“The Pacific transports you back in time to a war none of us can imagine. It also gives it a personal feeling with superb character development. If you do not have an appreciation for the Greatest Generation yet, this will seal the deal.”
~Greta “Hooah Wife” Perry~
Update: This series begins March 14th on HBO.
Sir JJ (search him on this blog for more info on him) and I attended the
red-carpet (I’ll go back to that) premier in New Orleans for HBO’s new series, The Pacific last night. I picked my Knight up at the WWII Museum (his home away from home) and we headed to the Convention Center for the viewing. We had found out about an “after event” and Sir JJ was unsure why he was not invited. After all – he is a VIP at the Museum. At first he was focused on this issue as he was hell-bent on attending the event. But, after we entered the center, waited in line for the theater, got some wine and took our seats, he was happy. We got some great seats and sat back and people watched and interacted, while JJ was his “rock star” self.
After viewing Beyond all Boundaries with JJ, I was concerned this would have the same effect on him (so I was pushing glass 2 of wine). The opening speaker was from Cox Communications, followed by Dr. Mueller from the WWII Museum, then Tom Hanks (I was too far to stalk & did not get to give him a coin…again). Tom was outstanding and his love for New Orleans was not hidden at all. Neither was his admiration for the Greatest Generation and his mission to tell their stories. He actually goofed and referred to the movie as “Band of Brothers” which followed with his off-the-cuff quickness and humor.
Dr. Sid Phillips, one of the 3 main characters in the movie, was in attendance with his wife whose letter is featured in the series. Also in attendance were the Sledge family from the late Eugene Sledge who is also a character. Yes, the auditorium was star and political studded, but most impressive were all the veterans in the house. Also in attendance was Hugh Ambrose, who just released he Pacific book to go along with the series (my next read). I decided to stay put and not stalk celebrities as Sir JJ is far more important than any of them to me:) JJ did not fight in the Pacific, but my Papa did, so I was very anxious to see this. Sir JJ singed up for the Navy and Marines the day after Pearl Harbor and was told he would not be accepted because of his less than perfect eyesight. He went down the street to join the Army (Utah Beach).
Let’s just say this about the Pacific, yours truly, who does not watch much TV, will be getting HBO just for this series. It was fantabulous. Watching the upcoming character heartbroken because he was not old enough to go to war with his buddies, puts into perspective how much the youth of America felt the need to protect their Country. Seeing the father send his son off into the unknown and not being able to connect with him was moving. Watching the men enter the beaches on Higgins boats through the rough seas was the start of the intensity of battles ahead in the Guadalcanal. Then, there was the gruesome and grueling fighting which was very realistic. The fighting also becomes very personal as you watch these young characters quickly realize that this is real, especially when they were watching ships being bombed from land and realize later they were theirs.
As for the after-party… JJ and I decided to do a late night dinner in New Olreans. He chose John Besh’s Restaurant August. We talked a bunch about the movie and life. JJ really enjoyed The Pacific much more than Beyond All Boundaries, which he feels is too intense, loud and realistic (the reason I Ioved it, but I did not live it). He enjoyed getting to know the characters but was concerned that it may lead people to believe that only Marines fought in the Pacific (the jury is still out on that). He feels this series will be embraced as much as Band of Brothers. From an infantry guy perspective, he said he put himself in the situation a little trying to solve logistical problems of what seemed like battlefield chaos with such loud and close fighting and being hard to communicate. But, he is not doubting it happened that way. JJ said he definitely would watch the series.
As for the dining experience, it was superb with white glove service. The presentation of the food was spectacular. We began with a cauliflower soup, poured over caviar and lobster tail (compliments of the chef), I had redfish while JJ dined on speckled trout. He joked that he had never seen a rectangular shaped trout before (it was served that way). We shared a dessert (as we always do) of banana rum cake. I am truly blessed to have this friendship…but you all knew that already.
As for you Tom Hanks…3 times will be a charm. You will get that Soldiers’ Angels “We will never forget” coin the next time I see you!
Press coverage is here.
Other Blogs covering it: Jules Critteneden, The US Naval Institute
c/p at Hooah Wife & Friends