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Generation Kill (DVD)
A Marine chronicles his experiences during the first wave of the American-led assault on Baghdad in 2003.]]>
There's macho, there's military macho, and then there's the over-the-top machismo of the Marines. In the HBO miniseries Generation Kill, one character--a Marine--describes his branch of the military as "America's pitbull." The seven episodes of Generation Kill follow a battalion of Marines as they lead the invasion of Iraq, ultimately rolling into Baghdad itself by the last show. The language is dense with obscenities and military jargon, but it's surprisingly easy to follow, even if you don't study the glossary that comes in a booklet with the box set. What isn't so easy to distinguish are the characters themselves, except by surface details: This guy has a hoarse voice, this guy is an embedded journalist (a stand-in for Evan Wright, the Rolling Stone reporter who wrote the book the series is based on), this guy is a white supremacist, this guy has a mustache, this guy is an officer obsessed with the other guy's mustache. The problem is that people are ultimately defined by what they do, and soldiers in war are all doing pretty much the same thing: Shooting, swearing, and sitting around as they wait to shoot and swear some more. But Generation Kill isn't aiming for personal identification; the creators of the series (David Simon and Ed Burns, producers of the critically-adored The Wire) aim to immerse the viewer in the texture of the experience--which, in this case, is mostly chaos and confusion. Sandstorms are as great a threat as mortar fire; pizza trucks arrive out of nowhere on the brink of a mission (conveniently providing a bit of product placement); and the rules of engagement keep changing as the goals of the higher-ups grow increasing out-of-synch with the war on the ground. Generation Kill captures the frustration and increasing cynicism of the grunt troops with vivid skill, as their simplistic morality--kill the bad guys!--grows more and more hollow. Extras include some brief interviews with real Marines; the usual making-of documentary, mildly interesting but justly deleted scenes, and audio commentaries; and entertaining video diaries from Eric Ladin, the actor who plays the white supremacist. --Bret Fetzer
- Seven-part miniseries on three discs
- Generation Kill: A Conversation with the 1st Recon Marines
- Making Generation Kill
- Eric Ladin's Video Diaries
- Deleted dialogues
- Audio commentaries
- Exclusive insert including military glossary, mission map, and more
Top customer reviews
Finished watching, loved the last few minutes of the ending with a Marine that had been filming during the entires series of the experience on a Sony Hand camera of the Marines experiences. Shows the group of those Marines the many changes of personal values as they view the positive and negative results of their actions. Reminding us that the filter of the experience it is from a personal experience. Not many of the Marines stay to few the whole video as the unfolds with the horror of dead road side bodies, video of exploding bodies from shells, the lawlessness of the Government, destruction of towns in the path. That history can be written and justified to favor the victors no matter what the real out come.
The "Godfather" is nothing resembling "Geronimo" in any respect, which I assume was to increase the dramatics with the show. Would have been cool though. The SgtMaj is a smaller more annoying version of SgtMaj Kenneth Jones. But he did make us undergo Operation Camp Beautification when we stayed as Saddam's palace within hours after all the shooting had stopped.
The best part of the show from my perspective is the reporter and his reactions to how the Marines shift back and forth between combat and casual.
I highly recommend that this series be viewed, but I warn you it may lead you to devouring it all in one sitting.
Robert Bliss USMC Ret.
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