Monday, March 15, 2010

Band of Brothers

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks' The Pacific just started airing last night, so it seemed like a good time to revisit its counterpart in the European theater, Band of Brothers. It's a miniseries that war movies wish they could be, telling the stories of a very important company throughout their struggles without any sacrifices made in production value over its more than ten hours of running time. At times it's quite violent, though it doesn't really cross the line to gratuitous, and three of the episodes feature no combat whatsoever. A lot of the best moments just look at the friendships that formed between the troops and how they tried to cope with the constant danger they lived in, though that's not to say the battles aren't impressively done. The frantic camerawork, the well-considered but brutal situations they're fighting through, the strong visuals and amazing sound work make every fight exciting and harrowing no matter how many times you watch them. I feel like the presentation of the cast could have been a bit clearer, because names and ranks fly by at a rapid pace and even after seeing it three times I still can't match every single name with a face. For the most part you remember the main guys pretty well, and they effectively convey the "brothers" theme through the whole thing. Sometimes random troops die and that's just war, but every time someone you recognize gets killed or seriously injured it's like a dagger through the heart. I don't know how anyone can watch this and see the interviews with the surviving members and not feel immense respect for these soldiers. I hope The Pacific can successfully hit the right notes too.

1 comment:

Adam said...

I had a problem keeping all the characters straight as well. I've always wondered if that was a conscious decision on their part or not.