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on 26 November 2002
'Band of Brothers' is the finest TV series I have ever seen. A bold statement maybe, but one that stands up to scrutiny in my opinion. Yes, 'The Sopranos' is a brilliant drama and '24' is a top-class thriller, but 'B.O.B' just has that epic feel, that you are watching something that might never be repeated or certainly bettered. The story of the men of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne is one that deserves telling; these heavily-trained young soldiers suffered on the front line of the majority of the crucial battles during the American involvement in World War 2. They forged an unusually tight bond with each other and were led by some of the finest soldiers of the war. It could also be justifiably said that they, as a company, sacrificed more than the usual.
The ten-part series consists of hour-long forays in to the viewpoint of different soldier's experiences, from a major to a medic. The action is superbly visceral and realistic, using the same shaky, hand-held camera techniques seen in 'Saving Private Ryan,' to which B.O.B is a close relative, sharing the Spielberg/Hanks connection as well as the subject matter. Action aside however, it is the depth of characterisation that sets this series apart. Granted, the running time allows for this, but it is beautifully done nonetheless. We gain a real insight into many of the men's characters, from the joker George Luz to the bitter Sobel, the cynic Nixon to the dignified Winters. Indeed, these two characters are so finely crafted it is easy to forget that these actors are not in fact the real men. British star Damian Lewis is outstanding as Major Richard Winters, the glue that holds 'Easy' together. His portrayal of a man worshipped by his men due to his courage, discipline, loyalty and leadership skills is nothing short of perfection; real-life veterans suggest that Lewis was a close to capturing the spirit of Winters as is humanly possible. Ron Livingston, playing the smaller but crucial role of Winters' best friend Lewis Nixon, is also excellent, adding a touch of comedy through the hard-drinking, dry cynic Nixon. The acting is uniformly excellent, a mixture of British and American actors doing themselves proud.
For me, the series highlights include the Bastogne sequence, the capture of Foy, and the jubiliant scenes following the taking of Hitler's 'Eagle's Nest.' At no point is the momentum lost, with fierce battle scenes piercing the poignant character moments like loud machine-gun fire.
If you are like me, you will not want it to end. Watching it all in a short period of time on DVD is certainly the way to watch this, as the immediacy adds to the effect.
Overall, a scintillating piece of television, almost perfect. If you don't like war, its maybe not for you, but equally B.O.B should not be dismissed just as a 'war' series. There is far too much depth and character for that...
If the men of Easy Company were in a class of their own, then this series is fittingly superior in its own field and is a worthy testament to them.
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on 2 October 2009
Audio:
- English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Spanish: Digital Stereo
- French: Digital Stereo

Subs:
- English
- French
- Spanish
- Portuguese
- English for the hearing impaired

I wish amazon would provide this information, but seeing as it's not even on the damn box...
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on 23 April 2005
I was forced into watching this by a friend and only really agreed because i'm a Damian Lewis fan but i now have to admit that it was absolutely superb! I cannot criticise any aspect of this programme. I genuinely felt like I knew the characters and, as the end was approaching and casualties were amassing, I desperately wanted the 'brothers' to make it through. The scenery was so realistic that it could easily have been war-torn Europe in the 1940's.
As someone who doesn't generally like war films I can honestly say that this isn't typical of the genre as it is character based rather than just a stream of special effects laden scenes (although there are some amazing special effects). A particularly unique feature is that the surviving members of 'Easy Company' introduce each episode, as the entire story is based on real events. Spielburg even had the forethoughht to not inform the audience of the identity of the veterans until the end so that we wouldn't know who lived or died.
This programme reminds us of what normal men did for their countries and the world and I think 'B.o.B' shows us that we should never forget what those heroes endured for us all.
'Band of Brothers' is truly poignant and moving, a credit to the excellent cast and crew (and not forgetting the real men of 'Easy Company'), and I cannot recommend this highly enough.
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on 27 September 2003
As a Brit, I watched the first episode of Band of Brothers just expecting another pro-American, Hollywood-made war series, but got something very different. An un-biased series following a troop of American para-troopers, this is quite a moving, yet eye-opening insight into what these normal men achieved in breaking down Nazi Germany. After buying the DVD (which I had wanted ever since seeing the series) and watching it over and over again, it becomes even clearer, the detail and effort put into the series by the superb Steven Spielberg, and Tom Hanks, who I am starting to admire as a director . You really start to feel for the men of Easy Company, and by the end of the series, Band of Brothers will mean much more than just a title...
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VINE VOICEon 27 November 2003
Band of Brothers, is just the perfect series having to do with World War II. Produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, directed by Phil Alden Robinson ("The sum of all fears") and Richard Loncraine ("Gathering storm"), starring Damian Lewis ("Dreamcatcher") and Ron Livingston ("Office Space"), this is the ultimate dvd for your collection.
It is the story of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne of the United States Army, and their amazing achievemnts between 1942 and 1944, in other words until the fall of Nazi Germany.
The series are based on the excellent book by Stephen Ambrose, and will remind you a lot "Saving Private Ryan". In the box set, you will find six discs, the five first of which contain ten episodes, which are the following:
1) Currahee
2) Day of days
3) Carentan
4) Replacements
5) Crossroads
6) Bastogne
7) The breaking point
8) The patrol
9) Why we fight
10) Points
The last disc, contains all the extras: a) an eighty - minute documentary named "We stand alone together", b) "making of" (thirty minutes), c) a TV spot for car company Jeep, and d) a very interseting "who is who" section".
Movie: 5/5
Extras: 5/5
Sound (Dolby 5.1): 5/5
Picture (1.78:1 widescreen): 5/5
Overall: 5/5
I would absolutely recommend you this dvd. Very nice, -and with historic importance- selection for your collection. Buy it!
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on 14 October 2004
Band of Brothers is the epic mini-series (although mini is the oppisite of its scale) produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. By this info, we can already tell its going to be great. Each of the 10 episodes is directed by a different person, giving each episode a different flavour.
It tells the story of Easy company 506/Parachute infantary Regiment of the 101st Airbourne, an elite group of around 100 parachutists. The series show all of their expieriences from the rigorous training they go thorough, capturing a gun battery and a town in Normandy (D-Day), parachuting into Holland and showing the companies leader, Major Richard Winters, single handedly take on 100 crack SS troop (with a little help from his platoons after about a minute of him fighting them), holding the line at Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge, facing massive artillery and mortar attacks every day in arctic conditions and, taking the famous 'Eagle Nest' at Bertchesgarten, Hitlers personal holiday home in the German Alps. And the more amazing thing is, everything in this series really happened in WW2, and all the characters are based on real people!
Seriously, I cannot tell you how good this series is, just get it. After watching it, you can't help being inspired by the men of E company, who also are interviewed at the start of some of the programmes.
The acting is superb, the special and visual effects are breath taking, the camera work is amazing and the bonus features (An hour and 20 minute ,long programme dedicated to archive footage and interviews with the real E company men, a 'making of' featurette, Ron LIvingston's (the actor who plays Captain Lewis Nixon) video diary of the actors bootcamp, a 'whos who' in Easy Company and ,a slighty random, spot of advertising from jeep)
just puts the icing on the cake
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on 25 November 2008
This is a welcome Blu-ray release but beware. To simulate the look of historical footage, the filmmakers added grain and colour bleach to the picture in post-production. Because of this, the improvement upon the DVD version is occasionally impressive but usually marginal. Nevertheless, the fact that it is better (along with a DTS-HD soundtrack) makes this the best possible way to experience this excellent series.

There are a couple of new features for Blu-ray: picture-in-picture commentaries by Easy Company veterans and a handy timeline viewing mode, which tracks the narrative chronologically and allows you to access more information on characters and events at relevant moments.
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on 14 November 2008
Perfectly written, cast and filmed there really is no television series that can rival Band of Brothers. The Blu Ray release only adds to the experience, the 1080p picture is perfection but perhaps more importantly the DTS-HD sound is simply stunning if run through a home cinema surround sound system, the battle scenes are awesome and the explosions will have ornaments falling off your wall. The sound also brings to life the superb score by Michael Kamen, there is not a finer movie or TV soundtrack around, a true masterpiece. Full credit to Hanks, Spielberg, the BBC and HBO for giving us this classic and absolute respect to the real men of Easy Company, totally inspiring.
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on 5 October 2010
Band of Brothers is the true story of Easy Company, one of the most active and important companies in the US Army during the liberation of France and the eventual invasion of Germany. It traces the various characters from beginnings in boot camp (look out for a brilliant David Schwimmer in the first feature length episode), through their time in England waiting for the big push, the terrifying brutality of D-Day, the subsequent chaos of the liberation of Normandy and the ongoing campaign in Europe. The characters remain consistent throughout, though their appearances and importance to the story ebbs and flows, sometimes waiting in the background and occasionally coming to the fore, as the series explores the multi-faceted war machine and the personal stories set within the context of this huge operation over 10 episodes lasting at least an hour each.

Band of Brothers comes from the same people that made Saving Private Ryan, and it exemplifies the same approach to production values. There have been no compromises made in terms of the effects, with explosions and gore pounding the camera in very visceral scenes that do not pull any punches, and are not suitable for youngsters.

Equally, the visual or aural fidelity is outstanding in this bluray reproduction. There is occasional graininess to the pictures, particularly in some of the darker scenes, but these add to the gritty realism rather than detract from the polish. Overall, the bluray picture is outstanding. Of even greater note is the sound. When listened to in 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound this is an amazing experience, as bullets whizz past your ears and explosions rock your sofa. There is an option to have the full, uncompressed Master HD Soundtrack whic must sound unbelievable, but unfortunately my system is not capable of playing it back, which is a shame.

This is an amazing box set, and represents great value for money for what is one of the most important pieces of TV cinematography ever, in my view. The intimate stories it tells, set against such an epic and tragic background, are extremely moving, while the action set pieces are filmed with such flair that your heart rate will soar. Of particular note are early sequences in Normandy where Easy Company storm an anti-air battery, and a later sequence in which soldiers are under siege in a snowy forest, as trees literally start exploding around them. Such scenes are likely to stick in your mind for many years, as well they should.
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on 22 May 2011
I have had the DVD box set for years but when my wife decided she wanted to see it, I found an excuse to buy the very reasonably priced Blu Ray set.

There are multitude of reviews about how great the whole series is so I won't waste time talking about the excellent writing, acting, directing, effects, etc. And I won't go on about the excellent interviews with the (then) surviving members of Easy Company which are sprinkled through the series and available in more depth as part of the extras. I learned while rewatching this recently that Major Winters died in only January of this year. He comes across both in the series and in interviews as an ordinary man who, when put in extraordinary circumstances faced them in the way I would hope to if placed in the same situation. It seems like he had a nice life after the war, and he was surely one man who very much earned the peace he craved.

Onto the technical aspects of the Blu Ray box set. The tin box is very nice and although the internal fold out box is a little cumbersome and delicate looking, mine did not fall apart in my hands as others have described in their reviews. Picture quality is top notch and serves as a great example of what Blu Ray is all about. However, for me, the sound is what makes the biggest difference. It is truly awesome and deserves to be heard in full lossless 5.1 surround sound.
Extras wise, aside from the usual extra 'making of' and interview features, there is a nice timeline feature which gives you additional information about all sorts of things ranging from military terms colloquialisms through to more detail on specific operations, military ranks and other things which may only get a passing reference in the series.
There is also Picture in Picture interviews with the men of easy company but be aware if you have a home cinema sound system that the audio from them will only work if you set your player to output 'PCM' audio rather than 'Bitstream'. It would have been nice if there was a note on the disc or in the box to inform oyu of this; I only found out through searching on line as I thought I had either a faulty Blu Ray player or a faulty disc!

I'm not a big flag waver but one thing this series definitely does is serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who fought in the second world war. If you're not teary eyed or at least moved by the end of the series, you must be made of stone.
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