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1-21-02

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Probe Movie Review
by Preston Fillagre


  Black Hawk Down

Prepare for another immersion into 90+ minutes of hand-held subjective camerawork: we're going to war again. Ridley Scott behind the lens seems to be favoring over-exposed slow stock film for those realistic, highly contrasted visuals we all see when flooded with adrenaline. Clearly -- or, not so clearly -- the moral and situational ambiguities are to be reflected in muddy, incoherent visuals full of dust, shadow, and (Mr. Scott's milieu) fog. We will be asked to forgive disjointed plotlines since Life Ain't Like That, overlook flat characters since Life IS Like That, and aimless narrative arcs since War is Hell.

Furthermore, the washed out colors beckon us to compare today's soldiering to the black-and-white battle lines of yesteryear: All Quiet on the Western Front, From Here to Eternity and Paths of Glory will all, no doubt, exhibit a far more nuanced palette than this vehicle. Perhaps they should have just confined themselves to shades of red, white, and blue, but that still avoids the honesty of admitting the true shade of their allegiance: green. Let the Hype Machine commence.






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