DVD: The Pacific (15)
Friday 05 November 2010
Steven Spielberg's fixation with the Second World War continues. He has given us Band of Brothers, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan and 1941 and he is on board here, along with Tom Hanks, as a producer. This costly ($150m) and lovingly-crafted HBO mini-series charts the true experiences of three US Marines – Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale), John Basilone (Jon Seda) and Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello, the boy in Jurassic Park) in the Pacific theatre of war.
The Pacific is not as instantly gripping as Band of Brothers and it takes a while for the viewer to get a handle on who's who. The first two episodes focus on four months of fighting – "We've been swallowed by the jungle and 5,000 Japs ready to kill us" – on the island of Guadalcanal, and most of the battles occur at night. No doubt it is all authentic, but in the dark it is well-nigh impossible to make out who is shooting whom. The grimy and beleaguered soldiers look remarkably similar.
However, the story picks up in the third episode, when our "heroes" take shore leave in Melbourne. Their characters begin to develop and you start to care, for Mazzello's Eugene in particular.
The Pacific, like Saving Private Ryan, captures the cruelty, futility, and camaraderie of war. It needs a less cloying score, but the scenes dealing with the Battle of Okinawa are sensationally orchestrated. A little patience is well rewarded.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams cast in Channel 4 drama about cyber bullying
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
The Walking Dead season 5 synopsis: Spoilers and existential questions revealed
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God