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Banshee: Season 1 (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) (Cinemax)

4.5 out of 5 stars 2,716 customer reviews

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(Oct 21, 2014)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From Alan Ball, creator/EP of True Blood, this exciting new Cinemax action drama charts the twists and turns that follow Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), an ex-convict who improbably becomes sheriff of a rural, Amish-area town while searching for a woman he last saw 15 years ago, when he gave himself up to police to let her escape after a jewel heist. Living in Banshee under an assumed name, Carrie Hopewell (Ivana Milicevic) is now married to the local DA, has two children (one of whom may be Lucas’), and is trying desperately to keep a low profile – until Lucas arrives to shake up her world and rekindle old passions. Complicating matters is the fact that Banshee is riddled by corruption, with an Amish overlord, Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen), brutally building a local empire of drugs, gambling and graft. With the help of a boxer-turned-barkeeper named Sugar Bates (Frankie Faison), Lucas is able to stay on even footing with Kai and his thugs, and even manages to bring a measure of tough justice to Banshee. But eventually, Lucas’ appetite for pulling heists pulls him and Carrie into a dangerous cauldron of duplicity, exacerbated when Mr. Rabbit (Ben Cross), the NY mobster they once ripped off, closes in with vengeance on his mind.

Amazon.com

Cinemax is still on the hunt for a golden show along the lines of Homeland that will help them catch up to the gold standard of HBO originals. Enlisting a creative crew headed by Alan Ball, who helped establish HBO's reputation with Six Feet Under and True Blood, the cable channel made a good bet on Banshee. The series has a nice concept of small-town corruption where criminals lurk in the seemingly bucolic landscape. Its outlaw hero is hiding in plain sight, a not-always-sympathetic protagonist who wears the disguise of a tough-guy sheriff. Fresh out of prison for a crime we learn about as the episodes progress, Lucas Hood (Antony Starr) lands in Banshee, Pennsylvania, looking for the loot that's owed him. He's also back on the radar of a sinister New York mob boss named Rabbit (Ben Cross, dapper and dangerous), who was the target of the caper that sent Hood up the river. Banshee is in Amish country, a detail that will assert itself in lots of interesting ways over 10 episodes. It's also the kind of place where a charming, determined criminal beast like Hood can disappear while plotting his moves and pulling heists. It's no accident that he ended up in Banshee, though a fortuitous twist of fate allows him to slip in on the lowdown and stick around. It's pure luck when he interrupts a bar fight that claims the life of a guy who has also just come to town--to be installed as the new sheriff. Hood doesn't kill him (though he does kill the killers), but he assumes his identity since the guy's been hired sight unseen by Banshee's young mayor (Daniel Ross Owens). This nifty setup unfolds in a roadhouse run by Sugar Bates (Frankie Faison), an ex-boxer turned barkeep who hides Hood's new secret and helps him along on his duplicitous new life, not least by conveniently letting him move into the room upstairs. Hood pulls off his con for the most part, though his new underlings are puzzled and often put off by his unconventional policing techniques. Matt Servitto, Demetrius Grosse, and Trieste Kelly Dunn as Banshee's deputies all take part in keeping the entire ensemble cast a well-oiled machine. The female lead is Carrie Hopewell (Ivana Milicevic), who was romantic and criminal partners with Hood, but got away when he took the fall for them both after the big score against Rabbit 15 years earlier. Now enveloped in her new identity as the respectable wife of district attorney Gordon Hopewell (Rus Blackwell), Carrie feels the pull of the old days with Hood around--the larceny and the romance both--she says she doesn't have the loot. Hood is skeptical, and he also has a fair amount of doubt over Carrie and Gordon's 15-year-old daughter (!!), with whom he establishes an unusual bond. The other big player in Banshee's cracking good mystery/thriller threads is a local businessman named Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen), who's not so secretly running an assortment of illegal enterprises. He's ex-Amish, which makes for some interesting character depth, as do the complicated relationships he shares with the mayor, the D.A., and now the new sheriff. A sadistic and ruthless presence, Proctor smells a rat in Hood (takes one to know one?), and the plot thickens considerably across the episodes with all the other players whose interconnected suspicions bristle and brew. There's a healthy portion of bloody violence in action-packed unfolding that wears its dramatic, big-budget cable credentials proudly. The same goes for the often gratuitous sex that has become a notable element of Cinemax-branded product. That's the only thing that makes Banshee remotely creepy, even though there are plenty of ghosts in the dark corners and felonious minds of Banshee, PA. --Ted Fry

Special Features

  • NYC Bus Crash
  • Inside the Title Sequence
  • Town of Secrets
  • Banshee Origins
  • Zooming In: Episodes 7 & 8
  • Season 2 Tease Trailer
  • Deleted Scenes
  • 6 Audio Commentaries with Cast and Crew (Eps 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  • Banshee Prequel Comic Book"

Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Starr, Ulrich Thomsen, Ivana Milicevic, Ben Cross
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Box set, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Digital_copy
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: Danish, English, French, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: October 21, 2014
  • Run Time: 600 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,716 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BWDFQXK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,819 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Banshee: Season 1 (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) (Cinemax)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Cinemax, my guilty pleasure. I don't know that Cinemax is even trying to veer away from its "skinemax" rep but it IS trying to flirt with a more legitimate identity as a series provider. STRIKE BACK and HUNTED are addictive shows, but they may not be as huge a guilty pleasure as BANSHEE which is, for my money, even more lurid and gratuitously violent.

For most of its debut episode we don't even know the lead character's name. BANSHEE introduces us to a master thief (Antony Starr) who'd just got done serving fifteen years of hard time. But the thief is anything but rehabilitated. Fueled by rage and longing he tracks down his ex-flame and partner-in-crime to a town in Pennsylvania named Banshee. In a bar on the outskirts of town, he witnesses the brutal death of Banshee's incoming sheriff, Lucas Hood. While burying the sheriff, the thief arrives at one of those last-moment epiphanies. He desperately needs to disappear. No one knows what the new sheriff looks like. It's easy math.

While STRIKE BACK and HUNTED deal more with international intrigue, BANSHEE is very much American Gothic noir. It's a pretty wacky premise that is immediately addictive even though it's got a glaring flaw because for a guy desperate to fall off the grid, there are surely more low-keyed options. But never mind. It's gradually dawned on me that part of the show's appeal is how preposterous it is.

"Lucas Hood" is one of those laconic, hard-boiled characters. Antony Starr brings a super-charged presence to the screen. He's a good-looking bloke and he's got this amazing physicality, but what really sells him is that he's able to channel this immeasurable pain and sadness in his eyes. This is still Cinemax so the show doesn't shy away from a sexual tone.
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Format: Blu-ray
Prepare to be entertained! This show has everything. Every episode better than the last, you will love this show. I watch shows like Justified, The Walking Dead, True Blood, Game of Thrones. Those shows are great but sometimes the plot filler episodes leave you wanting. Not so with Banshee, every episode brings it! Enjoy and spread the word.
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Format: DVD
This show is like the very best of early 90's action flicks all rolled up into one package. Seagal and VanDamme wish they could have been in a show like this! It has kung fu fights, car chases, gun play, snappy dialogue, gratuitous nudity, comedy, drama, and even can be weird at times. I wouldn't have ever imagined Alan Ball being attached to something like this, but with True Blood becoming increasingly worse each season he had to find a new home, and this is a very good one. Each episode is like it's own action movie. The characters are well developed, and the fights are awesomely choreographed. I can't imagine Cinemax sunk a ton of money into the production of this show but what they did invest all shows up on the screen. If you are a fan of 80's and nineties action flicks in the vein of ROADHOUSE, Elmore Leonard stories, or just like a lot of action to numb a bad day at work this show will do that and probably more.
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Format: Blu-ray
Seriously, this show has everything. I've already watched Season 1 three times, its
that good.

I'm a sucker for the Russian Mafia, and we get plenty of diabolical doses here, including
the history of our convict hero turned Sheriff, his estranged girlfriend now married to
the local DA, and the twisted narrative of all the above woven into a small Pennsylvania
town named Banshee that is influenced heavily by a Native American casino, and totally
run by a psychotic genius Amish Mafia chieftain. Its nonstop crazy, and brilliant.

I cant get enough of this show and cant wait for Season 2. Check it out. this is my highest
5 Star recommendation of all time.
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Format: Blu-ray
What Banshee does well is entertain. There's tons of fighting, gunplay, explosions, and scheming, and if that starts to bore you, they'll throw in some gratuitous nudity and sex every 15 minutes to break things up. Everything is shot well and the special effects are top notch.

However, you're really going to have to be willing to suspend disbelief to get through any of the episodes. You're going to have to believe that a thief frantically trying to escape a locked facility with police on the way is going to stop to answer a phone call from his ex-girlfriend, or that he can evade several police cars by running away from them, or that his previously mentioned ex is somehow going to get across town in 2 minutes just in time to pull off an awesome 180-degree stop so he can jump in the back, shoot the tires off a police car (which sends it flying into the air) and then speed away while the rest of the police give up.

That's all in one of the earlier episodes of the show, and trust me when I say the wheels just keep flying off from there. This show is unabashedly over-the-top loud and dumb, and if you can't tolerate groan-inducingly unrealistic things happening every few minutes, you'll probably not enjoy Banshee.
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VERY MINOR SPOILERS:

An adrenaline rush from the first scene. There is no synopsis on Amazon, so I am offering some ad hoc cut/paste from external sources, with some of my own color worked in.

Premise:

"Banshee takes place in the fictional small town of Banshee, Pennsylvania in the an area settled by the Amish. After serving 15 years in prison for stealing diamonds from a Ukrainian gangster called Mr. Rabbit (Ben Cross), with a partner who is also Mr. Rabbit's daughter. The unnamed protagonist travels to Banshee to find his heist accomplice and former lover, Anastasia. When he finds her, the protagonist learns that she is now a married to the local DA, a mother of two and living under the assumed identity of Carrie Hopewell. Later, when the incoming Sheriff is killed (hired by the local mayor sight un-seen), the protagonist takes on his identity as Lucas Hood, becoming the town's new Sheriff. Banshee sees Hood struggle with adapting to his new identity while dealing with the machinations of local crime lord Kai Proctor (shunned former Amish), and remaining hidden from Rabbit"

Without giving away too much of the plot. Hoods allies are a former boxer that both serves as his landlord and runs the local drinking establishment and an Asian cross-dresser that is an elite computer hacker.

There are scenes involving, a motorcycle gang, white supremacists, prison battle between Hood and a giant Albino, run of the mill local white trash bad guys, a fight scene at an Indian casino between Hood & an MMA fighter and less not forget, enough sex scenes to make a porn star blush!

Banshee is high octane in the "Strike Back" mode. If you like Shrike Back, I can't imagine that you would not like Banshee.
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Blue Ray Disc
It's listed as All Regions so, I'm guessing you won't have any problems playing it on your machine or Ps3.
Jul 28, 2013 by B. Ackerman |  See all 2 posts
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