The Pacific [Blu-Ray]

The Pacific [Blu-Ray]
Tracking the lives of three U.S. Marines from 1941 to 1945 as they battle the Japanese on Guadalcanal and in Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, Iwo Jima and eventually Okinawa, The Pacific intertwines events and lives chronologically with an intensity and epic scope that's never short of spellbinding. It starts on American soil directly after the attack on Pearl Harbour with Sgt. Basilone (Jon Seda), shipping off to war while aspiring journalist Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale) enlists and Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello) learns of a heart murmur that could keep him from fighting. Shown as eager, honourable, but naïve, young men, this Emmy Award winning miniseries slowly shapes their evolving identity and outlook through gritty, unrelenting wartime horrors. They are depicted chaotically and expertly, immersing the viewer in a battlefield of flying dirt, debris and explosives, with bullets flying everywhere as planes strafe overhead and enemies rush out of every cave, forest and trench. Choreography and technical wizardry alone give this Remembrance Day necessity unique power, but what really stands out are the thoughtful, subtle performances and slow-building characterization throughout the ten episodes of the series. This boys go from meek and unsure to broken to world-weary and unshakable men in a logical and acutely observant manner far beyond what a film could do in a mere two hours. And while the wartime footage and conversations during downtime surrounded by mud, decimated buildings and dead bodies are impressive and magnetic, the two episodes that take place on U.S. and Australian soil, expanding on wartime romance and sexual exploits, are a little too Hallmark and mawkish to succeed beyond character-shaping filler. Regardless, the balance between historical pedagogy and compelling drama creates an accessible and unforgettable viewing experience. As an added bonus, the Blu-Ray set comes with enhanced Picture-in-Picture viewing, with veteran interviews and geographical tidbits, along with a menu field guide that allows you to learn more about the time, accessing photos, historical footage and so on. The DVD and Blu-Ray include the extensive "Making of" supplement, which discusses this project in relation to Band of Brothers, along with "Profiles of the Pacific" and "Anatomy of the Pacific War," which expands upon the real lives of the people depicted in the miniseries, along with the cultural climate during the war. (Warner)