The Pacific - Finally

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by comiso90, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    First reviews are trickling in:

    Review: HBO's 'The Pacific' -- The Live Feed | THR

    Review: HBO's 'The Pacific'

    ThePacific-1 Barry Garron has posted his review of HBO's "The Pacific." I just finished watching last week and my opinion of the project went way up from the two-episode rough-cut I saw last month, which was exposition-heavy to the point where even Tom Hanks was complaining about the cut at TCA.

    "The first two episodes are the weakest," assured HBO insiders at the time.

    I was doubtful -- we hear that sort of thing a lot -- but the executives were right.

    When the final cut was delivered, the clunky exposition was cut out. And after the first two couple hours, the immediacy and writing improved.

    Is "The Pacific" as strong as its predecessor, arguably the best miniseries of all time, "Band of Brothers"?

    No. It's uneven, with a weaker group of supporting characters (one big exception -- Rami Malek as Merriell "Snafu" Shelton is utterly hypnotic, like Gollum from "Lord of the Rings" reincarnated as a morally ambiguous Marine).

    Another point of comparison: For better or worse, "The Pacific" is far more graphic than "BOB." Dismembered limbs flying, Marines cutting gold teeth from dead (and not quite dead) Japanese soldiers, a scene involving an open skull cavity that I won't even describe.

    One episode -- Part Nine -- deserves special praise. Directed by "Sopranos" veteran Tim Van Patten, this penultimate hour, set on the island of Okinawa, is the most harrowing and revolting depiction of war I've ever seen. As a self-contained hour of drama, it's a masterpiece and alone worth the price of admission.

    So my bottom line: "The Pacific" is a must-see. But if you're a "Band of Brothers" fan, set your expectations accordingly.

    Here's some of Barry's take....
    The result is "The Pacific," also 10 parts but in some ways as different in its approach to the material as the jungle warfare of the Pacific was from the more conventional fighting in Europe. Both miniseries are infused with raw, powerful stories of personal triumph and adversity, but "Pacific" feels more random and more contained. Each episode is so completely built on discreet incidents that a strong case can be made for calling this a limited series.

    But call it what you will, it is a gem of a production and would be a highlight of any TV season. "Pacific," in its totality, conveys a sense of the combat experience that is as complete and realistic as any work of film could be. From the harrowing nighttime battles with a deadly but invisible enemy to the sheer misery of the punishing jungle climate to the macho posturing of the young American fighters, "Pacific" omits nothing.

    Where "Band of Brothers" adapted Stephen Ambrose's saga of a single unit, "Pacific" melds the memories of three authors: Robert Leckie, Eugene B. Sledge and Chuck Tatum. Leckie and Sledge become two of the three principal characters; the third is John Basilone. During the course of the war, the paths of these three Marines cross, but each has his own circle of friends and unique set of circumstances
     
  2. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    The Pacific -- TV Review

    Bottom Line: As sensitive and realistic a portrait of American combat in the Pacific as you ever will see.
    Having created "Band of Brothers," the masterful 2001 miniseries that followed Easy Company from its training in Georgia through the D-Day invasion and until the end of the war, exec producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg decided to balance the equation with a mini set in the Pacific theater.

    The result is "The Pacific," also 10 parts but in some ways as different in its approach to the material as the jungle warfare of the Pacific was from the more conventional fighting in Europe. Both miniseries are infused with raw, powerful stories of personal triumph and adversity, but "Pacific" feels more random and more contained. Each episode is so completely built on discrete incidents that a strong case can be made for calling this a limited series.

    But call it what you will, it is a gem of a production and would be a highlight of any TV season. "Pacific," in its totality, conveys a sense of the combat experience that is as complete and realistic as any work of film could be. From the harrowing nighttime battles with a deadly but invisible enemy to the sheer misery of the punishing jungle climate to the macho posturing of the young American fighters, "Pacific" omits nothing.

    Where "Band of Brothers" adapted Stephen Ambrose's saga of a single unit, "Pacific" melds the memories of three authors: Robert Leckie, Eugene B. Sledge and Chuck Tatum. Leckie and Sledge become two of the three principal characters; the third is John Basilone. During the course of the war, the paths of these three Marines cross, but each has his own circle of friends and unique set of circumstances.

    Leckie (James Badge Dale), an aspiring journalist, is the most introspective of the bunch. Sledge (Joe Mazzello), initially kept out of the Marines by a heart murmur, enlists later and soon is plunged into combat unlike anything he could have imagined. Basilone's instant act of bravery gets him recast as public hero and a spokesman for the sale of war bonds.

    His collision with celebrity and glamour gives some relief from the constant hell of fighting and preparing for battle. However, it also stands out as perhaps the only contrived element in a work of otherwise unflinching honesty.

    In an opening scene, a Marine officer lectures his new enlistees: "Whenever this war is over, when we have swept upon the main islands of Japan and destroyed every scrap of that empire, the strategy will have been that of others, but the victory will have been won by you." That speech, and the occasional use of maps to toggle between acts, is as close as "Pacific" gets to a comprehensive overview of the fighting. This is intentional. The idea is to present the war from the vantage point of the Marines who deployed where they were told, rested when they could and then fought somewhere else.

    In that confined space, writer Bruce C. McKenna finds a world of drama, including the Marines' anxiety about the unknown, their tugs of instant passion, their acceptance of barbaric warfare and, above all else, their painful and unexpected confrontations with their own mortality.

    Praiseworthy performances are so abundant that it might be unfair to single out any one actor. That said, it would be hard not to take special note of Dale's work as Leckie, perhaps the most pivotal role because of the insight the character brings to so many situations. Not once does Dale falter.

    Special effects are outstanding and convincing. Watch for "Pacific" to dominate every Emmy category for which it is eligible. Better still, just watch it.
     
  3. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Starts Sunday where I live. Considering getting HBO HD as it's not in my cable package right now. Wonder if it's worth it.
     
  4. jamierd

    jamierd Member

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    havent even seen it advertised here in the uk yet which likely means it will be on dvd in the states before we see it here
     
  5. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    starts on sky movies at easter over hear Jamie
     
  6. Pong

    Pong Active Member

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    It will premiere April 4th in the U.K and the 3rd here.

    Three more weeks!
     
  7. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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  8. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    HBO has been showin' "BOB" all week with promos for "The Pacific" in between.

    Can't wait for Sunday!

    TO
     
  9. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I got HBO just for this. They have a special $5 mo for the first 6 months.
     
  10. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    So did I. My deal was free HBO and Cinemax for three months. And I already requested Amazon to notify me when the DVD becomes available (though not for a while).

    TO
     
  11. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I can't wait to see this! I can't get HBO over here, and who knows when it will show up in Germany. I will just have to find a way to get it...;)
     
  12. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I don't have HBO either but am very excited to see this series. I'm sure it won't take long for each episode to show up on torrent sites.
     
  13. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Bootleg alert!!! :)

    TO
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I do not condone that...;)
     
  15. twoeagles

    twoeagles Member

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    The current issue (April 2010) of the U.S. Naval Institute's magazine "Naval History" is devoted to this Pacific mini-series and worth looking for in your local bookstores...One thing it pointed out that I had not really given serious thought was that the "civilian casualties per military casualty" in the Pacific is estimated at 3 to 5 times greater than the European Theater. We all love the aircraft and the battle tactics, and don't spend much time pondering something like that. Enormous.
     
  16. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Just got HBO as well for this series. Looking forward to it, trying to keep my expectations in check, and trying not to compare it to BoB too much!
     
  17. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Us New Jersey guys are glad to see that one of the Marines in "Pacific" is MOH winner John Basilone. :salute:

    Grew up in Raritan, NJ, about a half hour north of where I live.

    TO
     
  18. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I wonder if they'll have interviews at the beginning like BoB..

    .
     
  19. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    I would think they will. Love hearing those guys talk about their experiences. Fewer and fewer of them left.

    TO
     
  20. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Agree 100%. That is what made BoB so powerful to me, we were watching the actual experiences of the characters being interviewed.
     
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