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Black Hawk Down
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  • One hell of a good war action movie!
    Last week, including the weekend, I watched three great war action movies on television, namely:

    1) 'Black Hawk Down', starring Josh Hartnett, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana;

    2) 'Behind Enemy Lines', starring Owen Wilson, Gene Hackman;

    3) 'Tears of the Sun', starring Bruce Willis, Monica Bellucci, Tom Skerritt;

    The first movie was based on an actual event that took place in Mogadishu, Somalia on the African continent in October 1993 during the Clinton presidency.

    The second movie was apparently a fictional adaptation of an actual event that supposedly took place during the Bosnia-Serbia conflict.

    The third movie was more of a fictional account that had the starvation-ravaged Nigeria caught in an ethnic civil war as a background setting.

    In the war action movie, 'Black Hawk Down', directed by Ridley Scott (behind 'Gladiator', 'Blake Runner'), an elite team of some hundred US Army Rangers & Delta Force operatives were dropped deep into the capital city of Somalia, Mogadishu one day in October 1993.

    It was the stronghold of the powerful warlord, Mohammed Farrah Aidid, who had been hijacking International Red Cross food shipments at the ports with the intention to used them as bargaining chips with the United Nations.

    The mission was to capture two top lieutenants of the warlord.

    It was perceived as a quick straight-forward extraction, 30 minutes the most, but it turned out to be a 18-hour nightmarish ordeal for the US soldiers on the ground.

    Probably due to poor intelligence, they soon found themselves separated on the ground - & outnumbered - in a desperate street corner battle with a large group of heavily-armed Somali gunmen, following the early unexpected destruction of two of their Black Hawk rescue helicopters.

    For the next 90 minutes or so, the entire movie then traced the heroic efforts by other fellow army rangers to rescue their comrades (Well, they certainly lived up to their military creed 'Leave No Man Behind'), starting with Sgt. Eversmann (Josh Hartnett), commanding one unit named Chalk IV & leading his men to the first Black Hawk crash site...

    to Warrant Officer Durant (Ron Eldard), who was the only survivor of the second Black Hawk crash site & who was captured by Somali gunmen...

    to the gung-ho Lt. Col. McKnight (Tom Sizemore) who led a rescue convoy only to get lost in an unforgiving city...

    to Sgt. Sanderson (William Fichner) who was desperately trying to reach the first Black Hawk crash site...

    to Staff Sgt. Yurek (Tom Guiry) who led two fellow Rangers, Nelson (Ewen Bremmer) & Twanbly (Tom Hardy) to meet up with their squad, Chalk IV, at the first Black Hawk crash site.
    With all the bullets whizzing past & explosive sounds of gunfire, & of course, empty shells with blood splattering all over the bodies as well as places, the movie was quite confusing at first, as it was difficult to track who was who, although the soldiers' names were tagged to their individual helmets.

    The gritty realism of the movie really put me into the middle of hellish horror faced by all the young US solders.

    There were chilling moments, for example:

    [When Warrant Officer Durant was captured & brought for interrogation]

    Durrant: "My government will never negotiate for me."

    Interrogator: "Then perhaps you & I can negotiate, huh? Soldier to soldier."

    Durant: "I am not in charge."

    Interrogator: "Course not, you have the power to kill, but not negotiate. In Somalia, killing is negotiation."

    The following further comment by the interrogator really exposed the harsh reality of the situation:

    "Do you think if you get General Aidid, we will simply put down our weapons & adopt American democracy? That the killing will stop? We know this, without victory, there will be no peace. There will always be killing, see? This is how things are in our world."

    There were also some comic moments. For example:

    [During a cross fire near the Black Hawk crash site.]

    Grimes: "Why aren't you shooting?"

    Waddell: "We're not being shot at yet."

    Grimes: "How can you tell?"

    Waddell: "A hiss means it's close. A snap means..."

    [A bullet whizzed past, pretty close.]

    Waddell: "Now, they're shooting at us!"

    [They began returning fire.]

    For me, this intense movie certainly captured the emotional fears, raw courage & selfless heroism of the US soldiers against nearly insurmountable odds.

    At the end, nineteen of them perished, not counting probably the thousands of Somali people who also died in the cross fire.

    I enjoyed watching the movie, for the reasonably good acting, despite the fact that the movie did not centre on any single character, the pulsating action sequences, the comic as well as tearful moments, & the beautiful cinematography.

    I particularly like the dialogue towards the ending, when Sgt. Norm Hooten (Eric Bana) said to Sgt. Eversmann (Josh Hartnett):

    "When I go home, people will ask me, "Hey, Hoot, why do you do it, man? What, you some kind of a war junkie?" You know what I'll say? I won't say a goddamn word. Why? They won't understand why we do it. They won't understand that it's about the men next to you, & that's all it is."

    What a profound response from a true soldier as well as a good human being.

    The final scene through the film credits was also very poignant, as I watched nineteen coffins slowly being loaded on to a 130-Hercules transport, with the loading ramp slowly closing.

    I believe the opening quote from Plato at the movie's beginning, "Only the dead have seen an end to war," truly reflects my emotional sentiments about the movie.

    According to history, it was the Malaysian and Pakistani contingents based in Somalia under the United Nations command that actually made the final rescue & eventually escorted the surviving US Army rangers & Delta Force operatives out of harm's way.

    [In that final scene, it was quite funny, & scary at the same time too, to watch the surviving US soldiers, seemingly exhausted, having to run on foot, & obviously unprotected, behind the escort convoy, with a ragtag group of Somali gunmen on pick-up trucks chasing them.]

    This vital part of history was apparently downplayed in the movie. I guess that's Hollywood's prerogative.

    My end analysis: this is one hell of a good war action movie to watch!

    To sum up all the three war action movies in the foregoing posts, I want to take this opportunity to share with readers a dedication statement I had learned - & remembered - since my secondary school days. It came from Sir Winston Churchill, the wartime British Prime Minister:

    "Never in the field of human conflict, have so many owed so much to so few."

    So, dear readers, please go & watch the three foregoing war action movies. You will be delighted.
    ...more info
  • A very accurate movie of the event.
    I was attending North Georgia College when the events in Somalia happened. Turns out I had a few former classmates over there. And we couldn't believe the SNAFU the media was making out of this. Loved the part when the camera crew met the SEALS as they came onto the beach and lit them up with lights (they're lucky they didn't get shot). Then the book came out. Then this movie. It really was surprising how accurate the movie is and how true it stays to the book and the history. I suppose it helps having the SOAR guys play themselves. But I was very impressed with this film. The action and drama are not-stop and for the most part realistic. It really captures the esprit de corps of elite soldiers and the courage and bravery shown by our armed forces but often overlooked by some....more info
  • Cheesy American accents
    Good movie;not Great like Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers;but good.One thing I couldnt get past were the cheesy American accents used by the many;and I mean many British and Australian actors(Ewen Bremner,Ewen Mcgregor,Eric Bana,Orlando Bloom,Jason Isaacs;and many more)Cmon,How hard is it to cast American actors to portray American soldiers?I would have given this movie atleast a 4 star had I believed I was watching American soldiers in action instead of Australians and Brits dressed up as American soldiers....more info
  • Very good
    Great film. The image has too much grain in my opinion, however it's the movie language not a defect. ...more info
  • no one left behind
    This is an action packed movie based on real events. If you get weak at the sight of blood this is not your film. With that said, it is important American history to remember. This movie is a fairly accurate film as it shows the strengths and flaws of both sides... and the integrity of the United States military to leave no one behind. For those into war films, as I am, this is one you want to add to your collection. To those into history, as I am, this is worth viewing so we don't forget what took place. ...more info
  • Black Hawk Down
    Riveting, horrifying, nonstop action. Painted a too real picture that made sleeping the next evening difficult....more info
  • Action packed, emotionally charged, great movie!
    I absolutely love this movie and the special features. It is action packed so there is never a lull, and it pulls on your heart-strings. It is a true story and for once, a movie actually got close to the truth. For some who were actually in Somalia serving our country, this movie may be a little hard to watch, my ex boyfriend could never watch this film because it was too realistic and brought back too many memories. But because it is realistic it is a great movie. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes true stories, drama, and war movies....more info
  • Don't waste your money.
    While this is a great movie the Blu Ray version is hardly a step up from regular DVD. If you already own the DVD I wouldn't waste your money "upgrading". I actually wish I could take it back....more info
  • Great Movie
    This is one of my all-time favorites. It arrived in new condition as promised....more info
  • Best Modern Warfare Film to Date
    It's all in the title. Can't say enough about this great movie. Get the Blu-ray version if you have 1080p. ...more info
  • Always a Winner
    Amazon always provides the most current DVD's at the best prices. My purchase of Black Hawk Down in Blu-ray only furthered this experience for me.

    I already own Black Hawk Down on standard DVD format. The Blu-ray version blew it out of the water. I mean to pieces. The visuals and sound rocked the room my friends and I watched it in. It was riveting. You can't go wrong with this movie, the Blu-ray version and using Amazon for all of your purchasing needs--they're all winners in my book.

    ...more info
  • Excellent Movie
    This is one my favorite movies about war. The UMD is a excellent format for see movies. A good images, audio and a lot subtitles....more info
  • Great combat picture...
    This is great combat picture. The message is "we don't leave anybody", you could see frienship of the soldiers and the dutty of the mission....more info
  • Patriotic people will love this movie.
    This is a very good movie. There are intense scenes in this movie but true to life in a situation of this type....more info
    Only two movies steer you into ground zero combat, this movie and Saving
    Private Ryan. A great translation of the book Black Hawk Down, done by Ridley Scott. This movie shows the sweat, blood, dust, clinging to a group of Rangers as they fight to survive in urban combat. A regular group of grunts would have suffered much higher casualties on this Special Ops mission. Early in the film, Ewan McGregor tells a young ranger (Orlando Bloom) reporting in, "Welcome to the Mog", short for

    This is a visual trip into Mogadishu, Somalia. You are surrounded by the eerie city with its' sights and sounds warning of trouble ahead for American forces. This film digs in deep and shows the baptism under fire of a young soldier fighting off fear and panic. (A normal process in battle) Delta Force Sgts. thinking on the run to keep their men alive.

    You feel and sense a mini "Alamo" taking place, when the men are surrounded in the city streets and cut off from chopper evacuation. The courage and creed of the Rangers keeps them alive. Your heart goes out to a medic who is working to save a rangers' life. Blocking out the noise of gunfire, he works frantically to prevent shock and blood loss, trying to prevent death. Different scenes portray the canvas of combat, showing how a prisoner snatch operation turns into chaos, planning goes out the window, and survival looks dim, tied up in politics and uncertainty.

    The original book is read at West Point and studied by the next group of officers. Regardless of politics, this is a salute to the Rangers and their creed-- "Leave no man behind".
    ...more info
  • never received it
    we reall liked this movie, and my sons platoon had asked me to pick it up if I ran across it and I did look for it in the stores but couldn't find it so decided to order it from Amazon. Well I never received the movie or even a response to the note that I had written to the Sellers. So I wasn't happy with this one....more info
  • Lots of dark scenes
    I think that the prevalent dark scenes caused this movie to be less likeable. Thataside, I still rate this to be very good....more info
  • Black Hawk Down is Reality
    For years, I've been encouraged to watch the movie "Black Hawk Down", because of my interest in Machiavellian "realpolitics." Essentially, the debacle of the mission was highlighted as representative of failed communications. It was seen as one more example of Washington getting it all wrong in military logistics. But, the overriding mesage is that the mission is covert and Washington isn't supposed to know about it. If the President or leading congressmen were questioned, they would naturally deny, deny, deny...

    One naturally sides with the courage and bravery of the soldiers who fight for a higher calling. But, based on the reality of the world, today's enemies are tomorrow's friends. This isn't suggested in the movie, but it isn't far fetched in our analysis. Yes, the movie essentially portrays what is supposed to be a historical fact, but two weeks after viewing, you are left to ask, "Now, why were we trying to kill this guy in Somalia"? You scratch your head in wonder, but remember the intense emotions of the firefights.

    "Black Hawk Down" is a movie you only watch once. Not for its greatness, but to say you saw it.

    Edward Brown
    Core Edge Image & Charisma Institute
    ...more info
  • It's not HD.
    It's just a DVD on a Blu-Ray carrier. National Geography in HD is much better than this movie. And that's even in 720. Not 1080.
    The movie itself is excellent....more info
  • Awesome
    Takes a great movie, add awesome sound and superb video and you get 1 Great Blu-ray! No Regrets, especially on an older movie such as this....more info
  • Amazing Movie. So So Blu Ray
    This movie is a classic, but the Blu Ray isn't necessarily so. Its only a mild improvement over the SD version. If you already own the SD version, I might recommend you not upgrade, unless you find a good deal. ...more info
  • Excellent Blu-Ray Transfer. One of the best.
    I have about twenty blu-ray titles now and I have to say that this particular transfer has got to be the best that I've seen. Super clear, super sharp. You can see the specks of individual dust particles in the streets, the pores in the character's faces, beads of sweat on skin before it gets big enough to role down... It was like I was looking through a 46-inch window into a live action scene!

    The quality of the transfer from film to blu-ray in this movie will show you the power of 1080p in all it's stunning glory and make you a believer.

    And oh, the movie isn't too bad either... ;)...more info
  • Those Who Paid The Price For Their Country's Altruism
    The compelling story of the tragic outcome to what was supposed to be a textbook simple military mission fuels this well-told, often difficult to witness, 2002 Ridley Scott film. Recounting the 1993 daylight raid by US forces into a section of Mogadishu, Somalia controlled by agents of guerilla strong man Muhammad Aidid, and the eighteen-hour nightmare many of the American peacekeepers endured when that mission went horribly wrong, Black Hawk Down is a violent, frequently sad, realistically-depicted re-creation of events from that fateful time. In my experience Black Hawk Down is also the sort of film that needs more than one viewing, not only because the density and scope of the on-screen action can overwhelm almost anyone, but also because it is easy to lose track of who is who among the identically-dressed, similarly-featured young (shockingly young, to be honest) men who are caught up in the firefights that compose so much of the movie, and both the story and the actual human beings about whom it is concerned deserve to be recognized and distinguished as to what role they played in the battles, and what the ultimate outcome was for each of them. Black Hawk Down may or may not enter the pantheon of cinematic military classics, but in post-Vietnam/pre-Iraq War America, this depiction of violence and death in the horn of Africa was uniquely unsettling. ...more info
  • Great movie
    If you like action movies and you like playing war games, this is a good movie to watch. The action is great. When I first watched the movie, it made me think that this was one of the most stupidly planned battles ever. But when I watched it again listening to commentary by the actual soldiers, it all made sense and didn't seem stupid after all. I think the movie makers and especially the news journalists like to portray this battle as a huge disaster because that's what gets TV ratings and sells magazines & newspapers. They always take an extremely negative slant on almost everything because most people pay attention to negativity and problems. The world isn't half as bad as the news people say it is.

    ...more info
  • Most accurate military movie to date -- from a military standpoint
    I know a few guys who knew some of the actual crew from the Blackhawk, and everyone I've talked to from Colonels to junior enlisted say that this is the most accurate military film to date. Ridley Scott did an excellent job. All the actors did an excellent job and we had a slew of nationalities: American, British, Australian, Canadian.

    Thanks....more info
  • We've got a Blackhawk down, we've got a Blackhawk Down. Super-61 is down.
    ~Black Hawk Down~ was Director Ridley Scott's masterful cinematic remake of the little known 1993 American Special Forces intervention in Somalia, under the auspices of that corrupt, ineffective organization we affectionately know as the United Nations. On June 5, 1993, 24 Pakistani UN peacekeepers were ambushed and killed in an area of Mogadishu, controlled by Aidid. On June 6, the United Nations Security Council issued a toothless Resolution 837 calling for the arrest and trial of those responsible for the ambush. The U.S. Government answered the call. Operation Gothic Serpent, was authorized with the purpose of hunting down and capturing the Islamic leader and warlord of Somalia, Muhammad Farrah Aidid. With an economy in shambles, the warlords reigned supreme, using the relief given from international humanitarian relief programs as a spoils system to buy influence and power. The conversation between one of the warlord's henchman and an American officer was particularly foreboding: "Do you think if you get General Aidid," queried Abdullah Hassan, "we will simply put down our weapons and adopt American democracy? That the killing will stop? We know this. Without victory, there will be no peace. There will always be killing, see? This is how things are in our world." Like the book, by Mark Bowden mentioned, you realize why that Mogadishu was nicknamed "the Black Sea" by the American G.I.'s that were dispatched there. Those beleaguered outnumbered American soldiers learned how fleet-footed they could be when chased down the streets by Somali mobs welding AK-47s and machetes.

    Whether it was intended to, or not, (which I doubt it was,) this is a powerful anti-war film against American interventionism abroad. I for one have empathy for the American G.I. and the sacrifices they make, but also would like to see them alive and well in the U.S. And as one soldier said in the film, "Once that first bullet goes past your head, politics just goes right out the window." Intervention beget more intervention in this sad tale. Americans were trapped and pinned down. Then Blackhawks and more troops were called in for support. Then those Blackhawks were shot down. Then more troops were sent into rescue the rest. 'Leave no man behind,' was an honorable U.S. Army tradition, as well it should be, but I am apt to reflect on the futility of sending so many men into a futile battle in the first place. People can boast about the Army's superior kill ratios, but the 'Mog' as it was nicknamed, is but a microcosm of our government's present costly, futile war in Iraq which commenced in 2003. America's history of twentieth-century military victories are often Pyrrhic victories, or those battles won at too great a cost. In the case of Aidid, he was never captured, and there was no strategic victory. He died a few years later.

    In 1983, after the tragic bombing of the Marine barracks, then President Ronald Reagan rightly condemned it as a "despicable attack," but ultimately came to affirm the futility of American intervention in the Middle East: "Perhaps we didn't appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and the complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a jungle. Perhaps the idea of a suicide car bomber committing mass murder to gain instant entry to Paradise was so foreign to our own values and consciousness that it did not create in us the concern for the Marines' safety that it should have. In the weeks immediately after the bombing, I believed the last thing that we should do was turn tail and leave. Yet the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there. If there would be some rethinking of policy before our men die, we would be a lot better off. If that policy had changed towards more of a neutral position and neutrality, those 241 Marines would be alive today." Analogous thinking could be applied to Mogadishu or Baghdad.

    The most mesmerizing part of the entire film is when the idealist Staff Sergeant Matt Eversmann (played by Josh Harnett) talks to his fallen comrade on a morgue table: "A friend of mine asked me before I got here, 'Why are y'all going to fight someone else's war. What do y'all think you are heroes?' I didn't know what to say at the time. But, if you ask me again, I'd say No. I'd say there is no way in hell. Nobody asks to be a hero, it just sometimes turns out that way."
    ...more info
  • Great movie made better!
    A great action movie with great writing and a feverish pace that I love to watch again and again. Blu-Ray makes the experience unbelievably clear both visually and sonically....more info