Movie Review: Black Hawk Down (2001)

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*Ron Perlman voice activated*. War… war never changes.

Ladies and gentlemen, we got a… “Black Hawk Down”.

In 1993, a band of American troopers were sent in Mogadishu, Somalia to try to take down a local warlord who is the cause of a civil war. However when one of their Black Hawk choppers crash in the city they have to fight for survival against essentially everyone in the city… or at least a lot of heavily-armed Somalis. And while the story doesn’t have a lot of cultural empathy, it’s still one hell of a ride. What we have here is a really intense war story and how it affects different people in this situation. And it was all very riveting. There is rarely a calm moment in this movie, so when there finally is a bit of calm you never really take it for granted. But I have to say that it was really interesting, intriguing and pretty well handled.

The characters in this movie are nothing to write home about. They are all bland and never really develop at any time. And I know that you might be sitting there like “Come on, they’re in a war, there is no time for character development”. Three words: “Saving Private Ryan”, a war movie that is just as intense but takes the time to develop it’s characters and keep them interesting. The only reason you care for the characters in this movie is because the movie makes you root for them but introducing them in the beginning and making sure you don’t completely hate them. The only one I actually still really cared about was Josh Hartnett’s characters, but that’s really only because he gets the most space out of everyone. That and his performance is pretty great. That is something positive I can say: while the characters are bland and such, the acting is still fucking phenomenal, great work by everyone in the movie.

The score for the movie was composed by the ever so masterful Hans Zimmer. It is tense, emotional, big and badass. I would really say that it perfectly fit a war movie of this size and scope while also working very well musically overall. I also like the good mix of licensed tracks in the movie because they all worked really well in my opinion.

“Black Hawk Down” was directed by Ridley Scott who I am a huge fan of and once again, he delivered. First off, the movie is masterfully shot and directed and never really has any of that terrible shaky-cam bullshit. And the action scenes are very well handled too. They are both masterfully crafted and plentiful, so anyone in need of realistic war-action, look no further. I will just say that at one point there was so much intensity going on that I thought I was gonna get a heart attack from this damn movie. Thankfully the movie felt like quieting down for a bit around that time so I could catch my breath.

This movie was well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 76% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritifcation. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10. The movie also won 2 Oscars in the categories of Best film editing and Best sound. It was also nominated for an additional 2 Oscars in the categories of Best director and Best cinematography. 

“Black Hawk Down” is a really intense war movie with an engaging plot, bland & uninteresting characters, great acting, great music,  great directing and excellent action. Time for my final score. AAAAAAHHHHH. My final score for “Black Hawk Down” is a 9,38/10. I would say that it’s worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Black Hawk Down” is now completed.

Only the dead have seen the end of war. 

Movie Review: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

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Time to return to the world of comic books! Or to be more precise, graphic novels… but you get my point. You might remember that last year I reviewed the original “Sin City” and really liked it a lot. So now it is time to review the sequel. Will I like it as much as the original? Let’s have a look.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”.

On a quick sidenote, there will be some minor spoilers from the original “Sin City” in here, so tread carefully if you haven’t seen it.

Once again we have three separate storylines featuring some characters. Let’s start with the main one, the one that the movie is named after (A.K.A. “A Dame to Kill For”). This story is a prequel to the first movie and follows Dwight (Josh Brolin). He has tried to put his violent past behind him and now works as a private detective. But his past comes haunting him as he gets involved with his old lover/girlfriend Ava Lord (Eva Green). And I’m not gonna say more about it because that would be jumping into spoilers. The sad part is that despite this being the main story, it is the least interesting. I felt like it dragged on longer than it had too and it was overall not very interesting, especially since it had a few weird side-plots that were a little unnecessary.
Next up is the plot called “Nancy’s Last Dance” which follows the character of Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba). Also, this is where we got some minor spoilers for the first movie so… stop reading if you haven’t seen it. Anyway, this is set after the first movie and follows Nancy a longer while after John Hartigan’s (Bruce Willis) death. So now Nancy is a drunken stripper planning revenge against the man who caused Hartigans’ death. And that man is none other than Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). And this segment I thought was really good. So it is a little sad that this is the shortest segment out of all. But in this Nancy is a broken mess with some psychological issues and that makes for some interesting watching.
The final one is “The Long Bad Night” that is about newcomer Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a really lucky/skilled poker player who gets in over his head when he wins a game against… Senator Roark. Apparently Roark is everybody’s favorite target. Anyway, this segment might be my favorite one out of all three. It is suspenseful, it is funny and it is just really well executed. Interesting how the segment about a new character is the one I enjoyed most.
And if you’re wondering… yes, Marv (Mickey Rourke) has a segment too. A really short one in the beginning of the movie. But for the most part he plays a big(ish) part of all other segments.

All characters are interesting in some way. And all performances were really good… except for one, but I’ll get to that. Josh Brolin as Dwight was great, Jessica Alba as Nancy was great too which is really cool because she wasn’t that interesting in the first movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was also great as Johnny. And it was awesome seeing Mickey Rourke once again kick tons of ass as Marv. And Powers Boothe as Senator Roark was one of the most badass villains ever, I loved him in this movie. However, the one performance which was the worst, not bad, just not as good as all other ones was theo ne of Eva Green. And that is weird because she was one of the actors I had the most faith in, but here she just didn’t really fit too well as her character.

The soundtrack for the movie was done by Robert Rodriguez (Sidenote: Also the director of the movie) and Carl Thiel. And once again the music was really good and fit perfectly in the movie. It was badass, it was cool and it was just overall great.

This movie is as visually spectacular as the first one with it’s unique style of “black and white with some occasional color”. It looks great and it still helps hold the movie up a bit. The direction overall was great. And the action was just as brutal and violent as it was in the first movie. And that also means that the action was just as fun as in the first movie… especially when Mickey Rourke is involved. I can’t help it, he is awesome!

This movie was not very well-received, it was even a bit of a box office flop. Anyway, on Rotten Tomatoes it has a 43% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 46/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

Despite having a main plot that is not very interesting and a weak(ish) performance from Eva Green, I can’t deny the fun I had with “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”. Most stories were great, most performances were really good, teh music was great and the gritty, brutal and unique visuals are as awesome as ever. Time for my final score. *Grunt* My final score for “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is an 8,95/10. I do think it is worth buying.
Worth buying

Review of “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is done.

I don’t know what else to say.