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Old 02-10-2002, 11:22 AM   #1
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Black Hawk Down

just wondering what everyone thought?

for me, ive been reluctant to watch ANY film involving jerry bruckheimer ever since the 1990s started

i mean anything corny, over patriotic or something weak and awful, just think, jerry bruckheimer did this film didnt he?

also ive been following eric bana's career ever since the days he got a gig at the australian comedy show "Full Frontal", hes pretty talented, its hard to look on him having an american accent. at least he can do a better job as an australian doing an american accent better than an american doing an australian accent

and i swear i saw a trainspotting connection there with ewan mcgregor and (was it?) spud who played one of the other soldiers?

anyway enough said, what does everyone think?
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Old 02-10-2002, 12:49 PM   #2
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I knew I recognized the face - and the name "Ewen Bremner". He *was* in Trainspotting, as was Ewan McGregor, andboth are in Black Hawk Down.

I HIGHLY recommend the film.

There are moments, true enough, that look like a typical over-the-top Bruckheimer films, specifically in the approach to the ill-fated mission; the cameras follow the choppers almost *too* gracefully. But, that moment of militaristic grace doesn't interfere with the story-telling and probably helps set up the nightmare to come.

It is a very good war movie - it neither romanticizes war as most pre-1970 did, nor did it portray soldiers as somehow inherently twisted, a la Full Metal Jacket.

I saw the movie Friday, actually, and I came away recognizing (or re-recognizing) several things: war is a nasty business; one cannot go into a battle half-assed and expect good things; and there is honor among soldiers.

One of the things emphasized in the promos for BHD is the idea of leaving no man behind. The film demonstrates that it was not just a slogan to these men, but words to live and die by.

It should definitely be nominated for an Oscar, and it could forseeably win.
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Old 02-10-2002, 01:29 PM   #3
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It was a horrendous movie. The film took a very complex conflict and simplified it beyond all reason. Bruckheimer took a patriotic/one-sided/disgusting view to the entire fight: the Somalis that had been coerced and pressured and starved by Aidad and his fellow warlords were portrayed as nothing more than bandana-toting, machine gun-waving props to be mowed down triumphantly by American troops. The one attempt to humanize the Somali side is laughable, as a general spouts cliches that Bruckheimer must believe are the depth of the feeble understanding of the Africans
If the movie fails as an accurate and just representation of a complicated fight, it fails even more so as entertainment. The film relies on blood and gore--used so effectively in Saving Private Ryan because the blood was applied with some discretion--to propel the entire flick, in lieu of any sort of character development (the latter is "achieved" by putting the soldiers' name on their helmets so we will remember who is who when their spleen is blown out by a renegade grenade thrown by a faceless Somali.)

If this movie wins an Oscar I'll be sorely disappointed.



[This message has been edited by mug222 (edited 02-10-2002).]
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Old 02-10-2002, 01:58 PM   #4
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I actually liked this movie... Ridley Scott is a great director, and sure it was maybe more complex, but I give him the credit of not making it into another bullshit 'we're americans, we're so damn good, look at us kill things, glory to us, ha ha ha we own you'. Im not even a big fan of war movies, the only one other than this in a somewhat modern setting has been Full Metal Jacket. I didnt think there was much wrong with it, except I checked my watch a couple times during the shooting as that was a bit too drawn out at times, but it was still good. I didnt really see anything wrong with it, as long as we remember its a movie and not an exact depiction or documentary of the actual event - which, as I said, was kept real and not glorified for once, very refreshing.

Anyways, thats my 2 cents
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Old 02-10-2002, 02:52 PM   #5
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I think you missed the point. The intention was not to have a "Tom Hanks" in the film. These men were brothers and would do anything for each other. They are/were equals. Second, I am curious to know how much research you have done on the film. I do not claim to be any sort of expert on Somalia but I am a student of history and a close aquaintance of an Army Ranger. The goal of the mission was not to mow down all the people in the streets. I don't think that the film showed that it was. Have you tried to look at the soldiers perspective? Have you thought about what you would have done? When someone points an AK in your face after blowing the head off the guy who was sitting next to you are you going to let him do the same to you?
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Old 02-10-2002, 04:15 PM   #6
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Mug:

A thousand Somali's died; how do you think that happened? It happened because they did attack, wave after wave.

The fact that you think this was reduced to good-versus-evil movie, where "we are carrying God's banner in the fucking good fight," makes me wonder if you even saw the film, much less listened to the dialogue.

The soldiers A) referred to the Somali's as "skinnies", an obvious slight that was not championed by the filmmakers and B) emphasized that this was, at least for the soldiers involved, a battle to save the lives of your fellow soldiers, that nothing much matters other than the guy next to you.

THEY EMPHASIZED THE POINT before and after the actual fighting, including in the final scene!

I don't see where the flag-waving is.
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Old 02-10-2002, 04:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
B) emphasized that this was, at least for the soldiers involved, a battle to save the lives of your fellow soldiers, that nothing much matters other than the guy next to you.
Wow, you picked that up, too, Bubba? You're one perceptive hick! (see: FYM) Whether or not the soldiers themselves were this ignorant/innocent/subtly racist is not the point.
You cannot foster "brotherhood" and "fraternity" in a movie when you reduce the other sight to evil machines. It simply cannot happen, unless the audience is a crowd of patriotic simpletons--which, for the most part, it is.
You and WildHoney have both harped on this one point, so listen clearly: I UNDERSTAND WHAT POINT BRUCKHEIMER/SCOTT WANTED TO ACHIEVE. My complaint is that they picked this angle; it is an angle that precludes any examination of underlying issues, stinks of nationalism and blind American pride/ignorance and most of all reeks of American racism.



[This message has been edited by mug222 (edited 02-10-2002).]
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Old 02-10-2002, 05:06 PM   #8
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Heres a fact for you: WW2, 15% of soldiers trained to go into battle from north america ever fired their weapons at another human being.

That figure was when soldiers werent trained to be killing machines. It is extreemly hard for any normal man to open fire upon someone else with the intent of killing them without reason, cuz the president told me too is of little value, because most people have a moral code that says dont kill people. Generally, sofaras war goes, there are seven ways people use to turn their army against someone, i dont think i remember all seven, but here goes. Portraying the enemy as savages, only looking out for personal gain, they will take rape destroy everything you hold dear. Evil in the eyes of God; basically same thing as the crusades, they are opposing to your God and must be removed. Merciless killing machines, they would kill you in any way possible, as painful as possible, regardless of fair play, even if you are unarmed, etc. There are more, my history teacher gave me a list but I dont know where I put it. Long story short, of course they use propaganda and shit like racism to belittle their enemy, it makes them easier to kill, makes their job just a sliver easier, which can make the difference between them living and them dying. They portrayed it this way, probably because thats how it was from their perspective. It isnt about looking at the other people's points of view, history is written by the winners.

Might i also add, that youre being hipocritical, calling bubba a perceptive hick and then going on about how racism and belittling others based on stereotype and otherwise is bad.

[This message has been edited by ~unforgettableFOXfire~ (edited 02-10-2002).]
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Old 02-10-2002, 05:22 PM   #9
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Originally posted by ~unforgettableFOXfire~:

Might i also add, that youre being hipocritical, calling bubba a perceptive hick and then going on about how racism and belittling others based on stereotype and otherwise is bad.
Geez, do I hafta spell it out? That was my entire point! Also check out the continuation of this discussion in Free Your Mind.

I didn't bother to read most of your post because I've repeated now three times (ugh) that I am referring to the media, not the army.

Quote:
It isnt about looking at the other people's points of view, history is written by the winners.
Yes, that's how it is far too often in the U.S., and that's what I find disgusting...and (ba dum bum ching!) that's why I loathed this movie. Next?
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Old 02-11-2002, 02:37 AM   #10
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You know what, I got into this same argument with someone in another online community I am part of. I liked the film, I liked it ALOT. I am not a big war movie guy, but I really thought this film was very well done.

Regarding not telling the whole story about the Somalis etc etc, this movie is not intended to be an all out unbiased documentary, it is an adaptation of a non-fiction book written by a Philadelphia newspaper reporter who interviewed over 70 of the Rangers that were there. So mug22 your complaint about the film is not fair because this is not an expose' type film. It is an adaptation of a book from the soldiers who were there's view point. I went to see this film with a very objective state of mind and at no point did I feel there was gratuitous violence or that the Somalis were being reduced to video game type characters to be slaughtered. The film clearly depicts the frustration with which these soldiers had to shoot back to defend themselves. They were not happy to kill and wound but they were being fired upon. It was self defense and part of the pain of this film was seeing them have to kill people, something they clearly were not anticipating they'd need to do in this "quick & dirty" mission.

Did we (the U.S.)maybe not belong there? Was it maybe not our battle to fight? Well, those are all nice rhetorical questions but the reality is we WERE THERE and what happend happend.

I do not feel this movie attempts to make you feel one way or the other, it merely tells you briefly what lead up to the events of the mission and in great detail what happend during the mission. And it tells the story though the eyes of the people who were there and I think you must have not been paying attention to the same film if you say the things that you do. I mean, I see you can have your opinions about the U.S.'s role in international affairs and war etc, but this movie is telling a story of events that occurred. Yes, it turns it into an action film. But I feel that is is done with the utmost class and taste. Since it is an adaptation of Mark Bowden's novel of the same name, it does not owe any additional explanations on the background or details of events in Somalia prior to our involvment. The movie gives a brief description at the beginning. That is all that is necessary to understand what happend there in the events covered by the film.

I've got to tell you, I actually agree with Bubba's responses to this thread. I disagree with him majorly on many of his views and ways of expression (see FYM), but he is dead right in his comeback to you and it was wrong to resort to name-calling. It implies that you really don't have a valid argument when you resort to name-calling. Clearly that's not the case is it?

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Old 02-11-2002, 02:41 AM   #11
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Here's my review of the film taken from http://www.currentlyplaying.com

Blackhawk Down
A Film Review by Camilo Arenivar

Some may dismiss this film as just another combat film, while others will view it as a historical film. I consider Ridley Scott's adaptation of Mark Bowden's true story novel, Blackhawk Down to be one of the best war movies of all time.

Blackhawk Down is an adaptation of the novel, Blackhawk Down: A Story of Modern War. That is something that we do get to see this film, it is a first and somewhat enlightening to see a movie made about events that have occurred in most of my generation's lifetime. The Blackhawk Down story revolves around our involvement in Somalia in 1993. The involvement there did not make huge headlines and went away as fast as they came, but something completely disastrous happened there. We had a task force made up of Delta Force (the US Army's elite counter-terrorism unit), Rangers, and a helicopter unit. Together, they were called Task Force Ranger and were made up of 450 men. On October 3, 1993 they were to perform a 60-minute task and pick up some Somalian warlords from a dangerous part of Mogadishu. Of course, everything goes completely wrong when the unit sent encounters much stronger than expected resistance. Ridley Scott does a fantastic job of creating a sense of ominous doom prior to the group of soldiers heading out on the helicopters known as "blackhawks". One of the most amazing things about this film is realizing this is a true story, and it happened less than ten years ago.

The movie clearly explains to us exactly what was going on in Somalia at the time and exactly why these American troops were sent in to do the operation that they do. From a historical standpoint it does wonders in bringing clarity to a not too publicized real life event. But this movie does not play out like a PBS documentary; this is a movie about a very heated battle that occurred. And it is made by Ridley Scott and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, so we are not going to be nodding off, not at all. This is an all out Hollywood production, but it never goes over the top, it presents exactly what happened and gives you a few different opinions on war. It does not slam an anti-war message down your throat or a pro-military one either, it just shows exactly what happened in a fast paced no holds barred manner.

Blackhawk Down violently and graphically portrays the injuries and mutilations that occurred and once the fighting begins, it is non-stop gunfire, explosions, crashes, shouts and screams. The movie initially centers on Staff Sergeant Matt Eversmann (Josh Hartnett), who ends up having to lead one of the Blackhawk teams into Mogadishu. Ewan McGregor plays Company Clerk John Grimes who gets to be on the battle lines for the first time and what a first time it is.

The one fault of this film is there is no real character development, and with them all being white males with buzz cuts it does at time get hard to distinguish one from another. But this film is not a "character movie", it is not a dialogue movie, it is a true movie, it is a movie about war. It is a movie about the camaraderie amongst soldiers at war, and the adherence to the Ranger's motto, "Leave No Man Behind". It is with haunting diligence that the people in this film stick to that motto, as they did when this really happened.

There has been some criticism about this film being all about combat and not having a story, or that it has lots of numbing violence but "nothing new". The reality is this is a movie based on a book about a real event; did you want people to make a lot of things up? Some critics get mad when Hollywood embellishes true stories yet when it shocking and realistically portrays a horrifying reality, it is too violent and lacking in story. Go figure!

This is the most intense movie of 2001, a beautifully filmed movie that gives us differing perspectives on war from the mouths of the people fighting it. Ridley Scott has captured a moment in time and dragged us into it. This is a painful but must see film for anyone that can handle the graphic violence. Some people say this is a more violent film that Saving Private Ryan, and it very well may be. This is not a feel good movie; this is not a film you will leave with a smile on your face. Yet it is one of the most compelling films I have seen this year, I did not want to leave my seat but there were times I could not look at the screen. Not for the squeamish, but not too be missed, Blackhawk Down is one of the most realistic, and powerful war films ever made.

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Old 02-11-2002, 03:03 AM   #12
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I did not miss the point: I can spout that "Army of One" bullshit as well as the next warmonger, but I would rather watch movies that give an equal voice to both sides of a conflict rather than accepting as a given that we are carrying God's banner in the fucking good fight.
--What would I do? Well, firstly, I wouldn't join the army (and this is less out of cowardice than a sort of idealism that, while damaged, still goes where I go). If I were in that situation, though, I would surely blow the mofo's head off...better his insignificant life than mine! Anyone would defend themselves in a similar manner. However, I would not return to this wonderful homeland and pretend that I am 100% in the moral clear (because I'd have blown of the heads of several other mofo's who probably weren't pointing their guns at me at that instant) and I wouldn't write/direct/support a movie that makes that claim.


And I have studied the situation in Somalia circa 1990's. The situation was nowhere near as clear-cut as the movie wants to pretend.

Here's my point, if you haven't caught it: I understand the mission, and it almost certainly had noble intentions. The fault lies less with the conflict than how it is portrayed in the film--Somalis are reduced to video-game characters, running in wave after wave with no discernible role other than fodder for the American weapons. It reduces the battle to one of good versus evil, which is far from the case.

[This message has been edited by mug222 (edited 02-10-2002).]
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Old 02-11-2002, 02:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2LA:
So mug22 your complaint about the film is not fair because this is not an expose' type film. It is an adaptation of a book from the soldiers who were there's view point. I went to see this film with a very objective state of mind and at no point did I feel there was gratuitous violence or that the Somalis were being reduced to video game type characters to be slaughtered.
Then I'm really not sure what film you were watching. I didn't want an "expose;" I simply wanted a more balanced movie with less blind patriotism--I literally gagged at the naionalism that lurked right below the surface of the movie. I would hope that you, as a self-described movie reviewer, could you could see a bit deeper into what the film was representing--and no, I'm not talking about whatever ideas of camaraderie you all keep throwing at me.

Quote:

but he is dead right in his comeback to you and it was wrong to resort to name-calling. It implies that you really don't have a valid argument when you resort to name-calling.
My God, you don't really have much of an idea of what you're talking about now, do you? The "hick" was intended as a jab at Bubba in response to his comments in another thread that names like that aren't offensive (specifically, he didn't mind the Cleveland Indians' logo of a grinning red Indian, but he became defensive when someone called him a buck-toothed hillbilly or something of the sort.) My "name-calling" was simply to highlight his hypocrisy, and I would appreciate if you wouldn't jump in when you really have no idea of the context.
And you are equally in the wrong when questioning the validity of my argument. I'm going to quit now because all of you who I'm arguing against really refuse to search for the deeper signals below the blood of Black Hawk Down, but I've explained my argument repeatedly.

As a sidenote, how could you possibly describe Blackhawk Down as "one of the best war movies of all time"?!? Even if you would like to believe that the Somalian side doesn't have to be portrayed equally because the focus is on the American side, this is laughable. Have you seen another war movie? Forget about my liberalism, and forget about my concern about equal portrayals of each side (and not good vs. bad or black vs. white): Did you honestly see ANY HINT OF character development in this movie? Any whatsoever? It's hard to believe that you, who fathoms yourself a film reviewer, would not deem character development necessary in a good movie, let alone one of the best war movies of all time.




[This message has been edited by mug222 (edited 02-11-2002).]
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