Blu-ray Review: Gorgeous Gift Set For ‘Band of Brothers,’ ‘The Pacific’

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CHICAGO – One of the most beloved holiday gifts this season will be the wonderfully-packaged gift set for HBO’s “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” now presented in one lovely case with new special features and stunning HD transfers. The two Steven Spielberg-produced mini-series are not only two of the best programs in the history of television but two of the most impressive Blu-ray sets as well. “Band of Brothers” is the #1 best-selling TV-on-DVD/Blu-ray of all time and “The Pacific” was the #1 best-selling release of 2010. Now they’re available together in time for both Veteran’s Day and the upcoming holiday season. Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

The 13-disc set consists almost entirely of material that’s already owned by fans of the two series. In other words, this has to be considered either solely for the hardcore fans who are willing to replace the Blu-rays already on their shelves or for the folks who never picked them up in the first place. If somehow you’ve been waiting, this is the definitive edition of two of the most important pieces of TV you could possibly add to your collection. And if you already own the award-winning HBO Blu-ray sets, you’ll have to be content with new packaging and a new documentary, “He Has Seen the War.”

Band of Brothers The Pacific Special Edition Gift Set was released on Blu-ray and DVD by HBO on November 8th, 2011.
Band of Brothers The Pacific Special Edition Gift Set was released on Blu-ray and DVD by HBO on November 8th, 2011.
Photo credit: HBO Films

All ten episodes of both mini-series (so twenty in total) are presented over ten discs — two episodes per disc. The serious lack of compression creates one of the most stunning Blu-ray transfers in the history of the form. Could they have fit more than two episodes per BD? Of course, but they may not have looked this amazing. These have long been the kind of TV-on-Blu-ray transfers that serve as the model for what HD programming should look like in a release like this. And the audio is equally remarkable.

All of the special features from the previous releases have been transferred as well, which is a nice inclusion. For a few years, there was a disturbing pattern at some studios in which gift sets didn’t always include all of the previously-available material. “We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company” is one of the best WWII documentaries ever produced. It’s something you should watch with your family this Veteran’s Day. Other special features on “Band of Brothers” include “Ron Livingston’s Video Diaries,” “The Making of Band of Brothers,” and “The Premiere in Normandy.” Special features to accompany “The Pacific” include “Profiles of The Pacific,” “Making The Pacific,” and “Anatomy of the Pacific War.”

The new, 13th disc includes the film “He Has Seen the War,” a piece about the surviving members of the Easy Company and the 1st Marine Division, along with new behind-the-scenes details about the making of both films. Like “Alone Together,” and like the thrust of both series, the film is about the people — those who came home and those who never did. It’s a perfect addition to what were already perfect Blu-ray releases. If you’ve been waiting to pick up these multiple award-winners, there are no more excuses.

“Band of Brothers/The Pacific Special Edition Gift Set” was released by HBO on November 8th, 2011. content director Brian Tallerico

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