Guadalcanal/Leckie starts with a short historical introduction by Tom Hanks, then the opening credits. After all this, we are quickly introduced to the main characters. Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale, 24) has recently enlisted in the Marines, John Basilone (Jon Seda, Homicide: Life on the Street), an ex-army man has decided to shift to the Marines and Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello, Jurassic Park) is unable to go because of a heart murmur, and he says goodbye to his best friend Sidney Phillips (Ashton Holmes, Smart People) who has recently became a Marine and is in Leckie's unit.
The episode introduces it's characters quickly then we are taken to Guadalcanal, where Leckie's outfit lands and begins an arduous march through the jungle, where the battle begins...
Guadalcanal/Leckie is in no means perfect. It has its problems. The pacing and cutting is a little rushed and there isn't enough time to really introduce the characters. However, it is still a very good episode and when the battle begins, this is when you know that this series is going to be excellent. The action is fast, quick and brutal.
As for the cast, Seda and Mazzello don't get much screen time so its hard to judge them so far, but they give solid performances. Badge Dale is very good as Leckie. He stands out in his company, as whilst everyone else is talking about killing Japs and how it's going to be a "turkey shoot," he becomes the cynical soldier, tired of cruelty and war. It's a cliched character, but Badge Dale pulls it off well.
So, despite the problems with the first episode, it is still a very good pilot episode and has given me high hopes for the series.
The Pacific, HBO's big followup to Band of Brothers, proves to be the Robin Lopez to that show's Brook Lopez. The Pacific is not even of the same quality as Generation Kill of two years ago. For a show that has a budget of 250 million, 25 million an episode, this was not the quality you would expect given that kind of money being put into it and the producers behind it.
The characters lack the depth the Band of Brothers had, and the action scenes also fail in comparison.
I was insanely amped for this mini-series, and I think it may get better over time, but this pilot was a disappointment.
Pilot episodes are never any good, and this was no exception. It wasn't BAD, but it wasn't good either.
I admit I went back and forth a bit with what I thought of the interviews in the beginning. At first I thought it was a great way to tie it in with "Band of Brothers". Then I thought it just felt cheap and unoriginal to do it in this show too. Then I went back to liking it when it occurred to me that these soldiers should get to tell their story too. But it did leave me feeling kind of ambivalent when the actual episode started.
Unlike BoB, "the Pacific" didn't suffer from the usual war depiction problem of having a million characters who aren't properly presented, making it hard to keep track. There was only really one character we were supposed to focus on from what I gathered, and also the kid from "Jurassic Park", but he was featured so little that I didn't get invested in his storyline. And I didn't recognise his friend as being on the island until he read that letter towards the end.
That being said, it's a little unclear what they are trying to tell us with this episode. There are a lot of cuts, leaps in time (if they announced at some point that eight-or-so months had passed then I missed it) and it felt a bit like they couldn't decide what they wanted this episode to focus on. Many of the scenes felt like they had been cut short. Something happens, we're supposed to react, but before we have a chance we've cut to a different scene a few days later and something else is going on.
What they did best in this episode was the brutal scene with the Japanese soldier they decide to play with. It was heartwrenchingly cruel and very difficult to watch, but at least it made me feel something.
Since this was the first episode I am holding off judgment on the show as a whole. First episodes are rarely any good, it takes a while to establish characters and storylines.
Robert Leckie and the 1st Marines land on Guadalcanal and take part in the Battle of the Tenaru. So I have never really watched any show like this. All of my brothers are into this type of show due to Band of Brothers and well them being boys got to love the war and stuff. So I thought I would give it a go because I know I would hear all about it. So shockingly I enjoyed it, I thought the show would be okay, but it was totally fun to watch. I thought the storyline was really interesting. I can't really remember the name of the characters sadly, I don't know if thats a good thing or not, but I guess I will get to know them when the show goes on. I thought the characters that we did get to see were pretty interesting to watch. I liked the main guy, well I think he was the main guy, I think his name was Robert. I liked the opening with Tom Hanks narrating, i thought that was a nice little add. I thought the action scenes where pretty awesome, they looked real. Well, all in all a great start to a show I thought I would never really like.
People tend to forget that this series is more or less an original concept (obviously not 'unique' cos it's WW2, but not based on a book like BoB, which was a true story taken from live accounts and documents, but was still formulated and brilliantly paced in book form by S.E. Ambrose).
As it stands, Pacific is one hell of an entertaining and dramatic show, but maybe the first episode's story felt a bit rushed. I would have preferred the entire episode be spent on American soil in the 'Character Development' department, as the transition from peaceful US to a warship near Guadalcanal was so sudden and unexpected it kind of threw me out of the show for a good 10 minutes.
After that though, when the platoon got acquainted on ground zero, about 30 minutes in, I got sucked back into its story and was thoroughly disappointed when it ended, knowing that I'd have to wait another week for it to continue.
Overall, a 9.5 (maybe I'm a bit generous here, but damn it, I missed the hell out of BoB and remember wishing for Spielberg and Hanks to organize another such show).
First of all I liked the opening and closing of the episode with Tom Hanks narrating and the archive footage being shown reminded me of a Call of Duty cut scene. I also liked the veterans talking about the war just like at the start of a Band of Brothers.The characters all seem good, there wasn't very much character development. I cant even remember anyone's names this is my main compliant Band of Brothers made all the soldiers names be known in the first episode but The Pacific hasn't. I do remember one main characters name because he is my favourite so far and he had the most screen time in this episode I think he was called Robert, I thought he was awesome in the episode, his platoon being stuck right in the action. The action felt really real which you would expect from Spielberg and Hanks and the fire fight in the night was great and also very real. I don't like the way people are rating this on the site I mean why has part two only got a 7 and why has the show only got a 7.8 pathetic.
I just finished watching the first episode, and I know I'm not supposed to, but I had high expectations for this show. Seeing that it's the same team that made B.O.B.
To be real honest, I'm a bit disappointed in the story and characters. Perhaps a bit to early in a miniseries to state this, but I think there should be an instant viewer connection with the characters. And I'm sorry to say, but I'm just not feeling it. Hopefully it will come in the upcoming episodes.
Having said this, I must admit that visually it is looking very well (but did you expect any less from Spielberg?).
It's funny when I hear people already complaining about character depth. Just because Band of Brothers had a pilot about soldiers going to training doesn't mean this show need to do the same thing. Personally I wouldn't like it if the show went the same way in just a different setting. True, we saw some early action in the first episode, and yes, we don't know much about the characters yet but let's see how it plays out. Let's pretend for a while Band of Brothers never aired and we know jack about the Tom Hanks - Spielberg duo. Would we be complaining about the things mentioned above? No you would absolutely love it. So let's give this pilot the credit it deserves. Because it's a darn good pilot. When Holland played France in the soccer EC '08 after beating Italy 3 - 0. There was an English reporter that said during the game: ''They're totally doing it again, are they!'' To conclude this metafor: Yes, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are totally doing it again! What an epic pilot!
In fairness, I know that comparisons to this series' predecessor, Band of Brothers, probably shouldn't be made. Yet I think it would be difficult to review this without touching on some of the obvious parallels between the two and why "Guadalcanal/Leckie", though still amazing, lacked the same kind of punch that "Currahee" had with BoB.
Though there was obviously no lack of style, heart, or sheer production value put into this episode, there was still something, well, lacking. For me anyway. There was, of course, the requisite OMG! and WTF? moments that I'm certain 'The Pacific' will continue to do every bit as well as or better than BoB. The night-time naval battle as viewed from the island gave me the chills (and SUPER-AWESOME in HD, by the way), the surviving Japanese soldier tormented by the GIs will be hard to forget, and the battle sequence on the beach was typically Spielberg-slick.
But to be honest, there was really no one character I cared about about yet - with emphasis on the 'yet'. By the time episode one of BoB was up, most viewers were emotionally invested in Nixon and Winters and had strong sentiments to a few of the peripheral characters already, like Luz and Lipton. I didn't feel any kind of connection like that in 'The Pacific' so far. The Basilone storyline will be interesting I'm sure, but he wasn't really given much in this episode. The Sledge storyline - again, the same thing, but as with Basilone, what little I saw left me feeling a little more neutral than I'd have liked. The obvious standout - and episode namesake - was Leckie, and as good and instantly likeable as his character was, unlike any of the BoB main characters, Leckie seemed a little too 'generic protagonist' to me. They're always everyone's favourite characters, action films and TV have come to depend on this type of character, but by this time in BoB, we'd already seen the same type of character in Winters and Nixon done, again IMHO, far more interestingly.
That said, I'm hardly disappointed. The first episode of 'The Pacific' still has me counting down the days until the next one and I already know I'll shell out the 100 beans or so for the Bluray. The Pacific will still most likely be the best thing on TV this whole year. It's just not as good as Band of Brothers yet, but I'm not sure anything ever could be.
Before this review, please wait for the five minutes of credits and soaring music intro. Five more minutes of credits will appear after this review.
Much anticipated series with stunning visuals and scenery of the beginning of the battle for Guadalcanal. After all the hoopla, or because of it, the first episode felt cliche and rushed. The story is supposedly concentrating on three marines throughoput the war, but it is a little hard telling them apart right now. The battle scenes, while grizzly, were at night and therefore a little hard to see. They definately wanted us to see the carnage and brutality of the Pacific, which was actually much closer to Vietnam style fighting than people may have believed, so its educational on this front too.
The joke on the beginning of my review is also my biggest pet peeve. They certainly want us to know THIS IS IMPORTANT! lol Seems to want to bypass the little emmy and get a reward for best miniseries ever, maybe even a nobel prize. Out of the hour it was on, there was maybe 40 minutes of actual show, the rest was Playtone proudly presents and Speilberg picture produced by Tom Hanks ect.. and the credits thanked everyone even remotely involved including who provided tables for the catering.
Could not help thinking if this war was today, they poor soldiers would be facing war crimes trials..they shot someone unarmed! "Kill them all!" how politically incorrect.
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