Check out our review of the complete series of this superbly crafted HBO program that follows the exploits of Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) as he builds his successful Atlantic City-based bootlegging empire and takes on a roster of ripped-from-the-headlines rivals, including Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and Arnold Rothstein.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
HBO – 2010 to 2014
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French DTS 5.1, Spanish Stereo
English SDH, French, Latin, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Steve Buscemi, Kelly MacDonald, Michael Shannon, Shea Whigam, Michael Stuhbarg, Stephan Graham, Vincent Piazza, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Pitt, Anthony Lacura, Paul Sparks, Jack Huston, Charlie Cox, Bobby Cannavale, Stephen Root, Gretchen Mohl, Dabney Coleman, Jeffrey Wright, Patricia Arquette, Ron Livingston, Anatol Yusef, Ben Rosenfield
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
May 19, 2015
"When alcohol was outlawed, outlaws became kings"
In Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Series
, fans of the hit HBO series can follow Nucky's (Steve Buscemi) journey over the course of five seasons as he builds his successful Atlantic City-based bootlegging empire and takes on a roster of ripped-from-the-headlines rivals, including Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and Arnold Rothstein. Presented for the first time as a complete series set, the release also includes a brand new bonus disc featuring several pieces of never-before-seen content.
My wife and I watched Boardwalk Empire
right from the start and really enjoyed it. The world of Nucky Thompson and his cohorts is brimming with seedy characters, double dealing, gangland violence and hidden passion. Relationships some old and new are both developed and tested and there is no question that the ante is upped as blood has to be spilled if “order” is to be restored. Aside from the mob mentality there are a variety of subplots that make for great diversions.
Concluding a powerful and groundbreaking run, Boardwalk Empire’s
Season 5 jumps forward six full years to 1931. In stark contrast with the Roaring '20s, the country is in the throes of the Great Depression, and with the end of Prohibition in sight, Nucky is looking to legitimize himself by forging alliances with liquor producers, including Bacardi in Cuba. The final season also includes flashback sequences of Nucky’s earlier life as a boy and young man between 1884 and 1900 and features Eli, the Commodore, Gillian and other key players that together, would shape their relationships and their futures. Last but not least season five shows us how Nucky’s story ends.
Over the past five seasons Boardwalk Empire
continued to push the envelope rewarding us with taut writing and apt direction as the narrative stayed on point drawing closer to the inevitable conflagration that leaves devastation in its wake. Not afraid to take chances I appreciated the fact that characters that you would deem as indispensable weren’t and plot points that seem trivial wound up being thematically systemic. Contributing to the shows appeal is a sterling cast ensemble made up of regulars and season long guests that seamlessly enhanced its engaging depth. The series ended on a befitting note and I am glad to have had the experience of Boardwalk Empire
right from the beginning. Kudos to HBO, the creating/writing/directing team and the superlative cast that have made the show so enjoyable.
Throughout its five-season run, Boardwalk Empire
garnered 18 Emmy® Awards and critical accolades for its superb cast and its unfaltering attention to 1920s period detail. Now, fans of the series will have a chance to own all 56 episodes in this collector's box set that comes to Blu-ray ($239.99; includes a Digital HD copy) and DVD ($199.99) on May 19, 2015, just ahead of Father's Day. The set comes housed in an attractive cardboard keep case (with matching slipcover) that holds all six amaray style cases (one per season plus the additional bonus disc) for a grand total of twenty Blu-ray discs.
The show contains violence, language, sexual content, nudity and strong thematic material.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): [img] [/img]
[*]DSU Rating * (non-rated element):
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Series comes to Blu-ray Disc from HBO Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 Mbps.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
Boardwalk Empire’s high definition video presentation looks great and features a distinctive visual aesthetic that utilizes a reserved chromatic palette which makes use of sepia tones and muted primaries. This along with the application of filtering/lighting provides the period style look the show’s creators were striving for. Certain sequences/elements make bolder use of color with noticeably deeper saturation. Contrast and brightness are well balanced which results in distortion free and satisfying image quality. Blacks appear deep and punchy but delineation in low level scenes can range from very good to average. Flesh tones are a bit on the bland side but retain enough complexional variety to avoid appearing lifeless. Close ups offer appreciable texture and subtle refinement. Wide angle shots, especially those shot in the natural light of day, have excellent depth, with sharp resolute definition quality that is rarely questionable. I didn’t notice any signs of compression or video related artifacts.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio sound keeps pace with the video and is quite good. Dynamics are robust and highs are crisp without being strident or edgy. Dialogue is rendered with defining tonal expression and room penetrating depth through the center channel. The front soundstage is diffused with excellent separation and clearly articulated detail. The presentation makes ample use of the entire surround platform. At times it opens up quite nicely to create an involving surround mix containing a mix of directional and ambient sounds. Bass response doesn’t reach subterranean levels however it appropriately supports the source elements and provides an appreciably tight, and punchy low end.
- In addition to the bonus features previously included on individual season releases, Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Series includes an exclusive (BD-50 Blu-ray) bonus disc containing never-before-seen content, including:
- (HD) Building The Boardwalk - Executive Producer/Director Tim Van Patten and crew discuss how the Atlantic City boardwalk was brought to life – 3 minute featurette
- (HD) Shooting The Series - Learn how the look of the series was developed through conversations with Directors of Photography Jonathan Freeman and Bill Coleman – 5 minute featurette
- (HD) Designing The Series - Production Designer Bill Groom and Set Decorator Carol Silverman discuss their process and the challenges faced in creating the authentic look of the series – 4 minute featurette
- (HD) Visual Effects - Whether bringing to life Atlantic City or Havana, Cuba, Visual Effects Supervisor Lesley Robson-Foster illustrates the creation of some of the show's award-winning visual effects – 8 minute featurette
- (HD) The Final Shot: A Farewell To Boardwalk Empire* - A look back with the cast and crew as they discuss the origins of the show, their favorite moments and more – 29 minute featurette
- (HD) Anatomy Of A Hit* - Creator/Executive Producer/Writer Terence Winter, Executive Producer/Director Tim Van Patten and Executive Producer/Writer Howard Korder discuss the choreography for some of the series' most murderous hits – 8 minute featurette
- Digital HD Copy
Over its five season run Boardwalk Empire
proved to be a well-executed character driven show that pushed the envelope with its gritty period based theme which was drawn from the book "Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times and Corruption of Atlantic City" by Nelson Johnson. Being a fan I appreciated its evolving, multi-layered story and enjoyed the depiction of real life people set into dramatic motion. The final season brought the storyline and its characters to their conclusion in a style befitting of the show and proved gratifying.
The show looks and sounds terrific in high definition and this complete series box set a wealth of supplemental material which includes brand new previously released extras that provide lots of insights from the show’s cast/crew. This 20 disc set is a must have keepsake for fans. Boardwalk Empire
comes highly recommended if you’re looking for a rewarding and darkly entertaining TV series.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package