I saw this last night. If you didn't like Red Dragon or Hannibal, you probably won't like this. I took it as a story by itself and enjoyed it well enough. My wife thought the lead actor was sexy, if that helps anyone make a decision whether or not to see it.
The rumor I heard was that HBO wanted to throw their resources behind Rome (which, like Deadwood, was really expensive to produce) and gave Milch John from Cincinnati (which me and three other people liked) and the Deadwood two-hour movie option.