243 of 256 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a Brilliant Modern Western That Doesn't Insult Westerners
I stumbled upon Longmire on Amazon Prime and was surprised I had never heard of it...it made me realize that all of the fancy behavioral targeting that Google, Amazon and Facebook do aren't a finely-honed craft yet. How could I have never heard of a show that is so perfectly targeted to me? I am a male in my mid-30s, I love police dramas and Westerns, I own a Ford Bronco,...
Published on July 9, 2012 by Justin J Wheeler
20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read the books!
If you're looking for Walt Longmire or any of the cast of characters in the books, look elsewhere. I watched the first couple of episodes on TNT and thought I'd take a look at the books. I've become addicted to the books, the TV series not so much.
Notwithstanding, the characters are not Craig Johnson's; but the stories have been hacked to the point of...
Published 22 months ago by Margaret Hamlin
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243 of 256 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a Brilliant Modern Western That Doesn't Insult Westerners,
This review is from: Longmire: The Complete First Season [HD] (Amazon Instant Video)
I stumbled upon Longmire on Amazon Prime and was surprised I had never heard of it...it made me realize that all of the fancy behavioral targeting that Google, Amazon and Facebook do aren't a finely-honed craft yet. How could I have never heard of a show that is so perfectly targeted to me? I am a male in my mid-30s, I love police dramas and Westerns, I own a Ford Bronco, I own and shoot firearms, I grew up in Utah and currently own ranch property in Idaho, and I regularly purchase Filson, Carhartt and other clothing worn and featured on the show. The show is set in Wyoming, the lead drives a Bronco and wears Filson & Carhartt clothing...15 years from now I could be him.
Yet even with all that, I'd never heard of this gem. Longmire combines all of the elements of a great Western with those of the modern Cop drama, and wraps both neatly into a comfortable and extremely realistic presentation of Wyoming life. The show is brilliantly filmed as well, with shots that the vast majority of television shows simply do not dare to attempt, but Longmire balances artistic shots (like a close up shot of a teardrop hitting his dirty boot when Longmire has to tell a woman her husband has been killed) with classical Western-theme shots: fans of High Noon and Lonesome Dove will feel right at home.
In a world of formula cop dramas and over the top western-themed shows filled with anachronisms and melodrama, Longmire is massively refreshing, engrossing and wonderful. Conflicted, complex characters, well developed story lines and a sense of realism not generally allowed out of the Hollywood Polish machine.
As a resident of a Western state, I feel like there is finally a show that represents Westerners as real people. Intelligent, passionate, flawed & conflicted, but above all real people. Wyoming isn't fly-over country filled with fly-over simple folks who don't represent enough Electoral votes to worry about when it comes to producing good, quality television programming. In an era where Hollywood is so focused on preaching to us with News Room or telling us we're nothing but dumb hillbillies mostly missing teeth, it was amazing to find a show that got it, and so perfectly.
If you're a Westerner, you'll love Longmire. It won't insult you and it's very well produced. If you're a non-Westerner, may want to check it out to help you realize not everyone who lives between CA and NY is a Yokle or a school-teaching drug dealer. This is how good TV can be.
Summing up: Extremely well acted, written and produced, Longmire is the best show I've seen on TV (in this case on Amazon) this year. I heartily recommend it and want to say THANK YOU to A&E for having the vision to let this show be produced and aired.
81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Western Mystery Series,
If you like Big Sky Country and mysteries, this series seems like a perfect marriage of the two. It is worth watching for the scenery and rustic interiors alone. Based on a popular mystery series by Craig Johnson, the sheriff, Walt Longmire, is skillfully played as an independent, compassionate but tough lawman who is recovering from the death of his wife. Australian actor Robert Taylor plays this role but leaves his accent down under. At first he seemed nondescript to me. Couldn't pick him out in a line-up, but his magnetism grows on you. He has got an abrasive and occasionally annoying female deputy, Vic, whose impulsive energy is the perfect foil for his understated demeanor.
Series that are based on novels seems to have more depth of detail and nuances. Look forward to seeing future episodes. I think this is going to be a popular series as it has the essentials: likable detective, inspired casting, gorgeous setting, rustic western decor, complex plots and characters, and interesting dialogue.
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic Western Mysteries (a review of the whole first season),
The Rocky Mountain West, including Wyoming, is a unique part of the country. It isn't the Midwest, and it isn't even remotely like the West Coast. Here, for better or worse, the old mountain man ethos lives on--the rugged individual, fighting alone, up against Nature Red in Tooth and Claw. The worst teeth and claws, though, belong to fellow humans.
Sheriff Walt Longmire is feeling a little old and tired, and he's still grieving his wife's death, but he keeps on because he's driven to fight those evils and to protect the young, the weak, the vulnerable. His best friend, Henry Standing Bear, is a Cheyenne who owns and runs a bar--the Red Pony--out on the border of the rez. Henry keeps well in touch with his spiritual roots, and his laconic but peppery advice keeps Walt in line.
Then there's Walt's grown daughter Cady, a lovely--and pretty hot--lawyer; there's Branch, the handsome, up-and-coming deputy who wants Walt's job; there's Victoria Moretti, the blonde, no-nonsense deputy from Philadelphia Walt trusts, and The Ferg, who is also a deputy and would like to be a good one when he grows up; there's Ruby, the office manager who keeps him tethered to the community no matter how far he wanders into the wilderness of mountains or his own mind--the list of great secondary characters goes on and on.
The Western natural settings are authentic (though not actually shot in Wyoming), and the brooding wide open spaces join the cast in creating stories that blend the recent half-civilized past with the not-quite-civilized present. The actors are well-chosen for their parts, especially Robert Taylor as Walt, Lou Diamond Phillips as Henry, and Bailey Chase as Branch, and they all do a stellar job of portraying their characters. The dialog is NOT crisp--we westerners don't talk that way--it's real and telling.
If you like stories about the genuine contemporary West, or if you like character-driven mysteries, you will love these episodes. My only criticism, the eternal caveat of a reader, is that the filmed stories are not as good as the books that inspired them, even though author Craig Johnson was a close adviser. Enjoy the television episodes--and then find Johnson's terrific books to really enter Walt's world and get to know him and the other characters.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real West,
I have read all of the Walt Longmire books and met the author a number of times since he and his wife live about 80 miles north of Casper, Wyoming where I live. The feel of the series, so far, is very like the books and has the same sense of the wide open country and gritty people. The books do have more humor, but that may come out as the series goes along. The tv programs share most of the charactors from the books while creating new stories. I think that Taylor does a great job creating a believable Walt along with the rest of the cast. I do hope that they show more background shots of Wyoming and the Big Horn Mountains even though they are shooting the programs in New Mexico. One minor nit to pick on the first show is Walt calling a flock of ravens a kindness. Being a birder I know that a flock of ravens can be called a "unkindness" as anyone who has seen ravens at a carcass will agree. I think that this is the best Western themed show in tv since "Gun Smoke". jot
66 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Longmire is the Justified of the summer!,
I have only ever paid for 2 tv programs, Justified, and now Longmire. Once I saw the pilot episode, I knew A&E had a hit. I am really excited to see what this season has to offer and am already left wanting many seasons to come. Thanks A&E!
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the books but still worth watching,
I discovered the first book as a Kindle Daily Deal and quickly became enthralled. I knew there was supposed to be a series coming, checked and found it here. I watched all 4 of the first ones over the weekend and found them enjoyable. (I appreciated the opportunity to sign up for all as they become available, paying along the way. This way I don't have to keep checking to see if there are new ones to watch.) I'll continue to work my way through the books, though, and treasure every minute reading his exceptional writing. If you have to choose, pick the books. They last longer and are exceptional compared to enjoyable.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what Westerns used to be,
I started watching Longmire because it's filmed in the state of New Mexico and I have friends there. However, I continued to watch it because it's the old fashioned kind of western with a modern day twist. Longmire reminds me of people I know in the Southwest, warts and all. Lou Diamond Phillips makes a nice counterpoint to Longmire's character. The plots are tight and the characters are well drawn -- no one is a cardboard characture. The topics are modern day problems such as religious tolerance and the drug trade. You get the feeling that if Marshal Dillon had lived in modern times, he'd be just like Longmire. Bottom Line: Highly recommend it..
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first show to get my attention in forever,
It is the only TV series I have ever recommended to my close friends. If you hold onto the belief that there are still some good people left in this country, you will enjoy this series. Sheriff Longmire has some issues that he is working through, like all of us, but he is doing his level best. His generation has hit it's peak, but he still has valuable wisdom to pass to the next. Any series that deals with Indian culture and issues is welcome, especially in the present tense. Watch the Pilot first.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it, but with some reservations,
This review is from: Longmire: The Complete First Season (Amazon Instant Video)
First off, I've read a few of the books, and I really love the character of Sheriff Walt Longmire. That said, I have a couple of small complaints on the show. I'll get to those in a moment.
Lets talk about some good stuff, first. The plots are well thought out, and provide for some interesting twists and turns. I particulary liked the outcome in one of the shows where everything looked to be fowl play, and in the end the death was caused by a tragic accident. I won't give too much away, but enjoyed the deviation from criminal misconduct. The other good things are the actors. I thought they were well chosen for thier roles. I initially (after having read the books) had a hard time feeling that Henry Standing Bear was well represented, but it all worked out nicely as I watched.
Now, lets look at a few things that made this a four star show for me, rather than a five star show. I can't stand it when script writers interject their personal opinions into a show to try to sway public opinion on an issue. Within the first four episodes there were several incidents that either displayed an utter ignorance toward firearms and gun ownership, or worse yet... an utter contempt for gun ownership. I sucked up their mounting modern optics on a classic blackpowder cartridge rifle, and calling it a "powerful sniper rifle". Describing the .45-70 cartridge as a powerful cartridge that most people wouldn't need. Well, ok, we'll chalk all of that up to ignorance. But, to make matters worse the producer's anti-gun ignorance came out with the quote about living in a world "where anyone can order an AK-47 over the internet." This is a factually incorrect statement, intended to sway viewers' opinions, and not in accordance with the experience of any rural law enforcement officer. First, AK-47s are not legal without a Class III license, huge fee and background investigation conducted by the FBI. The semi-automatic clones of the AK-47, which can be purchased at an FFL dealer with an appropriate background check are not assault rifless by definition, but are popular with collectors for a current cost of about $600-900.00.
My next majo complaint would be with uniformity. As sheriff, Walt Longmire will likely wear some form of civilian clothes, as that is an elected position, but he may well wear the department uniform, too. We'll cut him a little slack. However, Vick's attempt to sexy up her uniform, and never wearing the department headgear (a Stetson), may well land her in a bit of trouble. Beyond that, it looks like the department issues Glock autos, so why in the heck is ferg still packing around an antique? That wouldn't fly where I work. Even knowing I'm a 1911 guy, my employer requires that the Glock 22 or 23 are the firearms carried on duty. I suppose for most departments these days, it is all about liability. I don't see Ferg's wheel gun making any friends on the department.
Oh, one more thing, while we're talking about department guns. Just who carries a 1911 with the hammer down? Just wondering. I'm surprised to see Walt carrying the 1911 in a holster without a strap, and with the hammer down. I guess that is all about the viewers, and all about some serious gun ignorance, too.
It probably seems like I've hammered away at the show pretty badly. I guess, so. However, I still enjoyed the plots well enough to give it four stars. Part of that probably stems from my having been stationed in the Black Hills as an Army recruiter some years back, and my admiration for the people and region. It probably got an extra star for scenery and the mix of rancher and reservation.
Enjoy the story, but you'll need to wrestle through the anti-gun, gun-ignorance portions if you are a shooter. Cops, you'll need to wrestle through a bit more. If you can't take the show, do read the books, they are fantastic!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...peacekeeping in the wide, open spaces...,
This review is from: Longmire: Season 1 (DVD)
In today's frazzled, frenzied world Sheriff Walt Longmire slows his roll. He takes his time. His bailiwick lies under the open skies of Absaroka, Wyoming. Adapting author Craig Johnson's Western mystery novels, LONGMIRE charts a more leisurely course, far removed from the hi-tech hustle and bustle of them CSI shows. It celebrates the stillness of a man, the grace of listening and of paying attention. Walt Longmire is very much a product of his environs, patient and a man of few words and keenly observant. But he's had a year's worth of awful, his wife dyin', his subsequent fall from grace, his descent into dark depression. At last he pulls himself up, begins again to take an interest in keeping the peace and mending fences with his attorney daughter Katie (Cassidy Freeman). And it's good timing. Murder and other sorts of unkindness have breached Absaroka.
I was appalled when AMC started halfassing it as a classic film network, and now here's A&E subverting its original mission statement. I had no idea that A&E programming had branched out from producing biographies and prestigious British dramas. But while I condemn the network for selling out and dipping into the realm of reality shows, it keeps a sliver of its soul by broadcasting LONGMIRE, this compelling contemporary western detective series.
I won't lie. Katee Sackhoff brung me here. But it's Robert Taylor's impeccable, world-weary performance that keeps me coming back. Robert Taylor looks like John Schneider's tougher, more careworn brother. His role calls for a laconic approach but also a certain soulfulness. Longmire is a broken, devastated person, still reeling from his wife's passing. This sense of loss colors everything he does. Longmire embodies that aphorism, "Still waters run deep." When you least expect it, he'll break down a Latin phrase for you.
The cases the sheriff's office investigates aren't the big draw, although there's fun in watching Longmire and his staff work under the constraints of limited, outdated resources (Longmire himself doesn't own a cell phone). But it's all about the examination of character and the interplay among the cast. The complex relationships keep it interesting. Before Longmire's rededication to his craft, when he was wallowing in grief, his slick, ambitious deputy, Branch Connally (Bailey Chase), decided to run against him for reelection. Deputy Connally smirks: "Given the choice between some fresh thinkin' and a tired absentee sheriff drivin' around with empty beer cans all over the floor of his truck, I like my odds." It makes for good water cooler talk, having a smug snake in the grass.
I love Katee Sackhoff's take on whatever role she's playing. She always puts her own distinctive spin on it. You can't take your eyes off her, not only because she's very easy on the eyes, but because she's always doing something interesting when she acts, a look, a mannerism, that big smile. Her Victoria "Vic" Moretti - former Philly homicide detective, now six months in as sheriff's deputy in Absaroka - is a sexy, take-no-crap sort of woman who is endlessly loyal to Longmire. And so what if maybe the dress code doesn't seem to apply to her? In big, open-skied Wyoming, you're surely allowed a few buttons unbuttoned.
YOUNG GUNS 2 and, don't judge me, THE POWER will always be my two favorite Lou Diamond Phillips pictures. But you can't deny that he lends tremendous depth as Henry Standing Bear, Longmire's wise and capable Cheyenne best friend. One of the show's thru arcs revolves around whatever shady skullduggery Longmire and Standing Bear got up to in Denver a year back. Standing Bear's signature flourish is that he talks like he's got a grudge against contractions. Meanwhile, Adam Bartley as "The Ferg" Ferguson, a well-meaning but bumbling sheriff's deputy whom Walt hired to do a solid for Ferg's pops, serves as the Enos Strate of the series. The Ferg provides laughs and earnestness and a big heart. Okay, I realize I'd just gone three paragraphs breaking down the cast, but they mean that much to the show.
Stetsons and jeans and guzzling Rainier beer and navigating a beat-up Ford Bronco, that's how it's done in Absaroka if you've got the big badge. The series opens just as Walt Longmire reckons it's time he gets back in the mix: mend some fences, solve some crimes, maybe take down his ambitious deputy a peg or three. Is Longmire an old relic? Or does he still have game? He's grown odd. He compulsively picks up litter. He keeps his wife's ashes in a tea box in the kitchen. Can he keep the peace, never mind his office's infighting and the surge in murders and that the Cheyenne reservation's territorial tribal police often gets in the way? Set in a rugged, unspoiled landscape, where man and nature commune, is he the lawman to take on murderous Mennonites and mobile brothels and fearsome dog soldiers? And just what the he11 happened in Denver? Mister, you just got to tune in.
LONGMIRE - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON has its ten episodes on two discs. The bonus stuff consist of two featurettes:
- "The Camera's Eye: Realizing the World of Longmire - Set against the backdrop of the West, the world of the cowboy detective is revealed" (00:18:53 minutes)
- "Longmire Justice: Exploring the Cowboy Detective - We see how the American tradition of the cowboy and the detective genre blend so well together" (00:28:57 minutes)
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