May 21, 2012 at 10:41 am #244540
All of the trailers I have seen for this have kept my interested in watching the series; let’s hope it doesn’t let us down.May 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm #244541
this looks interesting i’ll definitely be watchingMay 25, 2012 at 11:53 am #244542
Hatfields & McCoys
(Miniseries — History, Mon. May 28, 9 p.m.)
by Brian Lowry
Filmed in Romania by Leslie Greif Prods. and Thinkfactory Media. Executive producers, Greif, Nancy Dubuc, Dirk Hoogstra; supervising producer, Barry Berg; producers, Kevin Costner, Darrell Fetty, Herb Nanas; director, Kevin Reynolds; writers, Ted Mann, Ronald Parker; story by Bill Kerby, Mann.
Devil Anse Hatfield – Kevin Costner
Randall McCoy – Bill Paxton
Johnse Hatfield – Matt Barr
Jim Vance – Tom Berenger
Wall Hatfield – Powers Boothe
Bad Frank Phillips – Andrew Howard
Nancy McCoy – Jena Malone
Levicy Hatfield – Sarah Parish
Roseanna McCoy – Lindsay Pulsipher
Perry Cline – Ronan Vibert
Selkirk McCoy – Joe Absolom
Cotton Top Mounts – Noel Fisher
William “Cap” Hatfield – Boyd Holbrook
Jim McCoy – Tom McKay
Tolbert McCoy – Sam Reid
Ransom Bray – Jilon Vanover
Sally McCoy – Mare Winningham
Fronted by all-star talent—with Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton playing the scraggly patriarchs of the feuding clans—the six-hour “Hatfields & McCoys” has a certain grungy intensity, a la “Deadwood,” but also features arid stretches, and too many supporting characters who register so sparingly you barely get to know them before they start catching bullets. Interesting but not particularly stirring, this ambitious miniseries spans decades, and sometimes feels like it. Then again, after “The Kennedys” wound up being punted to ReelzChannel, History should celebrate merely getting it on at all (profiling long-dead characters, apparently, has its advantages).
Opening during the Civil War and airing over three successive nights, the production introduces Devil Anse Hatfield (Costner) and Randall McCoy (Paxton) fighting side by side for the Confederacy. Devil Anse deserts, however, and by the time Randall returns home, the Hatfields have a thriving business going, leading to ill feelings and a property dispute.
More viscerally, Devil Anse’s crusty uncle (Tom Berenger) winds up murdering Randall’s brother, who not only has the temerity to wear a Union jacket but accuses the old coot of “fornicating” with his dog.
From there, the feud is on, with a series of escalating provocations and acts of violence, spiraling upward. There’s even a “Romeo-and-Juliet”-like romance between Devil Anse’s ladies man son Johnse (Matt Barr) and Randall’s daughter Roseanna (Lindsay Pulsipher), which pretty obviously isn’t going to end well.
Directed by Kevin Reynolds (whose lengthy relationship with Costner includes “Waterworld” and “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”) from a script credited to Ted Mann and Ronald Parker, “Hatfields” has the courage to proceed at a slow-rolling pace, and feature battles as brutal as they are ugly, with a whole lot of shooting and often not many casualties. Such veracity, however, doesn’t always make for compelling drama, and at times it all feels like a long slog waiting to see who dies next.
None of this is a knock on the principals, who exhibit the gradual toll of the killing, even after McCoy’s side has begun to rely on a bounty hunter (Andrew Howard). Impressive cast includes British star Sarah Parish and Mare Winningham as Devil Anse and Randall’s spouses, respectively, and Powers Boothe as a judge in the Hatfield camp.
Producer-star Costner has done some of his best work in underappreciated Westerns like “Wyatt Earp” and “Open Range,” although this latest trip West doesn’t rise to that level. Nevertheless, it’s potent enough—more in subject matter than execution—to deliver for History, which, seemingly like every other basic cabler, is seeking to expand its profile, either through programs that have nothing to do with history or via scripted fare.
With both miniseries and true westerns in short supply, it’s unfortunate “Hatfields & McCoys” doesn’t provide a clearer verdict. Not that it’s bad, but the result’s just not worth all the shootin’ and hollerin’, much less fighting about.
Camera, Arthur Reinhart; production designer, Derek Hill; editor, Don Cassidy; music, John Debney, Tony Morales; costume designer, Karri Hutchinson; casting, Fern Champion. 6 HOURS.May 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm #244543
I’m glad Lowry mentions Costner’s track record with westerns. That is one of the reasons I want to see this miniseries. That, and because I think there need to be more one-and-done mini-series in America (or at least shorter seasons, like in the UK).May 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm #244544
& Mccoys (2012)
by Ken Tucker | May 25, 2012
Start Date: May 28, 2012; With: Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton; Network: History
four and a half-plus hours, the three-night, Kevin Costner-starring “Hatfields
& McCoys”—a re-creation of a 19th-century rural feud that’s probably one
generation beyond common knowledge—could have been a tedious bore. And did I
mention that it was directed by the guy who took the fall for “Waterworld”?
But, working once again with Costner, director Kevin Reynolds—who, to be fair,
did a bang-up job with Costner on “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”—summons a
vivid tableau of backwoods life. Costner, as Devil Anse Hatfield (yes, his real
first name, Devil, rarely pops up on those lists of popular baby-boy names),
and Bill Paxton, as Randall McCoy, head up the clans that clash, and both men
give distinctively soulful performances.
a summary of the epic squabble, for those who don’t know it: Just after the
Civil War, friends and side-by-side Confederate soldiers Hatfield and McCoy
return to their homes and drift apart. Arguments and misunderstandings grow
like weeds between their respective plots of land in West Virginia and
Kentucky. Everything from timber rights to the supposed theft of a pig
ultimately results in bloody fistfights and deadly gun battles. Costner
deserves credit, here and in his 2003 film “Open Range,” for doing variations
on the Western genre capable of surprising audiences with their freshness and
depth. He manages to keep Hatfield’s corncob-pipe-smoking stoic from being a
hillbilly cliché. Similarly, Paxton’s McCoy, a devout man with a healthy streak
of fear, is a complex figure in this saga. You can understand why these men
initially admired and eventually hated each other. As Hatfield says at one
point, ”If ever two men misunderstood each other, it was us.”
& McCoys” occasionally gets bogged down in the miniseries’ chief subplot, a
drawling “Romeo-and-Juliet” romance between Johnse Hatfield (Matt Barr) and
Roseanna McCoy (Lindsay Pulsipher). But Jena Malone is around to spice things
up as a devious McCoy cousin who tempts Johnse, and Tom Berenger, nearly
unrecognizable beneath whiskers and buckskin, is fine as Devil Anse’s uncle and
ruthless ally. “Hatfields & McCoys” is nearly hijacked by an interloper:
Andrew Howard, in a delightfully showy performance as Bad Frank Phillips, an ex-Pinkerton
agent who exploits the feud by becoming a sadistic killer for hire, collecting
bounty rewards as the Hatfields and the McCoys commit crimes in the course of
stretching the tale over three nights, the pacing sags at times, and
recriminations can get repetitive. It also doesn’t help that Reynolds shot the
miniseries in that perpetual sepia tone that gives everything a faux-antique
look. But overall, “Hatfields & McCoys” is engrossing, and enlightening about
a feud that proves to be a lot more than the bumpkin brawl of pop legend.
May 26, 2012 at 7:59 am #244545
& McCoys”: TV Review
by Tim Goodman
Bottom Line: It may be historical fiction, but there’s no rooting interest in
either the Hatfields or the McCoys as History gets into the scripted game.
p.m. Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday, May 28-30 (History)
Costner, Bill Paxton, Tom Berenger
first foray into scripted fare focuses on the legendary civil war era feud and
features fine performances from Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton.
History feeling the urge of pretty much every other cable channel—to get into
the scripted business—it makes sense it would choose historical fiction.
However, the six-hour miniseries “Hatfields & McCoys,” starring Kevin
Costner and Bill Paxton, is not, creatively speaking, the greatest start
History could have hoped for.
network, once famous for Hitler documentaries and now for such unscripted hits
as “Ice Road Truckers” and “Pawn Stars,” already has greenlighted its first
scripted series, “Vikings,” from Michael Hirst (“The Tudors,” “Elizabeth”), set
for 2013. So “Hatfield & McCoys,” the first scripted miniseries, can be
seen as a trial run.
the first problem: Revenge dramas are inherently flawed. You killed one of
mine, so I kill one of yours. Is there drama in there? A bit—waiting for the
gun to go off yet again as the sides tally the score. But, dramatically, you
know what’s going to happen here: An eye is going to be taken for an eye until
the whole South goes blind.
is amplified tenfold with an adaptation of the real-life battle between the
Hatfield and McCoy families, of West Virginia and Kentucky, respectively. The
feud began in the late 1800s, and there’s much debate about who started it. Not
that we want to side with either clan in the History version; both are pretty
meet Devil Anse Hatfield (Costner) and Randall McCoy (Paxton) fighting together
and fleeing Union soldiers during the Civil War. The South is reeling, and
despite fierce fighting from Hatfield, who leads his brigade, and McCoy, who is
willing to die until the end, it looks like fate is against them. Then, without
enough reason given, Hatfield quits and heads home. McCoy stays and as the last
survivor of his brigade is captured and put into a Union prison. Upon his
return home, he’s a little miffed to see that Hatfield is doing just fine in
the timber business. There are no bygones here.
then events go astray. It’s not clear if the families had issues before the
war, but they seem to have a whole lot of them out of the blue when the
fighting is over. Conveniently, the Hatfields and McCoys always seem to be at
some event where alcohol and guns are involved and, well, one thing always
leads to another. This, underwhelmingly, is where the miniseries decides to
keep at it. Issue after issue comes up. Family members die, retaliation comes,
and both families spit out the names of the other in every conversation.
a pig gets stolen (allegedly) and the six Hatfields on one side of the jury
battle the six McCoys on the other, until one McCoy who is married to a
Hatfield makes the wrong choice and—look out—more bloodshed. You may think that
story about the pig is a fabrication of events to illustrate the mundane
warring of the families, but no.
pretty difficult to feel sorry for either side, since each episode appears to
be dumb/drunk hillbillies doing something bad to the other side. Even when “Hatfields
& McCoys” sets up a scenario in which the viewer can get emotionally
invested (despite seeing it coming a mile away), like the love affair, marriage
proposal, and baby out of wedlock between a Hatfield and a McCoy, the
investment is lost when both sides do something stupid.
we supposed to care for these people? Are we supposed to pick a side? It ain’t
easy. There are times when Costner gives a terrific performance and you think,
“Well, there it is, he’s our hero.” Then he does something despicable. Paxton
then rises up and does something righteous, only to go dumb immediately
is to say, no matter how hard each actor works to present the Hatfield or the
McCoy side, it’s a moot point. Neither family gets sympathy or respect. And
maybe that’s considered a badge of honor at History—as if it has presented two
antiheroes so effectively that the edginess of the effort cuts you to the bone.
it doesn’t. “Hatfields & McCoys” is less dark and dramatically difficult
than it is pointlessly trying to tell each side of the story and ultimately
making the case for neither. Hatfield vs. McCoy vs. Hatfield vs. McCoy vs.
Hatfield vs. McCoy ad nauseam isn’t dramatic. It’s tedious. Somewhere around
the three-hour mark, all you want to do is have both families line up opposite
each other, pull the trigger and fade to black.May 27, 2012 at 6:35 am #244546
Chicago Sun-Times review:
Costner, Paxton make fine pair of feuders
BY LORI RACKL TV Criticfirstname.lastname@example.org
May 25, 2012
“HATFIELDS & MCCOYS”: â˜…â˜…â˜…
8 to 10 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
on History (9 p.m. ET)
Now that ABC’s retribution romp, “Revenge,”
has ended its first season, satisfy your bloodlust with a History channel
miniseries about the ultimate family feud—this one featuring horses, moonshine,
“Hatfields & McCoys” tells the true story
of a legendary grudge match that started at the end of the Civil War and
dragged on for decades, nearly igniting a war of its own between Kentucky and
West Virginia. It stars Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton as the respective
patriarchs of the Hatfield and McCoy clans.
The three-part drama is an intimate look at a
notorious rivalry that made international headlines and went so far as to
require U.S. Supreme Court intervention.
The series starts on a battlefield in 1863,
the last time Confederate soldiers Devil Anse Hatfield (Costner) and Randall
McCoy (Paxton) would find themselves fighting on the same side. Not long after
Hatfield goes home to West Virginia and McCoy returns to his house across the
border in Kentucky, tensions and tempers start to flare.
A dispute erupts over timber rights. Someone
gets accused of stealing a pig. Hatfield’s uncle offs McCoy’s brother, a Union
soldier. Before you know it, everyone’s ginned up and the body count is higher
than some cable network’s audiences.
“The Hatfields and McCoys are famous,” a man
tells his wife on a family outing to watch a member of Team Hatfield get
“Famous for what?” she asked.
“Killing each other,” an onlooker chimed in.
Despite all the hatred, or perhaps because of
it, a love story develops between Hatfield’s handsome playboy son, Johnse (Matt
Barr, “Harper’s Island”), and McCoy’s wide-eyed daughter, Roseanna (Lindsay
Pulsipher, “True Blood”). Their “Romeo-and-Juliet” relationship only adds fuel
to the fire.
“Hatfields & McCoys” reunites Costner
with director Kevin Reynolds, who collaborated with the actor on many projects,
including the 1995 big-screen bust “Waterworld.”
Their newest venture has a cinematic feel.
The well-executed drama is a welcome addition to the programming lineup for a
network better known for non-scripted series like “Swamp People” and “Pawn
Stars,” the latter of which will air back-to-back “Hatfield and McCoy”-themed
episodes at 7 p.m. Monday.
Spread out over six hours, the miniseries can
feel a tad repetitive at times. A few tangential characters are guilty of
chewing up the scenery, but in general the acting is arguably the show’s
Costner and Paxton are joined by an
impressive cast that includes Tom Berenger as Hatfield’s hot-headed uncle,
Powers Boothe as Hatfield’s big brother, Mare Winningham as McCoy’s beleaguered
wife, and Jena Malone as McCoy’s trouble-making niece.
“Hatfields & McCoys” is an interesting
look at a subject we all heard about in school, but most of us would be
hard-pressed to go into specifics about what prompted this piece of American
lore and how it played out.
It’s a cautionary tale about vengeance and
how difficult it can be to bury the hatchet, which didn’t happen—at least
officially—until recently. Sixty descendants of the Hatfields and McCoys signed
a symbolic peace treaty in 2003.
Let’s hope the miniseries doesn’t open old
May 27, 2012 at 6:53 am #244547
& McCoys” review: Feud got out of hand
May 26, 2012
& McCoys”: Three-part miniseries. 9 p.m. Mon.-Wed. on the History Channel.
bloody six-year feud between the Hatfield and McCoy families at the end of the
19th century has become so much a part of American folklore and cultural
mythology that it would be unthinkable to refer to it, even 130 years after it
started, as the McCoys and the Hatfields.
indelibility of the mythology is just part of what director Kevin Reynolds and
screenwriters Ted Mann and Ronald Parker were up against as they turned the
feud into a three-part miniseries for the History Channel, airing over three
nights next week. When you consider that the feud occasionally popped up in old
cartoons and defined Americans’ concept of “hillbillies” from old sitcoms
like “The Real McCoys” to Al Capp’s classic comic strip “L’il
Abner,” the challenge for Reynolds, Parker, and Mann was to disabuse us of
the notion that there was anything remotely humorous about the feud.
we think we know about the dispute is that for several years, two families in
West Virginia and Kentucky fought and killed each other. Some people know about
a court case involving a stolen pig, which of course only adds to the
inappropriate humor surrounding the feud. Other people may think the dispute
must have had something to do with moonshine—it didn’t, although hooch no doubt
fueled the combatants on a regular basis.
& McCoys” does a good job of explaining the roots of the feud and
helping us see that, regardless of whatever legitimacy there may have been in
one family’s hatred of the other, none of it was worth the lives lost over
those six blood-soaked years.
many feuds, the hatred between the patriarchs of the two families began with
friendship. Devil Anse Hatfield (Kevin Costner) and Randall McCoy (Bill Paxton)
fought together in the Civil War, until Hatfield mounted his horse and returned
home to his wife in West Virginia in the midst of battle. McCoy returned to the
hills just across the state line in Kentucky much later, embittered by his
experiences in the war and resentful of Hatfield for deserting. That bitterness
was the tinder for what would become the titanic war between the two families.
was no single cause of the feud—one thing just seemed to lead to another. The
murder of a McCoy family member by Hatfield’s uncle, Jim Vance (Tom Berenger),
was the first spark, followed by accusations that the Hatfields had stolen a
pig from one of the McCoys. The families also fought over the timber rights to
a plot of land deeded to the Hatfields by a deceased McCoy, whose descendants
insisted that while the Hatfields owned the land, they had not been given its
there was the “Romeo and Juliet” plot twist: Devil’s son, Johnse
(Matt Barr), fell in love with Roseanna McCoy (Lindsay Pulsipher), who left her
family and moved in with the Hatfields, incurring biblical wrath from her
father. She gave birth to a child out of wedlock, while Johnse went on to marry
Roseanna’s cousin, Nancy McCoy (Jena Malone). Today, some of these issues could
be decided on “Judge Judy.”
the body count rises in the History Channel film, even the family members seem
to forget why they hate each other, which only adds to our realization that if
anyone had just taken a step back at the beginning, all those deaths could have
dominates the miniseries so thoroughly, he seems present even when Devil Anse
isn’t on the screen. Despite his nickname, Devil isn’t a completely evil man.
He has more than a little blood on his hands as the Hatfield family patriarch,
but as the feud wears on, he grows increasingly aware of its tragic futility.
He is tormented by the death and loss. Yet he is either unable or unwilling to
has a tougher job with his character because Randall McCoy has been so scarred
by the war, his daughter’s perceived “betrayal” by taking up with
Johnse, and by deaths among the McCoy clan. The role isn’t written with as much
nuance and depth as that of Devil Anse, but Paxton nonetheless brings him
miniseries is blessed to have actress Mare Winningham as Sally McCoy. Loyal to
her husband and children, a voice of moderation, Sally becomes an avenging
angel when the family cabin is surrounded by Hatfields and set ablaze.
Winningham has an uncanny ability to disappear into a role. The busybody Ida
Corwin from TV’s “Mildred Pierce” is nowhere to be seen in the McCoy
family matriarch. Her determination to protect her family at all costs dooms
her and her final moment onscreen breaks your heart with its clear-eyed
one thing “Hatfields & McCoys” can’t deliver, even after the feud
ended, is a clear reason for it to have happened in the first place. It was
just hatred and resentment and it just got tragically out of hand.May 28, 2012 at 9:27 am #244548
HATFIELDS & MCCOYS[/i]
Costner and Bill Paxton star in History’s all-new three-part miniseries about
the legendary and deadly family feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys that
broke out in the backwoods of West Virginia and Kentucky after the Civil War.
The clash of clans begins when a Hatfield murders a McCoy, and Randall McCoy’s
daughter and Devil Anse Hatfield’s son begin a tempestuous, forbidden love
May 28, 2012 at 8:18 pm #244549
There were some dry patches here and there, but this was a strong opener. These two families took the “eye for an eye” theme to the extreme, but by the end of this first part, things finally reached a high point with whatever’s going to happen between Johnse and Roseanna. Top-notch cast and direction here too. Kevin Costner and Mare Winningham are early standouts. Very much looking forward to the remaining installments.May 29, 2012 at 5:57 am #244550
Enjoyed the opening third very much. Kevin Costner, Mare Winningham and in a smaller role Andrew Howard are the ones to watch for me.
And damn, they did an awful lot of spittin’ back then.May 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm #244551
When the McCoys murder Anse’s younger brother, the Hatfields ride out to get bloody revenge. Soon, friends, neighbors, and outside forces join the feud, and all-out hostilities between the Hatfields and McCoys bring West Virginia and Kentucky to the brink of Civil War.