Patton 360: The Complete Season 1
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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!
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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.