Since time immemorial, this truism has ostensibly marked the difference between TeeVee and movies.
Television, even “It’s not television, it’s HBO,” is a close-up medium, more about intimacy, “neck-up acting” than film, which even in the HD-bigger screen era, still has the edge in terms of sweep and scope.
The action auteur Walter Hill, one of the few living filmmakers with the knack for making a Western look like a Western, gave us “Wild Bill,” which was the template for TV’s “Deadwood,” which he had a hand in producing (the pilot, setting the tone).
Sepia-tinged, dusty, grimy, rough and ready, “Wild Bill” looked like the Frontier Perdition you kind of imagine the real Deadwood must have been — earth tones, wood and dirt and mud and rough fabrics and dimly-lit saloons and gunsmoke and blood.
If HBO was going to all the trouble of making a stand-alone sequel, you’d think they’d bring Hill back as the “consulting producer” he was for the original pilot.
“Deadwood: The Movie” looks scrubbed and sanitized — mainly because of the “end of that era” civilization that is coming to the town — and has barely a hint of rough trade about it. It looks like what it is, a TV movie.