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Posts Tagged ‘HBO’

Can I interest you in a little show called Boardwalk Empire, pilot directed by Martin Scorsese, created by Terence Winter (of The Sopranos), and starring Steve Buscemi? I thought so. PB&J is roaring back with BE talk after the premiere tomorrow. Here are a few links to whet your appetite:

Alan Sepinwall’s review: http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/review-hbos-boardwalk-empire

Time Magazine: http://tunedin.blogs.time.com/2010/09/17/dead-tree-alert-boardwalk-empire-review/

LA Times: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2010/09/boardwalk-empire-executive-producer-terence-winter-talks-going-back-to-the-20s.html

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And with that moving shot of Eugene Sledge walking through the field, with a bright future despite of his horrific experiences, The Pacific ends its magnificent run. I thought it was terrific. The general consensus among viewers seems to be that it started slow, gained considerable momentum during the Peleliu episodes, and had a few emotionally satisfying moments towards the end that affected people in different ways – most critics, however, were able to view the entire series at their own pace and it received tremendous reviews.

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“There is no God damn reason.” E. B. Sledge

The final episode of The Pacific aired last night so I will have a few thoughts on that episode, as well as the series overall, later in the week. But Part 9 does deserve some discussion and analysis for the horrors it showed in Okinawa and the continuing (and surprising) brilliance of Joe Mazzello. Who would have thought the freaking kid from Jurassic…ok, just kidding, he is the kid from The Pacific now.

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“My home is the Corps.” John Basilone

When I watched Part 8 of The Pacific, I actually wrote in my notes that people are going to have complaints about this episode. I was enjoying the longer look at Basilone’s post-Gaudalcanal life as a celebrity and I needed the break after three weeks of terrifying and disturbing combat on Peleliu. But I can understand if some may consider it too slow until the last 20 minutes. The last 20 minutes on the beaches of Iwo Jima however, were amazing and the action on that island shows another battle with questionable strategic value and horrendous casualties.

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“You can’t dwell on anything.”

— Captain Haldane and Eugene Sledge

Peleliu is in very few history books that I’ve ever read and seemed to serve no strategic purpose in the PTO. But the 30-plus days of fighting were so terrifying and relentless that it changed Eugene Sledge from a naive, innocent, and educated Southern boy to a hardened soldier able to scare someone with a look. It’s hard to imagine that “The Pacific” is going to top Part 7. It was really hard to watch at times but this hour of the miniseries is something the audience will have no choice but to dwell on – it is almost difficult to choose the most distressing scene of the episode. This show is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in television or film.

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“It was a nightmare.”
— Anonymous veteran

We’ve seen a few glimpses of Eugene Sledge’s pre-combat life through the first four episodes of “The Pacific” but obviously spent a lot more time with Basilone and especially Leckie; so I was a little concerned what the series would be like when Sledge came to the forefront not to mention the interesting casting decision. But Sledge’s introduction to combat on the beaches of Peleliu was so terrifying and visually exhilarating that Parts 5 and 6 quickly moved this series into legendary status. What an amazing two hours of television.

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The main complaint about Band of Brothers when it aired was the sheer quantity of unrecognizable actors playing characters who frequently move in an out of the action – my Dad still has trouble keeping the Easy company guys straight and he’s seen Band of Brothers multiple times. The people behind The Pacific acknowledged this problem and tried to focus the action on three characters: Leckie, Basilone, and Sledge. We’ve barely seen Sledge so far in four episodes, and Basilone was completely absent this week save a comic book cameo, so Robert Leckie has become the heart, soul, and conscience of The Pacific.

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