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Thread: HBO's The Pacific: reactions to (new title)

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    Default HBO's The Pacific: reactions to (new title)

    http://www.pacificfans.com/trailer-videos

    August 16, 2007 | Production Begins on 'The Pacific'

    Production has begun in Australia on THE PACIFIC. Shooting through mid-2008, the epic ten-hour miniseries is executive produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman, the creative team behind the Emmy®-winning 2001 HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers."

    THE PACIFIC is produced by HBO Films in association with Playtone and DreamWorks Television. The production is based at Melbourne Central City Studios in Melbourne, Victoria, with filming taking place in and around Melbourne, where U.S. troops camped in 1943, and multiple locations in Far North Queensland. Kary Antholis, senior vice president, HBO Films, is the executive in charge of the project. THE PACIFIC is scheduled to debut on HBO in 2009.

    The miniseries tracks the intertwined odysseys of three U.S. Marines - Robert Leckie (played by James Badge Dale), Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello) and John Basilone (Jon Seda) - across the vast canvas of the Pacific. The extraordinary experiences of these men and their fellow Marines take them from the first clash with the Japanese in the haunted jungles of Guadalcanal, through the impenetrable rain forests of Cape Gloucester, across the blasted coral strongholds of Peleliu, up the black sand terraces of Iwo Jima, through the killing fields of Okinawa, to the triumphant, yet uneasy, return home after V-J Day.

    Carl Franklin (HBO's "Rome"), Jeremy Podeswa (HBO's "Six Feet Under"), Tony To (HBO's "Band of Brothers"), Tim Van Patten (HBO's "The Sopranos") and Graham Yost (HBO's "From the Earth to the Moon") will direct episodes. Writers and additional directors will be announced as they are confirmed.

    In addition to James Badge Dale ("The Departed"), Joe Mazzello ("Without a Trace") and Jon Seda ("Kevin Hill"), actors featured in THE PACIFIC include (in alphabetical order) Akos Armont, Jon Bernthal ("The Office"), Joshua Biton ("National Treasure"), Adam Booth ("Doctors"), Simon Bossell ("Hotel de Love"), Laurence Breuls ("Ghost Rider"), Tom Budge ("Last Train to Freo"), Linda Cropper ("McLeod's Daughters"), Brendan Fletcher ("Tideland"), Eamon Farren ("The Outsider"), Leon Ford (HBO's "Tsunami: The Aftermath"), Daniel Frederiksen ("Stingers"), Scott Gibson ("Lucky Number Slevin"), Joshua Helman, Ashton Holmes ("A History of Violence"), Andrew Lees, Rami Malek ("The War at Home"), Martin McCann ("Closing the Ring"), Ian Meadows ("Home and Away"), Toby Moore ("Joanne Lees: Murder in the Outback"), Rohan Nichol ("All Saints"), Henry Nixon ("Happy Feet"), Keith Nobbs ("The Black Donnellys"), Annie Parisse ("Law & Order"), Sam Parsonson ("Love My Way"), Jacob Pitts ("The Novice"), Rupert Reid ("The Matrix Reloaded"), Mitch Ryan, William Sadler ("The Shawshank Redemption"), Gary Sweet ("Down in Splendor"), Anna Torv ("Young Lions"), Sandy Winton ("Two Twisted"), Dylan Young and Ashley Zukerman. Additional actors will be announced as they are confirmed.

    THE PACIFIC is based on the books "With the Old Breed," by Eugene Sledge, which was hailed by historian Paul Fussell as "one of the finest memoirs to emerge from any war," and "Helmet for My Pillow," by Robert Leckie (recipient of the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Annual Award), as well as original interviews conducted by the filmmakers. Continuing the World War II oral history work begun by his father Stephen E. Ambrose (author of the book "Band of Brothers"), Hugh Ambrose serves as a consultant on the miniseries.

    THE PACIFIC is produced by HBO Films in association with Playtone and DreamWorks Television; executive producers, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Gary Goetzman; co-executive producers, Tony To, Graham Yost; supervising producer, Bruce McKenna; producer, Gene Kelly; co-producers, Robert Schenkkan, George P. Pelecanos, Michelle Ashford.

    http://www.hbo.com/films/news/

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    I've got very mixed feelings about this one. I wonder how much they'll "dumb down" the Pacific Theater? Correction...I know they will. I just don't know how much of it I'll be able to stomach.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    The trailer I saw on HBO last night had a lot of philosophical-sounding rhetoric coming from Marines in combat. Don't recall a ton of that in With the Old Breed, but it's been awhile.

    Looks like they definitely spent money on screen, though. I'll be watching.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    The trailer I saw on HBO last night had a lot of philosophical-sounding rhetoric coming from Marines in combat. Don't recall a ton of that in With the Old Breed, but it's been awhile.

    Looks like they definitely spent money on screen, though. I'll be watching.
    There wasn't, really. Helmet for my Pillow had more of that, but (IMO) it's also not as well-written. Not sure that I like the idea of wedging Iwo Jima in with the First Marine Division, either. We've already had a spate of Iwo movies, and the campaigns of the First Marine Division are for the most part glossed over as something that happened between the Canal and Oki. Peleliu was really a foreshadowing of Iwo, and Cape Gloucester was a nasty place as well.

    One of the strengths of "Band of Brothers" was the focus on one unit. Wedging Iwo into the story really breaks that up, IMO.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    I look forward to this, but agree, no need to add Iwo; the 1st Division carried plenty of water in their own operations.

    Of course, with two uncles who earned their CIBs the hard way in the Pacific; one with the 41st Division, and one with the 25th; I personally believe it is a missed opportunity to simply re-tell the Corp's great legacy in the Pacific when so much of the fighting, bleeding and amphibious assaults for that matter, were executed unsung in MacArthur's long shadow by Army Infantry.
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    I look forward to this, but agree, no need to add Iwo; the 1st Division carried plenty of water in their own operations.

    Of course, with two uncles who earned their CIBs the hard way in the Pacific; one with the 41st Division, and one with the 25th; I personally believe it is a missed opportunity to simply re-tell the Corp's great legacy in the Pacific when so much of the fighting, bleeding and amphibious assaults for that matter, were executed unsung in MacArthur's long shadow by Army Infantry.
    Or they could have gone to the folks that MacArthur often left to mop up...the ANZACs. Not as big an American audience, granted, but still a story well worth telling.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    I've got very mixed feelings about this one. I wonder how much they'll "dumb down" the Pacific Theater? Correction...I know they will. I just don't know how much of it I'll be able to stomach.
    If it's half as good as "Band of Brothers" (same production team), it will be great. Looking forward to it.
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
    Who is Cavguy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    Or they could have gone to the folks that MacArthur often left to mop up...the ANZACs. Not as big an American audience, granted, but still a story well worth telling.
    Apparently we talk funny no market in subtitles

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    So long as the story is realistic (as opposed to completely accurate), then I would be satisfied if the audience gets to know the characters who die - judging from the trailer, this movie might be attempting to do that. Too many war movies just have random, anonymous characters who die in the background. The only characters whom you get to know are the ones who run through a hail of gunfire, go on to save the day, and return home to their happy family. That wasn't my experience in war. I know a lot of men who were killed, or lost limbs, wives who were widowed, and of marriages that caved under the weight of deployments and training exercises that, on average, consumed 10 months out of every year, for 5 years or more. Those people are not "extras" who blend into the background.

    I think that there would be less tendency to politicize the deaths and other sacrifices of our Soldiers if there was a better appreciation for who they are - beyond just numbers in the media's body count, extras in the background of an action scene, or brainwashed killing machines in some ridiculous Rambo-esque movie. I would also hope that, in getting to know the characters in the movie, the writers are able to convey that troops are not just members of the poor, huddled masses, going off to fight the rich man's war because they have no other alternatives in life. That is the root of the soft bigotry that many hold towards the military and probably the greatest obstacle to many people with high potential choosing to serve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    So long as the story is realistic (as opposed to completely accurate), then I would be satisfied if the audience gets to know the characters who die - judging from the trailer, this movie might be attempting to do that. Too many war movies just have random, anonymous characters who die in the background. The only characters whom you get to know are the ones who run through a hail of gunfire, go on to save the day, and return home to their happy family. That wasn't my experience in war. I know a lot of men who were killed, or lost limbs, wives who were widowed, and of marriages that caved under the weight of deployments and training exercises that, on average, consumed 10 months out of every year, for 5 years or more. Those people are not "extras" who blend into the background.

    I think that there would be less tendency to politicize the deaths and other sacrifices of our Soldiers if there was a better appreciation for who they are - beyond just numbers in the media's body count, extras in the background of an action scene, or brainwashed killing machines in some ridiculous Rambo-esque movie. I would also hope that, in getting to know the characters in the movie, the writers are able to convey that troops are not just members of the poor, huddled masses, going off to fight the rich man's war because they have no other alternatives in life. That is the root of the soft bigotry that many hold towards the military and probably the greatest obstacle to many people with high potential choosing to serve.

    All very well said and understandable. I fear however that the greater US public does not want to know the reality and is more than willing, indeed eager to accept the shorter, glitzier, and ultimately artificial version.

    There have been attempts to do what you call for in the past and some have come close. I still like the mini-series Once An Eagle with Sam Elliot playing Sam Damon. There was very little combat shown in the series. A parallel would be the mini-series Lonesome Dove where the western setting was merely a vehicle for the rich character development. Another was Shawshank Redemption; a deliberately long movie to develop the effects of time against the will to survive.

    Absent companions,

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    All very well said and understandable. I fear however that the greater US public does not want to know the reality and is more than willing, indeed eager to accept the shorter, glitzier, and ultimately artificial version.

    There have been attempts to do what you call for in the past and some have come close. I still like the mini-series Once An Eagle with Sam Elliot playing Sam Damon. There was very little combat shown in the series. A parallel would be the mini-series Lonesome Dove where the western setting was merely a vehicle for the rich character development. Another was Shawshank Redemption; a deliberately long movie to develop the effects of time against the will to survive.

    Absent companions,

    Tom
    I don't know that I'd go that far. I'd say they may have been conditioned to expect that, but given the popularity of the movies and mini-series you mentioned, as well as some you didn't, I'd say that the public (whatever that is) can still be moved by books and visual media where characters are developed and some of those characters die.

    Plus, ultimately, we're all somewhat moody in what we read or watch (and we do make up part of that public). Glitz can be entertaining on some days.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Default Will this man get a part?


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    He could...I think it depends on where they decide to start. Leckie's book covers the Canal, while Sledge joined the First Marine Division after that campaign.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    I would like to see an Australian film produced, not just a documentary, but one that focused on the Japanese threat to Australia through Singapore, New Guinea, Malaya, Borneo and the Solomons.

    Whilst the majority of the Australain effort of almost a million was in Europe, the defence of her homeland began in earnest in 1942 when the Japanese sought to dominate the Pacific.

    Many, many stories could be told and if I may I will relate the story of my late Uncle who was posted in Rabaul, a town in East New Britain Province, New Guinea.

    He was a member of the 2nd/22nd Lark Force, which at the time of the Japanese invasion was about 1400 strong.

    Rabaul was important to the Japanese because of its proximity to it's territory of the Caroline Islands, where a major Imperial Japanese Navy base was situated on Truk.

    The Japanese invaded on January 4, 1942 with a strength of over 5000. Lark Force were only equipped with a few anti tank guns, Mortars and Vickers machine guns.The fighting was over in just a few hours.

    Ultimately less than 400 eventually escaped. The balance was taken prisoner, enduring extreme hardship in captivity. Some 200 of them were executed, the majority in the horrific Toll Massacre.

    Later, around 800 of his unit were bundled on board the Montevideo Maru along with 1000 odd civilians. The vessel was later unfortuneately sunk by the US Submarine............ USS Sturgeon with only one survivor.

    The Army had no escape plans for its troops. Only the fittest, most determined and luckiest survived the long withdrawal across New Britain.

    My Uncle had escaped into the jungle, not before being strafed by a Japanese fighter plane while fleeing on a motorcycle. Something out of a Steve McQueen Hollywood movie!

    His exploits in the jungles of New Britain during the following three months were again the stuff of movies. But unlike the glorified Hollywood movies this was real!

    He and his fellow escaping soldiers struggled against mountainous jungle terrain, diseases, starvation, sometimes unfriendly natives – and all the while pursued by the Japanese.

    A total of 165 soldiers and civilians were eventually repatriated on the commandeered yacht “HMAS Laurabada”.... the name of the South East Wind.

    Two months later he returned to New Britain as a Sergeant in charge of an infantry platoon of the 1st New Guinea Infantry Battalion.

    For two years his platoon operated mostly behind enemy lines, ambushing and harassing the enemy, the Japanese, until the war’s end.

    Ten years after the War he joined R W Miller and Co, Australia's largest producer and exporter of coal.

    Ironically Miller's largest trading partner was Japan.

    Rising to the position of Chairman and Managing Director he never forgave the Japanese for what they had done despite having to associate with his Company's biggest customer.

    He had a lot of trouble relating a lot of his stories about the War and I'm sure he kept the majority to his chest.

    I'm sure there are thousands of other individual stories but as I would hope a movie be made it would be difficult to select even just one of the others as it's main theme.

    Thank you for reading the story of my late Uncle.

    Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed.

    Sir Winston Churchill

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    Default Thanks for sharing

    AussieDavid,

    Thanks for sharing this heroic saga with the council. It reminded me of when I was a boy on a camping trip with my father and his friend (his friend was a writer by trade, but he never wrote about the war) who was a Marine during WWII. That night while sitting around the fire after a long day of fishing I could see a visible mood change come over his face in the light of the fire, and then shared some of his experiences in the Pacific with us. For a boy, it was an education on how cruel the world really was in some places (during certain time periods), and how heroism (manifested in many different ways) was a common virtue.

    There are millions of untold stories that I wish we could capture somehow, unfortunately that war is now often discussed unemotionally in history classes. The focus is on key dates, battles and causes, but I think our education is remiss in many way when it neglects to tell the human side of war.

    Bill

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    It was with mixed feelings I have watched in the last week the boxed set of DVDs, partly as i expected that nothing could equal 'Band of Brothers'.

    Certainly different in scene presentation, notably with night fighting so dark - rightly - it was hard to follow. Harder to follow the characters too; the medal of Honour winner John Barsilone had an excellent portrayal.

    Once again I failed to learn the lesson from 'Band of Brothers', to watch the last DVD first about the characters and the production. Australia did the film and history proud.

    I have seen a few Pacific War films before and somewhere have Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers. What I had forgotten was the horrific death toll, so on my next visit to Arlington National Cemetery a few more places to visit. We shall remember.

    Finally, what did SWC members think of the film? This thread was before it had general release.
    davidbfpo

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