Unlike its companion miniseries, 'Band of Brothers,' which followed the legendary Easy Company throughout the war in Europe, 'The Pacific' focuses more on the individual perspectives of four Marines -- Pvts. Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale) and Sidney Phillips (Ashton Holmes) in the 1st Marine Regiment; Sgt. John Basilone (Jon Seda) in the 7th Marine Regiment; and Phillips' best friend, Pvt. Eugene Sledge (Joseph Mazzello), in the 5th Marine Regiment -- as they struggle to keep their spirits high while fighting an unrelenting enemy -- the Japanese.
AOL TV had the honor of speaking to 85-year-old WWII veteran Dr. Sidney Phillips, the only one still with us (Basilone was fatally wounded at Iwo Jima, and Leckie and Sledge, both of whom wrote memoirs on which 'The Pacific' is based, both passed away in 2001). Phillips tells us what it felt like to see his war-time experiences and those of his best friend Sledge depicted on screen.
Read the interview after the jump
(Part 7 of 7) "Dude, check it out. I wrote U.S.A. with my piss." - Person
All that for nothing. Not much was gained and so much was lost. Over the span of Generation Kill we've all marveled at the ineptitude and idiocy of the people running the show over in First Recon, but not until this episode did it become clear that it wouldn't have made a difference who was in charge - dumb or stupid. This was a losing battle before it even began. Operation Iraqi Freedom? US military PR at it's finest.
(Part 6 of 7) "You know, Iraqis don't really seem good at fighting, but they never really completely surrender either." - Person
And therein lies the difference between the Iraqi Republican Guard forces and the Fist Recon Marines: heart. Guess which side is lacking it?
The point is furthered even more when most of First Recon finds solace and happiness as they realize that their mission is over. M.R.E. milkshakes, Colbert's stash of Chef Boyardee, and an unopened issue of Juggs are the things that make people smile now.
So while everyone is celebrating the end, leave it to Brad to run around with his shirt off, giddy that Godfather is giving First Recon one more mission - one more chance to maybe, just maybe, do something remotely close to what they were trained for.
(Part 5 of 7) "You think givin' them some rice and a chocolate bar is gonna fix things?" - Espera
This was by far the best installment Of Generation Kill we've seen yet. Burns and Simon stayed 100% true to Wright's account. I remember reading about the battle on the bridge at Muwafaqiyah and wondering what all that insanity must have looked like. To be so scared that, as Trombley put it, the adrenaline rush is so intense that it messes up your blood flow and some Marines achieve happenstance erections.
It wasn't just the bridge battle that made this one such a memorable episode though. Along with the continuing escalation of stupidity by all those with higher rank, there were some great scenes where we saw Colbert, Fick, Hasser, and even Encino Man evolve. Clichéd as it may sound, war changes people and we're bearing witness to some pretty screwed up transformations.
(Part 4 of 7) "Well sir, it's just that you're incompetent, sir." - Doc Bryan
I've asked before, and I'll ask again: why aren't more of the good guys dying? When CIA-trained Iraqi friendlies get waxed by Saddam's Republican Guard because they don't have a clue? When leadership like Encino Man are floored to hear that they're stupid? When men like Captain America don't understand how using enemy weapons could cause harm? Why aren't more of the good guys dying?
It's because of the bottom on the totem pole players. The Colberts. The Persons. The Ficks. The Esperas. It's because of them that we're getting to see their story as a humorous account on HBO and not as some sappy, tears in your eyes Ken Burns PBS documentary.
(Part 3 of 7) "Yeah... these guys waving at us are probably the same ones who tried to kill us yesterday." - Cpl. Josh Ray Person
On the road again. More banter. More offensive jokes. And lots more stupidity. Honestly, the fact that no one has uttered the word "mutiny" is mind-boggling. To the contrary, everyone has fallen in line. I'm not sure if you caught it, but Sixta's constant harping about the grooming standard finally worked. All moustaches were gone.
I'm serious about the mutiny thing though... honestly, this is like having Michael Scott (from The Office) as your commanding officer, only with extra idiocy and far less humor.
(Part 2 of 7) "You gotta respect the pajama." - Sgt. Brad Colbert
At the end of this episode, I find myself less enthralled with the battle scenes we finally witnessed and more anxious to just hear what these "devil dogs" will say next. Seeing Colbert and the rest of Bravo Company get "lit up" as they rolled through Al Gharraf was impressive, yet it was still nothing new. War is in the movies and it's on TV and this was standard fare.
Thus far, Simon and Burns have stayed very true to Wright's account, and for those that have read the book, the battle descriptions hold nothing to Colbert and Person's banter. Sadly, we know war. What we don't know is the people who are fighting it. Now we do. And apparently, they think that patriotic, "I love America" songs are "straight homosexual, country music, Special Olympic gay."
Described as a kind of companion piece to their 2001 HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg's new HBO series, The Pacific, will begin filming this summer.
The Pacific focuses on three marines stationed in the Pacific: Robert Leckie, John Basilone and Eugene Sledge. The miniseries is based on the books With the Old Breed and Helmet for My Pillow, written by Sledge and Leckie, respectively. Hugh Ambrose, the brother of the late Band of Brothers author Stephen E. Ambrose, is also serving as a consultant on the new miniseries, and, along with Hanks and Spielberg, interviewed the men on which this new miniseries, a fictionalized account of their time as soldiers, is based.
(S05E10) Did this episode seem weird to anyone else? Weird as in something that shouldn't have even been tackled by Horatio and his team? One character even pointed it out during his interrogation: "Isn't Iraq a little bit out of your jurisdiction?" My thoughts exactly. Maybe it's just me, but damn near everything in this episode seemed like a bit of a stretch.
If anything, I appreciated that the writers for this show were willing to take on a tough subject like the war in Iraq but I think they handled it the wrong way. The episode had a clear negative view on the war (which was great) but I didn't agree 100% with the way they negatively portrayed the Marines and their recruiters. They made everyone seem so devious and two-faced which came across as disrespectful if you ask me. Although it is only one interpretation of what's going on and as I said, you have to at least give them a pat on the back for going near the topic.
When speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Stone said, "That's really adding insult to injury. I bet that made him really happy."
[Via TV Tattle]
Wow, can you believe there was actually a time when a TV show had 30 episodes in one season? Now we're lucky if we get 22.
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