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Thread: Boardwalk Empire on HBO

  1. #141
    FORT Fogey tvaholic's Avatar
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    Re: Boardwalk Empire on HBO

    My daughter just pulled a "Boardwalk Marathon". She used on demand and watched all of the shows so that she could catch up. So ,today, she was asking my opinion of some of the things that have happened. She asked about the FBI agent and his obsession with Margaret. I said, what ever I said, and she said that he knew her before! I guess that I missed this one but (and I'm not certain about how it was said) something was said about him either trying to prevent her from entering the country or something about her early days here. My daughter isn't home, right now, so I can't ask. Do any of you remember this? I don't but now I feel the need to go back and watch that episode again. Maybe this explains why he's always looking at that old photo of her. What do you guys think?

  2. #142
    Got wings 9/19/2012 buglover's Avatar
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    Re: Boardwalk Empire on HBO

    Margaret lost the child that she was carrying that allowed her to enter the country to be safe. I think he was looking at that to try to figure out a way to control her as well as his lust for her.
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  3. #143
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    Re: Boardwalk Empire on HBO

    Critic's notebook: Steve Buscemi is the surprise element that makes 'Boardwalk Empire' work

    Lacking the traditional good looks and charm of gangsters in previous films in the genre, the character actor brings a fresh, low-key approach to the HBO series.

    By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic

    "Boardwalk Empire" is one of those Big and Important shows, which means it came with a lot of baggage. Martin Scorsese baggage, "The Sopranos" baggage and general HBO-is-back-in-the-game baggage.

    Combining the two major threads of Scorsese's oeuvre, "Boardwalk Empire" is a period film focusing on gangsters, this time during the early days of Prohibition. As with "The Sopranos," it showcases the contrast between men who grow increasingly ruthless in their "work" sphere while remaining, or struggling to remain, somewhat humane in their domestic lives. If not instantly generating a "Sopranos" or "Deadwood" level of devotion, "Boardwalk Empire" has performed well and received almost universally positive reviews.

    Except for its star.

    Get breaking entertainment news, delivered to your mobile phone. Text ENTERTAIN to 52669.

    Casting Steve Buscemi as Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, the man who runs Atlantic City with utter and charmingly matter-of-fact corruption, was an unorthodox decision. With his bulging pug eyes, jack-o'-lantern mouth and air of bony twitchiness, Buscemi is the living definition of character actor. From his role as the frighteningly hilarious hit man in "Fargo" to Tony Blundetto in "The Sopranos," Buscemi is a custom-made weasel he even voiced the bad guy in "Monsters, Inc."

    Now, suddenly, he is the conflicted heart of "Boardwalk Empire," a man who gets a big cut from every deal in town and more showgirl action than Tony Soprano. He also reaches out to aid, then love, Margaret Schroeder (the always lovely Kelly Macdonald), the gentle wife of an abusive alcoholic. (When Nucky has him killed, the viewer can't help but feel it is for the best; Nucky is that kind of character, "Boardwalk Empire" that kind of show.)

    He is, in short, the character we are much more accustomed to see being played by the handsome guys, by Robert De Niro or Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino or Daniel Day-Lewis. The power-mad but still soulful commander of lawless men whose own narcissism and murderous impulses are made more palatable by physical attractiveness. Even James Gandolfini, though not classically handsome, radiates a teddy-bear sweetness and a barrel-chested sexuality.

    Buscemi, not so much. Before "Boardwalk Empire," audiences no doubt believed they could live rich and full lives without ever once seeing Buscemi lip-locked with a topless beauty or in tender and shirtless afterglow. And some believe it still.

    Many of the early reviews for the show's premiere included a negative referendum on Buscemi and the criticism continues. Buscemi, some feel, does not command the screen, does not radiate the kind of roiling storm of machismo yearning we have come to expect from our anti-heroes. Buscemi just isn't hot.

    Which is why he is the Absolute Best Thing about the show.

    For all its period detail and pedigree, "Boardwalk Empire" is nothing new. It's a gangster tale, made a tiny bit fresh by its time and place, by the in-your-face presence of the temperance movement (although what promised to be a complex and interesting portrait of these women in the pilot has devolved in subsequent episodes). The acting is good, as is the writing, but most of what happens is fairly predictable.

    Except Buscemi.

    His presence, and his performance, remind us what power and corruption actually look like most of the time, and it isn't a young Robert De Niro.

    Nucky is not a noble criminal, he's in it for the dough. He will order the murder of the abusive drunk but it doesn't cross his mind that the temperance movement might actually have a point about "demon alcohol." He treats fellow mobsters and federal agents with the same level of exasperation that he shows when the midgets he's hired to play leprechauns on St. Patrick's Day ask for a raise the man may run Atlantic City, but he is not above haggling with a midget over a few bucks.

    Not surprisingly, he has father issues the scene in which he burns down his childhood home was gorgeous and unexpected, mainly because it was the first time Nucky chose message over money. When he orders a beating or a murder it is with a sense of irritation now I'm going to deal with this guy when I'd much rather be getting my shoes shined rather than either the Shakespearean thunder or psychosis that so many actors feel obligated to conjure when playing a mobster.

    Buscemi's Nucky isn't a psycho or a dark angel; he's a guy on the take who kind of wishes he could have a literate wife and maybe some kids, but doesn't want to give up the hotel suite or the control. Nucky is, like many criminals, stunted, his life nothing more than a well-furnished but still well-worn cage.

    Buscemi's portrait of power is more chilling and thought-provoking than the average gangster because it doesn't let Nucky, or the audience, off the hook. You can loathe him because he's corrupt, feel for him because he is human or a little of both. But you don't get to root for him just because he's good-looking.
    Critic's notebook: Steve Buscemi is the surprise element that makes 'Boardwalk Empire' work - latimes.com
    Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment. --Dorothy Parker

  4. #144
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    Re: Boardwalk Empire on HBO

    Thanks for posting this, BritLit. Great review and right on. Love the show and looking forward to tonight's episode.

    Getting more and more curious about Nucky's relationship with (and to) Jimmy. I watched last week's show again last night and noticed that right after Jimmy, in jail, asked Nucky about getting help from his father, Nucky showed up at the commodore's mansion. Then, although I don't remember the exact conversation, the commodore said something about replacing Eli, and Bucky replied that it was a cold comment. Wjy should the commodore really care about Eli, unless there is some reason we don't know about? Could the commodore be related to all three of the men? Perhaps the man we think is Nucky's father ... isn't. What do we know about Nucky's mother? I love how we are kept guessing with these unclear but intriguing relationships and cryptic remarks.

  5. #145
    Frankly, my dear BritLit's Avatar
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    Re: Boardwalk Empire on HBO

    Jimmy's father seems to be one of the mysteries of the season, doesn't it? I checked IMDB, and the only characters in the entire season with the last name Darmody are Jimmy and his son Tommy. I noticed last week that the Commodore had a monogram of his robe, LK. I assume that means his character is based on the real commodore of Atlantic City at the time, Louis Kaestner. Doesn't exclude him from being Jimmy Darmody's TV Dad

    I thought the series got off to a bit of a slow start, but I'm glad I stuck with it--I've become a big fan!
    Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment. --Dorothy Parker

  6. #146
    Vidiot 13 is a Winner Champion Poppy Fields's Avatar
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    Re: Boardwalk Empire on HBO

    Here's a tidy recap of the actual historical people this show is about, and the fictional inventions or enhancements:

    Getting to Know the Characters of Boardwalk Empire
    "Blessed is the lonesome pioneer." -- Judee Sill (1973, "There's a Rugged Road")

  7. #147
    Got wings 9/19/2012 buglover's Avatar
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    Re: Boardwalk Empire on HBO

    Did the agent know that the whore was Nucky's ex mistress? He didn't seem to want any information out of her but I was thinking to myself, does he know who she is?
    Yup, with donuts!!

  8. #148
    Vidiot 13 is a Winner Champion Poppy Fields's Avatar
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    Re: Boardwalk Empire on HBO

    Quote Originally Posted by buglover;4112308;
    Did the agent know that the whore was Nucky's ex mistress? He didn't seem to want any information out of her but I was thinking to myself, does he know who she is?
    He had a little file on her with her photo. I think we are watching Van Alden completely unravel. First there was his inappropriate visit to Margaret's home, then the secuction of Lucy. Did you notice she called him "Daddy?" It's as if, for her, the act is always a replay
    Last edited by Poppy Fields; 11-23-2010 at 01:00 PM.
    "Blessed is the lonesome pioneer." -- Judee Sill (1973, "There's a Rugged Road")

  9. #149
    Got wings 9/19/2012 buglover's Avatar
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    Re: Boardwalk Empire on HBO

    That whole scene at Margaret's place made my skin crawl. After it happened, I fully expected her to tell Nucky about it, but she didn't. I also thought that Van Alden would be let go after the other agent was only given a slap on the wrist and told to take a week off.
    Yup, with donuts!!

  10. #150
    Got wings 9/19/2012 buglover's Avatar
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    Re: Boardwalk Empire on HBO

    I'm watching Law and Order SVU from a while back and the actress who plays Lucy is one of the victims. I thought she talked the way she does on the show as part of her character but turns out she actually talks that way! Weird.
    Yup, with donuts!!

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