looks amazing, absolutely cannot wait. the teaming of mann and milch is massively appealing.
What a killer trailer. I’ve no idea what this is all about but it looks freaking awesome.
HBO, eh? Guess Dustin thought an Emmy would look good on his mantle.
Nice shot of the Good Luck bar in Los Feliz. Make myan a Hawaiian!
Speaking of….. why do the Emmys and particularly the Tonys treat the feature film industry like the coolest kids at the party? They just seem to get so damp over movie stars appearing on stage or in television productions. The girlfriend thinks I’m Kreskin because I call the acting winners every Emmy or Tony show.
Not that Hoffman wouldn’t earn the award for a film like this one, but even if he didn’t, he’s getting it…. unless some bigger, more impressive film actor decides to moonlight in a TV movie or mini-series.
Hook. Line. Sinker.
Yeah, great pedigree, but didn’t really get much one way or the other from such a brief clip.
And because it’s HBO, is this gonna be the usual deal where they bring in Michael Mann!… to direct the pilot, but by week three I’m watching the usual TV-ready framing and pacing of Tim Van Patten and Joe Chappelle?
Unless I’m guaranteed it’s new one-hour Mann mini-movie every week, it’s kind of hard (traditionally) to get that worked up for “obligation viewing” from week to week when it’s the usual hacky TV journeymen behind the camera. It’s why I threw in the towel on “Boardwalk Empire” before it even got going.
Lex, Milch and his writing would be the answer to your question – the man can turn a word when he’s on his game.
I warned you!
LexG’s actual name is Todd Rodgerston. He lives in Studio City and drives an ’05 Ford Fiesta and works at Apex Post Production in Burbank.
Lex: I think you’re right – Mann is just establishing the style guide, I guess, and they’ll parachute Tim van Patten in to direct the rest. The guy has done basically every recent HBO show, from Sex & The City to The Pacific. It’s clear he has no actual stylistic quirks of his own, given how adaptable he is to anything they put on his plate. You get the impression he just hangs around the HBO offices and fills in when the scheduled director calls in sick.
But yeah, Milch should stick around for the duration of this, even if Mann doesn’t. If it’s more like Deadwood than John from Cincinnati, we should be in for a treat.
How great is it to see Dennis Farina return to the Mann-verse? That makes it worth a look right there.
Looks great, BUT…..
Is there anything more DEAD than the track? Nobody goes to the track anymore. The only thing keeping horse racing from being completely off modern radar is the Triple Crown. They might as well be making a show about bare-knuckle boxing and Whist tournmanets.
Oh, and LexG gave up on the AWESOME Boardwalk Empire? Not surprised at all. QUITTER.
Todd? Might as well be Cosmo.
I go to the track.
Santa Anita is fun.
Who watches TV for the direction? It’s like watching college basketball for the star power. Good TV has always been writing and casting.
Really excited for this because, frankly, I’d watch paint dry if Mann had selected the shade. As to the overall quality of the show, I think there might be some reason to hold out hope – Milch is writing right through, Mann is executive producing, and some decent talent has been drafted in to direct subsequent episodes – I think Philip Noyce has done one. Hopefully, Mann’s hands-on, control freak approach might put an overall stylistic stamp like the show, like he did on Vice and Crime Story back in the eighties. High-end TV has become like crack for most of my contemporaries, but I haven’t really fully engaged with the small screen since The Sopranos and The Wire.
I’m still waiting for HBO and Milch to apologize for John from Cincinnati, especially the part where they offered it up as a consolation of sorts for the premature end to Deadwood.
Classic! batting on horses, whish we could in the cold netherlands…
Ray, the race track is such amazingly great material, I’m surprised no one has thought of doing a series about it until now.
Maybe Ted Danson and a mouth-full-of-soap Howie Mandel can do prolonged cameos.
This reminds me, I need to rent “Let It Ride” again…
actionlover, this is regular multi-season series, not a TV movie or mini.
Mann is supposedly much more involved in this than Scorsese is with Boardwalk Empire. He might not be directing anything besides the pilot, but he’s still actively running the series and making all casting and editing decisions. The Hollywood Reporter had a good article about his involvement from a few months back.
^^^That’s me by the way. Sorry for that awful username. I now know not to sign in via my Google account.
Ray, you don’t find that aspect compelling for the show?
actionlover: Correct. They gave the starfucker Emmy to Scorsese for directing the BOARDWALK EMPIRE pilot, when it was one of the weaker episodes of the first season.
Lex G: You shouldn’t have given up on BOARDWALK EMPIRE so quickly. Like most of the hour-long dramas on HBO, it usually takes about three episodes for them to find their voice (see ROME and GAME OF THRONES). And hey, cut Mr. Van Patten some slack. He’s directed some of the best episodes of some of HBO’s best shows. Last night’s season premiere of BOARDWALK was quietly assured and stunningly photographed.
raygo: Still convinced Milch created and produced that show to spite HBO for pulling the plug on DEADWOOD.
Okay, now that we’re done with viewer mail, I can tell you that LUCK (the pilot at least) succeeds wildly on every level. It’s a gift from the gods and the best thing that Mann has directed since THE INSIDER. (Jesus, I sound like a pull quote from a 1985 Pia Lindstrom review). You know how most pilots really only succeed as a roadmap for the future of a series, but generally fall flat as a self-contained piece of storytelling (BOARDWALK EMPIRE pilot, anyone)? This sure as hell ain’t that.
LUCK puts every current network drama on the air to shame (have fun with TERRA FIRMA tonight, suckers!) and a lot of the basic and pay-cable ones, as well. My only worry is that the series won’t be able to maintain the quality of the pilot (see ALIAS). We’ll see. In the meantime, in the words of Tenacious D, “prepare to have your asses blown out.”
The racetrack is fascinating if you’re interested in middle aged Filipino guys wandering around like ghosts and vast concourses empty but for the swirling detritus of 50 cent hot dogs wrappers.
If the name “David Milch” is not enough to get you to watch a new HBO series, then go back to Jersey Shore where you belong.
Correction: Have fun tonight with TERRA NOVA, suckers! But, really, who cares if I got the title wrong. It stinks. 18 years since JURASSIC PARK, and they still can’t create better CGI dinosaurs on TV budget.
The problem with BOARDWALK EMPIRE is that Buscemi is miscast. I spend the first 10 minutes that he is in for each episode getting past the problems with him in order to enjoy the story. He is too old and just doesn’t project enough menace to take seriously as a crime lord.
Everyone else is perfect, especially Dabney Coleman who is doing some of his best work, totally devoid of that persona he had for long time following 9 TO 5 and “Slap Maxwell.” Haven’t seen him be this natural since WARGAMES.
Heinz – that’s because Spielberg is the polar opposite of Milch when it comes to TV.
Every show he helps create turns out to be mediocre network crap. “SeaQuest”, “Fallen Skies” this thing all should have been promoted with “Prepare to be Underwhelmed!”
This show has apparently been in post production hell for a very long time now. Editors have been hired, used up, fired and replaced by others who have also suffered the same fate. It’ll be interesting to see what the end result is from all that madness.
Am I the only one who loved John From Cincinnati and its giant Fuck You to conventionally-plotted television?
Maybe it didn’t add up to much, or was too ambiguous in the end, but moment-to-moment I thought it was a lot of fun to watch.
alynch: Thanks for posting that article. I’d never seen it before, and it’s pretty fascinating. Could be some sort of case study to use in film school for years to come – a definite line between the writer and director, with a script that the director can’t fuck with, and a shoot/edit that the writer has no influence on. Will be an interesting test of auteur theory, etc.
Hoffman’s tirade reminded me of this awesome scene from STRAIGHT TIME:
Never watched John From Cincinnati. That was back when I would wait 10 months and rent HBO seasons on DVD, but after the one season, I’d heard enough bad to not bother.
I love Boardwalk Empire, and I agree that the first episode was not the best.
I thought Jeremy Irons could pencil in a nomination for The Borgias but I guess not enough people watch it or care. I liked him in it, but I quit after about 5 episodes. No one to root for.
I didn’t see her in the teaser, but isn’t Jill Hennessy supposed to be in this as well?
“Breaking Bad” is one of the most well-directed TV shows I’ve ever seen and they mostly roll-out spares every week. (Rian Johnson being the exception for that “Fly” episode).
The track is dead- it’s a place for old ladies to go play slots.
I’ve never been to Santa Anita though so maybe the vibe there is different. All the tracks on the East Coast are DEAD DEAD DEAD.
Boardwalk Empire is awesome. Buscemi is NOT miscast- the point of the story is that he ISN’T a mob boss heavy, he’s a corrupt pol used to the old WASP/Irish way of doing business but the old way is disappearing in the face of the even more thuggish Italian mob. He’s damn good at what he does but what he does isn’t good enough anymore so he’s in over his head.
PLUS THE REPUBLICANS HAVE THE BLACK VOTE AND THE DEMS ARE ALL KLANSMEN. God, I love how history fucks with Jeff’s worldview.
I like Buscemi alot, but he is not a compelling leading man. For my money, Buscemi is holding Boardwalk Empire back from greatness in much the same way you could feel Bill Paxton, Adrian Grenier and Kevin Connelly holding back Big Love and Entourage(which obviously was not a good show by Season 5) early in their runs.
The direction on Breaking Bad is outstanding and Mad Men, Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and maybe a couple others are all on par with slightly above average indies. Great Cable TV is better than 90-95 percent of films right now and is almost certainly better from a writing front with less studio interference muddying storytelling.
It appears from that brief trailer that Bryan Cranston and Dustin Hoffman will be fighting for the next few years for Best Actor while Jon Hamm settles for being handsome.
on the subject of TV direction and HBO, David Gordon Green has directed about half the episodes of Eastbound and Down — the others are mostly Jody Hill and you really can see the difference
(I say this partly because I remember Lex praising Your Highness for Green’s work)
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