Blu-ray of the Day: Generation Kill

Cast: Alexander Skarsgard, James Rasone, Lee Tregesen, Jon Huertas.
Directors: Susanna White, Simon Cellan Jones.
Screenplay: Ed Burns, David Simon, Evan Wright.
Cinematography: Ivan Strasburg.

This shockingly raw, seven-part drama was co-written by The Wire’s David Simon, stars True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard, and is the alpha male, anti-hero flipside of its HBO stablemates, Band of Brothers and The Pacific. About the first Iraq War, as seen through the eyes of an embedded Rolling Stone journalist, it encapsulates the contradictions, ironies and tragedies of the conflict within a we-had-to-destroy-the-country-to-save-it narrative. Initially confusing and haphazard, it escalates into compelling, vivid, provocative viewing with language often as obscene as the politics. The Blu-ray should have been out in February but TVNZ’s last-minute decision to screen the miniseries in SD delayed its release. If you found the broadcast confusing, the Blu-ray will be a godsend because the extras include a who’s-who guide that also demystifies military jargon and the conflict’s geopolitics. As well as a commentary for every episode, there are making-of docos that are AWOL on the DVD.

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