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I am an 80 year old combat veteran (88th Inf. Div. Italy).
I watched BOB on the History Channel. I was so overwhelmed, indeed a bit panicked by the authentic nature of 90+% of the uniforms, signs, noises (I take exception to the sound of incoming artillery).
I cried several times at the authentic staging - for them and me.
I cannot believe I'll watch it again. It's too much. Too real.
We never had so much water allowed in a shower.
This week I saw three things based on WW-II novels. The first was 'The
Pianist' about the Warsaw ghetto in the war and the survival of a
Jewish pianist in that ghetto. The second was 'De Tweeling', a Dutch
film about two twin-sisters, separated in 1926. One of them grows up in
Nazi-Germany, the other in The Netherlands. That movie shows us more of
the common persons during the war, Germans and not-Germans. The third
was 'Band of Brothers', a true story about combat in the war. All three
things are great, the films I mean, and you definitely should see all
three of them.
'Band of Brothers' follows Easy-company from their training in England, through D-Day, the rest of France (including Bastogne), Holland (including operation Market Garden), Germany and Austria. This story is shown to us in ten different episodes. Every episode starts with the real men from Easy-company telling about their experiences and ends with a short written update of Easy-company. Between beginning and ending of episodes one of the best things I have seen on screen is presented to us.
The casting is amazing. Even David Schwimmer (from 'Friends') as the bitter Captain Sobel is great. Damian Lewis and Ron Livingston are superb as Major Winters and Captain Lewis Nixon. Every actor seems to be perfect for his character. The photography and direction is great also. I especially loved the direction of the episode done by executive producer Tom Hanks, possibly with some help from the other executive producer Steven Spielberg. 'Saving Private Ryan' was great for showing us the horror in combat, 'Band of Brothers' does the same thing but adds some other things. You really learn to know the characters (in 600 minutes you can do that), you sympathize with them.
If you have the chance to see this masterpiece, do so. It is long but you can spread the episodes over some days. But if you start watching it is very hard to stop. Definitely one of the best WW-II movies or series out there.
I have read virtually all of Ambrose's WWII books, and this mini-series faithfully follows one of his best. The experience of these men of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne, was mirrored throughout the many divisions of Army and Marine ground troops in WWII. I feel that this series represents that collective experience in the finest, most forthright manner possible and pays tribute to them all. The acting, mostly by previously unheralded actors, was superb--particularly that of Damien Lewis (Capt.Winters). Winters had to mature along with his increasing command responsibilites, had to learn to turn over his initial company-level responsibilities to others as he was promoted to battalion commander. It was clearly tough for him, particularly when he had to order attacks on heavily defended objectives, without being to lead his former command directly. All of the characters were developed enough that you cared about each of them as individuals, and felt the loss of each of them through the attrition during the brutal fighting in the Northern European Theater. They cared for each other as fighting men do (confirmed by my own experience in the infantry in Vietnam), but at the same time they had to carry on with the mission regardless of loss. Replacements are regarded warily at first, but then managed to blend in with the veterans if they showed they were worthy of joining this band of brothers. The plot is real, and as such is neither macho nor macabre--it just is presented as it really happened. The truths of combat are stranger than fiction. The interviews with the actual veterans, interspersed throughout the series, added authenticity, verified what the series was showing. These representatives of "The Greatest Generation" did themselves and this nation proud. Though I knew the story well, I eagerly looked for to each new episode to see how well it tracked with the book and how well the actors and director portrayed it. Up to this series, I had thought that "Once an Eagle" (starring Sam Elliot) was the best war series, but this one is now at the top of the class in my view.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've said it before, I'll say it again: The IMDB has been the source for
many good and many bad movies for me. I've rented films and avoided films
based on comments I've read here. Being that I don't watch a lot of TV and
don't have HBO, I never saw Band of Brothers when it was actually on TV. In
fact, I only stumbled into its page here in the data base by accident, but
was interested in its high rating. It's the highest rating I've ever seen in
this forum and because of it, I read some of the reviews. There was nary a
bad one, so as a fan of Saving Private Ryan, I decided to buy the
What an excellent purchase that ended up being. I really love this production. Excellent casting and direction. The writing is crisp and original. This is one of the best productions on WWII ever made. Well worth whatever you can pay, I highly recommend buying the DVDs.
Whoever's idea it was to start each episode with the original members of the troop is pure genius. Each episode ends with a paragraph or two of the story's significance to the war effort or the lives of its participants. I was even originally annoyed by David Schwimmer's appearance in this (why have a guy who is well known enough to get half a million an episode for a sitcom mixed with a bunch of relative unknowns?) but as it turns out, he was well cast in the role. And the show is done in widescreen, which is really great. The extras are excellent too.
Speilberg and Hanks should be commended for such a fine production. This is a perfect example of the greatness of DVDs.
I didn't really want to comment on the show like others did, until it was actually concluded. Now that the show finished last night all I can think to say is Wow! This has truly been one of the best things I have ever seen produced for any format of entertainment, except novel since historian Stephen Ambrose fills in a lot more information that the series just couldn't handle. Every actor from Damian Lewis to the man who played Private Hall in the first episode performed admirably. Of special interest is Lewis who's character really matures as the show progresses, Ron Livingston who in episode nine loses some of the cockiness that his character Nixon exhibits throughout the show, Matthew Settle who plays the intimidating Capt. Ronald Speirs just seems to ooze the violent edge the character needs, and Donnie Wahlberg who unlike his brother seems to play more interesting characters. Also of special interest is David Schwimmer as Capt. Herbert Sobel. Even though the character is pretty much a piss ant, there is that one moment after he loses command of the company that you sort of feel sorry for him. Another plus is the production crew who really turned England into four different countries. No one place from Carentan to Bastgone looks like the same country. Another plus is the special effects, which really shine in episode two and four. The night jump on Normandy with the flak exploding around planes and one plane bursting into flames looks as good as anything done for a major film. Also whoever thought of including snippets of interviews with real easy veterans definitely help set the tone for the episodes. A good choice in my opinion. If you haven't seen this show you owe it to yourself to watch any repeat. If you love informative movies about WWII by the DVD Set which will hopefully be released sometime soon. Another thing to note is the documentary which has interviews, film footage, and war time photos of the actuall easy company. I hope its as good as it looks.
There aren't much TV-series which have left such an impression on me as
Band of Brothers did. From the moment I saw the first episodes, I knew
I had to buy this on DVD.
This series, telling you the story of Easy Company of the US Army Airbourne Paratrooper division is so unbelievably realistic, so authentic... There has been put so much effort in taking care of all the details that it makes you believe that you are right in the middle of all the action. This is an outstanding achievement. It's about ten hours long, but I wouldn't mind if it was a few hours longer.
Each episode opens with interviews with several of the actual men from Easy Company, talking about some of the experiences that that episode deals with. When you buy the special edition DVD box (a metal case with 6 instead of 5 DVD's), you will find the complete interviews with these men on the extra DVD. These interviews certainly aren't to be missed!
As you may have guessed, I'm one of the biggest fans of this series. I could go on for hours about it, but our time is limited and instead of reading this you better watch the series yourself. According to me, there is only one score appropriate for a masterpiece like this one and that is 10/10. Amazing!!!!
Band of Brothers finds us following the exploits of Easy Company
throughout their campaign in Europe, from their inception all the way
to the end of the war. The commentary from the actual soldiers that
were in those situations is touching, to say the very least. These
commentaries also help to move the character development along quite a
bit, as it lets us into their own personal thoughts on the situations
they faced. This project, to the best of my knowledge was undertaken at
roughly the same time as Saving Private Ryan, using many of the same
locations and also employing DreamWorks special effects, giving it a
very familiar feel for anyone that has seen Private Ryan. As I've
already touched on, the character development is greatly due to the
fact that this story is not told in a two hour segment, but throughout
several hour long intervals, giving us the chance to truly "get to
know" the characters personalities as the story develops. In my humble
opinion, the only other military type mini series' that even come close
to the scope of this one are The Blue and The Grey, and North and
All of the actors in this series do and excellent job at playing the roles appropriately and making us believe the hell these men were put through. The thing I also appreciated about the cast is the lack of any "real" names, leading to us not knowing who may or may not be making it out the scenes alive and unscathed.
This mini series is everything Saving Private Ryan was, as well as everything it wasn't. If you're a fan of war time stories and "army" movies, this is hands down the best of the best I don't even think I could name ANY movies about WWII that could even compare to this one A bold statement, I know, but I'm making it any how.
"Band of Brothers" in a word is awesome. I couldn't wait to see each
episode. Co-Executive Produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, it has the
realism, look and feel of Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" (1998) but with
more insight into the characters. Hanks even directed one episode
Told over ten gut wrenching episodes, the story centers on a company of soldiers in the 101st American Airborne Division in WWII from their initial basic training to their landing in France on D-Day to their many battles and ordeals through to the liberation of a concentration camp and finally through to the end of the war.
The soldiers are ordinary people thrust into horrific situations and shows how each is able (or not able) to deal with the situations. The battle scenes are realistic and convincing and the special effects are breath taking. While the series depicts the trials and tribulations of the company, it isn't afraid to show how the war affects seemingly sane and rational men. For example there is a scene where the nominal hero of the story, Winters (Damien Lewis) shoots an unarmed German soldier out of frustration. There is also a scene where a group of German prisoners are cut down by an American officer after he had given them cigarettes. Even after the German surrender there are instances of out and out murder of Germans. This is very rare for an American war story.
The cast is of largely unknown actors, which makes for a more effective telling of the story. There is no John Wayne leading the troops to victory kind of thing. Damien Lewis is very good as Winters who rises through the ranks to lead the company. Ron Livingston plays his friend and second in command, Nixon. Others include David Schwimmer, excellent as the training officer, Scott Grimes as Malarkey the grizzled sergeant and ex New Boys on the Block member Donnie Wahlberg effective as Corporal Lipton.
"Band of Brothers" is a story that could only be told in a mini-series. It clearly shows that war really is hell.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Band of Brothers is a brilliant mini series about W.W. II.It tells the story
of Easy company,a group of soldiers who fought in this terrible war.The
first couple of episodes are about the drill of the men,the drill-sergeant
is played by David"Ross from Friends"Schwimmer(not quite Full Metal
Jacket).Then the company gets dropped on D-Day in Normandy where we follow
their moves.The serie ends with an episode after the war when we see the
company,or what is left of it,"relaxing" at a lake and thinking over this
BoB is very realisticly filmed with great acting,although there are no big
names in it.Maybe that is why it is so realistic. The series is produced by
Tom Hanks(directed 1 episode) & Steven Spielberg,so it couldn't miss. And it
doesn't,all 10 episodes are of very high quality,from the training in
peaceful areas to a big shootout in the woods of Belgium and from fights in
my own country Holland(with actual Dutch actors!) to a grueling episode
about a concentration camp.
After Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan this is another realistic and good project from Spielberg and co. 10/10
Judging by other comments, it seems that this miniseries struck a chord with many viewers. I almost hate to add yet another glowing endorsement since the other reviews are pretty much identical...but here goes. This one made me wonder WHERE DOES AMERICA GET SUCH MEN? The things that Easy Company (boy, there's irony for you!) went through. I've always been grateful to all those who fought for my freedom (I served my country but never had to fight) and have wondered how men could do the awful things that had to be done. I've admired those who actually faced combat. Anyway, Band of Brothers is superbly done historically correct documentary about E Co, 101st Airborne. It follows the lives (and sometimes deaths) of the men of Easy Co. The miniseries takes the men through most of their combat engagements. The cinematography is outstanding. Spielberg and Hanks really did a great job on this miniseries! There are some interviews with some of the survivors, who have remained close to this day. Disks 1-5 are the actual miniseries but WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T SKIP DISK 6! There is a lot of information about how the film was cast, the "boot camp" that the actors went through and how soft actors were turned into lean, hard fighting men. There are more interviews with surviving members of Easy Co. Folks, this is a don't-miss series!
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