Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

The Pacific

It would have been hard to imagine, watching HBO's Band of Brothers, that there was a side of World War II more horrific and brutal than the European theater it depicted. But there was, and this 10-part sequel from Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg presented a war less familiar, less romanticized and far more physically disorienting and morally ambiguous. Switching between the stories of three soldiers in the war against Japan, The Pacific re-created not just war's explosive sweep but its ugliness: the heat and misery of the tropics, the undercurrents of racism, the brutality on both sides, often involving civilians. It also captured the decency (and fallibility) of the men who fought, not always sure where they were going and why and unaware of the toll the war would exact from them long after it was over — if they were lucky enough to survive. (HBO)