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Monday, March 15, 2010

The battle for The Pacific has begun

      In 2001, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg created a very popular ten part mini-series called Band of Brothers for HBO, which told the story of a group of American soldiers during World War II in Europe.  Now they've teamed up again to tackle the Pacific theater of conflict in The Pacific.  The story centers on three real life marines, and is based on books by two of them, as well as other true source material.  The marines are Sgt. John Basilone (Jon Seda, Close to Home), Pfc. Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale, 24), and Pfc. Eugene Sledge (Joseph Mazzello, Jurassic Park, The Lost World).
     In the first part of a ten week saga, it was hard to keep track of exactly who the main characters were.  Quite a few soldiers were featured, and as most of them were in one group that the bulk of the episode followed, they all sort of blended together for me.  In fact, a second group was introduced early in the story, and I looked for them repeatedly until they finally showed up again at the end.  However, even without being able to accurately track all of the people, it was still an intriguing show.
     The realism, tone, and pacing make this mini-series.  Right from the start, the men are getting ready to go off to war, and in fact, much of the first part is set in the battlefield.  The look is spectacular, and the emotions feel real.  Some soldiers were torturing a Japanese soldier they caught, shooting him over and over so that he kept suffering.  When one brave man stood up and shot him through the heart, it certainly made the point that the enemy would not be a one-note , stereotypical villain, but treated as people, too.
     I can't exactly say why I enjoyed The Pacific so much.  It was more the overall feeling it gave than a few characteristics that I can easily pinpoint.  Suffice it to say, it appears there is something really great here, definitely worth watching.
     The Pacific will air for nine more Sundays on HBO at 9pm.

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