Archive for June 14th, 2010

Review: ‘The Pacific’ (HBO)

14 June 2010

Contributed by Joanne Mc Entee

The sphere of operations has shifted. The theatre no longer resides in the Pacific or Europe: it occurs amongst the audience of HBO’s latest miniseries ‘The Pacific’.  Tensions are high regarding the changes in the 2010 war series from its precursor ‘Band of Brothers’ (2001). Although structurally similar to ‘Band of Brothers’, the ‘The Pacific’ has left many die-hard fans of the forerunner up in arms.

‘The Pacific’ follows marines Sledge, Leckie, and Basilone in Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Parallels with ‘Band of Brothers’ emerge as soon as the opening sequence rolls. The voice of Hanks provides information on the war in the Pacific, while contemporary black and white footage, coupled with veteran accounts, brings the narrative to life. The opening credits echo the ‘Band of Brothers’ formula, both visually and melodically, while the type-faced of the title of each episode mirrors its predecessor. All these structural similarities merely fuel a desire to compare content. Yet it is here, at the most fundamental level that variations emerge. In direct contrast to the action packed, bloody, assault of the prequel’s ‘Day of Days’, the beachhead in the ‘part 1’ confronts a deserted strand, while ‘japs’, though often alluded to, rarely emerge on screen. Aiming small stones into the severed skull of the enemy and forcing gold fillings from the dead are Marine acts which fly in the face of the heroic US military rhetoric of 2001. Read more