Monday, February 1, 2010


Ask anybody who has seen Band of Brothers and they will tell you the HBO mini series is one of the greatest World War II stories ever told. The story is a true tale based on the brave paratroopers of Easy Company, some of the best soldiers the United States had to offer in WWII. The company dropped in behind enemy lines the night before D-Day with the mission to destroy Nazi fortifications and more specifically the artillery guns aimed at the Normandy beaches.

This first mission was only the beginning of the heroic tale for these young men battling to rid the world of Nazi tyranny. The feats these men overcame will blow your mind. It will generate appreciation for soldiers in uniform and cause wonder how these men could be so brave. Hearing the interviews with the soldiers who experienced these events before each episode stirs the emotions of your heart. If you have not seen Band of Brothers, you seriously need to set apart some time to watch one of the greatest achievements in the history of visual storytelling. Need proof? The HBO mini-series is still to this day the highest selling DVD of all time pulling in over $200 million in sales.

The executive producers of Band of Brothers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are neck deep in another WWII epic called The Pacific. HBO is aiming for the new ten part installment to debut the first episode March 14th. The setting for this story takes place in the Pacific theater against the Japanese Empire. From the trailers you can check out below The Pacific looks as raw and gritty in warfare as Band of Brothers, or Saving Private Ryan. Hmm...didn't Hanks and Spielberg have something to do with that movie too? Like the winning formula of the previous highly successful WWII accounts from these renowned producers, The Pacific uses a mix of mind numbing war and character narratives to tell an epic story of the men defending our freedom in the 1940's.

The Pacific is based on the memoirs of Eugene Sledge and Robert Leckie, the fearless Marines who lived out the mission to thwart the Japanese and their siege of annihilation. This series like Band of Brothers, is that much more meaningful because the events taking place on screen actually transpired. The men depicted actually put their lives on the line in some of the most gruesome circumstances in this world's war torn history.

This time around the series follows the1st Division Marines and their remarkable journey through the death and destruction in the Pacific theater. These brave souls were involved in famous conflicts such as Guadacanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, Okinawa, and the bloody and iconic Battle of Iwo Jima. From the footage from the trailers this series looks to have some of the soldiers' home lives which was something missing, though not a flaw, in Band of Brothers. A soldier's story has an added dynamic when he has a woman or family at home he is fighting for, and fighting to get back to.

The images from the trailers emphasize the valiant mindset it takes to storm the beach heads of enemy territory. One of the important aspects I think all war films need to include is treacherous missions depicted in a real sense to give viewers an understanding to what is sacrificed for the military to achieve their overall goal of victory.

Another huge plus for this production is how much attention the details are given. From what I have read and seen the producers stressed creating the most realistic environment to immerse the viewer in. This means first hand accounts of the actual events, military training for the actors, authentic looking gear and weapons, and most of all, convincing settings for it to take place. From the previous work of Hanks and Spielberg you get an idea for how picky they are about getting everything right. So far everything is shaping up to give the impression this mini-series will be no different.  

The series is rumored to have a budget of over $150 million dollars, the highest ever for an HBO production. Now the question is, can The Pacific have the success of the heralded Band of Brothers? One thing The Pacific has going for it is how few WWII stories have been told set in the Pacific theater as opposed to the European theater. The only films recently have been Flags of our Fathers (not great, but debatable) The Thin Red Line, and Windtalkers (which was horribly horrible).

To view any of the four trailers, behind the scenes footage, or for more information about The Pacific follow the link to HBO's website.

Even though March is around the corner, it can't get here soon enough. 


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