For nearly a decade, the legendary World War II aircraft carrier USS Enterprise held a pivotal place on the turbulent seas of war, engaging in some of the fiercest multi-front battles ever witnessed in modern combat. The only carrier to be front and center in every major sea conflict in the Pacific, the Enterprise and her crew s battles were marked by intense firepower, instinct and a 360-coordination between the ship, the destroyers, the aircraft above and the submarines below. In each of ten episodes, and using incredible CGI visualizations, BATTLE 360 follows the Enterprise and its men through another conflict of WWII as they fight off the enemy from the air, the sea and underwater.
DVD Features: Additional Footage
BATTLE 360: THE COMPLETE SEASON ONE includes all 10 original episodes on 4 DVDs:
Disc 1: Call to Duty / Vengeance at Midway / Jaws of the Enemy
Disc 2: Bloody Santa Cruz / Enterprise vs. Japan / The Grey Ghost
Disc 3: Hammer of Hell / D-Day in the Pacific
Disc 4: Battle of Leyte Gulf / The Empire's Last Stand / bonus material
It would be an understatement say that Battle 360: Season 1 has substantial appeal for World War II and naval history "enthusiasts." Considering the depth and thoroughness of the program and the sheer volume of data and information on hand--and with ten episodes, each more than 50 minutes long, there's very little thats not covered--its likely that experts, fanatics, and obsessives will be well satisfied too. Using a combination of extensive computer-generated imagery (CGI), charts, graphics, statistics, file footage, photos, interviews with military men both past and present, and more, the program focuses on the Pacific Theater, where the United States and its allies battled Japan for the three and half years between Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and the end of the war in August 1945. At the center of virtually every battle during that span was the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. Launched in 1936, this Yorktown class vessel, also known as "a fighting city of steel" and "the Lucky E" (for its ability to avoid major catastrophe, at least for the most part), carried 96 planes, a huge amount of weaponry, and a crew whose average was an astonishing 19 years old. Proceeding chronologically, the series details such major conflicts as Midway (when the U.S. disabled no less than four Japanese carriers), Guadalcanal (when the Enterprise suffered serious damage while helping to thwart the enemys plans to invade Australia), and Leyte Gulf ("the largest naval battle in the history of mankind"), finishing with the Japaneses last-gasp use of kamikaze pilots to attack the U.S. fleet. Much of this is genuinely gripping, as the episodes provide literally minute-by-minute accounts of every encounter and the size, speed, function, and firepower of every vessel and aircraft on both sides. But there are notable drawbacks as well, starting with the fact that for all of its detail, we see almost nothing of the Enterprises interior or descriptions of daily life on board the enormous vessel. Theres also the issue of how much CGI you can take; although there is some film footage (which may or may not be from the specific skirmish being described), the computer work, while generally pretty convincing, is pervasive and rather like a video game without a controller. Whats more, each episode is kinetic almost to distraction, with a ceaseless flow of pounding music and sound effects, flashing graphics, and macho voice-over detailing the action. On the other hand, the reminiscences of those who were actually there are often very moving, not to mention a welcome surcease from the high-tech assault of the rest of the show. Bonus material is limited--a few additional scenes--but the steel box it all comes in is pretty cool. --Sam Graham