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Patton 360: The Complete Season One [Blu-ray]

 NR (Not Rated)   Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product Description

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One of World War II's greatest and most controversial leaders is the focus of Patton 360, a three-disc, 10-episode offering from the History Channel. General George S. Patton, "Ol' Blood and Guts" to admirers and detractors alike, had already served in World War I when, at age 57, he was put in command of Operation Torch, the 1943 Allied campaign to seize North Africa from the pro-Nazi French forces who were occupying the area at the time. That's where Patton 360 begins; subsequent episodes chronicle his incursions into Sicily, Belgium, France (where his Third Army landed just weeks after D-day, and Operation Cobra, described as "the largest carpet bombing mission in military history," helped lead the way to victory in Europe), and finally Germany; it was there, some months after the war ended, that Patton died in a car crash.

Scion of a wealthy Pasadena, California, family, Patton was a brilliant military man--his toughness, discipline (he insisted that his men shave every day and observe strict uniform requirements), and willingness to "lead from the front" were unquestioned. But as the series tells it, he was also a foulmouthed hothead accused of having a "lust for glory" that led to accusations that he put his own reputation before the safety of his soldiers. The fourth episode, "Rogue General," details the infamous incidents (also familiar to fans of the 1970 film Patton, which earned lead actor George C. Scott an Oscar®) in which he slapped two GIs in Sicily, accusing the war-weary men, one of whom also had malaria, of cowardice and forcing Allied leader Dwight D. Eisenhower to temporarily relieve Patton of his command.

All of this is presented by way of the same ingredients used in the earlier Battle 360 series, combining file footage (including silent clips of Patton himself), photos, CGI, occasional reenactments, expert analysis, and reminiscences of several men who fought under Patton. There is plenty of edifying history delivered, as well as detailed descriptions of strategy, tactics, and weaponry, especially tanks and artillery. But the episodes are also loud and kinetic to distraction, with a constant and relentless background of pounding music and sound effects, flashing graphics, and macho voice-over narration. This may prove wearisome to some viewers, but Patton 360 is entertainment, not scholarship, and as such it is undeniably effective. --Sam Graham

Product Description

It was a war-and a series of military campaigns-like no other. Now HISTORY puts you in the action with Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. as he leads his heroic soldiers in North Africa, in the invasion of Sicily, and in the charge across Europe to defeat Hitler's Third Reich.

Following on the success of Battle 360, PATTON 360 uses cutting-edge computer graphic animation and the latest technology to bring viewers a 360-degree view of World War II. Patton, a complicated, colorful, and ferociously determined officer known as "Old Blood and Guts," springs to life with the aid of archival footage, personal diary quotes, and commentary from historians and veterans. With insight into the forces he commanded and battles he led, you'll be there for all the drama, from lightning-fast armored assaults to the Battle of the Bulge and the final battles inside Germany after crossing the Rhine.

Grab a helmet and prepare for action!


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Most helpful customer reviews
By John Thomas Anderson TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
Patton 360 is another mostly CGI documentary done by the very same folks who did the earlier Battle 360 series. But where Battle 360 showed the war in the Pacific exclusively through the eyes of the USS Enterprise; Patton 360 shows the war in Europe exclusively through the exploits of General George S. Patton. That's both it's strength and it's weakness.

In Battle 360 the USS Enterprise was involved in every major battle of the Pacific except Pearl Harbour so this worked out surprisingly well in it's coverage of the Pacific War showing everything from the Doolittle Raid to the final surrender in Tokyo Harbour. But in Patton 360 it's not nearly as successful missing out on such important events as the war in Russia, the Battle of Britain and even D-Day none of which Patton was involved in. Even the Battle of the Bulge which was probably his finest achievement is covered more evenly and in greater depth later on by these self same folks in their 20 episode Greatest Tank Battles series. Still......., it has it's moments.

So where does this series shine? In smaller battles that are barely mentioned anywhere else. The early battles for the French colonies of Morocco and Algeria. Patton's early encounters in Tunisia and his drive through Sicily which gets barely mentioned anywhere else. His breakthrough out of the Hedgerow country of France and his mad dash towards the German border plus the little known battles for the town of Metz. This is where the series does it's best.

So overall where I gave the Battle 360 series a rousing four stars, I'll have to settle for a more modest three stars here. Patton 360 is an okay series, but is much more limited in it's scope.

J. A.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By William L. Fahrner TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am amazed at the quality of the graphics of this History Channel production. They switch back and forth throughout the productions to such an extent, that if you're not careful, you will not be able to tell real war footage from the simulations. I am reading the book written from Pattons diary and this series is historically actuate. Wonderfully done. This is also a great deal!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  47 reviews
51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome series June 22 2009
By Robert K. Garrou - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I knew General Patton was a great battlefield commander. Despite his flaws, he was still the right man to do the job of smashing the Hitler-Nazi machine. This what the series, Patton 360, brings out. It clearly portrays the genius of a man driven to wreak havoc on the enemy. I never realized, until now, just how much of a struggle it was to win back France, and the obstacles that had to be overcome. I have no doubt that if Patton was given full sway, the war might well have shortened by almost a year. But judge for yourself. Watch or buy the series. Enjoy the clever and artful way computer graphics have been combined with historical footage to give a complete and exciting story of World War II's most controversial but successful general - and appreciate how America always seems to come with a man at the hour of her need or peril.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be made nervous July 28 2010
By Hal Herring - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I just finished watching most of the first season. As a long time student of WWII, and admirer of Patton, from his days of chasing Pancho Villa through his beyond-bold leadership against the Nazis, I was excited to get this series.

I learned a few new things about the fights and the politics, without a doubt. But halfway through the first disc, I thought I was going insane. The images move so quickly, and repeat themselves over and over, the same photos, the same clips, the same utterly ridiculous computer-generated bombs and tanks and gunfire. The show is like some kind of test you'd get in a psychiatrist's office to test your threshold of mental abuse.

I wish somebody had grabbed the director or the editor and screamed, right in their face, "Nobody has an attention span this short!!!!! Nobody!!! The person who needs this much visual and auditory stimulation would be in a COMA!!!!"

And if the stimulation was in the least bit necessary, if it were truly creative, maybe, just maybe, I could take it. But I repeat, just like the film: it is the SAME images over and over and over.

I'm not a geezer. I like modern film, modern documentaries. But there were so many places in this film where I wanted to stop it so I could see what was happening- the combat footage, the footage of the towns, the tanks, the fighters, the POWs, the people of the towns and camps. The whole project is poisoned by how good it could be if it just slowed down enough for the viewer to occupy an image, to record the image in their mind, absorb it. Patton 360 is much like those old films of the 70's that tried to mimic the effects of LSD and wound up just making the viewer nauseous.

Hal Herring
author of:]]
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere in the middle Oct. 20 2009
By Peter T. Wolf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Im between the two extremes of the previous reviewers. I disagree with the negative reviewer that the series did nothing to document Patton's tactical skill. On the contrary it did that quite well. Further, it documented the skills of his subordinate commanders which any student of WW2 WOULD be interested in. Also, it paid due respect to the skills of the German commanders. THIS the series did very well. Rommel and Kesselring are of course well celebrated in the espisodes. But outside of students of the subject, who knows that much about Manteuffel? Yet here he is given justified attention. So are the early battles against the Vichy French. Where I agree with the negative reviewer was the repetition of the simulated graphics and stock footage, although some of the footage IS rare. In short, the series could have been reduced in length and been more impactful.
3.5 stars.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting drawn into the battle Nov. 25 2009
By CGScammell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this video for my husband who is a big fan of Patton and could recite every one of his quotes. I ordered this on 22 November and received it today. Within 30 minutes my husband had the DVD in his player to watch it.

The combination of both archival news footage and computer graphics had me pulled into the battle as soon as I heard the tank rounds explode in the TV room.

This DVD set of three discs runs over seven hours long. The story, narration and scenery pull you into the battle. Tank rounds never stop exploding in the background as you go from scratchy video to CGI to talking heads and back to scratchy video as the battle goes on, as if in real time. And, like zooming in and out with Google Earth, you get to see aerial views of the battlefield as well as lateral shots and ground shots. Old-looking maps of the warfront show the US and Nazi armies moving toward each other in the Benelux area.

The transformation between film footage and CGI is continuous, as the CGI helps continue the battle scenes. You may see one scene of a tank getting hit. That very same tank then turns into a computer-enhanced graphic that turns around and fires a shot back. This is thrilling, exciting and scary all rolled into one!

Between battle scenes old veterans of this battle retell their version of the fight. This is classic History Channel quality. Even the narrator sounds so History Channelish.

My husband gives this production five stars, I give it four. My complaint is the background superimposition of what looks like an old compass dial coming at you while you are listening to a veteran retell his story, or a historian comment on the action. It's not noticable at first, but in most every archival footage there is that compass dial coming at you like shooting stars or snow aiming for the camera. What is that all about? My husband was so engrossed in the story he says it didn't bother him, but to me it was annoying. This did not take away from the subject matter, though: Patton was an amazing strategist.

Thus, from two history fans, 4+ stars. A great gift for any Patton fan.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Falls short of potential Nov. 14 2009
By Nick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I was waiting for Patton 360 to come out on DVD for a long time, but I must say that I was mildly disappointed. Frankly, there was way too much going on. Instead of focusing on one aspect at a time, like the ground campaign or naval help, the show tried to tell the story of everything and everybody all at once. I understand that the producers were trying to be complete, but I think they sacrificed the personal aspects of the war. I loved Dogfights and Battle 360 because I was literally on the edge of my seat during some of the battles, but Patton 360 failed to deliver suspense. Perhaps Dogfights and Battle 360 was more condusive to showing a mano-a-mano fight than Patton 360 because Patton 360 focused more on strategy and the overall campaign than individual fights.
However, I found Patton 360 to be very enlightening. Obviously, I just described how it wasn't very good as a movie experience, but in terms of historical documentation, Patton 360 is excellent. I agree that it showed Pattons prowess both as a tactician and as a leader, going in depth about how his troops would be arranged and how he would lead from the front. Other documentaries I have seen focused entirely on his personal life or on his impact on the war, but this series showed his tactical strategies, something which I haven't seen much of.
tl,dr: Not that great as a movie and dramatic experience, but awesome as a documentary, 3.5 stars.
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