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The Pacific (2010 MIniseries)

HBO

Cast: James Badge Dale, Joe Mazello, Jon Seda.

Rating: PG

Run time: 10 hours.

Genre: TV/War.

Verdict: Beautiful (see rating system)

Producers Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks have done it again with this stirring docudrama on the Second World War.

While their first miniseries, Band Of Brothers, focused on U.S. paratroopers fighting in Europe from D-Day to war's end, this new 10-hour miniseries tells the story of U.S. marines fighting in the Pacific after Pearl Harbor.

The Pacific deservedly won eight Emmy Awards, including "Best Miniseries," and it's a rousing tribute to heroism. Through the words of the veterans it's also a profound commentary on the senseless waste of war.

The production draws on the true stories of three Marines - Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale), Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazello) and John Basilone (Jon Seda). Many of the incidents dipicted come from the acclaimed memoirs of Leckie and Sledge, who both survived the war and died in recent years.

Basilone won the Medal Of Honor for his heroism at the battle of Guadalcanal. He was sent back to the U.S. to raise war bonds and then trained new recruits. However, he volunteered for a second tour of duty and was killed in the brutal fighting on the island of Iwo Jima in 1945.

The $100-million production, filmed in Australia, recreates five major campaigns in the Pacific war. Often fighting hand-to-hand with a fanatical enemy that would rather die than surrender, U.S. Marines were young Americans in their teens and early 20s who volunteered to serve America's elite military unit.

The miniseries also shows the marines making the most of their brief leaves, particularly in Australia where some men found sweethearts and their future wives - those lucky enough to survive, that is.

As the surviving vets explain in interviews contained in the set's extras, the war changed men forever and some remain deeply haunted by their experiences.

Each episode in the six-disc set is introduced by a brief historical backgrounder, there are profiles of the real Marines featured in the series plus an extensive making-of documentary. It's available in DVD and Blu-ray.

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