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View Full Version : The Pacific -(Warning: Spoilers Inside)



YellowFever
08 Apr 10,, 10:43
Ok, so I'm watching this new miniseries "The Pacific".

I've enjoyed "The Band of Brothers" immensley so I thought I'd give this a shot.

"Dissapointing" does not even begin to cover what I'm feeling.

I was always interested in our campaign in the pacific (more so than the european campaign) and I was hoping to learn something but all we got was a "Band of Brothers" in the Pacific.

The fact that the Navy chickened out (maybe too harsh a word) and left the Marines hanging on the 'Canal was ommitted and all we got was "the Navy was sunk" dialogue between a couple of Marines. Henderson field was mentioned numerous times but we never even got to see it. It would have been nice to actually see the damn airfield.

The usual "the enemy has loved ones too" scenes were done to death in the first episode.

And this pisses me off no end these days. In every war movie we see these days (not just this mini series), the same theme always seems to be "the enemy is human also and we did terrible things" schtick. I've seen it in "The Sand of Iwo Jima" and I'm seeing it in spades in this miniseries as well.

I know our soldiers did some terrible things but it seems these days, the enemy is portrayed as some local hick that got caught up in the winds of war and our soldiers were just mean.

In fact, the only things I really enjoy about this series is the five minute montage in the beginning where real vets describe their experiences and the awesome opening credits.

I'm hoping this series picks up but I'm seriously doubting it.

What do you guys think?

Mihais
08 Apr 10,, 10:57
Agreed.BoB was a marvel.This one had a full episode of Marines f...ing and drinking,which is a cheap attempt to cheat me of my money and waste my time as a spectator.
The clone never beats the original and that's the case here.

Bigfella
08 Apr 10,, 11:46
I'll get to see it next week.

Stan187
08 Apr 10,, 12:09
The fact that the Navy chickened out (maybe too harsh a word) and left the Marines hanging on the 'Canal was ommitted and all we got was "the Navy was sunk" dialogue between a couple of Marines. Henderson field was mentioned numerous times but we never even got to see it. It would have been nice to actually see the damn airfield.

Well, it was based on the account of several people who participated... That particular episode was based on the account of Robert Leckie, who was not deployed at Henderson field during the battle itself.



I know our soldiers did some terrible things but it seems these days, the enemy is portrayed as some local hick that got caught up in the winds of war and our soldiers were just mean.

What? They showed a wounded guy blowing up medics as they are trying to aid him.

Genosaurer
08 Apr 10,, 12:38
In general I agree with what seems to be the consensus here so far. While I wouldn't say The Pacific has been bad, some of the magic that was in Band of Brothers is just missing from it. Hard to put my finger on what the reason is.


Agreed.BoB was a marvel.This one had a full episode of Marines f...ing and drinking,which is a cheap attempt to cheat me of my money and waste my time as a spectator.

The first episode of Band of Brothers ("Currahee") was almost entirely boot camp. A later episode ("Why We Fight") didn't really have any action scenes, that I can remember.

Incidentally, I also thought those two were the best episodes of the series, and I thought the third episode of The Pacific (the one you refer to) was the best of the ones they've aired so far. Not every episode has to be a non-stop gun battle, and I think that episode did the most to build characters and tell a story. YMMV of course.

bolo121
08 Apr 10,, 12:47
BoB somehow seemed more focused and put together to me, they should have put in an extended boot camp episode in the beginning rather than the melbourne episode. Also as it keeps shifting every episode instead of showing the same guys always its tough to follow whats going on.

From a TV action point of view BoB was definitely more intense.

bigross86
08 Apr 10,, 13:56
I dunno, I'm liking it so far. BoB was great, but I'm judging this one on it's own merits, not as a comparison.

I'm also comparing it a lot to Leon Uris' Battle Cry, in that aspect it's slightly lacking

Tarek Morgen
08 Apr 10,, 18:31
the one poblem I have is the constant jumping from one group to another in each episode. While in BoB you followed the same unit from boot camp over normandy to the end of war, here you now have three different ones which makes it rather hard to get atteched in the same way one did in BoB.

About Humanising the enemy "too much"..bob did pretty much the exact same just for example the Generals speech at the end of the show:

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Or the death of the one young German soldier which caused one officer not to fire his weapon another time for the rest of the war.

Mihais
08 Apr 10,, 18:40
In general I agree with what seems to be the consensus here so far. While I wouldn't say The Pacific has been bad, some of the magic that was in Band of Brothers is just missing from it. Hard to put my finger on what the reason is.



The first episode of Band of Brothers ("Currahee") was almost entirely boot camp. A later episode ("Why We Fight") didn't really have any action scenes, that I can remember.

Incidentally, I also thought those two were the best episodes of the series, and I thought the third episode of The Pacific (the one you refer to) was the best of the ones they've aired so far. Not every episode has to be a non-stop gun battle, and I think that episode did the most to build characters and tell a story. YMMV of course.

Yep,but those episodes from BoB were,well,about the band of brothers.How they start as zeroes,train to be heroes and why the whole bunch is brought together in the first place(last episode that shows that).The main character is the unit,not some individual.IMO,of course.Not an movie expert.

YellowFever
09 Apr 10,, 06:04
What? They showed a wounded guy blowing up medics as they are trying to aid him.

Actually I was talking more about the sadistic acts committed by the marines where they use an unarmed Japanese soldier as target practice by shooting the arms, legs, etc all the while laughing.

Also the part where a marine strangles a wounded japanese soldier to death while looking right into his eyes.

I'm sure these acts of horror are mild compared to what goes on in real wars..
...but why is it that we only see the marines commit these acts and not the enemy?

Oh well.....

1979
09 Apr 10,, 10:30
Also the part where a marine strangles a wounded japanese soldier to death while looking right into his eyes.


Were is the sadistic part ?

Bigfella
09 Apr 10,, 10:43
Actually I was talking more about the sadistic acts committed by the marines where they use an unarmed Japanese soldier as target practice by shooting the arms, legs, etc all the while laughing.

Also the part where a marine strangles a wounded japanese soldier to death while looking right into his eyes.

I'm sure these acts of horror are mild compared to what goes on in real wars..
...but why is it that we only see the marines commit these acts and not the enemy?

Oh well.....

Could it be because the series is based in the first person perspective of Americans? Presumably few who were not taken prisoner actually saw Japanese atrocities of the type you describe being committed - just the aftermath. I'm betting that you'll get to see enough aftermath to satisfy you as the series goes on. In fact, later on there is apparently a bit of 'poetic license' taken with an event from one of the books where a marine shoots & kills a wounded woman. it is 'cleaned up' to have her dying in the arms of one of the Marines instead. Political correctness?

Just curious, did we actually see Germans committing atrocities in BoB? Been a while since I've seen it, but I don't recall anything more than aftermath.

Tarek Morgen
09 Apr 10,, 10:52
The Landsberg KZ was shown in rather big detail, besides that episode I can't really think of another example.

Dreadnought
09 Apr 10,, 14:27
*Many of your museum ships right now are doing a part with HBO on The Pacific and are sending live recorded messages that you record on location to your troops. Dont forget to send a message of thanks if you attend one of these locations.:)

Stan187
09 Apr 10,, 16:04
Actually I was talking more about the sadistic acts committed by the marines where they use an unarmed Japanese soldier as target practice by shooting the arms, legs, etc all the while laughing.

Also the part where a marine strangles a wounded japanese soldier to death while looking right into his eyes.

I'm sure these acts of horror are mild compared to what goes on in real wars..
...but why is it that we only see the marines commit these acts and not the enemy?

Oh well.....

Think about it, it is a one hour episode in which they try to boil down a campaign of significant length, right? So what we see is narrative compression. All of the elements that are essential learning by the character, these things took place with the real people but in time frames unsuitable for television.

So what do we have? Marines discover mutilated Marines in the forest-->showing brutal enemy. Then they fight a battle and find the pack with Japanese soldier's belongings that has letters/pictures-->humanizing the enemy. Then Japanese wounded blows up two medics with a grenade-->brutal enemy. Marines toy with Japanese soldier-->shows their reaction to the brutal enemy, and humanizes and acknowledges Leckie as the thinker/philosopher type like he was shown to be on the ship.

In other words, there is a lot of story-telling wrapped up in a very short amount of time. I haven't read the books, so I don't know if it is all 100% percent out of there. But it certainly does the job well on its own. That character development in particular is vital, since we need strong characters in order to follow a series that is not about one particular company.

Furthermore, there is hints to the cultural confusion. The Marines laugh as they see the Japanese soldier begging for death.. it does not make sense to them because they did not know much of Bushido at the time, and it shows their experience with it first hand. The concept of honorable death and the Japanese interpretation of it was completely foreign. All of that gets across in a few incidents with the span of 10 minutes. To me, that seems like great television. Probably my favorite 10 minutes in the whole series so far.

bolo121
09 Apr 10,, 19:37
One of the main problems is that in BoB you had a strong leader to follow in Cpt Winters, while in the Pacific there is no leader through whose eyes you can understand whats going on.

Bigfella
10 Apr 10,, 01:54
The Landsberg KZ was shown in rather big detail, besides that episode I can't really think of another example.

Tarek,

I recall the episode in detail, but that comes under 'aftermath' rather than 'committing'.

bigross86
13 Apr 10,, 01:15
Just saw Episode 5. Wasn't that great of an episode, but I liked how the camera follows Eugene Sledge when they hit the beach. Showing him scared, not moving, and then getting the guts to start crawling. Showing his fear every time he has to move, but he gets up and does it anyway, and responds under fire as part of the mortar squad just like he was trained to.

Imperator~
13 Apr 10,, 02:34
has anyone read Sledges book? With the old breed?

xinhui
13 Apr 10,, 04:36
I have, one of the best book out there in this subject.

Tarek Morgen
13 Apr 10,, 12:45
Tarek,

I recall the episode in detail, but that comes under 'aftermath' rather than 'committing'.

True, but then again BoB did play on the western front. While not free of massacres and crimes (like Malmedy for example) these were much more rare then compared what happened at the eastern front or on the Balkans. In a similar show playing in those theaters one would have certainly seen more German crimes.

Bigfella
14 Apr 10,, 06:54
True, but then again BoB did play on the western front. While not free of massacres and crimes (like Malmedy for example) these were much more rare then compared what happened at the eastern front or on the Balkans. In a similar show playing in those theaters one would have certainly seen more German crimes.


I think we're agreeing in a round about way. My broader point is that in anything based on a first person account or even an account of a small group you are necessarily limited in what you will see.

The chances of anyone not actually captured personally seeing an atrocity are extremely limited - indeed there is more chance of seeing your own side do it and (in these cases) even more of seeing the aftermath of an enemy atrocity.

Fighting in the Pacific was a lot more like the Eastern front than the Western in terms of brutality toward enemy comabatants, so I would expect to see more regular evidence of Japanese atrocities & more regular depiction of US behaviour that might be deemed questionable.

YellowFever
27 Apr 10,, 07:44
OK, so I was wrong.

I wasn't familiar at all with the miniseries The Pacific regarding it's backstory and that it's based on two books, 'With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa' and 'Helmet for My Pillow' written by Sledge and Leckie respectively.
Once I realized that this series should not be viewed as BOB was but rather the war as seen by those individuals, it became quite enjoyable.

We don't see the massive air battles and the carrier war and I guess that was one of my peeves about this project. Still what the individual Marines had to go through was sheer hell and the show is doing a pretty good job of portraying that but I can't help but feel a bit dissapointed because nothing is shown with a "bird's eye view" of battle so to speak. The Battle of Edson's Ridge was glossed over and The Battle for Henderson Field was just touched upon but I guess they can't divulge into that because it is a movie after all about the experiences of three marines but it comes across as one bloody fight after another without even knowing what battle it was and how significant those battles were. I find the lack of a narrative sorely missing in the series. It would have greatly added to the whole experience (it added emmensley to BOB) of watching the show but they can't do anything about it now so.......

In my earlier post, i was a bit peeved at the "meanness" of the American Marines but the show is doing a great job of convincing me how a perfectly normal person, saddled with the experiences they've accumulated through the battles can indeed become sadistic. I guess I knew this all along and it would have been much more believable if the "target practice" and some of the other sadistic things the marines were doing to their enemies were to have occured in episodes 6 or 7 but after the first battle they had with the Japanese on Guadalacanal? I don't think so.

All these are minor complaints though.

After reading the books mentioned above, I find myself enjoying this series more than I did BOB.

bigross86
27 Apr 10,, 10:40
I saw part seven, I was wondering, what exactly is the legal status of a stretcher bearer?

Stan187
08 May 10,, 21:33
I saw part seven, I was wondering, what exactly is the legal status of a stretcher bearer?

Just going out on a limb here, but I'd say that he's not a medic, he is actively taking part in hostilities even if for the moment he is not firing. So he's a legit target if that is what you were aiming to define.

bigross86
08 May 10,, 21:40
I was, especially after the long thread about the Collateral Murder incident.

Stan, did you get that PM I sent you?

Stan187
08 May 10,, 21:44
I was, especially after the long thread about the Collateral Murder incident.

Stan, did you get that PM I sent you?

I did I was just responding. :)