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For obvious reasons, The Pacific is widely linked to Band of Brothers; so having only recently watched the BOB box set I highly anticipated viewing its follow up mini-series. Band of Brothers tackles many issues involved with war, whilst also giving an accurate walk-through of real events. But the Pacific seems only concerned with bettering its sister series' gore and violence, with shallow, repetitive fight scenes and characters almost impossible to relate to, I often found myself confusing the characters as there is no character building. Climaxes are too common and the whole 'non-existent enemies' set piece is used more than once. Don't bother with The Pacific, watch Band of Brothers again instead.
"The Pacific" is a 2010 American miniseries that focuses on the US Marine Corps actions in the Pacific Theatre within the Pacific War during World War two, directed by Tim Van Patten, David Nutter, Jeremy Podeswa, Graham Yost, Carl Franklin and Tony To and starring Joseph Mazzello, James Badge Dale, Jon Seda and William Sadler.
The series mainly focuses on the lives of Corporal Eugene "Sledgehammer" Sledge ( Joseph Mazzello ) , Private First Class Robert Lecki ( James Badge Dale ) and Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone ( Jon Seda ) and follows each man through their respective career during the Pacific campaign of World War II.
Split into 10 episodes we see each man's relationship with their fellow Marine's, along with each of their experiences in battle and sometimes their experiences away from the battlefield also.
Every character in the mini-series is based on a real Marine and is taken from their memoir's.
I have never actually seen the companion series to "The Pacific", "Band Of Brothers" and as such didn't know what to expect, however I had always heard glowing things about Band of Brothers and while its still on my list of "to watch" DVD's, after watching The Pacific I think i'll move it up my priority list.
Right from the opening scenes you know you're watching more than your average TV show, having a rumoured budget of $150 million which is more than some of your average Hollywood blockbusters you can see where the money was spent, it doesn't really rely on big name stars ( most of the actors in the series i'd never heard of before ) and instead relies on the storylines themselves, along with the sometimes epic battles depicted and occasionally disturbing imagery.
Realism was obviously a high priority with this show and personally I think they achieved it, you can just imagine being the marines in some of the worst situations imaginable and the battle scenes look incredibly realistic and well shot, combined with the excellent cinematography and occasional musical score ( some of which was composed by my favourite Hollywood composer, Hans Zimmer ) and it really has the look and feel of a big Hollywood production.
I made sure I took my time with it, as I know that if I crammed around 10 hours into a short period of time I wouldn't give myself the time to absorb what i'd seen, as such I recommend watching it over a good period of time, maybe a few weeks or more, that way you'll be looking forward to popping it into the DVD player, and seeing how the storyline progresses.
The acting is something else that shines out in this production, as i've mentioned before none of the actors are really what you'd call household names, but each one is convincing in their respective roles and look like their truly going through hell, the cast works well together and while there are moments when you'll see so many faces on screen all wearing the same uniform that you may start to get confused as to who each person is, the importance of the main characters is never lost and you find yourself following the necessary character through each episode.
"The Pacific" is compelling viewing in my opinion, and if you're looking for a realistic perspective on history , that draws you into what you're seeing on screen then this is definitely for you, or if you're just looking for a well acted, well written drama series then this is also for you.
I recently rented this DVD box set as i have watched Band of Brothers in the past and really enjoyed it. This is along the same sort of lines and from the outset i was glued! It starts off at a much fatster pace than band of brothers and gets down to the action straight away.Although it does slow up a bit in the middle it then picks up again towards the end. This box set is not as long as band of brothers but is still worth a watch. It can be sometimes horrific in places with lots of gore but this just adds to the reality they must have faced back then. It is not all blood and guts and the storyline does look at certain individuals lives including what happens when they return home. Overall i would recommend this for a watch. If you enjoyed band of brothers then this is for you.
The Pacific, a tale of 3 men's journey through the Pacific campaign in World War 2, was always going to be compared to Band of Brothers (both were produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, and are very, very similar in style, tone and story). This is an unfair comparison, for while The Pacific doesn't quite match up to Band of Brothers in quality, it comes very close. What's more, it even has a few of its own opinions and ideas, rather than re-hashing what BoB did before it.
And while The Pacific takes an unwise step back from BoB's realism by at times making its story so melodramatic (the acting is excellent, but the occasionally corny dialogue is not), you cannot fault the sheer scale of the series, nor its raw depiction of combat. For a perfect example, see the half an hour-long Pelelieu beach landing dwarf what Spielberg did previously in the opening few minutes of Saving Private Ryan.
Our idea of tropical combat doesn't quite match the reality presented in The Pacific. Rain, mud and blood colour the screen throughout the series, our vision filled by terrifying imagery of war at its most vicious and desperate. The Pacific is not for the sensitive; with all the bullet-ridden, exploding, mangled bodies in sight, the series often comes closer to a horror film than a war drama.
The Pacific's excellent performances also lift the series out of its sometimes soap drama-esqe traipsing. Joseph Mazzello, James Badge Dale and Jon Seda are a powerful triple threat as the central characters and our eyes and ears within the drama. Mazzello's descent from an innocent into a horror-stricken war veteran is mesmerising, and takes us on perhaps the most interesting character arc of the miniseries. Jon Seda, while largely underused, still has an episode all to himself to shine in an impressive build-up to and execution of the battle of Iwo Jima, while James Badge Dale is probably the most impressive actor in the series. Though that's challenged by supporting player Rami Malek, as a cynical and damaged product of war, in a real attention-grabbing turn.
Although The Pacific may not be quite on the same level as Band of Brothers - then again, not many TV series can claim to be - it's still an epic, ten hour experience that is both a magnificent technical achievement and a compelling, horrifying tale of war.