Television: Back To The Beachhead

Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg return to war. But this time, realism and reverence aren't enough

In Band Of Brothers, war is more than hell; war is real. No one is consumed by a pillowy fireball or gasps out a soliloquy before expiring. Men are shot in midsentence, drop like sacks of flour and die sloppily, whining like animals. This is war as it happened, brutal and random, and in re-creating it Brothers captures viscerally the extraordinary sacrifice of a generation of ordinary men.

There you have pretty much the blurbs one suspects HBO and producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg were aiming for with this 10-hr. World War II mini-series (Sundays, 9 p.m. E.T.). Judged...

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