It's a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on "The Assassination of Ma," a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about ... See full summary »
Norway, WWII: A group of British and German soldiers find themselves stranded in the wilderness after an aircraft battle. Finding shelter in the same cabin, they realize the only way to survive the winter is to place the rules of war aside.
In this sequel to Red Cliff, first minister Cao Cao convinces Emperor Han to initiate a battle against the two Kingdoms of Xu and Wu, who have become allied forces, against all expectations... See full summary »
Tony Chiu Wai Leung,
Action/war drama based on the best-selling book detailing a near-disastrous mission in Somalia on October 3, 1993. On this date nearly 100 U.S. Army Rangers, commanded by Capt. Mike Steele, were dropped by helicopter deep into the capital city of Mogadishu to capture two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord. This lead to a large and drawn-out firefight between the Rangers and hundreds of Somali gunmen, leading to the destruction of two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters. This film focuses on the heroic efforts of various Rangers to get to the downed black hawks, centering on Sgt. Eversmann, leading the Ranger unit Chalk Four to the first black hawk crash site, Warrant Officer Durant who was captured after being the only survivor of the second black hawk crash, as well as many others who were involved. Written by
Matthew Patay: revised by Brady Schloz
A lot of the dust seen swirling around underneath the Black Hawks was computer generated. Real dust would have been too prevalent and would have obscured the action so the ground was dampened before filming to reduce the amount of dust. See more »
when CPT Steele calls out SFC Hooten to point out the safety of his weapon, it is obvious that when Hooten turns around, the right side of his rifle is facing outward but when Steele's finger is pointing at the safety lever, the left side of the rifle is facing outward See more »
I find it ironic that many of the comments being circulated from outside (rather luckily, I'd say) the hornet's nest of U.S. news media are doling out the most thoughtful and reasonable opinions on why "Black Hawk Down" is such a rank slice of flag-waving propaganda. Those who say, in so many words, "leave your politics at the door" are the ones who are missing the point of a democratic society--even in something as simple as film criticism, dissent is not a privilege, but a right for all people who disagree with the preset opinions of others.
"Black Hawk Down" is a film that offers up an indistinguishable cast of characters, Army men devoid of personality but all trailed by gold haloes (heavy irony here, as one reviewer mentioned, one soldier is presently in prison for rape), as they carry out a rescue mission that goes awry (although the plot becomes a moot point even before the troops arrive), which turns into the type of loud, exploitative, and soulless bloodbath we've come to expect from the prolific, oh-so-patriotic Jerry Bruckheimer. (At least "Con Air" had John Malkovich for comic relief.)
Inking his soul over to the devil, Ridley Scott employs the mandatory, quick-edit style of pretentious music-video directors the world over, and rather than drawing interest into the almost nonexistent story, instead makes the film bomb even harder. The shameless cliches that are trotted out do nothing to build the characters (the phone call that came one ring too late; the 'kissing of the family picture', etc.), therefore it is impossible to relate to or care about anyone, even more so when they choke out the typical "Tell my wife and kids..." line.
On the other side of a particularly one-dimensional, racist "script" are the Somalis, who are presented with even less personality than the soldiers--their video game objective is to yell, wave automatic weapons, and act like utter psychopaths. What better way to establish the Good Guys, eh? Just give the Bad Guys even less personality! Personality is overrated, anyway--especially when the gory consequences of war are shoved in your face with unflinching horror! BHD piles on the gore, mostly for dramatic effect, but since the characters are such cliches, it becomes pure shock value...gore for gore's sake. I've seen better, more justified use of the red stuff in Lucio Fulci films.
Unlike "Apollo 13," this is not a "successful failure," but became a success (financially, that is) by being such a typical exercise in Hollywood sensationalism. Riding high on the wave of nationalism, revenge, and general intolerance brought about by the 9/11 tragedy, BHD arrived at an opportune time, and gave audiences exactly what they wanted--a sink-your-claws-into-the-armrest propaganda film where the U.S. Army's angelic duty boils down to blowing away foreigners (a testament to this film's racial and nationalistic bias is the fact that 19 American soldiers died in contrast with 1,000 Somalis). As if this shallow exercise in war pornography couldn't attest to its own ulterior motives, many critics hailed BHD as "the best war movie ever," among other ostentatious remarks, right as the full-speed "War on Terror" campaign was gripping this country (makes you think, doesn't it?). As for myself, I could only raise a skeptical eyebrow at the proceedings, as I pondered U.S. foreign policy, racial stereotypes through the years, and Hollywood's ability to make a mint by ignoring history. This forum seems divided--as is the case in America right now--between gung-ho 'patriotic' comments and dissidents. To disparage the flag or this film is unpatriotic--but is it patriotic, then, to accept everything you see and hear without question? Or is it more patriotic to bask in the jingoistic arrogance of BHD? If you believe that to be true, then by all means see this movie. As for everybody else, "Bowling for Columbine" will soon be out on video.
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