Monday, July 28, 2014

Band of Brothers (2008)

Band of BrothersThat modesty and that sentiment seems to be shared by all the survivors of Easy Company, 506th PRI, and many of them can't hold back the tears as they mumble it. One of the great benefits of this marvelous series was the closeup interviews of the real men portrayed, those wonderful old seamed faces, breaking at last with emotion as they recall their experiences and the love of their comrades and the pain of loss of other friends. It moves me greatly, and I'm glad the Extras in this set has an extended documentary re-tracing the time-frame of the film with these real veterans recalling the action we've seen re-created.

Brought with loving care and fanatic attention to detail by producers Steven Spielberg & Tom Hanks and their carefully chosen band of producers, directors and actors, this is an unsentimental, near-documentary telling of the story of Easy Co. from training to D-Day, Hedge Row fighting, Operation Market Garden, Bastogne, into Germany, liberation of Death Camps, and the capture of Berchesgarden & Hitler's Eagle's Nest.

Throughout it all, the aim has been to tell it straight and get it right. They have done so in remarkable style. The truth HAS enough drama, and the various episodes reveal it. We get to know these men and care about them. We marvel at their endurance and the way they go about getting the job done, professionally, and with matter-of-fact, everyday courage. It is a true tribute to the Citizen Soldiers who won the war.

With 10 episodes and lots of extra goodies, presented within an exceptional package, there is just too much to review here. Some memorable moments: the harrowing jump into the explosive, tracer-lit night skies of Normandy; the assault on the 88's; Winter's killing the young German; the episode dedictated to the Medic; the monstrous artillery barrage on the men in the snowy forest of Bastogne; the shock of the farmer's wife on seeing the closeup hand-to-hand killing of the German by "Bull"; and finally, the incredibly moving scenes of the liberation of the Concentration Camp, and the final days of Easy at the War's end.

These last episodes are all the more powerful because we have followed Easy Co. and these men and have seen the death so random and arbitrary around and among them that a slow emotional tension has been built that we now realize with the intensity of anger/pity/horror at the Camps and the bittersweet joy and subsequent farewell of VE day.

I could cite great moments by each individual actor, and nicely played and effectively understated but powerfully emotional scenes but suffice it to say this is an ensemble piece with superb performances throughout. The quiet power of the different episodes underscores how wonderfully written the entire piece is, and with corresponding excellent direction and production values.

A one-of-a-kind production, having the time to tell the tale with detail and care, and with all involved doing honor to the men who lived it. And finally, there are those men, bringing it all back to the reality of real lives lived. Exceptional stuff.

Band of Brothers is an awe inspiring and visually stunning tribute, not only to Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, but to the "Greatest Generation." But for their sacrifices, would we share the freedoms we so cherish and covet to our vests today! Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg deserve all of the awards and accolades they received for bringing this epic to HBO and now this incredible DVD box set!

Part 1 Currahee Currahee is a wonderful beginning to this unprecedented HBO miniseries. Outside of the movie "Saving Private Ryan" there has never before been such a realistic series such as this one. Currahee poignantly highlights the training that was necessary for the newly designed Airborne Infantry. While some may think that Captain Sobel was a complete idiot, in all truth, his combat skills were obviously lacking however, as a trainer, he put Easy Company in a very good position as a well trained unit.

Part 2 Day of Days D-Day has arrived and Easy Company makes the jump that they've been preparing two years for. As history unfolds, the German flak has caused nearly every plane to miss their designated drop zone. 1LT Winters finds he's in Normandy, lost his weapon and his company. He finally arrives at the assembly area and is given the mission to take out a German artillery position. Day of Days is an excellent episode that doesn't miss out on 1LT Winters depth of emotions as he loses his first soldier in combat.

Part 3 Carentan Easy Company is ordered in to take the French village of Carentan. While encountering only minor resistance, they take light casualties. After successfully taking the town, they're ordered to move on to the next objective. En route, they encounter the German force sent to retake Carentan. They stalemate for the evening, expecting to forge a full assault in the morning. The Germans have other plans though and counter attack in the morning with a combined force of mechanized infantry and armor. Fortunately for Easy Company, they are finally rescued by the 2nd Armored Division. Shortly after this action they are lucky enough to get some R&R back in England. The show ends with orders back to the front and a very poignant final scene to yet another wonderful episode.

Part 4 Replacements Replacements jumps forward to September and Easy Company is on R&R in England. They're called into Operation Market Garden. Easy Company is given the mission to take Eindhoven, Holland. They were told they would be running into light resistance. Operation Market Garden turns into a huge failure and the Allied Forces are turned back with heavy casualties. Sgt "Bull" Randleman is quite unfortunate enough to get stuck behind enemy lines. "Replacements" is another excellent episode.

Part 5 Crossroads Crossroads is one of the best shows of the whole miniseries. Captain Winters, due to the costs of war, garners advancement from Easy Company Commander to Battalion Executive Officer. The episode is shown, through the eyes of Captain Winters as he is preparing a report on the actions of October 5th when he led his company in the attack of a German SS position. The more telling part is later in the episode when he gets an R&R in Paris and the horrors of war catch up to him.

Part 6 Bastogne To quote Captain Winters, "we're paratroopers; we're supposed to be surrounded." Bastogne tells the tale, from Easy Companies point of view, about the 101st Airborne Infantry being surrounded by German forces and holding the line during the Battle of the Bulge. This is also the combat action where the Commanding General of the 101st Airborne replied to the German Commanders request for their surrender, "nuts."

Part 7 The Breaking Point January 1945 and Easy Company is on the verge of attacking the Germans in Foy, Belgium. Due to heavy resistance, Easy Company endures nearly a month of being barraged by German artillery on the front line. This episode is very telling as far as the how demoralizing the artillery can be.

Part 8 The Last Patrol Easy Company is on the front line in the Alsacian town of Haguenau. They now have the sense that the war is coming to a close, as they are just across the river from Germany. The brigade commander orders a patrol across the border to secure German prisoners. This episode again brings to the forefront the emotions of the soldiers as they again are counted on to accomplish their mission!

Part 9 Why We Fight This episode is clearly the most poignant of the series as Easy Company finds and liberates a concentration camp. Although there had been rumors of these concentration camps, no once could truly comprehend what they were about until they were faced with them! This episode alone should've garnered several awards.

Part 10 Points Easy Company takes Eagles Nest, Hitler's mountaintop fortress. The company settles in as an occupation force, yet expecting to be redeployed to the Japanese warfront. A very emotional what happened to several of the units members after the war. Overall, this episode is a fantastic conclusion to the "Band of Brother."

Disk Seven

We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company An outstanding documentary containing interviews with surviving members of Easy Company! Once you've seen all of the episodes, this documentary introduces you to the real members of Easy Company.

Ron Livingston's Video Diaries This is an exceptional set of clips filmed by Ron Livingston, who played Lieutenant Nixon, covering the "actor boot camp" run by Captain Dale Dye, USMC Retired.

HBO's The Making of Band of Brothers' This is another excellent "Making of" clip by HBO, covering the creation of this spectacular miniseries! {ssintrepid}

Buy Band of Brothers (2008) Now

I have to say that this series blew me away. I was so impressed with the effort put into Saving Private Ryan to give it a documentary look and feel. Band Of Brothers falls from the same tree. Once again, Hanks and Spielberg reunite to produce this epic cable series of WW2 as told by the men themselves. Every episode has interviews from the soldiers who were there. Very realistic and emotional stuff.

First off, the set comes in a metal box with fold out style disk holders. Exactly like the standard dvd edtion a few years ago.

The Blu-Ray edition has 6 disks total. 2 episodes per disk on the first 5 with many, many extras on number 6.

The quality of the picture is perfect. These films were shot with tons of natural grain for that documentary style look. The lenses also give the look of a 40's camera used in the field. Although the film itself is washed out and very rough, it has awesome detail. You will notice so many things going on in the background. The size of the shots sometimes leave you in awe. The blacks are sometimes unstable, but that is the intent. The daytime scenes are beautiful in their full scope. The greatest thing about this series is the uncompromising attention to detail. From the uniforms to the weapons. The skintones are spot on and very nice looking with great detail. The majority of these episodes were shot outdoors. So, the landscapes look fantastic! From the coast of France, to the mountains of Austria, this has some amazing and beautiful scenery. While the picture may be " washed out ", it looks and feels just as you would expect from the point of view from a combat photographer. The battle scenes are simply unbelievable. It takes you to a new level realism.

The sound is second to none. You will easily be blown away with the audio track quality. You have to turn down the volume at many points during battle scenes. The voices are crisp and clean, but the battle scenes really rock your sound system. All of your speakers get a good workout. The subwoofer really hammers out the explosions. The rear speakers have tons of gunfire from all directions, as do the side speakers. You will have a true surround sound experience. Many movies do not make full use of the full audio possibilities. This one does!

There are great extras here as well. Great in depth interviews from the soldiers themselves. A really cool making of documentary called " We stand together: The men of easy company " And many other things for the history buff. Cant say enough about this product. If you are a war genre lover, this is one of the best. If you love history, and dont want a watered down, made for Hollywood war film. This is how it happened as told by the men of the 506th E Co. You will have a new respect for these guys who gave so much. It is hard to believe that some people could give so much for so little. Thank god they did.

Read Best Reviews of Band of Brothers (2008) Here

First of all let me just say that i have never seen Band of brothers before so I'm not a blind fanboy or anything like that , and because I'm not an american so i thought this mini series is not going to be interesting to me , However this mini series is highly praised everywhere and it have 9.6 score on IMDB plus it won the Golden Globe award and Emmy as the BEST series made for TV , so i said to myself lets give it try

So far i have seen only 5 episodes on the BLU-RAY and i have to say that the picture quality is insanely good i own over 30 Blu ray movies and series like Planet Earth, Band of brothers picture quality beat every movie i have ever seen ,yes even Disney Blu rays like pirates, the colors is perfect and its crystal clear, its just UNREAL how good its, i was really surprised i didn't expect TV series picture quality to beat Movies picture quality (Its simply the Best picture quality so far on blu ray to me, but sometimes picture quality jump from crystal clear to "extremely" Grainy on some parts which is intended i believe) reviewed the series today also and gave the picture quality 5/5 and everything else 5/5 kinda XD

I have only seen 5 episodes so far! and i don't want it to end ;( that's why i'm watching it slowly, to be honest i have always hated and avoided World war Movies because to me they are boring as hell, i have heard the story god damn million time in books/video games and Hollywood movies even school books and most of the times each version of the movie is different so you don't know which version is real or accurate about what happened in the world war 2 because a lot of movie directors change events and make them different to sell tickets, but with band of brothers the men who went to the war speaks to you and tell you there REAL story "there is picture in picture mode where you can watch the movie and small screen like 1/4 of the TV pop and the Real people who was at the event speaks and its optional"

Band of brothers is a masterpiece its Story,Characters,Script, Events,Sound is too good plus its very emotional story.... i don't know where to start about this series it just blow my mind from its goodness

I hope this review was helpful to you

Want Band of Brothers (2008) Discount?

My father was 22 years old when he left Philadelphia and joined the army in the spring of 1942 he volunteered for the 101st, in the summer of 1942 he left Philadelphia and found himself at Camp Toccoa, he was not in Easy Company, I don't know the name of his company.

He was a sergeant and squad leader he named his squad "Maguire's Magpies". He fought in France, Holland and Bastogne. Out of the original squad of 12 that landed in Normandy only 4 men survived the war, 8 men were killed in action during the following twelve months. And 6 of the replacements were killed in action as well. He himself received 2 Purple Hearts, the original squad and the replacements endured 150% casualities.

My father died in 1988 so he'll never read the book, or see Band of Brothers. When I was young I would pump him for information about the war, he told me everything. We discussed his experience at length, over the years he told me all the details. So much so, that when I read the Ambrose book it was like I had already read the book. But I wasn't prepared for the visual images in the Band of Brothers, I was overwhelmed, the intensity and the brutality of what my father and his fellow soldiers experienced brought me to tears. This production is a fitting tribute to the ultimate sacrifices that these young men made.

My father traveled to Europe for business frequently in the 60's and 70's. He would take time on this trips to visit France, Holland and Belgium, he would locate that certain village, and find that particular farm field or forest where one of his "brothers" had fallen, he never forgot how special and exceptional these young men were.

My father is still the most exceptional human being I have known in my life, seeing this production gave me a great insight to his personality. He was a person who truly appreciated what life had to offer, he was active, loving, funny and always emphasized the positive. Those thirteen months in 1944-45, gave him an understanding of humanity that few of us possess.

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