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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'll start off by saying that I'm not the biggest Costner fan in the
world. I don't hate him like a lot of people do, but I find that he can
be quite wooden when he acts. That said, he did an awesome job with
this one! Everyone did an awesome job!
We all know the story, but this drama brings it to life vividly and highlights an important lesson. The series is beautifully shot, fully capturing the grit of the period. The set's and props also look great.
Kevin Costner, who, like I said above, is usually rather wooden, shines here as someone who originally wanted no part in the feud, but as time goes on is fully drawn into it. Appearing more level headed as McCoy, in truth, Devil Anse is just as hateful.
Bill Paxton made the series for me as Randall McCoy. We see how McCoy, who is inexorably screwed at almost every turn, grows more and more bitter, and hateful. The more bitter he get's, the more he gets screwed and we see an enormous downward spiral. The character invokes massive amounts of pity, because he really did go through a lot from the beginning. This is only added to when the feud begins. He loses several children, his home and his wife goes mad. At the same time, the character makes you want to slap him because his stubbornness causes most of his troubles. Toward the end, he's a broken, hollow man that has lost most everything, but still refuses to let things go. A brilliant performance, as it shows where bitterness can lead.
The supporting cast is great as well, with the likes of Mare Winningham giving the most profound lines of truth toward the end. The musical score is great in some places, but it lacks in others.
So haters are gonna hate (as you can see from the message boards), but it really is a great series. Is it the most accurate? No, but it captures the spirit of the feud and the real tragedy that it was. Were the performances perfect? No. They rarely are. Was it shot in Romania? Yes, but I don't know the reasoning over that (probably money), so I'm not going to judge. No film is perfect, but this one is great and finally presents some actual HISTORY on The History Channel that has been sorely missed.
I enjoyed Hatfields & McCoys except for one thing: The audio in the
first segment was horrible. So bad in fact that most of my friends
turned it off after 30 minutes because they couldn't understand what
the actors were saying. The plot, especially in the beginning was very
important to the rest of the story, and there were so many characters
involved that if you didn't know what they said, you were lost. The
biggest issue was the mumbling of the actors, combined with what
appeared to be lousy sound pick-up. Further along into part one, the
audio seemed to clear up and the actors stopped mumbling for the most
part. The second and third parts of the series were much better, audio
Be aware that I am from southern WV, and while it may be hard for people outside this area to understand the dialect, it isn't for me. The early mumbling and audio was just bad.
Now, as far as the rest of the movie: I give it a 7, which is high for me. I'm glad to see the fact that these people weren't portrayed as stupid barefoot hillbillies. Check the history of Devil Anse on the Net and you'll find out that he was smart, wealthy, and the family turned out doctors and lawyers and governors. All in all, I like the show.
I have to say I was skeptical to say the least when I first heard of
this TV-show. A western with Kevin Costner sounded like something we
have all already seen, so many times. I even considered not to watch it
just because it sounded little lame to me. Well because there are so
few shows about civil war the and time after that I decided to watch it
anyway. And oh boy I am glad I did.
As I said there is so few good shows or movies about this era. In my opinion this is one of the best. A good dose of action and drama! There is romance and there is some good old western shooting and riding. Tho the thing I like best about this mini show is that it really feels authentic. Its like I am there watching the rebuild of the south after a long civil war. So all the history fans out there I am pretty sure you will like it a lot. I think all the actors do a great job! The characters are quite deep and interesting. Some of them also little comical. My favorite is Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy! The father and head of the family and a man full of so much agony and bitterness. I like Kevin Costners performance too!
The fact that I like this genre so much might affect my review but I still think this is a show well worth watching.
In the tradition of such classic mini series like roots and the thorn
birds, this is definitely ranks up there with those classics, it's
based on a true story on the feud between the Hatfield's & McCoys feud
from 1863-91 and it ends with many deaths and many bad memories, Kevin
Costner in one of his best performances since dances with wolves plays
William McCoy and Bill Paxton as McCoy and they shine in this film,
along with great supporting work by tom berenger, powers booth and Mare
Winningham, This movie delivers the best characters, the best story and
the best teleplay i've ever seen in years, this is a sure fire emmy
contender and definitely the years best in tube.
I Give it an A+
I am not going to tell you anything of the History of that feud. If you want to know, simply watch it! The cast did an excellent job and captured the essence of one of the worst feuds in US History. It almost caused another war--literally. It was a joy to see this cast in action--especially Costner, Paxton and Mare Winningham! If this does not get a Golden Globe, People's Choice Award or an Emmy then this nation has a screw loose! I have not seen anything this good in years in the way of Westerns...There was none of that "modernization" or revisionist garbage! This is realistic and it is excellent! Watch it! You will not be wasting your time as it truly does capture the spirit of the era in which this took place.
Ted Mann is a genius. Brought a bit of Deadwood to this piece and when the writing is great and the piece is filmed with such professionalism the results are going to be good. This is an amazing piece of history and all involved should be proud. I especially loved Costner, Mare Winningham, Tom Berringer and Jenna Malone, though I could name many more. What a story! I have to go back to Kevin Costner. I didn't understand a few of his lines, but here he is playing (and playing well) a generational historic character and doing it in a way that I did not think he had the capability of doing. He is wonderful as Devil Anse. It just goes to show you that if you give a talented pro great lines, they'll deliver. And he did, big time. This is tough, gritty and beautiful film making and if history means anything to you, I highly recommend Hatfields and McCoys.
"You are talking about starting another civil war. That's not talk John, that's what we already got." Becoming close friends during the Civil War, Anse Hatfield (Costner) and Randall McCoy (Paxton) have a little falling out when Anse takes off one night and abandons the fighting. Little by little the families lives cross paths and tension continue to mount. When one of McCoys's sons is attacked by a member of the Hatfield family a war is begun. I have stated before that the last really good western to me was "Open Range" since then the genre has had a rough 10 years. Leave it to Costner to bring it back. Even though this is a made-for-TV series don't let that scare you off. The movie is a must see for western fans and history buffs. I really don't know anything about the actual history of the feud but this movie made me want to learn more. Costner is perfect in this role as the leader of the Hatfield clan. Paxton is good, but a strange choice in the role of the McCoy's head. I could really go on and on about this movie but I will just say that this could be the movie that returns the western genre to the way it should be. For a movie on the History channel this is not in anyway tame or holds back at all. Violent and brutal with great characters. I highly recommend this. Overall, the best western since "Open Range" and one of the best TV movies I have ever seen. I give it an A.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys began during the Civil War and lasted according to the ending credits over 100 years. This mini-series covers some of the highlights (lowlights?) and it is hard to keep track of all the characters involved. Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton play the two patriarchs. Evidently Kevin Costner has made up with his old collaborator Kevin Reynolds who directed the series. They had their own feud going for quite awhile. Mr. Costner actually does a very good job in the acting department. Like some of his fellow actors (Mel Gibson, Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Clint Eastwood) he has an Oscar for directing but not for acting. Tom Berenger who is unrecognizable is another stand out in the acting department. This series should also make a star of Matt Barr who plays one of the Hatfields and gets romantically involved with not one but two of the McCoy girls. This is the Romeo & Juliet section of the story. There are lots of other good performances in the series and unfortunately the series is probably too violent to show in our schools even though it provides a valuable lesson in American History.
I use IMDb all the time for viewing ratings, actors, etc. and this is
the first time I have EVER myself rated anything! I saw that this
series currently had a 5.5 rating which is INSANE!!! I am a huge movie
watcher and this is one of my all time favorites already! I would never
create an account and rate this a 10 if it wasn't deserving!
I will not say any spoilers but I urge anyone who loves History or documentaries to PLEASE just watch the first episode of the 3 and please rate this! Costner & Plaxton were amazing! I was on the edge of my seat during the whole 3 part series!
Great great movie series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was first pulled into The Hatfields and McCoys by the trailer. It
shows the usual teaser scenes but the song "Bartholemew" by the The
Silent Comedy is one of those songs that just stays in your head and
makes you remember. It also has a distinct rocking chair rhythm with a
blue grassy sound which is a perfect accompaniment toward the series. I
would suggest to check out the other songs on their album,"Common
Faults" by The Silent Comedy. I think we will hear more from this group
in the future.
But anyway,knowing some of the history of the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys, I made no real plans to see it. So much parody, jokes and even cartoons have been made of the infamous battle between two clans, that I thought this would be another stinker. But one night the History Channel was repeating the series, nothing else on TV, I decided what the heck!All I can say, I don't know exactly why, but it was like picking up a book and not being able to put it down.
The acting is probably what impressed me. It's good! Kevin Costner does a fine performance as the brooding, yet ornery Devil Anise Hatfield and Bill Paxton as the quiet, "moral seeker" Randall McCoy. Both show a proud fierceness of being the head of two large families and surviving in the rugged wilderness of Kentucky and West Virginia. The rest of the supporting cast does more than lend affirmation toward their characters but they give the film a finer spice and freshness like the mountain air. The only strange thing is that the entire series was filmed in Romania....Romania? A lot of viewers were disappointed that it was not filmed on location by the Tug River near Kentucky and West Virginia. My guess is that it may be cheaper to film in a remote foreign country or a lot of the original locations may have been modernized by buildings or just plain gone.
The Hatfields and McCoys probably take some dramatic liberties to further the plot line, but not much. The most infamous story line is the love story between Johnes Hatfield and Rosanna McCoy. Rosanna did save Johnes's life on that night her brothers took him away to kill him, by riding on horseback thru a dark night to warn Devil Anise. But some have disputed that Johnes was all not that infatuated with Rosanna, and the reason he abandoned her was that he was a notorious womanizer. Johnese decided that being with Rosanna was too dangerous and did not want to deal with the McCoys and that he was not ready to settle down with a family. But whatever the real story, Rosanna's fate was the most tragic.
I was warned the scenes were gory and bloody--sorry--I've seen horror films that were far worse. But some of the murderous acts fighting, and cold hearted acts may upset some viewers. I've heard some say that it pokes fun at religion and with a scene of a ruckus in a church meeting house with a preacher. I never took it that way--it was a tough life living back then and especially in that location. It may have influenced some people to commit acts of violence because they felt the knowing need for survival.
So what can be said about the entire Hatfield and McCoy feud? Two proud families headed by two fierce proud patriarchs that took escalation incidents and lead them to a tragic bloodbath. And that is what the conclusion heading too---it consumed some of the family members while giving us a haunting lesson of what revenge mixed with family pride can do. Would it have ended differently if Devil Anise and Randall took other steps---maybe but probably not. In any event, The Hatfields and McCoys can be historical reminders of how violence or wars can abruptly start while consuming others with tragic consequences.
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