is not often this chap can say that a TV series has grabbed his
utmost attention but, in the case of the World War 2 drama Band
of Brothers, it did so with a vengeance.
the commercial hype puts me off, but this show had two strong drawcards.
being the pairing of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks as executive
producers, the second was a cast of semi-unknowns.
latter on big-budget productions tends to point towards strong content
not needing 'big-name' sellability. In fact the biggest name on
the cast was David Schwimmer from Friends.
was a lot of flak from critics about his use as a bully-boy, however,
I thought he played the role particularly well. (Not being a watcher
of Friends probably helped too!)
putting aside the need for an early night on Mondays became a ritual
as I got caught up in the adventures and lives of the men of Easy
Company, in the 506th regiment of the 101st airborne division.
of Brothers is very similar in style to the brilliant Saving Private
Ryan and it doesn't shy away from blood, guts and killing off characters.
(Mind you, is it based on real life people so I guess there was
little room for sentiment.)
is exciting viewing and has the best battlescenes ever made for
that's not surprising as the series cost about $250million to produce
and looking at the imagery leaves you in no doubt about where the
money was spent.
use of digital effects - particularly during the parachute jump
scenes - is cinema quality. Spielberg and Hanks did not muck around
when spending what they thought necessary to get the desired result
and the reward was not only stunning TV - but a bucketful of Emmys.
photography is utterly superb and the subtle use of grain and muted
colours adds a period-quality to the look.
very likeable thing about Band of Brothers is its refusal to paint
all the Americans as good guys.
is Allied pillaging, robbing, even the shooting of prisoners and
civilians, and the characters are well-rounded and involving. Many
of the incidents portrayed come from the diaries, letters and interviews
with survivors, and both Spielberg and Hanks have gone a very long
way to serve up a thoroughly believable set of men.
10-episode series covers four years of WW2 from parachute training,
through D-Day and the assault on the Normandy beaches, the battle
to liberate France, Operation Market Garden (a Bridge Too Far),
the Battle of the Bulge, freeing concentration camp prisoners and
capturing Hitler's Eagle's Nest.
of the key characters are the young officers Richard Winters (Damian
Lewis) and Lewis Nixon (Ron Livingston) and it is mainly through
them you see the war unfold.
are no weak links in the cast and the full-on action and drama will
have you absolutely riveted to your screen.
DVD the screen ratio is 1.78:1, wider than your normal TV, and the
video transfer is excellent.
Band of Brothers will make full use of your surround facilities
(it being Dolby Digital 5.1).
forsaken sleep over a three-month period to watch this series on
late-night TV, I can honestly say that having it on DVD not only
allows for watching it in longer sessions, but also gives the benefit
of superior sound and vision.
for those who love action/war movies!
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The Breaking Point
Why We Fight
Movie 90% Extras 80%