Equally good is Joseph Mazzello (best known as Tim in Jurassic Park) as Eugene Sledge. Sledge did not go into battle until the war was well under way due to a health problem. He goes from a naïve young man overwhelmed by battle to a grizzled Marine who barely flinches at the death and destruction around him. Leckie (James Badge Dale) is more of an everyman. He doesn’t always want to be there, he gets himself in trouble with his COs, but in the end he does what he needs to do. Dale captures the thoughtful introspective of Leckie in his strong performance.
While the program itself is not about the “whys” of the war, the special features offer plenty of historical context. Each disc has an enhanced viewing mode, which is a picture in picture with historical commentary about what’s going on in each episode. We hear from historians as well as WWII veterans. Much of this can also be watched separately in the Field Guide along with additional interviews, historical footage, text, and maps. The Field Guide is presented in a very user-friendly timeline.
There is such a wealth of information, it would take hours to watch all at once. Luckily everything is separated into categories, and viewers can click on whatever interests them most, with the rest of it ready for viewing at any time. The sixth disc is all special features. The highlight of this disc for me was the feature that gave a brief history of many of the Marines depicted in the mini-series.
There are two episodes of The Pacific on each of the first five Blu-ray discs. The sixth disc is reserved for special features. This is one of the best looking Blu-ray releases I've ever seen. The level of detail is truly impressive in the ultra-sharp 1080p/MPEG-4 transfer. During the daylight combat scenes, jungle landscapes are life-like and vivid. The colors stand out bright and bold. The more barren landscape of some battles presents the rocky textures with startling clarity. Explosions send dirt and rock flying everywhere, and each grain is visible.
The night battles, extensive in some of the early episodes, are impressive as well. Even in very low-light situations, the viewer is always aware of what is happening onscreen. The darkness is pure black, deep and without any visual noise. Even with rain drenching everything, there is always a clear visual presentation. There is simply no way I can fault the video quality throughout all ten episodes.