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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The battle for The Pacific has ended

     HBO's latest miniseries, The Pacific, has come to an end.  As I commented on my twitter feed, once the bullets started flying, I had trouble telling the characters apart.  However, that did not hold true for all characters.  Some stood out.  And even if I didn't remember a good many of them as the ending credits rolled and told their stories, I was still plenty moved by the sequence.  I dare someone not to be.  Most of the soldiers depicted, as most soldiers who fought in the war, are now deceased.  But films like this one will surely keep the memory going.

     My favorite character was Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale).  I do have to say, I was sad that he didn't return to Australia and find the girl he was in love with there.  Sure, that would be more realistic in the movies than real life, but one of the other soldiers did it.  Leckie instead returned home, to continue writing for the local paper and marry the girl next door.  Very sweet, though not as sweet as my alternate ending.  Especially considering how his family treated him.  Oh, well.  It's hard to rewrite reality.

     I never did care very much for Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello), though he was most prominently featured at the end of the run.  I wonder what the real Eugene thinks of the show, assuming he's seen it.  I don't know why he wouldn't have, as his book was one of the source materials.  I am sure I will never understand his pain and what he went through, but he came off as kind of a jerk, before, during, and after the war, so it can't just be blamed on the experience.  He can be forgiven for his behavior at the end, then, but what about who he was in the first place?  I did feel bad for him, though, and his family, in particular, his father, was super supportive in the end.

     The third main character, and this one I didn't expect, so it hit me hard, was John Basilone (Jon Seda).  He was also a little bit too cocky for awhile, but he matured, and grew into an amazing soldier.  His quick courting and wedding was so wonderfully done.  When he died in combat, it was a shock, and a heart wrenching one at that.  I felt worst for his widow, of course, but I'm sure his entire unit took his death personally.  He was definitely a hero, re-enlisting and going back when he didn't have to.

     Kudos to HBO, and of course Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, for bringing us this awesome story.

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