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Posts Tagged ‘Steven Spielberg’

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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“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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“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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It is pretty clear during the first battle in The Pacific that this is a very different show than Band of Brothers. Like many people, I love Band of Brothers – I own the dvd and try to re-watch the series every year or so as well as re-read the Stephen Ambrose book every few years. But the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) was an incredibly different experience for the Americans who fought there. The title of each show is the first clue; Band of Brothers was truly about men who became closer than brothers and a good portion of the series was spent establishing the camaraderie that helped Easy Company become such an elite unit. The Pacific is going to focus on the psychological toll that the PTO took on three men: John Basilone of New Jersey, Eugene Sledge of Alabama, and Robert Leckie of Philadelphia who is the focus of the second half of this episode.

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Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg’s The Pacific starts this Sunday on HBO. Since I basically added HBO to my cable bill for this miniseries specifically, I thought I would add a weekly blog posting each Sunday night or Monday morning. If you’re like J and are too cheap to even buy cable, let alone HBO, these posts are definitely meant to be read once you have watched the episode. I would never, ever recommend watching tv or movies online illegally but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

And for those of you who have not watched Band of Brothers, the predecessor to The Pacific, you have three days or so to catch up on the greatest miniseries ever created. You should probably watch it again anyway just to relive Guarnere’s craziness, Lutz’s different impersonations, Lipton’s quiet yet effective leadership, Malarky’s loss of innocence, Spear’s German domination, and Winters’s all around heroism. It’s bringing a tear to my eye just thinking about it. Here is the trailer for The Pacific:

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