"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)
Special features include three audio commentary tracks: one with Author Mark Bowden and Screenwriter Ken Nolan, another with Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Director Ridley Scott, and a third track with U.S. Special Forces Veterans '93. The Essence Of Combat: Making Black Hawk Down is an astounding 151-minute chaptered documentary that covers story and character development, military orientation, shooting locations, scoring the film, and visual effects. There is also the Blu-Wizard, which lets you customize the way you watch the special features to provide a unique viewing experience, allowing you to put the content in context within the film.
The heavily stylized 2.35:1 Blu-ray Disc matches its storytelling well, with a gritty color palette and highly contrasted imagery. Details are sharp and well defined and blacks are deep, but its shadow delineation limits the dimensionality of the picture. (Danny Richelieu)
The uncompressed linear PCM 5.1-channel soundtrack sounds very realistic, with a natural response and good dynamics. Surround envelopment can be strangely lacking at times, but this is a good soundtrack. (Danny Richelieu)