Customer Review

22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Good, the Bad and the Boring, 20 July 2010
This review is from: The Pacific - Complete HBO Series - Amazon Exclusive (Includes: Inside The Battle Of Peleliu) [DVD] (DVD)
As production values go, this show has everything in abundance. It even puts most motion pictures to shame.

Pitty it didn't have a script that was of the same value.

In fact it failed badly in so many ways that I have no interest in buying the set, regardless of collecting War Movies in general.

Comparison with Band of Brothers is unavoidable and also highlights its failiure. In BoB it is Easy Company that is the true central character of the show. We get to know Easy through its fighting men, but the story has a fixed background that we can associate with and character development is easy to follow. In the end you almost feel as part of the unit. In HBO Pacific no paticular unit is followed and instead we get a summary of the Pacific Campaign seen through various (and certainly variously interesting) characters. This means we do not get to follow the same characters all through except in a disjointed way. So all through the show I never felt becoming a part of anything.

Then the show does something amazing. It seems to try to cater to everyone? We have episdoes which almost have no place in a War drama like Episode 3 where the brave marines spend an entire episode trying to invade Australian Women. Worse the focus becomes entirely devoted to a single rather boring character, melhancoly and depressed. At the time the show uses this paticular characters memoirs as a base but really if Episode 3 hadn't been there it not only would not have been missed but probably would have been a better show, or better if it had been crammed into 10 minutes before getting back into action. But it was Episode 4 that almost killed all interest in the show for me. Having already suffered from watching Episode 3 then Episode 4 started out o.k. with action at Cape Gloucester where the main enemy is the jungle itself. 10 minutes in and I had forgiven Episode 3. But then the script writers flushed a good start down the toilet and we get to follow our melhancoly lover Lechie to a field hospital where he spends the rest of the Episode in a mental ward in his customary depressed way. Imagine watching BoB and the Bastonge Episodes had focused on Buck recovering from an arse wound rather than what happend in Bastonge and you wouldn't be far off. After being subjected to Episodes 3 and 4 the series start to focus on a new character and even if there was more action to follow the series failed to engage me from then on. Episode 8 is called Iwo Jima, except it has almost no Iwo Jima but again is focusing on some love drama. Boy.

High production value and a sad script make this a watcher but hardly a collectable and if you never see it, it is no great loss. Seems the Pacific is a little cursed when it comes to movie making with Pearl Harbor, Windtalkers, Flags of Our Fathers and now the Pacific.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Sep 2010 16:03:30 BDT
Glúniarainn says:
If The Pacific is in the same league as Pearl Harbor, Windtalkers and Flags of our Fathers, I think I'll give it a miss.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Sep 2010 00:32:00 BDT
Pearl Harbor and Windtalkers are 1 star (insert bad word here)

Flags might merit 2 stars (not least since I was an extra on set and can actually been seen in it)

This is about on par with Flags.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Oct 2010 15:46:17 BDT
Thanks very much for this review - probably saved me some money as I had planned on buying it - but if, as you say, we won't have missed much if we don't buy it, I just might change my mind about doing so. I guess the benchmark was BOB - which practically everyone mentions when reviewing this series and I was really looking forward to seeing a Pacific version of it and it seems this isn't it - but I doubt if many more films can now be made about WWII - as most of the themes now seem to have been exhausted.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2010 09:56:12 BDT
Thank you for your post, feedback is always welcome.

Wouldn't worry too much about them having exhausted World War 2 just yet. You see they are still making films about the Romans ;)

Posted on 2 Nov 2010 08:24:03 GMT
Interesting take on the series. I cannot agree with you but then life would be boring if everyone agreed with everyone. This was certainly not as good as BoB but then that was based on a book written about a specific group of men and followed them from start to finish. This was based on at least three books and three different men whos paths crossed a various points. And given the high attrition rate of those who fought in the Pacific, the series was always going to have to focus on a wider pool of men. Having read Leckie & Sledges's books, I thought that they captured the characters of both pretty well.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Nov 2010 16:36:50 GMT
No need to agree with me Nicholas. Obviously there are quite a few who loved it. Never read these books but I know of them and have read quite a few others and even was an extra on Flags of Our Fathers (which I didn't like either although the book was fine).

Thing is not so much the mixing of books, but the choice of what was put in the Episodes. In BoB even the slow shows ended with a promise of suspence. Here we have 4 out of 10 Episodes (3, 4, 8 & 10) that should have been edited to the point of being 5 to 10 minutes of showtime. For the series they were complete killers and there was too little depth to keep things interesting although it didn't lack for Horrors of War Porn.

The main fault isn't the base material but how the show was worked out, and I belong to a group who wanted to like it before it was shown. Wanting to like something is no base for critical review.

If you liked it, then good for you and as you said, there is no reason that we have to agree.
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