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*** 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.
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!!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
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.
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!
I was a little hesitant to watch this miniseries because i'm not too fond of war movies, but this one was amazing! The acting was amazing, as well as the quality of picture. It was made to look like it was back in the 40's. It's not in black and white, but it has that older look. The actors, mostly British, are absolutely amazing. You really feel like you are there with them participating in the battles, feeling the pain of losing a comrade, and the fear of the battle. It starts with the basic training in Toccoa,Ga, and continues through Normandy, The battle of the Bulge, and Operation Market Garden, among others, as well as the liberation of a concentration camp. If you liked Saving Private Ryan, or even if you didn't, you will definitely love this miniseries!! Once again, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg created a masterpiece!
BAND OF BROTHERS
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Sound format: Dolby Digital
The trials and tribulations of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, from the D-Day landings in Normandy to their capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Austria at the end of World War II.
Co-produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, HBO's epic 10-part miniseries (based on a terrific bestselling book by the late Stephen E. Ambrose) was the most expensive TV undertaking of its day, costing a massive $120 million to produce. And, as the old saying goes, every penny is up there on the screen. Borne from the success of Spielberg's SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998) - with which it shares a similar dramatic and visual style - BAND OF BROTHERS' recreation of a glorious (and hard-won) chapter in American history assumed an even greater patriotic significance during its initial US broadcast, when it coincided with the horrific events of September 2001. Written with economy and grace, and directed with emotional intensity by a series of directors (including Phil Alden Robinson, Richard Loncraine and Hanks himself) whose combined efforts achieve a genuine aesthetic uniformity, the movie is a masterpiece of storytelling and historical documentation. Punctuated by horrific battle sequences, in which the camera is placed within mere inches of the death and destruction, the film transcends its educational remit by focusing intently on the human cost of war. Almost every episode opens with testimony from surviving members of Easy Company (none of whom are identified until the end of the series), which further strengthens the emphasis which BAND OF BROTHERS - book and film - places on the bonds which drew them together in times of conflict. And, because it's a true story, there's no telling from one episode to the next which of the 'characters' will live or die, which makes it all the more potent and visceral.
The entire production represents quality writ large: Beautifully filmed on various European locations (including the UK and Austria), the movie is noble without being the least bit pompous or austere, and it manages to humanize a large cast of essential characters with small touches of humanity and humor, all of which serves to heighten the sense of terror as they descend into the maelstrom of conflict. The first - and longest - episode is deceptively staid, featuring David Schwimmer (a long way from TV's "Friends") as a cowardly, bullying commanding officer whose tyrannical methods nevertheless shaped Easy Company into a fighting force which eventually cut a swathe through the heart of occupied Europe. Brit actor Damian Lewis takes the spotlight thereafter as Easy Company's most respected platoon leader, with Ron Livingston as his right hand man. Other standout performances in a flawless cast include Matthew Settle as battle-hardened platoon leader Ronald Speirs whose wartime career was distinguished by numerous acts of bravery (fuelled by a unique - if morbid - personal philosophy), Shane Taylor as company medic Eugene Roe, Neal McDonough as 2nd lieutenant 'Buck' Compton (laid low by his horrific combat experiences), and Donnie Wahlberg as 1st sergeant C. Carwood Lipton, who maintained the morale of his fellow soldiers, even when the odds seemed stacked against them. Every episode has its merits, but stand-outs include David Leland's 'Bastogne' (ep. 6), which recounts the horrendous circumstances surrounding Easy Company's involvement in the Battle of the Bulge, and David Frankel's 'Why We Fight' (ep. 9), in which the full horror of the Nazi regime is uncovered in a German forest. Additionally, the closing moments of chapter 10 ('Points', directed by Mikael Salomon) are truly heartbreaking.
It's doubtful that a more fitting tribute to the men of Easy Company could have been devised than BAND OF BROTHERS, a truly remarkable film in every conceivable way. By turns engrossing, provocative and *deeply* moving, it stands as a testament to those who fought and died for our freedoms, almost a lifetime ago.
I absolutely love this miniseries.
As a keen amateur historian, I got sick and tired of books and documentaries about the great leaders, politics, geography and basically, the non-bloodshed parts of WW2.
Similarly virtually every time I saw a war movie, it was ruined by flashbacks( thin red line) ridiculous fiction (and yes, i do mean you, The Bunker) or completely unnecessary and out of place sex scenes (who can forget Enemy At The Gates, a powerful film, until that awful sex scene which ruined the whole thing?)
There are good war movies. But this stands out, because not only is there no fiction whatsoever, but because, as a miniseries, more time is available to get to know the characters, and follow their progress, to know them, to love them, to mourn them.
Time allows for detail, and the fact that the 'frills' that other films stick in to make them more viewer friendly and marketable have been left out....
When a character in BoB dies, you mourn not because a flashback tells you they have a young sweetheart or something...but because you know this is real, it happened. The acting is truly superb, and you realise, it isn't a character you are mourning at all, it's a real person. This is because the actors made very strong relationships with their real life surviving counterparts, they knew their roles inside out and it really does show. We feel so strongly for the characters because the actors have portrayed them so faithfully. There are no clichés, because the truth is so accurately reproduced.
After reading Ambrose's book, you realise how religiously each part of the series is portrayed.
The sets are perfect, the effects remarkable, and Michael Kamens score will go down as one of the finest ever written. Everything about the production of this series is phenomenal, the details are so minute yet so important.
This should be watched not just for entertainment value, but as a reminder of the sacrifices made for us.
Easily the best television series ever produced.
Watch it. Now.
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