I didn't see any other post on this HBO series, so I started this one. I don't have HBO so I have had to wait for the DVD/BD release of it this month. I was on the fence on which version to purchase, but knowing the wait time to load a BD I went with the DVD WS version. Being a former Marine made me more interested on the take of this mini series and how they would portray the Corps. The added plus for me picking the DVD version was that it still came in DTS sound, along with the shorter load times. Watching 5 disk, 2 episodes per disk can work on the nerves waiting on disk loading. I still used my Pioneer 120 BD player for the first 2 disk then moved upstairs to watch the remaining 3 on my older Pioneer Elite -45A player and 20" CRT.
For being a former Marine it was like seeing a lot of what I was taught in boot camp coming to life on film. The characters of Chesty Puller, John Baslione are major figures in Marine Corps history. The detail location of small Pacific Island where 1Ks of young Marines died on that many citizens have never heard of to this day. The one key moment in this series to me was a very small encounter with one of the main characters and a taxi driver, when the driver refuse to take the Marines money for the cab fare. "I had England and Paris to get away, you Marines never got off the line, just jungle rot and malaria." In short a good story well paced out, but I feel veterans, especially Marines would get more out of it than most.
We discussed The Pacific when it first aired earlier this year, I enjoyed the series but not as much as "Band of Brothers" which aired years ago. It might just be because I was a
Sgt. in the Army as opposed to the Corps but I've loads of respect for the Corps. First Class Fightin'' Men, just They never met a Bayonet Charge they didn't like. I'm glad though that HBO told the OTHER story of the OTHER war. Warrior to warrior I salute you for your service. Glad you liked the show
PS, I also think Marine Corps Dress Blues are the shiznit!
I have been watching it this week and can appreciate it more now that I am not comparing it directly to BOB. The focus during this series was more on individuals rather than a group or unit which only makes sense because the source material is based on a couple of memoirs.
As for the other comments I can only add that as the son of a career Marine I grew up around and understood what I can only characterize as the Marines "Esprit de Corps". Growing up I was around and appreciated all the sacrifices of all men and women of the military services. My Dad took a class from Stephen Ambrose back in the mid 60's and he says that he used to correct Ambrose on occasion when Ambrose would say that the Marines were in effect a Special Forces unit. My Dad would always tell Ambrose that they were not Special Forces they were Marines......
Recovery, I also loved Leckie's conversation with the cabbie who'd served in Europe. The stark contrast of their experiences was neatly summed up in that 20 second conversation.
I liked when Leckie wound up in the Bin as well and the orderly was asking him for his razor blades and shoe laces. I won't spoil the scene for others but let's just say that razor blades and shoe laces were the least of that orderlies problems.
Gunny Haney and the dog and several other scenes helped to relieve the tension of what seemed at times a long unending string of danger and misery for those Marines. Gotta say SNAFU was one creepy/funny guy and his portrayal was excellent. See "The Pacific" if and when you can.
Yes, it was very good. More harrowing and violent than Band of Brothers because the PTO was such a bloodbath compared to the ETO. Yes, Snafu was incredibly creepy and brutal, yet so vulnerable. He was the most interesting character in the series because of his inner conflict seemed the strongest. Leckie too. I want to read his book.
But I think the arc of the BOB storyline plays better as entertainment. Pacific bounced around so much following unrelated characters from different units. I found the Australian and US interludes took away from the continuity of the story.
I liked how BOB followed one unit: the military is about the unit, rather than individual, and BOB played this angle up to great effect, setting it apart from most other war films. The way the whole thing took place in the ETO (except the training in the first episode) was subtle and important too. No love stories, no wives and families at home, etc. By not showing the homefront, BOB made us feel the homesickness that everyone in war feels.
To me, BOB is still the greatest war film ever made.