Deadwood: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 21, 2010
The time is 1876 and the setting is Deadwood, South Dakota. The re-imagining of a legendary place that has become mythic makes for raw and entertaining TV. Now that all 36 episodes have finally become available on a Blu-ray 13 disc collection (36 plus hours!), this is satisfying like a long novel -- even if there are themes, threads and stories left unresolved and many diversions with minor characters.

From the beginning, HBO's publicity has positioned this western around lawlessness and greed. It's also gritty and profane. Deadwood is a place of misfits as well as real historical figures like Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. It may indeed be a "hell of a place to seek your fortune where everyone and everything has its price." But what makes it interesting and ironic is that no one seems to know the true value of anything.

Fans of the show will appreciate the more than 4 hours of bonus content including: "The Meaning of Endings," "The Real Deadwood," "Q & A with Cast and Creative Team," "Deadwood 360' Tour" and more. Starring Ian McShane and Timothy Olyphant.

Was this a reflection of the real west? No, probably not, but it sure seems like it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2009
After executing his last legally ordained job as a Montana marshal, Seth Bullock moves to a gold-mining camp known as Deadwood, where he and his partner Sol Star strike a deal with Al Swearengen, on a lot for their hardware store...

While suspicions arise that 'road agents' may have been the true perpetrators of the killing of an entire family on the Spearfish road, competition arrives for Swearengen in the form of the Bella Union, a new joint from Chicago operated by Cy Tolliver...

Deadwood--a town without any laws or courts--is the center of a gold rush and is presided over by Al Swearengen, a saloon owner, and a brothel operator... His showing makes two different things between the coward and the lapse of momentary fear... Let him doubt those he's trusted, this camp will run red with blood...

The show centers on Seth Bullock, a young man with a powerful temper who got a lot of Hickok's qualities... But being a man with an active conscience Bullock declines to accept the horrors around him...

We are rapidly introduced to most of the other important characters:

Wild Bill Hickok--an asset to any saloon, and any joint he frequents--comes to look for business opportunity and sits there, losing at poker... He is the fastest gun around... While his respect for Bullock grows, he commissions 'Montana' to do a review of the Garret claim...

Cochran--the town doctor who takes heat from Al Swearengen every time one of the whores is poorly sick--was full of opinion and took the most comprehensive view when he treated the bright widow... Now he doesn't feel at such perfect liberty to opine on her husband's case as he did on hers...

E.B. Farnum--Judas Goat looking fellow, coyote-moving type--is Swearengen's water boy, the innkeeper of a thousand faces staring straight at extinction...

Brom Garret--the naïve city investor who had to go all his $20,000 to turn Farnum away and purchase a gold claim--pursues his remedies in some other fashion...

Sophia--the little survivor--could settle who killed her people, road agents or Sioux...

Jewel--born with difficulties and hardships that got no cure--wants the doctor to brace her leg so her dragging it doesn't drive Swearengen crazy...

Charlie Utter--who considers himself an important hand at the freight business-- plays a man too loyal and honest for his own good...

Whitney Ellsworth--who saw something he shouldn't have, a man pushed off from a ridge--seemed very competent and trustworthy...

Mr. Wu--the only source of opium in the camp--finds a common language with Searengen when an opium theft occurs...

Smith--the Reverend who has a distinct, clear set of morals--knows from past experience that it's a solace having friends...

Ian McShane is a joy to watch... He gives a first-class performance as Al Swearengen, the oppressive boss who can order the execution of any man in the settlement with just a word... McShane who runs his Gem with the help of his cronies, emits power in every order he gives...

While McShane is a marvelous villain who generates a palpable menace, Boothe is maniacally evil as Cy exuding despicable charm ... Well dressed Cy is the gentleman on the outside while more cruel as Swearengen in beating, kicking, and killing...

Such a performer was found with Timothy Olyphant, very effective as a formal marshal who understands the danger of his own temperament... Seth Bullock stood before Alma Garret as a married man to his brother's widow after he was killed... He took their five-year-old boy as his own son...

The 4 show women that are trapped in a man's world are: Molly Parker as Mrs. Garret, the beautiful addict wife who suspects foul play... She inevitably feels she's had some part in what befalls her husband; Kim Dickens as Joanie Stubbs, the very attractive solitary woman who uses to make Cy warm; Paula Malcomson as Trixie, the prostitute who must've done some fancy to keep Al from Killing her... She tries to help Alma with the orphaned child while keeping her master in the dark; Robin Weigert as Calamity Jane, the sewer mouth that follows Hickok around... When she confronts the greasy-haired dangerous man who pulls all the strings, she fell apart, broken and weak...

There's something powerful and moving about 'Deadwood'... It's truly a drama of memorable characters, dark and ultra-violent... If you love Westerns, don't miss it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2011
Rich characters, shocking stories and surprising twists is what HBO's Deadwood is made up of. Characters that I didn't like at first I ended up loving at the end. I was left with my jaw hanging open in many episodes...I loved how you never knew what was going to happen. The language of Deadwood seems a bit tacky at first but once you get into the show it just goes with the time and place in history. And there really is not very much nudity AT ALL. This TV series is loosely based on the real story of the town of Deadwood. The last disc is filled with interesting tidbits on the real town and is not to be missed. I would have loved to see where this show would have gone if it had not ended so abruptly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2011
Great! The style of dress of a backwater 19th century frontier town is convincingly "period". The quaint style of 19th century conversation is "period". However, I'm not sure the foul language portrayed here would have been as common in 1876 as it is in this series, even in a whore house. About the characterizations, I'm reminded of the line from a pop tune of a few years ago: "There ain't no good guys. There ain't no bad guys. There's just you and me, and we just can't agree." Refreshing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2009
Raw, unfiltered, life & language. The way life really was.
This type of production goes beyond Sam Pekinpah's "The Wild Bunch"
If you can get past the profanity the rest of the dialogue is very impactful. The character development is very interesting, especially in the way they resolve personal conflicts.
I thoroughly enjoyed the series.
I wish it had continued.
Maybe there will be a sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2012
bought it as i never saw this one and really wanted :-)

well, english is not my mother tongue. i dont really understand so much what they are talking about. sometimes it is like that. guess it is the former thing to talk like.
but i know what it is about.

well. love those kind of movies. enjoying to watch it.
worth its money of 77 dollars.

buy it if you like easy western, all played in the new town of deadwood. no really native american style western movie
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2011
I was disappointed with HBO not so much that they cancelled Deadwood, but the ending was not very good. They had said that they were going to have a movie to give closure to the series but they never did. I was so disgusted with HBO for that ending I cancelled HBO and have not subscribed again. That being said, the series is great and I purchased it on DVD but two of the discs failed in Season 2 and I didn't buy it again. When it came out on blu ray and with the great price Amazon had I couldn't resist and purchased it. I've had no issues with the discs and I still have the same feeling about the show, a great series but a poor ending, but still worth watching.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2012
HBO's Deadwood is one of the best westerns I have ever seen. It is very revisionist, in the sense that it does not really meet ones expectations of a western. First, it takes place in the Black Hills in the Dakota territory, not in Arizona, New Mexico or Kansas. I used to live in Rapid City, not far from the town of Deadwood and I got a tickle out of hearing about places and events that were local to the area. That said, the revisionist aspect of this story is what is so great about it, because this is probably what the real old west was really like. Some observations from the show, good and bad.

1.) The most talked about criticismof the show is the swearing. I have to agree that there is WAY too much. Not that I am a prude and that my ears started bleeding or anything, it's just that the swearing is very modern in its using, using terms that did not enter into the common vernacular until the 20th century. This may seem like a really prudish nitpick, but it is really glaring. The rest of the show gets everything else right from the sights, attitudes, costumes and locales, that this is very off-putting. It is almost as odd as seeing Wild Bill Hickock draw an M-16 and shoot somebody. It takes away from an otherwise great show. This is the ONLY reason I gave this a 4-star review rather than 5-stars.

2.) Ian McShane's protrayal of Al Swearingen is one of the most morally complex characters in modern story telling. He starts off as a murdering killer, a runner of prostitues and drugs and unofficial boss of the town. This is a man that would and does kill anyone at the drop of a hat. But, like most people in real life, the more you get to understand his point of view and what caused him to act the way he does, you realize he may be the most honest and upright citizen in the whole town, especially as foreign influences start creeping in. You would never think that such a cruel, evil man could be the bulwark defender of a new city, but he is. And it doesn't seem contrived, but fits perfectly into his motivations and world view.

3.) The same goes for the rest of the cast. Everyone has secrets and odd motivators to their actions that don't always turn out the way you think they will. The show is always unpredictable, and that is what made it great.

4.) The show ended too abruptly. I am not exactly sure what possessed HBO to cancel the show since it was one of the top-rated shows on television. But because of the abrupt cancelation, it ends very abruptly and strangely with the way the story was going. However, maybe that is the way real life works. In any case, it was perfectly in tune with the way the show worked.

The show is, like most HBO shows, definitely in hard R territory and should not be watched by people with children or who have delicate sensibilities. The characters are often hard, cruel and merciless, but that was the world they inhabited and the situations of the times. One should not kid themselves that the old west was like a John Wayne or Bonanza scenario where fights, while common, are faily bloodless and killing is sterile. The old west was dirty, violent and brutish. But it is where a lot of our culture today came evolved from, and to understand where we are, we have to understand where we have been. While I am not saying this is an accurate historical document, because it is fictional, it is a good lens into the past and what life was really like.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2013
Lets just get this out of the way right up front for those who can't tolerate salty language: HEY, THIS SERIES IS FULL OF SALTY LANGUAGE. IF IT BOTHERS YOU, DO NOT BUY THIS!!!

Ok, now that I have attempted to warn everyone lets talk about the series...

Casting: It's about as good as it gets really. How good? In my mind, everyone on the cast is now type-cast as "Bullock, Star... etc...". They are all great and all chosen wisely.

Story: Pretty sold week-to-week / episode to episode. Overall a lot better than most westerns, but there are some weak parts.

Setting: Again like the casting, about perfect... tough to fault any of it.

Probably one of the best things HBO has been a part of, minus Band Of Brothers which IMO is thee best. If you like westerns, if you like great characters, if your meek, little ears can tolerate a little adult language, this is a must buy at $65 for the BluRay set.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2011
Deadwood is one of my top 10 favorite television shows of all time. It's modern day Shakespeare. There's something for everyone to enjoy. However, some may not be able to get past the violence and the profanity. This is unfortunate, since the writing and the acting in this series is absolutely superb.

Having ordered from Amazon - The set was well packaged when it arrived, however, a couple of the corners of the box must have been damaged prior to shipping. Nothing terrible, but I wish I could find a place to buy goods at a reasonable price that were in pristine condition.

Quality of the set - I don't know who designed the box but it is not well suited for storing DVDs. The DVDs themselves slide into sleeves of cardboard that have no protection on them. A couple of the DVDs have already been scratched. Also, there is no good way to take the DVDs out of the box without putting a fingerprint on the side that gets read.
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