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4.5 out of 5 stars
Generation Kill Season 1
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186 of 194 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This series is an accurate and engrossing depiction of combat in Iraq. The Marines are presented realistically, as neither heroes nor villains, but men doing their jobs. There are stoic idealists like Sgt. Colbert and borderline psychotics like Cpt. America, and everything in between. This is just like any military unit, or any group of people for that matter. Instead of idealizing war, Generation Kill simply gives viewers a glimpse of what it is really like. And by the same token, the series does not condemn warfare, as many documentaries and films are so tempted to do lately.

War is frustrating for the individual soldier. Not just the Iraq War, but any war. Generation Kill does an excellent job of capturing this frustration. The Sergeant Major's obsession with the grooming standard is a perfect example of how military units often lose track of what their priorities should be. But in the Sergeant Major's defense, standards are set for a reason. And if you stop enforcing some, others will usually follow. In combat, small standards and procedures often determine whether people live or die.

On a more technical note, the acting and writing in Generation Kill were very well done. Realistically portraying a soldier or marine is probably one of the most difficult roles for an actor. There are so many subtle nuances of being a soldier or marine, that without actually being one, it is hard to understand them. Generation Kill did a great job of training the actors to look and sound believable.

I was in Iraq for 27 months, in 2005 and in 2007/2008, and I can attest that this series is about as accurate as you can get in a film. I am in the Army, but I worked pretty extensively with Marines during both of my tours, so I have a pretty decent knowledge of how they work. In the end, whether you are Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force or any other armed service member, the Iraq experience is for the most part universal. At different times you feel a wide range of emotions, from disappointment and despair, to elation and nostalgia. And Generation Kill does a great job of bringing those feelings to the viewer in a realistic and respectful way.
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112 of 116 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I am an active duty Soldier and have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you want to see the truth and "experience" the reality we all face, watch this series. There is none of the normal Hollywood left wing/right wing garbage anywhere in this series. It has no agenda except to show America the raw truth. The attention to detail in this series is unmatched. Down to having grid coordinates written on the inside of the Humvee windshields on the Vehicle Commander's (front passenger) side. Which is something we all do. This is a 7 part series and it took me over two weeks to finish it. There were several times I had to just stop watching. That's not insulting it, that just shows how real it is. It shows the boredom, humor, horror and absolute heartbreak of combat. It pulls no punches. There is no shortage of regrettable civilian casualties, which sadly, is so often the case when facing an enemy with no uniform. It goes to great lengths to show the all too common incompetence of senior leaders who see combat tours and body bags as a means to quick promotions, and will take completely uncalculated risks to achieve that next rank, always at their men's expense. America, I can't say enough about this series. It's something everyone should see.

Michael A. Sampsell
SFC, USA
Cavalryman
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I read through the "1 Star Reviews" and was unimpressed, such individuals obviously lost the point of this series completely. After buying and watching the entire series three times, truth is; this series is great; its dead honest. It doesn't glamorize war, killing, or the lifestyle of the Marine 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. If you want a left or right wing slanted view of the war, look elsewhere. If you want a real look at the initial invasion of Iraq, the command level military bravado/arrogance, lack of communication, lack of proper planning/equipment, amazing officers and grunts, as well as the totally incompetent and incapable officers and grunts, and the real feel of the fog of war and how individual personalities "fit" into all of this, this is a great series to watch. I will also add that the "characters" represented here are in-part "played" by the real marines which this story is about. The screenplay was written by the embedded reporter of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, and "lived" with "B-Company" for about 9 weeks. This embed Reporter was advised on the creation this series by the "real" same Marines whom this story is about. It is as accurate as you are going to get for a "mass media" related film, the only closer you can get, is actual footage.

Many complain about the "civilian killing" and "dedicating / urination" content, but to be honest; its accurate. Its no 5 Star hotel nor is it something to be overlooked if you want to be complete and honest. Truth is in war -especially this war, you can never be sure of whom your shooting at until your being shot at, so you do your best to make the right decisions; this series underlines that and the struggle to do this while following -at times, insane orders.
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121 of 144 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2008
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This HBO series is unbelievable. It captured the true meaning of being in the military. The political internal battle is captured with great affects. The series reflects the bond soldiers build with each other that no civilian can EVER experience. This is way we bond for a lifetime and fight for our country. This is the military and a warrior in action on every level.

The writers, producers and actors did an outstanding performance in capturing the truth.

Michael Basedow
CW2, USA (Ret)
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2009
Format: DVD
Convenient product placement the main description points out up top when the pizza comes. Well yes it is, but it is also Pizza Hut that we did in fact get before the invasion. J.Lo's death rumor? Yes, it was a big concern for us before the invasion. Swearing and machismo? Its a bunch of young men away from home in a foreign war-torn land, you'll get that from time to time. This series brought back memories of the invasion I'd even forgotten over time. It shows how people can hate groups of people, but still be close as hell to those types of people because they are your fellow Marines. It shows the confusion of war, the lack of leadership and a plan we often saw, and the vacuum left behind after us and that swallowed us as well. I thought it was great, maybe someone who doesnt understand the lingo, the nitty gritty military details, or the background wouldnt, but I loved it.

SGT P. Graham
2/5 USMC
OIF 2003-05
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54 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2013
Format: DVD
As a Marine who served in an infantry unit right before the Iraq war, I can see aspects of the film and reminisce and relate, but.... The one thing that really stands out to me though is that the film really seemed to portray all marines as these renegade hooligans lacking self discipline. Every platoon has a couple guys we in the Corps called "s*** birds". They are Marines that need a little extra "motivating" and need reminding to shut their mouths and do what they are told. For the most part a marine unit runs like clockwork and these "s*** birds" are the minority. This film makes it looks like most of the Marine Corps is made up of these guys. Sure Marines can be rowdy but the training and self discipline kicks in gear when appropriate.
The other thing that really took me back is how jacked up their leadership was portrayed. The company Gunnery Sergeants (Gunnys) Sergeant Major and a good number of the Officers were all portrayed as either incompetent or a joke all the way up to their Lt. Colonel. The vast majority of senior enlisted Marines I served under were A. J. squared away hard Corps Marines, whom the majority of their troops respected and looked up to. I have never seen a gaggle of incompetent officers in charge like they show in this film. Marines might not always agree with the decisions coming down the pike, but it was never a group of idiots calling the shots like in this film.
I never experienced the racism that was portrayed at times toward other Marines. I always thought the Corps was a unique place where, for example, a country guy in tight jeans and cowboy boots was able to be buddies with a hispanic with baggy clothes from central LA, and all the other mingling from around the country with different cultures and ethnicities. Everyone becomes brothers with one another in the Corps...

The good parts of the film were where they showed every day life out there. The not knowing what is going to happen next, how things are constantly changing at a moments notice, and even some of the rowdiness, but most of that takes place during the down time, and the self discipline snaps in when appropriate. The action scenes I thought were entertaining. The fog of war and having to make due with less... This film could have been much better if they didn't dumb down the majority of the Marines the entire time, and showed them with some better leadership.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
UPDATE: I uploaded a customer image of the Marine jargon used in this series. It will be very useful to new persons to this series.

I'm a big fan of Band of Brothers and The Pacific and I went into Generation Kill hoping for more of the same and I was not disappointed. It's definitely an honest look at modern military activity. When the good guys aren't so good and the bad guys aren't always bad. While it's not as epic as the previously mentioned series it still is a phenomenal production. I love the characters and how you get to see inside them and what motivates them. It's what I love about the series that HBO produces they generally let you look at the different characters on a very in-depth level. It's what makes all these miniseries so much better than movies because of the character development in my opinion.

If you can stand having subtitles very few shows in English benefit as much as GK. The subtitles pick up on a lot of the background chatter plus whatever they use military acronyms it's easier to decipher what they said. Personally I love subtitles whenever I watch the show and I recommend them highly.

I watch this series almost yearly and always will pick up funny new things that I didn't notice on previous viewings. I can't recommend this enough especially if you like military movies or video games.

The one thing I love about this show is the military jargon and radio chatter that is used often. Now I've seen the series five times and over those repeat viewings I've been able to make out or look up what much of the jargon or terms they use mean. the one thing I love about this show is they don't go into depth to explain what they're talking about they leave that up to the viewer to Google it themselves. So here's a comprehensive list I recommend printing it and using it while you watch the show.

556: The diameter bullets in millimeters used by US forces in rifles and light machine guns a.k.a. NATO rounds.
Assassin: Radio call sign for first recon's Alpha company; assassin actual is Alpha company's commander Capt. Patterson.
AO: Area of operation
AOE: Area of engagement
Ass: Traveling in the company of heavy units like tanks, cobras ect
BDA: Battle Damage Assessment
Cas Evac: Casualty Evacuation
Chaos: radio call sign for General Mattis
Corpsman: Enlisted member of a military medical unit.
Cleared hot: Given permission to fire your weapon by a superior.
Danger close: Friendly units are within 600 meters of a proposed artillery target.
Fire mission: Artillery mission
Forty Mike-Mike: 40 millimeters; refers to either an individual 40mm self-propelled grenade round or the weapon that launches them, such as the M-19.
Glassed: Observed target with binoculars or rifle scope.
Godfather: Call sign of Lieut. Col. Ferrando as well as his battalion in part due to the sound of his voice. NOTE: Godfather often speaks of himself in the third person; instead of saying "I think" he will say "Godfather thinks"
Haji: Slang for an Iraqi
H&S: The headquarters and supply company responsible for supporting "line companies" or combat units made up of Alpha, bravo and Charlie companies.
Helo-hot: Missile fired from a combat helicopter such as an Cobra.
Hitman Two One Actual: Bravo company's second platoon team one leader, Sgt. Colbert. While "Hitman Two One" refers to the entire team, "Actual" means the actual commander. "Hitman two" refers to all of bravo second platoon, but "Hitman Two Actual" is the platoon commander, Lieut. Fick.
Hitman Victor: any vehicle and bravo company.
Interrogative: Radio code prefacing a question
LAV: Light Armored Vehicle
LOD: Line Of Departure
Klicks: Kilometers
Mikes: minutes
MSR: Main Supply Route
NJP: Non-Judicial Punishment ie discipline
NVGs: Night Vision Goggles
Oscar Mike: On the move
Pec-fours, Pec-thirteens: Night and infrared vision scopes.
POG: Person Other than Grunt
PX: post-exchange store
Raptor: Radio call sign for First Recon's Charlie Company
ROE: Rules of Engagement, rules for engaging civilian targets
RTB: Return to Base
RTO: Radio Telephone Operator
RCT1: Regimental Combat Team 1
Shamal: Hellacious wind and dust storms endemic to Iraq.
Sit-Rep: Situation report, basically the status on mission or area.
SOP: Standard Operating Procedure
Stay frosty: Staying sharp, or attentive to the situation
T72s: an Iraqi tank
Victors: Vehicles
Whiskey Tango: white trash

So there you go I hope you enjoy that list and find it very useful. It's definitely worth a print out to stick it inside your DVD or Blu-ray case.

Thanks for reading now go get some!
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55 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2008
Format: DVD
When I first heard about Generation Kill, I expected it to simply be a glamorised version of the Iraq War where it shows everything working smoothly. What I didn't expect was a gritty and true story of the 1st Recon Marines during the first wave of the American invasion of Iraq. It didn't hold back, and honestly I would have hated it if they did. I later found out that this was based on the book written by journalist Evan Wright who followed this company during the initial invasion. I haven't read the book, but from the other stuff I've read I'm lead to believe it keeps true to the novel.

The show focuses around the 1st Recon Marines company as a part of the initial invasion of Iraq that eventually overthrew Sadaam Hussein. It shows the true struggles that the marines went through during this invasion as they struggled with supply shortages and conditions. They are joined by Rolling Stones reporter Evan Wright (Book Author) who's there to see what really goes on in the Marine Corps. It's not about Wright or is it even about one particular Marine, it's rather a show about the entire company and their particular personalities.

This is the more interesting and disturbing nature of the show. A lot of the soldiers displayed appear to have some real mental problems when it comes to their enthusiasm to kill anything in sight, or just their general views of the Iraqi people. It touches upon the civilian killings and how some order were actually made by the higher ups to kill any Iraqi whether they had weapons displayed or not. On one hand I would say it's wrong to have people with such mental problems i.e. a bit too enthusiastic to kill. On the other hand, if you didn't have these particular individuals then would we even have an army capable enough to fight such a war.

Another aspect of the show, aside from the disturbing images or the general crudeness of it all is the irreverent humour displayed. It's not intentional and certainly isn't set up to be hysterical, it simply comes across as that as within the conversations of some of these men, like any chat with friends etc. you always get the odd unintentional classic line. This gives the entire show a well rounded feel and is something to be experienced by everyone. I applaud those who are over in Iraq and Afghanistan as, unfortunately due to my ignorance before this show I didn't know things were so tough.

It's an overall great show and another classic creation by HBO. Be warned, however, as it is very graphic in relation to violence and if you're easily offended by strong or racist language then I would advise you stay away.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2009
Format: DVD
As an OIF and 8 year Marine Corps veteran, I have always been disappointed with the portrayal of Marines on film. There's usually something wrong with the uniforms, the lingo, the attitude, or something and it tends to make the story unbelievable to real Marines. But they got everything right this time (well as close as they could). I was with 3rd AAV Battalion in '03 so I wasn't too far behind these guys. Watching this series gave me chills at points and I laughed at things no one else could understand. It sent me right back to Camp Matilda. I relived my whole war experience while watching this. I remember driving through those crossed swords too! The best part is the dialogue. I have been trying to explain how Marine communicate with each other and the is the best example I could give. Bottom line, if you want to get taste of true Marine Corps culture, watch this immediately!!! Its as accurate as I have ever seen. The attention to detail is outstanding and those characters are found all around the Corps.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2008
Format: DVD
AWESOME!!!!!! I CAN SAY BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT. THIS IS THE MOST ACCURATE SERIES OF IRAQ I'VE EVER SEEN. THERE EVERYDAY PROBLEMS ARE STILL FELT TODAY. I HAVE JUST RETURNED HOME AND HEARD ABOUT THIS SHOW FROM A FRIEND. NOW 16 OF MY FRIENDS SEE WHAT WE WENT THREW DRIVING CONVOYS UP AND DOWN IRAQ. MY HEART FELL WHEN I SAW HOW THESE MEN JOKED,SANG,EAT,BITCHED AND HAD EACH OTHERS BACKS IT BROUGHT BACK MEMORIES. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND ALL HER VETS. THANK YOU FOR SHAREING YOUR STORY WITH US.
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