*** Official "BLACK HAWK DOWN" Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert Crawford, Jan 13, 2002.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,222
    Likes Received:
    4,605
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "Black Hawk Down". Please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.
    All HTF member film reviews of "Black Hawk Down" should be posted to this thread.
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
    Crawdaddy
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,222
    Likes Received:
    4,605
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    This link is to a previously established discussion thread about "Black Hawk Down". On January 18th, this film is finally opening around North America, so hopefully, any discussion items can take place here. Thank you.
    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 1999
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm just going to continue this from the previous thread since I got to the end of it and found it was moved here.

    Technically Black Hawk Down is a remarkable achievement, but I also think that it's deemphasis of a main character is one of the film's main points. As absurd as it is for me to do this, let me quote my own review (which should be online soon):

     
  4. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2000
    Messages:
    3,973
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would echo that statement. The most refreshing part of this is that you can't even tell that he was involved with this. It bears none of his signature elements at all. The action feels authentic and not over the top. There aren't any of the general color filtering or gels I've seen before. Almost none of this feels as though it were a Bruckheimer production. You get the feeling as though he had a hands off approach to the actual filming.

    I also liked the focus on so many of the soldiers as opposed to following just one. Because the events take place in several parts of the city at once, I think this is an important and crucial choice to giving a fair account of the whole incident.

    I was only able to see it once when I was in LA, and don't want to comment further without another viewing. I will recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in military themed movies, because the ideals and spirit of the special forces are on full display in this, and the maneuvering and combat are something to see.
     
  5. Ivan Lindenfeld

    Ivan Lindenfeld Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2000
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    0
    A reviewish post is under the review thread.

    I was impressed at this movie on a technical level. Definitely the most realistic war movie in a while possibly ever. But I kept trying to look for something deeper.

    The only thing I came up with is that more ammunition was used in this movie than in any other that I remember whether fiction or science fiction. So perhaps the movie was trying to show that even though the US has amazing firepower, that is not the deciding factor in every conflict. The machines and the men on the ground succeeded. The politicians and military leaders blundered. Nothing changed in Somalia. Is it a message about technology? Ridley Scott has warned us on that before, e.g. Alien and Blade Runner. That technology is a tool but only people can improve the world?

    Or can we take this one at face value, as a history lesson done the Hollywood way? Perhaps I lack the background in war films to compare. I think I am well rounded in this regard but perhaps not.

    Another thing that struck me was the humor came at odd and random times. This was realistic in my view.

    Thinking about POV, perhaps the camera and therefore us was a soldier in Josh Hartnett's group. For the most part, unless the POV is in the air watching the battle overhead (these were my favorite scenes cinematographically) we are *right there*.

    Altogether an impressive piece of moviemaking that perhaps does not make me want to see it again soon, as no lessons can be learned from watching it that I don't already know and the fact that the US "lost" and I would have to watch the humiliating ending again. With that said, perhaps it was just a lesson from the school of "Learning your history will help keep it from repeating."

    I continue to dwell on this accomplished film...
     
  6. Paul Jenkins

    Paul Jenkins Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2000
    Messages:
    965
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have not seen the film yet, but hope to very soon.

    Ivan, I can't help but think that perhaps you are not supposed to learn anything from this film, or to take away something beyond being witness to the story that this unit went through in Somalia. It appears to be similar to Hamburger Hill in that regard, and if it is as good as that movie, I'm sure I won't be disappointed.

    The fact that the movie still has you thinking afterwards is a testament to the power of the film. The movie that most had that affect on me was Schindlers List, followed closely by the opening 20 minutes of SPR.

    Thanks for the review.
     
  7. Derrick G

    Derrick G Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ivan,
    I think you're trying to look for a message that is not there. This movie is based off the book by Mark Bowden, who interviewed many of the participants in that battle. He even interviewed some Somilias for the book. The movie is very true to what really happened in that battle. It could almost be called a documentary.
     
  8. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2000
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  9. Ivan Lindenfeld

    Ivan Lindenfeld Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2000
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well then maybe you guys are right, there is no chewy moral center to the movie. And that's OK because it wiped the memory of the Bay movie about a famous WWII battle from my mind.

    Did anyone else think that there was about 1/2 hour or more of the movie that was being shown in real time? I have to see it again (if my senses can handle it) to recall for sure, but I think it was after Hartnett's group gets to crash site 1 and during the long march up and down the street for Sizemore's group. (I am using generic terms because I don't know if they were platoons or what. Squads?)

    This thing is still sticking with me. I saw the TV trailer tonight and now think that it is misleading as it seems to show the Americans leaving Somalia as heroes and has music to help that idea along. Which is complete horseshit.
     
  10. Nick_Scott

    Nick_Scott Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2001
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually, the original ending had a message that many people thought was unpatriotic, so Ridley Scott cut it (according to www.ew.com) due to the 9/11 events.
    Maybe we'll see it on the DVD? [​IMG]
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,769
    Likes Received:
    2
     
  12. Derrick G

    Derrick G Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bhagi,

    I would have to go back and check to be sure but IIRC the decision to pull the AC130 and the Armor was made by the Joint Chiefs of Staff or somewhere around that level. I'm sure, though, that there were a lot of political (i.e. civilian) influence that led to that decision.

    Ivan,

    In a way you could say they were heroes. They were put into a bad situation due to poor planning by the higher-ups, and had several things go wrong, but they accomplished the mission objectives. They were also heroes in that a little over 100 US soldiers held off several thousand Somolias for almost 15 hours, and only lost 18 men. They got their noses bloodied but they achieved what they set out to do on that mission. The ground troops were ready to continue their operations, but it was the politicians that tucked tail and run by pulling them out

    Derrick G
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,222
    Likes Received:
    4,605
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
     
  14. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    3,217
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would concur. They are definitely heroes, at least to me.
     
  15. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 1998
    Messages:
    3,501
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wonderful film. As I said in the review thread, this is the least sentimental war film I have seen in a while. Ridley Scott took the right approach in handling the characters.

    We know just enough about these men to care about them. There was no need to know more about one’s background, where they went to school or even if they have a wife and kids. Everyone is presented at the same level. No one’s life is more valuable than another or that no one person is better than another. Such needless manipulation was successfully averted.

    I would like to see this film again and focus more on the characters this time and less on the plot now that I know what has transpired.

    ~Edwin
     
  16. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2000
    Messages:
    2,371
    Likes Received:
    1
    I also have to echo the sentiment that those men were heroes. I found it very inspiring to see these guys coming out of the city only to volunteer to go back in (and some of them wounded) because they weren't willing to leave a man behind. The movie actually reminds me a little bit of Apollo 13, in that both films are about missions that were disasters but featured heroism because the people involved refused to be destroyed even though the circumstances suggested that they should have been.
     
  17. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Derrick on its only theme, this movie shows that combat really, really sucks. The movie does not need to have a moral or resolution that teaches us anything, the 2 plus hours of combat was the point. The brutality was the whole film; one does not need to like it, but I greatly appreciated Scott's depiction of it. That is the reason to watch this movie, and the entire basis of my judgment of the film.

    If anything, I felt that several of the conversations and dialogues are more manipulative, or at least one sided, than they should have been. Obviously the film is taking the Americans' point of view, but I think some of the emphasis in dialogues is distracting and not well earned (the Somalian giving his side of the story or Hartnett's final monologue). The same goes for the deaf soilder. Some in the reviews thread had mentioned that the audiences might have needed a relief in this chaos, but to me, that's exactly what the movie should not have had--relief. I was very near appalled when I heard people laughing or cheering.

    Perhaps because I felt the process of depicting the combat was the most important element of the movie, I did not feel the character development was important. The uniformity of the U.S. soilders adds to the horrific impact of war.
     
  18. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1998
    Messages:
    7,588
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  19. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1998
    Messages:
    7,588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Also, regarding the theme. I think the fact that the words "not left behind" or "no one gets left behind" were repeated by so many characters, tied in with Bana's final speech about it being the men you fight beside rather than being a "war lover" tells us that Scott was driving a theme throughout the film.

    Not that war is bad or good, or even that the politicians screwed them.

    He was driving home the motivation of the characters that got them through or put them in such unusual circumstances. And isn't that what all films do? I mean we study Kane's life to know why he became who he was and what he did. We learn his motivations for his choices depicted in the film.

    And for BHD we are learning the motivations for the what, why, and how's of the Mog raid soldiers. The film is only about that battle. Scott anticipates the natural questions from an audience hearing that story. Why would you go back? What makes you do this? Bana sums it up perfectly.

    To want more is to want a film who's story extends far beyond the subject of BHD.

    As for the deaf soldier, I am assuming that one guy really did lose his hearing as it is depicted. I thought his reaction to it was very human. The laughter comes from the stress of the situation and the commonality that his deafness brings to the audience. The humor is in the humanness of it, not because it is cartoonish.

    To me it was presented as a real danger and he acted truly scared by the situation. Such as the "you'll cover me, right" moment when he responds with the "huh". Or when you think he might get left behind by not hearing them decide to run off (he is covering behind them). It's the sort of handicap that make a bad situation horrible and that came across to me. But in the brief moments of silence we can recognize it as something you "look back and laugh about".

    I have been badly injured (burned), but when safely outside that moment I can also look back with humor about it. Especially Murphy's Law type things. The audience has this opportunity because they are outside looking in as if remembering safely from the future (which actually we are).
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,222
    Likes Received:
    4,605
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    Well, I bought the book this morning and will begin reading it today plus my second viewing of the film will take place today. I've also bought the book "We Were Soldiers Once... And Young" which is the book the film "We Were Soldiers" starring Mel Gibson is based on and that film starts in March.

    Crawdaddy
     

Share This Page