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Generation Kill - Blu-ray DVD / HBO television miniseries DVD / drama DVD review
GENERATION KILL Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 2 stars
Featuring: Alexander Skarsgård, Lee Tergesen, Billy Lush, James Ransone, Stark Sands
Directors: Susanna White, Simon Cellan Jones Distributor: HBO Home Video
DVD release: 16 June 2009 Runtime: 470 min.
(3 discs)
Format: Color, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 - English; DTS 2.0 - French, Spanish), Subtitles (English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian), Exclusive interactive tracks w/ 3 selectable options, Audio commentaries, A Conversation with 1st Recon Marines (HD), Making Generation Kill (HD), Eric Ladin's Video Diaries (HD), Deleted dialogs, Episode recaps

The US Marines are the roughest, toughest fighting force in the world, prepared for battle and craving it - "Get some!" is their battle cry. They are trained to go into battle with what they have and make do for the things they need. Generation Kill is an HBO series about the 1st Recon Battalion of the US Marines and the start of the Iraq War in 2003. Shortly before they go into battle, they find out reporter Evan Wright (Lee Tergesen) from Rolling Stone is being embedded with them. They begin to razz him immediately, though he gets a modicum of respect for having written for Hustler magazine.

The cast of characters is great for Generation Kill, but some standouts are Sgt. Brad 'Iceman' Colbert (Alexander Skarsgård), group leader and ranking officer in the barely armored Humvee Wright is attached to. Lcpl. Harold 'James' Trombley (Billy Lush) has a particular lust for blood. Driver Cpl. Josh Ray Person (James Ransone) tends to babble on, inflicting passengers with his skewed perspective on life. Lt. Nathaniel Fick (Stark Sands) is Bravo Platoon Commander and quickly gets into trouble for questioning bad orders, but he's only done so for the good of his men. Lt. Col. Stephen 'Godfather' Ferrando (Chance Kelly) is commander of 1st Recon, and likely got his nickname because his voice is reminiscent of Marlon Brando's in The Godfather.

Generation Kill brings us gritty, modern warfare the way real-life reporter Wright saw it while embedded with the troops in Iraq. Civilians are mistreated and accidentally shot too often, dead bodies litter the sides of the road, the citizens have their loved ones killed and apologize to the killers. It is a screwed-up situation ("screwby", as the men call it), but one the men are forced to undertake. There are short-sighted orders for which the price in human lives is too great, yet the orders must be followed. It's difficult to see some of the things we see, difficult to hear some of the racist slang so often used by the Marines, and disregard for human life displayed by these troops, but it perhaps improves understanding of another facet of war.

The Blu-ray edition of Generation Kill provides many helpful onscreen menus to help those not familiar with current military shorthand. An alphabetized list of acronyms and slang is available with a couple of taps on the remote. Also available is a list of characters and their place in 1st Recon. Generation Kill is fascinating viewing that deserves a look.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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