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Prolific and much-respected author Elmore Leonard's novels have fared poorly when they've been adapted to the small screen--remember Maximum Bob? Karen Sisco?--but the Western-cum-police-drama Justified breaks the losing streak thanks to the tightly wound performance of star Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood) and solid scripting and direction. Olyphant's Marshal Raylan Givens, whom readers met in the novels Pronto and Riding the Rap (as well as the short "Fire in the Hole," which serves as the basis for the pilot episode), is a man of few words and deadly aim who is sent back to his hometown of Harlan County, Kentucky, after shooting first and asking questions later with an oily gangster. Once ensconced in the coal belt, Givens runs afoul of childhood friend Boyd Crowder (the terrific Walton Goggins from The Shield), who's gone from mining to white supremacy and murder. Also competing for Givens's attention are local girl Ava (Joelle Carter), whose crush on the marshal doesn't quite obscure the fact that she's just murdered her husband, and his father, Arlo (the always-solid character actor Raymond J. Barry), whose criminal career is a millstone around Givens's neck. Justified is most compelling when it focuses on Crowder, who grows more dangerous as the series unfolds; when it sends Givens to pursue less complex criminals like dentist Roland Pike (Alan Ruck in "Long in the Tooth") or play hostage negotiator ("Blowback"), the results are fine but hew closer to standard TV police drama fare. What keeps the show out of that particular ditch is Olyphant's performance, as tightly wound as his turn on Deadwood but with a hint of grim humor; he's well supported by the cast, including Nick Searcy as his boss and M.C. Gainey (Lost) as Crowder's equally hot-wired father. An array of fine directors, including John Dahl (Red Rock West), actor Tony Goldwyn (Conviction), Rod Holcomb (The Good Wife), and Jon Avnet (Fried Green Tomatoes), also lends a cinematic quality to the episodes.
Extras include commentary by the cast and crew on four episodes, including the always-wry Olyphant on "Hatless" and executive producer Graham Yost (The Pacific) and director Michael Dinner on "Fire in the Hole." Leonard's influence on the series is explored in a 20-minute feature called "What Would Elmore Do?," which served as a mantra for the production team whenever they found themselves in a creative bind. Short, EPK-style featurettes covering the show's inception, Kentucky locations, and its marshal advisers round out the set. --Paul Gaita --This text refers to the DVD edition.
The set isn't Region 2 as cautioned. It mentions nothing about region and played superbly in my blu-ray player. It is the American version, no French subtitles. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Scissorpaws
Big fans of Timothy Olyphant. Enjoyed the development of characters.Published 1 month ago by Lillian Cummings
If you want government gangsters, antiChrists, blasphemers, demonization of Christians (mixing Nazi s*** with the Holy Bible & the Christian Cross), forced integration, demonizing... Read morePublished 10 months ago by D
I likes the different approach and smoothness of the charter that Timothy Olyphant plays, a similar demeanor he played in the Deadwood series, which I am currently watching. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Red