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Band of Brothers

Scott Grimes , Matthew Leitch    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (603 customer reviews)

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An impressively rigorous, unsentimental, and harrowing look at combat during World War II, Band of Brothers follows a company of airborne infantry--Easy Company--from boot camp through the end of the war. The brutality of training takes the audience by increments to the even greater brutality of the war; Easy Company took part in some of the most difficult battles, including the D-day invasion of Normandy, the failed invasion of Holland, and the Battle of the Bulge, as well as the liberation of a concentration camp and the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest. But what makes these episodes work is not their historical sweep but their emphasis on riveting details (such as the rattle of a plane as the paratroopers wait to leap, or a flower in the buttonhole of a German soldier) and procedures (from military tactics to the workings of bureaucratic hierarchies). The scope of this miniseries (10 episodes, plus an actual documentary filled with interviews with surviving veterans) allows not only a thoroughness impossible in a two-hour movie, but also captures the wide range of responses to the stress and trauma of war--fear, cynicism, cruelty, compassion, and all-encompassing confusion. The result is a realism that makes both simplistic judgments and jingoistic enthusiasm impossible; the things these soldiers had to do are both terrible and understandable, and the psychological price they paid is made clear. The writing, directing, and acting are superb throughout. The cast is largely unknown, emphasizing the team of actors as a whole unit, much like the regiment; Damian Lewis and Ron Livingston play the central roles of two officers with grit and intelligence. Band of Brothers turns a vast historical event into a series of potent personal experiences; it's a deeply engrossing and affecting accomplishment. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

HBO's impressive miniseries may have the most handsome DVD packaging to date: a tin container enclosing the accordion sleeves holding six discs. The extras on the set are just as classy. Besides the rudimentary 30-minute making-of, there's an hour's worth of video diaries by actor Ron Livingston (who portrays Lewis Nixon) detailing the tough "actors' boot camp." The first-person recollections of the real Easy Company soldiers that begin each episode are expanded in the 80-minute documentary We Stand Alone Together. The real footage and heartfelt recollections complement the series, but viewers may want more interaction between the lifelong friends. The documentary is better in the final minutes, when the veterans are not talking about the specific incidents depicted in the film. Another big help in this set is the "field guide," a dossier of maps, glossary, definitions of ranks, a timeline, and a who's who for each episode. --Doug Thomas


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant July 20 2009
By Craven
Format:Blu-ray
Quite simply, the best WWII series ever. It is still as amazing now as the first time I watched it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not be better!! April 30 2009
Format:Blu-ray
Probably my most favorite series of all time. These 10 episodes really make you feel like you're in the action. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have done an amazing job, and a real tribute to the veterans and our current day soldiers. On Blu-ray it is of course incredibly clear. You will not regret this purchase.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Series, amazing quality! Aug. 23 2009
Format:Blu-ray
This is one of the most accurate depictions of life as a soldier during world war two. Following Easy Company through their basic training all the way through the capture of Hitlers Eagles nest. Amazing Story, great acting, and thanks to HBO splurging for a HUGE budget for special effects, this is one of the best Series they have ever made! If you love WWII stories this is one you cant miss!!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal Oct. 17 2002
Format:DVD
Band of Brothers is an HBO original series, based on the book of the same name by historian Stephen Ambrose. It is the true story of a company of American warriors in World War II - E (Easy) Company of the 506th Infantry Regiment, a component of the famed 101st Airborne Division. Band of Brothers is based in large part on the accounts of surviving members of that group. It follows the men of Easy Company from their gruelling training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, through their airborne drop into France on D-Day; their involvement in Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge (where they gained great notoriety as the "battered bastards of Bastogne"); their conquest of Hitler's Eagle's Nest; and the end of the war.
If you've seen Stephen Spielberg's fictional World War II epic Saving Private Ryan, you already have some inkling of the horror and constant peril accompanying the allies' assault on Fortress Europe in 1944. Ambrose's true account of the remarkable soldiers of the 101st Airborne will leave you wondering how any of these fellows survived at all. That they not only survived but achieved victory is a tribute to their training and their hardihood, but most of all their devotion to one another. The title is based on Henry Plantagenet's battlefield oration to his outnumbered and beleaguered men on St. Crispian's Day in Shakespeare's Henry V:
"He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named, and rouse him at the name of Crispian. He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, and say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:' Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars and say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day....
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it a lot. I wish I loved it. Sept. 27 2011
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I'm probably going to movie hell, and break records for unhelpful votes
for not thinking this 10 part, 10 hour mini-series is perfect.

And I did find the last 2 episodes tremendously powerful.

But while it is beautifully, spectacularly produced, and is in many
ways a fascinating history lesson, I had a hard time connecting to it
emotionally.

6 of the first 7 hours seemed like one non-stop battle after another,
with very little time or focus given to characters. And when it we get
to know people, they often felt like 'types', overly familiar from
other war films.

And to be embarrassingly honest, there are so many characters, dressed
in their look-alike army gear that I spent way more time than I wanted
wondering 'which guy is that?'

I also felt, while it tried to be real and gritty, it still glamorized
war a bit. Sort of trying to have its pacifist cake, and eat its
heroism and glory too,

Certainly worthwhile, and I am very glad I saw it, but I think I was
way over prepared by years of hype.

To be fair, at least a few professional critics eased my guilt by
sharing my reservations. I'm not the only evil/crazy one on the planet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Band of Brothers is a brilliant mini serie Feb. 12 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I just heard lately about this Film. I think it is very well made and it tells the story of these jung solders very well and touching but not to sweet.
All the actors are so well chosen. Just great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent realistic production Jan. 20 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Seems to be an accurate portrayal of that nasty bit of history. Since there were no 'famous'
actors it was all about the story and not who was trying to be John Wayne. I can't say I was ever
bored even though the story had to have slower sections so that it all made sense. The use of
subdued color also contributed to feeling of misery.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a classic Jan. 2 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Following the experiences of a company of paratroopers through World War II. Although it focused on one select group it gives a person a look into what a combat soldier had to go through in that conflict.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for the collection!
Came super fast. Such a great series!
Published 10 hours ago by Melissa Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Amazing series! If you're into World War II like I am, buy this series. Worth the money!
Published 7 days ago by Mathew McFall
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Miniseries
Yet another miniseries of inestimable quality by HBO. Not only is the acting and scripting great, but it's based on real life stories and accompanied by interviews of the men they... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Robert D
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Superbe couleur et détail impressionnant sur une Samsung UN60F8000 et un lecteur blueray de la PS3.
Published 17 days ago by patrice lavoie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good item.
Published 17 days ago by Matthieu Desroches
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo
Même les commentaires sont super
Published 20 days ago by Nicole Cloutier
5.0 out of 5 stars Best war series ever!
Best war series I've ever seen. Terrific acting and just so well written.
Published 21 days ago by Bobby Mac
5.0 out of 5 stars Like it was!
Like it was! Incredible portrayal, very close to what must have happened. Kudo's to the production team.
Published 22 days ago by Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great package, especially on sale. Awesome series and storyline.
Published 24 days ago by Paolo Cirone
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought one of these when it first came out at ...
Bought one of these when it first came out at a substantially higher price. This is exactly the same at a much reduced price.
Published 25 days ago by Escapers
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