Black Hawk Down
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From acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Hannibal) and renowned producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pearl Harbor, Armageddon) comes a gripping true story about bravery, camaradarie and the complex reality of war. Black Hawk Down stars an exceptional cast including Josh Hartnett (Pearl Harbor), Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge!), Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan), Eric Bana (Chopper), William Fichtner (The Perfect Storm), Ewen Bremner (Snatch) and Sam Shepard (All The Pretty Horses). In 1993, an elite group of American Rangers and Delta Force soldiers are sent to Somalia on a critical mission to capture a violent warlord whose corrupt regime has led to the starvation of hundreds of thousands of Somalis. When the mission goes terribly wrong, the men find themselves outnumbered and literally fighting for their lives.
Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down conveys the raw, chaotic urgency of ground-force battle in a worst-case scenario. With exacting detail, the film re-creates the American siege of the Somalian city of Mogadishu in October 1993, when a 45-minute mission turned into a 16-hour ordeal of bloody urban warfare. Helicopter-borne U.S. Rangers were assigned to capture key lieutenants of Somali warlord Muhammad Farrah Aidid, but when two Black Hawk choppers were felled by rocket-propelled grenades, the U.S. soldiers were forced to fend for themselves in the battle-torn streets of Mogadishu, attacked from all sides by armed Aidid supporters. Based on author Mark Bowden's bestselling account of the battle, Scott's riveting, action-packed film follows a sharp ensemble cast in some of the most authentic battle sequences ever filmed. The loss of 18 soldiers turned American opinion against further involvement in Somalia, but Black Hawk Down makes it clear that the men involved were undeniably heroic. --Jeff Shannon
- Audio commentary with Director Ridley Scott, Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Author Mark Bowden, Screenwriter Ken Nolan and United States Special Forces veterans.
- The Essence of Combat featurettes
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The movie does an excellent job of showing how the military can go from mind numbing boredom to a desperate chaotic battle for survival in seconds. It also does an excellent job at pointing out that the first horrible moments dispel any gung-ho attitudes that anyone might have had before the first shots were fired. This battle was the first time most Americans had even heard of the Delta Force and the movie does a good job of pointing out how these mostly older men were something of a legend even to the brave Rangers and how they had a calming effect in the midst of the chaos. Gordon and Shugart are the names of the two Delta Force men who displayed the uncommon courage of entering a firefight they knew they could not survive in order to save a brother soldier.
There are important lessons that we can still learn from this battle. We should always make sure that everything our soldiers could need is in the hands of our own. We need to take the target off of our men and women, we do this by making sure of why we go where we go and that the cause is worth their blood.
The recreation of the actions of MSgt Gordon and SFC Shughart who selflessly volunteered to go into a desperate situation to protect a downed helicopter pilot knowing that the chances for survival were extremely poor was especially striking and a little hard to watch knowing that they were awarded posthumous Congressional Medals of Honor for their bravery. Bottom line is that while the movie most certainly is somewhat sensationalized to fit into a 2 hour Hollywood movie format with big budget stars etc, it also does a great job conveying the futility, fog and confusion of modern urban combat.
As far as this particular 3-disc set goes, its completely flippin' loaded with features, and interesting ones. The second disk is making-of, and includes lots of interviews with actors, their training sessions in preperation for their roles, the military's involvement in the picture, and pretty much everything else you could think of from a behind-scenes perspective. Disc 3 is filled with a bit more of that, plus documentairies and specials on the actual events that took place in Mogadishu, including historical experts and featurettes.
I wont lie, I got this set as an indulgence, but you are really into war and movies and war movies, and want all the bonus features, get the set. Its worth the money.