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DVD Review: Black Hawk Down (Extended cut)

Black Hawk Down (Extended cut)
Sony Home Video

“Brilliantly funny!” “a rip-roaring laugh riot!” “Should be made into a Broadway musical!” “Tom Sizemore and Orlando Bloom are the best comedy duo since Hope & Crosby! What a team!” are phrases you will NOT hear in describing Black Hawk Down.

Phrases you WILL hear include: “Holy Sh** monkeys, was that f***ing intense.” And “Man! I nearly wet my pants!” and possibly “How did Tom Sizemore stay clean &/or sober that long!?” I am, of course, kidding. He didn’t stay sober. HA! I am kidding again! Tom and I like to kid each other! (The editors would like to note any opinions expressed here are solely the opinion of Randy Otteson, and not the editors. We wish to avoid being sued or in case we meet Mr. Sizemore at a party, we don’t want him to kick the crap out of us. P.S. we are pretty sure Randy doesn’t know Mr. Sizemore).

Based on the true story of when in the early 90’s The United States tried to kidnap the higher ups of a vicious War Lord who was starving the people of Mogadishu. The mission has a few glitches and the troops that were only suppose to be in the “Hot Zone” for 30 minutes end up having to stay there for a full day and night. The “glitches” being the shooting down of two Black Hawk helicopters and the subsequent rescue attempts.

Director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Alien) masterfully puts you in the middle of the battle and you find out what is like to be in a 24 hour non-stop firefight from all sides, bullets flying from every direction from men, women and children as well. If you have ever seen Casualties of War, set during the Vietnam War, Sean Penn says to Michael J. Fox (Yes, they were in a movie together) after a particlar battle that seemed to come out of no-where, and last no more than a few seconds “Mad f***in’ minute. Huh, Cherry?” I feel that way through the entire movie Black hawk Down.

The cast is loaded with actors that would soon become household names: Josh Hartnett, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana, Ewan McGregor, Jeremy Piven, as well as established actors like Tom Sizemore and Sam Sheppard.
He also got together a good cast of known and unknown actors, some (at the time) soon-to-be well known actors and more than a few “Where do I know that guy from” actors.

They include:

Josh Hartnett (Pearl Harbor, Lucky Number Sleven)
Ewan McGregor (Star Wars 1-3, Down with Love)
Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter films, The Patriot)
Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbor)
William Fichtner (The Perfect Storm, Contact)
Eric Bana (The Incredible Hulk, Munich)
Sam Shepard (The Right Stuff, Steel Magnolias)
Ron Eldard (ER, Freedomland)
Steven Ford (Heat, Contact [also Gerald’s son])
Orlando Bloom (The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean films)
Jeremy Piven (Chasing Liberty, Runaway Jury)

“Extended Cut” Refers to a few extra scenes that were cut out of the original (Probably due to length), that are restored for this release. The extra scenes do not add a “Whole new depth” to the movie, but are interesting for the film’s fans. It also comes with a Frontline special on the real event. Frontline, for those who don’t know (which I didn’t), is PBS’s long running “60 Minutes” or “48 Hours” type of news program. Frontline has been on TV since 1983, apparently I have been living in a cave (A cave that doesn’t get PBS). The piece is very interesting for those who want to know more about why we where there, why we left, and why we had to sit on our hands and watch the brutality that went on. By “we” I of course mean our military. The closest I have been to combat, is talking too loud during bingo at a retirement home (I still have the scars, emotional as well as physical. NEVER mess with old people and bingo….NEVER! I can’t talk about it anymore; I can feel the tears welling again).

Randy Otteson