Just like Band of
Brothers, The Pacific is another extremely well made and epic
TV mini-series that was created under the support of Steven Spielberg
and Tom Hanks with directors David Nutter and Carl Franklin.
Unlike Band of Brothers that was set in war torn Europe, this story is
based in the Pacific during World War II and revolves around three US
marines that include Robert Leckie, John Basilone and Eugene Sledge. The
10-part series traces quite a few historic moments of the Pacific
Theatre Operations for the Americans such as the arduous trek through
the rain forests of Cape Gloucester to the deadly beaches of Iwo Jima. At
times, it's almost like an interactive documentary... but I mean this in
a good way!
Best of all, this series
really portrays a wealth of emotions through the eyes of these soldiers
such as their first encounter with the Japanese and how some US soldiers
tortured the surrendered Japanese to their return home after V-J Day, it
encompasses a wide variety of the war. However, it's quite a psychological and ardent tale that does not glamorise war
on either side but rather cements the horrors of World War II from all.
There are a variety of realistic locals, special effects and
displays of brutality but the stars of The Pacific are Bob Rumnock, Toby
Leonard Moore, Joshua Biton, James Badge Dale and Joseph Mazzello who
capture the characters they play with humility and realism.
In relation to realism,
The Pacific is actually based on four different World War II memoirs of
actual soldiers during this blight on history. The memoirs include Helmet
for My Pillow by PFC Robert Leckie, Red Blood, Black Sand: with John
Basilone on Iwo Jima by PFC Chuck Tatum and Corporal Eugene Sledge's
With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa & China Marine: An
Infantryman's Life after World War II. Four amazing tales no less that
have been successfully converted to TV. This series has made me want to
hunt down the originals in order to read their accounts.
War is the heart of this
series and the battles of The Pacific are played out like a Hollywood
movie and no corners were cut in the production here. Whether it's the
producers mimicking the landing of Iwo
Jima or the battle in Okinawa, the accuracy is unparalleled in this
that said, The Pacific is not an enjoyable piece of TV due to the
content of the stories and atrocities of war. After each episode, I felt
emotionally overwhelmed as it was like catching a glimpse into the true
soul of humanity that has the power of life and death. I'm guessing that
this is because of the eerie realism of this production but nonetheless
it made for a captivating and quite memorable experience as we follow
these sometimes yet flawed yet human soldiers.
Video, Audio & Special
Once again HBO continues
to release high quality productions and this 6-disc collection
comes with an exceptional 1080p transfer that looks magnificent on FULL
HD. Even though the colours are bright and the images are sharp, there
is a slight effect that makes things look a little older than they
actually are which suits the premise perfectly. For a TV release, the
quality of this Blu-ray is amazing and the attention to detail has
probably never been this good.
Whether it's the sweat
dripping from the marines or the individual drops of rain or debris
flying through the hair from huge explosions, the clarity is indeed jaw
dropping at times. Audio supports DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 that makes
thorough use of your surround sound. At times, it's almost like you are
in the middle of a fire fight as bullets whiz pass your head or you can
hear the subtle sounds of the animals in the jungle, it comes together
amazingly for a TV made series. There are no errors whatsoever in this
release and I would have to say that this is true reference material.
For special features,
the release comes in a very cool metal case that looks quite "military"
and of course a wealth of entertaining extras. There is an enhanced
viewing experience that uses Picture-in-Picture while the series is
unfolding and gives a variety of informative titbits. There is a 25
minute "Making Of" documentary, an interactive field guide that contains
maps, interviews, photos, biographies and dozens of more of engaging
snippets of World War II.
Lastly we have the Profiles of the Pacific
that discusses the real Marines from the series that include John Basilone, Eugene Sledge, Robert Leckie, Sidney Phillips, R.V. Burgin and
Chuck Tatum, through Historians and family members. The only
disappointing aspect of the special features was the ten minute Anatomy
of the Pacific War featurette that gives the viewer an all too short
introduction to what led to the war in the Pacific. But still, this
is what special features should be about and HBO have outshone
If there is one series
you buy this year, than The Pacific Blu-ray edition should be that
series. This production is first class from start to finish and will sit
proudly in your DVD/Blu-ray collection. The only thing that I'm annoyed
at is that I missed it the first time around on TV. Nonetheless, here it
is on Blu-ray and if you have seen the series before, you will still
thoroughly enjoy it again. This is one collection that I'm eager to
watch again and again. Highly Recommended!