'Black Hawk Down (Extended Cut)'
(Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, et al / DVD / R / (2002) 2006 / Sony Pictures)
Overview: Action/war drama based on the best-selling book detailing a near-disastrous mission in Somalia on October 3, 1993 where 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 which lead to a large and drawn-out firefight between the Rangers and hundreds of Somali gunmen which led to the destruction of two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters in Mogadishu.
DVD Verdict: In 1993 Somalia underwent a vicious civil war led by warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. Aidid prevented food from getting to the people of Somalia resulting in the deaths of over 300,000 innocent people. The United States, with the help of the United Nations, brought food into the country to help restore order. When order was restored the U.S. pulled out and Aidid began slaughtering all U.N. and U.S. personnel still remaining as well as stealing food meant for the starving Somalians. The situation became an epidemic and the U.S. decided Aidid and his advisors needed to be taken out. 'Black Hawk Down' is based on the true events of a U.S. led military mission that went horribly wrong, leaving 18 soldiers dead and 84 wounded. It's a gritty war movie that does not have a feel-good ending, nor at any time does it lift your spirits. It is raw, gruesome, and a fairly accurate interpretation of what our soldiers went through when the "stuff" hit the fan. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, despite the nightmares that ensued after watching it the first time. This movie hit a little too close to home as my brother was a member of the Marines Special Forces back when the movie was released. My brother endured locations such as Kosovo, Afganistan, and Iraq, and there wasn't a single time I didn't fear for his life. The horrific realism of Black Hawk Down made me realize that any situation, no matter how routine, could quickly turn into a blood bath. To this day my mother still cannot finish watching this movie. This is amazingly now the fourth DVD release of 'Black Hawk Down' and in some respects it is the best. And by "best" I mean in terms of video and audio quality. 'Black Hawk Down' is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen, and this new version has been remastered in High Definition. 'Black Hawk Down' is a tremendous movie that is almost too real for the sake of its audience. It's graphic, depressing, and generates anger toward the events that happened to those unfortunate soldiers in Somalia in 1993. But the star-filled cast and first-rate direction makes this simply a "must see" for war movie buffs. If you are a hardcore video and audiophile and thirst for the very best in DVD quality, then this new edition is for you. However, if subtle improvements in an already spectacular video transfer and a DTS audio soundtrack are not that important to you, the 3-disc Deluxe Edition is a better choice, leaving you much more satisfied in the end. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Extended Cut Edition features 8 minutes added back into the film
Digitally Remastered for the best possile picture and sound
Documentary: "Frontline - Ambush in Mogadishu"