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WSR Detailed DVD Review
Black Hawk Down
3-Disc Deluxe Edition
Genre: Drama

Reviewed In Issue 74 (July 2003) Of Widescreen Review®

Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana, William Fichtner, Ewen Bremner & Sam Shepard

WSR Review Scores
WSR Picture Rating: 4.5
DD Sound Rating: 5
DTS Sound Rating: NA
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score: 3.5
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Special Features
This is the incredible special edition DVD set you've all been waiting for...and I certainly believe that it was worth the wait. Disc One of this three-disc Deluxe Edition includes three audio commentary tracks: one with director/producer Ridley Scott and producer Jerry Bruckheimer; a second commentary with author Mark Bowden and screenwriter Ken Nolan; and a third track with Task Force Ranger veterans Msgt. Matt Eversmann, Col. Tom Matthews (ret.), Col. Danny McKnight (ret.), and Col. Lee Van Arsdale (ret.). There are also cast and crew filmographies. Disc Two begins with The Essence Of Combat: Making Black Hawk Down, an astounding 151-minute chaptered documentary that covers story and character development, military orientation, shooting locations, scoring the film, and visual effects. Next, you will find the Image & Design menu, which includes a 13-minute featurette on Designing Mogadishu, a production desing archive of photograph and artwork galleries, storyboard comparisons with optional music track or commentary by storyboard artist Sylvain Despretz, Ridleygram (Ridley Scott storyboard) comparisons with optional music track or analysis by Despretz, on-the-set with Jerry Bruckheimer showcasing photographs he took during filming (five minutes), 12 photo galleries, and a three minute title design exploration with optional commentary by graphic artist Flavio (Kampah) Campagna. Disc Two finishes off with approximately 20 minutes worth of deleted or alternate scenes with optional commentary by Ridley Scott. You will want to visit the Historical Archive menu on Disc Three, which includes the 92-minute History Channel special on The True Story Of Black Hawk Down, a 55-minute PBS presentation of Frontline: Ambush In Mogadishu, and an interesting interactive mission timeline of that fateful day in Somalia. Target Building Insertion is a multi-angle sequence with optional production sound audio or commentary by Terry Needham. Three Q&A Forums are included: one at the British Academy Of Film And Television Arts in London featuring Scott, Bruckheimer, Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Jason Isaacs, Mark Bowden, and Tom Matthews (10 minutes), another with editor Pietro Scalia at the Motion Picture Editor's Guild (11 minutes), and 12 minutes with Scott and Bruckheimer at the American Cinematheque. Finally, the Promotion menu allows access to the theatrical trailer and TV spots, poster concepts, Denez Prigent and Lisa Gerrard's music video for "Gortoz A Ran

 DVD General Information

(Studio/Distributor): Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number): 09288
(MPAA Rating): R
(Rating Reason):

Intense, realistic, graphic war violence and for language
(Retail Price): $39.95
(DVD Type): Three-disc set: DVD-9 x 3
(Widescreen Edition): Yes
(Full Screen Edition): No
(Anamorphic Widescreen): Yes
(Running Time In Minutes): 144
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Regional Coding): 1
(Theatrical Year): 2001
(Theatrical Release): Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release): No
(DVD Release Date): 06/03/03
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

 Credits Information

(Director): Ridley Scott
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  DVD Picture Information

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  DVD Sound Information

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  WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
"Black Hawk Down" is the harrowing true story of a group of elite American soldiers sent into Somalia in 1993 as part of a U.N. peacekeeping incursion. Their mission is to abduct several top lieutenants of a Somalian warlord as part of a strategy to quell the civil war that is tearing the country to pieces. When the mission goes terribly wrong, the soldiers find themselves in the middle of the biggest U.S. military firefight since its involvement in Vietnam. The incident is a long, seemingly drawn-out depiction, but helps the viewer understand the horrible night that these soldiers were forced to endure. Based on the book by Mark Bowden. (Suzanne Hodges)

DVD Picture:
The anamorphically enhanced DVD appears to be the same transfer as the previously released DVD and, framed at 2.35:1, opens with an intentionally uninviting, deglamorized picture, which visually re-creates the horrible incident which occurred in Somalia. As the movie progresses, an intentionally harsh and highly contrasted picture creates a mood for the chaotic war-torn storytelling. Director Ridley Scott has described the look of the film as having an

The Dolby

This Disc Contains The Following WSR-Rated Superb Qualities:
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