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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars on a roll........
This 7 part series is excellent. The producers of "the Wire" and "on the corner" are really on a roll. If you want a truer picture of events in Iraq other than the political polemic and media propaganda then this is the one to watch. The novel which it is based on is well worth reading too as it is more detailed and somewhat more descriptive.

Like the 'wire'...
Published on 7 Jun 2009 by zargb5

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
This is a good watch, pretty much like Black Hawk Down, the only thing, however, is the picture quality....basically it would be cheaper to buy the sd DVD and watch it on a Blu Ray player upscaled cos the Blu Ray version is average
Published 6 months ago by Slapa4b2


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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars on a roll........, 7 Jun 2009
This review is from: Generation Kill [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This 7 part series is excellent. The producers of "the Wire" and "on the corner" are really on a roll. If you want a truer picture of events in Iraq other than the political polemic and media propaganda then this is the one to watch. The novel which it is based on is well worth reading too as it is more detailed and somewhat more descriptive.

Like the 'wire' the series producers/writers assume the audience has an intelligent and inquisitive mind which wishes to be engaged fully. This is not your usual Hollywood fodder.

This series manages to give us a view of events from the perspective of the grunts on the ground and it doesn't really hold back on language, explicit detail or events. Like the wire - you get the realistic use of language, its like you are overhearing the conversation and it takes a little while to tune into the lingo.

Miraculously the series manages to walk the tightrope of balance very well, giving the views and perspective from the grunts and commanders to the iraqi civilians and more. The wider political perspective is justly criticised and it is blatantly obvious that there is no plan at all for restoring the political and authoritative void left in the country. No one comes out of this smelling of roses and questionable decisions and actions are taken. The differing viewpoints are depicted fairly, cock ups are shown to be what they are and the result of them and of course there are some plainly absurd orders from above. It shows the real war on the ground and not the PS3 war depicted on the news casts of low collateral damage. This is a very thought provoking series which gains momentum as it progresses. The series also has a good dose of the black wry humour reminiscent of Spike Milligan's war memoirs. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Advance to contact but with much advancing and little contact, 22 Feb 2010
By 
Mr. Tristan Martin (Hertfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Generation Kill [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Based on Rolling Stone journalist Evan Wright's non fiction book of the same name, Generation Kill follows a U.S. Marine Recon unit during the 2003 United States invasion of Iraq. For many, this series will get noticed because it is produced and co-written by David Simons and Ed Burns, creators of the superb HBO drama series The Wire.

Is it in the same league as The Wire? No but then again, hardly anything else is. Is it as good as the book? No - adaptions rarely are but this does follow the book quite closely. Is this anything like the Spielberg produced World War II drama series Band of Brothers? No, this focuses much less on the intense combat that Band of Brothers captured so well, instead taking much more time over the characters and the chain of command. Is this still worth watching? Absolutely.

Almost gutting the book entirely of actual scenes of, you know, war, Generation Kill still features scenes of disturbing violence that are viewed from a more emotional (not sentimental) perspective: the bombing of an Iraqi village, which the marines decide not to invade as all they can see are women and children, the shooting dead of civilians at military checkpoints, the attempt to avoid driving over a dismembered head and instead driving over the decapitated body ("Goddammit - you just can't win.") These are the kinds of incidents that Generation Kill illustrates. One almost feels as if the producers decided that to portray anything approximating actual combat in a war drama series would be just too vulgar and obvious.

This detachment and lack of bloody action will no doubt turn some viewers off who came expecting explosions and cries of "frag out!" Others will simply find this series just too dry and lacking in a forceful narrative drive; the invasion of Iraq, as depicted in Generation Kill, mostly involved a lot of driving, singing songs in Humvees, staring out the window via a scoped rifle and trying to write "USA" in the sand with your own urine. Very few people get shot and a lot of time is spent on periods of much inactivity.

Like I said, this is not for everyone but by the end it is pulled together by the strong, well drawn characters, the off-the-cuff comments ("Two weeks ago, he was a student in Syria. He didn't become a jihadi until we invaded.") and the black humour. For what it's worth, my wife, who dislikes screen violence and who loved The Wire, much preferred Band of Brothers to Generation Kill. So did I but this was still an interesting, rather than a dramatic series.
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104 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars War, what is it good for? Drama actually, 9 Feb 2009
By 
J. Duducu (Ruislip) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Generation Kill [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Generation Kill is the spiritual brother to the Wire. Both are uncompromising adult dramas that present the facts with no bias. Where as a miniseries like band of brothers uses every technical trick to make war look almost hyper real, all that technical wizardry is eschewed in favour of a more documentary style. There are no voice-overs, no rousing military music, and no flashbacks.

Indeed the short lived series "Over There" which was a laudable attempt at bringing the realities of Iraq into your living room is shown up here as relying on dramatic clichés that are little more than storytelling tricks. In Generation Kill, if it happens, it happens in real time, and you may miss it- a sombre example being the mutilated remains of a little girl in episode 2 which are half seen as the convoy roars by.

The series is set around a US Marine Recon patrol in the first month or so of the Iraq war. Much of it is through the eyes of an embedded war reporter (based on Evan Wright- the author of the book on which this series is based). If you are looking for an action packed series then this is not the series for you. One the realities of war is the endless travelling along with the fight against boredom being far more relentless than the fight against the enemy. Indeed action is relatively scarce but when things do kick off the engrained training of the marines is shown to stop any panic and help the men through the chaos.

Indeed much of it could almost be described as the first military road movie with the dialogue often happening in the cramped confines of a Humvee rolling in convoy down endless roads and through featureless desert. The dialogue feels and is delivered in a totally convincing manner, although there is one marine playing himself the rest are actors (one of the main roles going to "Ziggy" from series 2 of the Wire) and the whole series has an air of authenticity.

If there was one word of warning, it's that I'm not sure what the series is trying to say. Band of brother's had survival to the end of the war as the goal but at the time of filming the US were still in Iraq so that wasn't an option, even the Wire wrapped up plots and cases but Generation Kill sort of drifts along. If it's just meant to be a record of what it's like being a marine in the Iraq war it does this admirably, but in terms of plot there isn't really one and while it's true that life has no narrative arc it does help when watching a drama.

With that said, this is gritty, vibrant, intelligent drama. It is classic HBO, treating the viewer as an intelligent adult and once again delivering a quality piece that you should be enthralled by. At the end of an episode you can almost taste the sand in the back of your throat.

If you liked this there's more historical debate and fun at @HistoryGems on Facebook and Twitter
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't just "get some", get this., 12 Aug 2009
By 
Mrs. J. A. Bowyer "It's Lee" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Generation Kill [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
If you have never seen this before then imagine a "Band Of Brothers" for the Second Gulf War. It depicts a modern war with all it heroes, villians, idiots and the events that they witness & take part in. It is well scripted, filmed & acted. An excellent & accurate interpretation of the book it is based on, which is an embeded reporters diary of his time with the marines. If you enjoyed the mini series on TV then you can now watch it without the adverts, "oorah".
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Drama, 16 Feb 2009
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This review is from: Generation Kill [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This is drama at its very best. At times harrowing and brutal, at others hilarious (the banter in Brad's humvee is a pure delight), this is a series that never pretends to be anything other than what it is: a stunning depiction of modern warfare. The boredom and the incompetence, the bravery and friendship, are all presented and explored. No character is simple and all are given time to grow.

The military dialogue (call signs and abbreviations) can take a little while to get used to, but it is worth the effort in everyway.

Not spectacular in the action stakes - nor always trying to create cliffhanger moments in the manner of 24 - but totally deserving of modern classic status due to its characterisation and mature handling of complex themes.

Wonderful.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget Hurt Locker - THIS is what you should watch, 7 April 2010
By 
C. P. Whiting "G Moonwalker" (Ipswich, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Generation Kill [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I watched this shortly before seeing 'Hurt Locker' and have to say there is no comparison. In my opinion 'Hurt Locker' was overated and had a storyline that never really went anywhere. This on the other hand was fantastic and much more interesting viewing.

"Generation Kill" tells the story of a Reporter (Evan Wright) who spent 2 months with US Marines of First Recon Battalion during the Iraq invasion. He puts his own life on the line to tell this story first hand and give an accurate perception of each Marine's personality and the near-death events that took place. Even one of the Marines acts out his own part in this series.

The attention to detail is awesome and I strongly recommend watching this, if you want a real eye-opening insight into what went on within Iraq.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just outstanding ... even the extras, 9 Nov 2010
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A really outstanding series with one of the best put downs of all time. The total SNAFU captain pleads with a weary medic for real feedback and is told "Its just that you are incompetent ..." There are many more brilliant observations on the management of war and warriors along with oustanding coverage of incidents during Gulf War 2 and a truly fantasic cast giving an amazing ensemble performance. Even the "extras" are great and the Blue-Ray version has some excellent featues as well as those very high quality pictures and sound. I had the DVD version and thought so highly of it I could not resist getting the Blue-Ray version and gave the DVD version to my son.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sam, 1 May 2010
This review is from: Generation Kill [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Abosultely brilliant. The series captures the horror of war from both sides and does not portrait the Marines as a bunch of John Rambo's but more a wide cross section of characters trying to get through the conflict the best way they can. HBO always seem to produce the best series and this one is no exception.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, fullstop., 22 April 2010
By 
Moxomule (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Generation Kill [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
A series that doesn't slow down to let you catch up, as good as anything 'The Wire' had to offer.

It offers a frighteningly realistic glimpse into the lives of marines in all their gritty, depressing, frightening glory. This isn't an all action blockbuster glorifying war by any means, it's a a slow methodical dramatic journeying through the horrible reality of modern war.
It takes it's time to show us that soldiers are real people trapped in increasingly unreal circumstance, where the everday world fears to tread.

Deeply moving stuff, the best you could hope to expect from the form- far better than most movies for sure.

moxo.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest show ever produced by TV, 9 Sep 2009
This review is from: Generation Kill [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
What more can I say. Generation Kill isn't an Iraq version of Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers. It's, as said by Monty Python, something completely different. The show does not have large dramatic firefights, it has small but intense ones. The focus of the show is thankfully not on the combat, but the people who fight, and whatever it is they do in between. From Combat Jacks to just sitting around and drinking November Juliet, Generation Kill is a must for anyone who wants to know what the soldiers thought of Iraq. Furthermore, it seems that anyone who gives crap reviews of the show seems to believe it was conjured up by Hollywood scriptwriters. If the show isn't enough to convince you (which it is), then read the original book. You will realize that these people are real, alive and just being themselves. So stick that up your "unrelatable" characters.
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