Blu-ray
Recommended
4.5 stars
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$64.99
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Overall Grade
4.5 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
4.5 Stars
HD Video Quality
5 Stars
HD Audio Quality
5 Stars
Supplements
4 Stars
High-Def Extras
3 Stars
Bottom Line
Recommended

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Series

Street Date:
May 19th, 2015
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
May 11th, 2015
Movie Release Year:
2010
Studio:
HBO
Length:
3360 Minutes
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

'Boardwalk Empire' played out over five of the best seasons of television there's ever been. It's unfortunate that it always seemed to be overshadowed by HBO's next big show, but its quality never waned. 

Please refer to our past reviews for each season:

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete First Season

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Second Season

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Third Season

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Fourth Season

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Fifth Season

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

One important note to bring up here is that this set has consolidated the number of discs. The stadalone releases for seasons 1-3 each had five discs in them. However, here those seasons have been pared down to four discs each. Testing out those seasons did not reveal any egregious compression errors, or any other anomolies related to fewer disc space. The previous video presentation reviews still hold true.

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete First Season

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Second Season

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Third Season

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Fourth Season

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Fifth Season

The Audio: Rating the Sound

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

This set does, indeed, contain some new special feature content. There's only about an hour worth of stuff, but those who love the show might fight it quite interesting.

The Final Shot: A Farewell to 'Boardwalk Empire' (HD, 30 min.) - This new documentary is sort of a memoirish type of production where the cast and crew, including all the big names like Buscemi, Winter, and Scorsese, discuss the entire run of the series in depth. It's an exhaustive look back at the show, its characters, story arcs, and overall production. It kind of reminded me of the great look-back documentaries produced for the new 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' Blu-rays.

Anatomy of a Hit (HD, 8 min.) - Creator Terrence Winter is joined by producers Tim Van Patten and Howard Korder as they focus in on the frequent brutal violence that was depicted in the show.

Building the Boardwalk (HD, 4 min.) - Four minutes definitely isn't enough for a few members of the crew to breeze through an overview of the unique set creation and decoration used in a period show like 'Boardwalk Empire.'

Shooting the Series (HD, 5 min.) - Another short look at production, but this time is a behind-the-camera discussion on capturing the emotion of the series while filming.

Designing the Series (HD, 4 min.) - More production design discussion. A more in-depth talk about what it took to achieve the uncommon, but accurate, period look.

Visual Effects (HD, 8 min.) - Finally, this short featurette discusses the challenge of using computer-generated effects and blending them seamlessly into shots that also included practical sets and effects.

Final Thoughts

The complete series collection for 'Boardwalk Empire' does indeed have some new content, which is what you want from an exclusive release like this. However, that content doesn't seem to be enough to entice fans who bought all the standalone seasons to go ahead and double dip here. Instead the complete collection seems geared toward people that haven't invested already in any of the Blu-rays for 'Boardwalk Empire' or those who were waiting to jump into the show when the complete series was finally released. Because of its unwavering quality, and how good the show actually is, 'Boardlwalk Empire: The Complete Series' is recommended.

Technical Specs

  • 20-Disc Set

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.78:1

Audio Formats

  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles/Captions

  • English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

Exclusive HD Content

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Building The Boardwalk - Executive Producer/Director Tim Van Patten and crew discuss how the Atlantic City boardwalk was brought to life
  • Shooting The Series - Learn how the look of the series was developed through conversations with Directors of Photography Jonathan Freeman and Bill Coleman
  • 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
  • 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

All disc reviews at High-Def Digest are completed using the best consumer HD home theater products currently on the market. More about our gear.

Puzzled by the technical jargon in our reviews, or wondering how we assess and rate HD DVD and Blu-ray discs? Learn about our review methodology.

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