so short works when they want to juxtapose Nucky’s rise and fall. However, it makes the supporting cast look like they got the short end of the stick. Chalky White’s fate is left incomplete, as we spent more time wondering about how he ended up incarcerated and why. Maybe, that was me. I get up and use the bathroom a lot during this show. I take notes, but they become doodles of Steve Buscemi fighting various Kaiju while dressed in Depression era garb.
The DVD comes with a featurette and commentaries as the special features. The A/V Quality is pretty sharp for standard definition. That being said, the transfer still plays flat when compared to the HD master. The Dolby 5.1 track keeps all channels pumping. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to completists and the few serious fans that remain.
RELEASE DATE: 01/13/2015