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Don’t Let Tom Hanks’s Idiocy Keep You from the Brilliance of “The Pacific”

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Posted on March 28 2010 5:20 pm
David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan. David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006. For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews as a stringer for the Flint Journal, a midsize daily newspaper.
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While he was supposed to be out publicizing the new HBO mini-series, The Pacific (think Band of Brothers fighting the Japanese) Tom Hanks instead stirred up outrage with the following statement:

HANKS:  “Back in World War II, we viewed the Japanese as ‘yellow, slant-eyed dogs’ that believed in different gods. They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. We, in turn, wanted to annihilate them because they were different. Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what’s going on today?”

Worse, Hanks further offended what should have been his target audience by not trying to clarify this inane statement, but stood by it—then went even further by mixing it up politically with the likes of Bill O’Reilly and others who objected to his mischaracterization.

So, the most anticipated project the network has unveiled since John Adams has landed with a ratings thud.  Whether that’s mostly due to Hanks, I can’t say, but it sure didn’t help.  Anti-war statements surrounding entertainment releases have not had a great success rate lately.

But if you haven’t watched The Pacific because you were disgusted by Hanks’s, well, disgusting remarks, you are missing out on one of the best portrayals of the stubborn heroism of the Marines in WWII ever filmed.  Brutally honest, authentic and gripping, The Pacific (through 2 episodes at least) is everything Tom Hanks’s remarks were not.

Over at Big Hollywood, Michael Broderick has a fine column about his Uncle Pete, a veteran of Guadalcanal, and their conversation about the way Chesty Puller’s “raggedy ass” 1st Marines are portrayed in the brutal battle for that island in The Pacific.  Read it, it’s the perfect antidote to Tom Hanks moronicity—then check out The Pacific.

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